A stellar model.
Farm Burger, a 100% grassfed and locally-sourced burger restaurant located in Decatur, Georgia, is set to open its second location in late summer 2011 at 3365 Piedmont Road in the Tower Walk complex in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. Farm Burger is a unique collective of farmers, chefs, butchers, and restaurateurs working together to redefine our country’s burger tradition. Building on its success in Decatur, Farm Burger Buckhead will bring its local grassfed burgers to a new side of the city while remaining true to its quality in sourcing and preparation, convivial environment, and reclaimed design aesthetic. The restaurant has received much national attention from outlets such as CNN, Food & Wine Magazine, Fox News and The Atlanta Journal Constitutionas a sustainable vanguard in the rapidly growing trend of boutique burger restaurants.
Farm Burger Buckhead's ownership is identical to Farm Burger Decatur's (Jason Mann & George Frangos). Mann is a partner of the restaurant Farm 255 in Athens, Georgia, and director of its two farm operations, Full Moon Farms & Moonshine Meats. Frangos is a restaurateur formerly of Concentrics Restaurants of Atlanta, Savoy and Blue Ribbon Bakery of New York, and Restaurant Nora of Washington, D.C.
Buckhead's menu will be based on Chef Terry Koval's successes in Decatur, and by Dan Latham will lead the kitchen. Latham will serve as Chef of Buckhead as well as Culinary Director of both locations and future Farm Burger locations, currently in development. Latham comes from farming families of Mississippi and the Ozarks, and is best known around Atlanta for Moto Bene, his seasonally-sourced mobile pizza oven. He cut his culinary teeth working with Mario Batali in New York for many years with various operations including Po, The Food Network and Studio del Gusto of Italian Wine Merchants, out of which he produced Babbo's charcuterie program. After New York, he opened his own establishment in Oxford Mississippi, L&M's Kitchen & Salumeria, as well as Pancetta Ranch, a small custom butcher shop to compliment. As a reflection of his work in Oxford, he earned a James Beard Nomination for Best Chef South. He most recently has been working as a consultant in sustainable meat sourcing and restaurant operations for clients such as Jim N Nick's BBQ, the Eat Real Festival of Oakland and Los Angeles, and Burger Up of Nashville. "Burgers are an amazing platform for the utilization of local produce and cheese," says Latham. "I am thrilled to be joining the Farm Burger team and to be heading up the second offering of this pioneering brand."
As in Decatur, Farm Burger's beef and pork will be supplied by Moonshine Meats, the pasture-based cooperative founded by Mann. The menu features ingredients raised on numerous local and sustainable farms, including the restaurant's own Full Moon Farms.
Farm Burger is an ethical reinterpretation of the iconic “burger joint” with all burgers made from 100% grassfed beef from cows raised on southeastern pastureland. Moonshine Meats provides beef from cows that are never fed hormones, antibiotics, or grain, and are nourished by an exclusively grass-based diet. Beef is dry-aged and ground fresh at a nearby processor. Farm Burger offers traditional burger and fry offerings complimented by local farmstead cheeses, house-cured bacon and charcuterie from its own pigs, and housemade accompaniments including pickles, dips, preserves. In addition to beef, Farm Burger serves innovative burgers made from pasture-raised chicken and pork, Georgia seafood, and an award-winning housemade veggie quinoa burger. Farm Burger also prides itself on reaching a broad audience with its gluten-free and vegan offerings. Farm Burger’s menu is a dynamic expression of seasonality and culinary whimsy, featuring fried vegetable options such as okra and green beans, chicken pot pie fritters, boiled peanuts, and beet pickled eggs. Salads are sourced from nearby farms, and are always representative of the season. In addition to its popular root beer and adult floats, Farm Burger Buckhead will serve traditional milkshakes. Beer and wine selections are in alignment with the philosophy of the food, featuring local greats such as Terrapin Brewery and Wild Heaven. Menu options are priced affordably with burgers starting at just $6.
Farm Burger Buckhead’s design will echo Decatur's with its clean, modern yet rural aesthetic. Architecture and building methods employ green practices, including featuring local, reclaimed building materials in construction and design. The restaurant is a leader in waste management, having developed a unique composting system in Decatur that benefits the Oakhurst Community Garden with kitchen food scraps. Its service dishes are made from biodegradable, compostable materials, and fryer oil is recycled into bio-diesel fuel. In various ways, Farm Burger's sum environmental footprint is extremely low in comparison to its industry peers.
Farm Burger's reputation as an efficient eatery will be a perfect fit for the business community of Buckhead, with a reliably quick line and fast counter service. Farm Burger Buckhead will augment its services slightly to cater to the surrounding professional environment. It will have a robust to-go business with all items served in its biodegradable, compostable packaging, with scalable menu items to suit larger office parties. Lunch will be the highlight of Farm Burger's service with daily specials and the $8 lunch combo, much like the Decatur shop, but dinner will also offer nearby residential neighborhoods a new option for healthy, sustainable and affordable eating.
Partner & Operator, George Frangos has a deep history in management and operations of notable, distinguished establishments. Prior to Farm Burger he was part of the Concentrics Restaurants management team, including acting as Director of Operations of both Room and Lobby restaurants of the TWELVE hotels, as well as opening GM of TROIS. He has also served as Operations Consultant for Farm 255 since 2008. Before moving his family to Atlanta, Frangos was the owner/operator of acclaimed destination restaurant Victory 96 State Street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. His passion for sustainability and seasonality comes from years spent as Manager of Peter Hoffman’s Savoy of New York and Nora Pouillon’s Restaurant Nora of Washington, D.C., both award-winning national landmarks of local and organic eating. In addition to Savoy his New York days included three years as Restaurant Manager of Eric and Bruce Bromberg’s Blue Ribbon Bakery. "It has been such a rewarding experience becoming part of Decatur's community, and we look forward to developing the same rapport with our Buckhead neighbors," says Frangos. "I am also thrilled to have Dan Latham joining our team. I can't think of a more appropriate chef for us. With his strong culinary background, talent, and proven commitment to sustainability, he will be a perfect compliment to Decatur Chef Terry Koval.”
Partner & Farmer, Jason Mann is a co-owner of Farm 255 in Athens, Georgia, a forerunner in “farm-to-table” eating over the last 6 years that has expanded the definition more accurately into "farm-AND-table". Farm 255 has become one of the most successful alternative models of how local food production can marry with the priorities of the food and beverage industry. Mann founded the farms that produce all of Farm 255’s meat and roughly 30% of its vegetables. In addition to operating Full Moon Farms, the vegetable row crop operation, Mann has launched Moonshine Meats, an innovative meat production enterprise, which supplies Farm 255 and both Farm Burger locations, as well as other local establishments such as Burnt Fork BBQ, Table & Main, and The National of Athens, with its premium grassfed beef and pasture-raised pork. Mann’s goal is to build dynamic local markets that connect consumers with the source of their meat in an effort to create a more sustainable and just agriculture system in the state of Georgia and beyond.
Farm Burger provides a coveted model for the new era of conscientious eating across the country, and the Buckhead location will continue Farm Burger's successful contribution to the movement. Farm Burger’s progress can be followed via its newsletter and blog at www.farmburger.net.