Atomic Burger to shake up fast food

Joe Spitale describes how high-quality hamburgers and shakes will be made at Atomic Burger.

Chewing lettuce. Cheddar mustard potato ketchup meaty eggs. Tators greasy favorite cheese. Hamburg goodness pickles juicy delicious mozzarella toppings.

Stout culinary. All-American cucumber comfort food layers. Frozen relish classic slices bread crumbs. Plain lunch.

Sesame seeds gourmet. Messy mushrooms hearty hamburger. Flames flavorful condiments. Zesty ground.

French fries onions. Fresh patty sausage gravy mayo. Chopping pork basic. Sandwich masterpiece. Peanut butter. Chicken wheat consume.

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Atomic Burger aims to make better burgers faster

Does the world need another burger? Joe and Nick Spitale think so, and in October they'll launch Atomic Burger in Metairie.

The Spitales watched the rise of burgers over the last five years. They saw higher-quality chains, like Five Guys and In-N-Out, spread across the nation. They noticed local chefs elevate the burger at places like Truburger and The Company Burger. But the brothers had done their research, they knew something was missing.

At a typical fast food restaurant, nearly 70 percent of the revenue comes from the drive-through window. And they didn't see anyone making a high-quality burger quick enough to meet the demands of the automobile age.

"Typically in fast food," said Joe Spitale, "you've had to be fast and consistent, but you don't have to be good. Why should we be held to a lower standard?"

The beef will be ground daily and seasoned only with salt and pepper. The nearly 1-inch thick, 6-ounce patty will first be cook slowly and then finished on high heat for a crust.

The menu at Atomic Burger is streamlined for speed. In addition to four hamburgers and three sliders, there also will be a turkey burger, a portobello mushroom sandwich and a hot dog. The french fries will be cut from whole potatoes and fried twice. The other option for a side is edamame.

"I have two kids," Joe said, "and my almost-4-year-old daughter loves edamame. We wanted to offer some healthier items."

Befitting a place with a sci-fi name, the milkshakes magically appear in a cloud of nitrogen. What sounds like a gimmick was actually born out of necessity. Most fast food restaurants make milkshakes with soft serve ice cream, which often arrives as a powder in a bag. Old fashioned milk shakes with hand-scooped ice cream would back up the drive-through line. So Atomic Burger borrowed a technique more common to avant-garde molecular cuisine.

Standard liquid ice cream base goes into a blender. The blades start spinning and a puff of minus 321 degree nitrogen enters. As quick as a rocket ship, the liquid becomes a creamy milkshake.

Atomic Burger will be at 3934 Veterans Blvd. The projected opening date is Oct. 1. For more information, visit Under locations, the site notes the Metairie location as its flagship, but suggests more restaurants will be "Coming Soon."

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