Apr 182008

Well people, I made it. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing when it comes to places in Johnson County these days, but I seem to be really making the rounds out there lately. I’m still gunning for the third district spots, believe me, I just can’t really do it during the work week.

In a nutshell, Grandstand makes me a little jealous of Johnson County. And just to get things straight, the stretch of road that houses this humble little burger shack is not cupcakeland. It is total blue collar all the way. What amounts to “downtown” Merriam is little more than some auto repair shops, a lumber yard, a place that sells pavers and so forth, and a little hole in the wall that sells one of the best burgers in the metro.

Yes, I’ll admit that the mystique of the place contributes a lot to its appeal. You can fit approximately 5 people inside the place before you have to start exchanging phone numbers. Most people eat out on picnic tables, with a plastic bottle of ketchup and a handful of overly skimpy napkins. And this place cranks out the burgers. I was there about 1pm yesterday and they were doing a stiff business, half of which was carryout.

Ok, down to brass tacks. The bun is grilled. Condiments come on the sandwich and include lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard, pickle, onion, and mayo. I always forego mayo because I think it is disgusting. I will never smooch anyone who likes mayonnaise. The cheese is American and prominent in the flavor symphony of the burger. The patty itself is clearly hand-formed and is the perfect size. Personally I don’t like thick “restaurant-style” burgers. I like them thin, and these are fairly thin but really a good size compared to places like Max’s and Town Topic. They offer double and even triple cheeseburgers as well. Wanna see the whole menu?

I ate my cheeseburger in, like, 38 seconds. I just couldn’t stop myself.

I do have a (minor) quibble with the fries. The are cheap, out of the bag, crinkle-cut fries. They cook them as well as you can possibly cook them, by which I mean they don’t undercook them, which everyone seems to do in this town.

No one likes a flaccid potato.

They just seem like cheap fries somehow. I mean Chefburger also uses frozen fries, but you get the feeling that they tried a lot of varieties and chose the best one. I think Grandstand just went for the cheapest that Sysco had to offer. The cheapness comes through in other ways too. For instance, I’m pretty sure that they are rockin’ the generic ketchup in those red bottles. I can just tell. Anyhow, next time I go for the tater tots.

You know elsewhere in the country it is rare to see tater tots on a restaurant menu. No shit. I came to KC a couple years back and all these goddamn places had tater tots–that totally kick ass. Does anyone know why? Does anyone recognize this for the cute little local culinary identifier that it is? Is this a nationwide trend that I only noticed just now?

Read more:

Grandstand Burgers on Urbanspoon


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  8 Responses to “Grandstand Burgers: Antioch and Merriam (Merriam, KS)”

  1. You said flaccid potato! Hilarious. I’m going to try to bring up that phrase in casual conversation today. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  2. Tots rule man!

    As a kid, growing up, I thought they were poor people food. I mean we had tater tot casserole but when we went to the big town they had fries. So I equated fries with sophisticated eating (hey I WAS just a kid).

    Anyway, you are right. KC has more places per capita offering tots than anywhere I have ever lived, been stationed, or traveled thru. And that’s not even counting Sonic.

    Anyway, the place sounded tasty so I’ll try to remember it next time I am in that part O town. Thanks!

  3. okay, as far a tots go, if you’re going cheap that’s the way to go. otherwise opt for home-made fries. and i’m with you on the generic ketchup, it’s true and you can tell the difference.

    but the burgers are a slice of grilled patty-heaven between buttery-bun goodness.

  4. Hmmm…the day after you posted this, I made a special trip to check this place out.

    Tangent: Keep these reviews coming…they are great!

    Anyway, I did NOT have the euphoric experience that you did. I got my cheeseburger and tots and they reminded me of Sonic. A lot.

    Maybe I caught them on a bad day, but the cheeseburger was strangely salty and the tots were very Sonic-like.

  5. Oooh sonic, that hurts. Well, at least sonic donates to democrats (it’s true). I don’t think grandstand is perfect but your perspective is truly appreciated. And they definitely don’t practice lefty politics. Anyway, I have a weakness for holes-in-the-wall that sometimes clouds my judgment. Just glad you were willing to check it out and keep me honest.

  6. I’ll have to try this place out once I start eating red meat again.

  7. The commercials for Johnsonville Brats feature the tag line “Heaven on a Bun”… I have to disagree (try Werner’s on J’Drive for a good bratwurst) and say that a GrandStand burger is a hell of a lot closer to heaven. I have a raging argument w/ some friends over the better burger between the Flea Market and GrandStand. I think the Flea Market has gotten a little stale over the years, where as the GrandStand is a home run. And the tots are fantastic.

  8. I absolutely love this place! Me and my company eat here every Thursday for a tradition we have deemed "Greasy Cheeseburger Thursdays".
    We love it so much we have filmed an ode to it professing our love. Check it out -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C2VvGaisq0