Best Burger Joint (2003)
Adrian's Burger Bar
How can a Fifth Ward hole-in-the-wall with a burned-out TV and a bunch of falling-apart chrome dinettes be considered the city's best burger joint? Tradition. Adrian Cooper may run this place, but it isn't really his hamburger -- it's his grandmother's. Vivian Wilson started serving it at Vivian's Lounge on Market Street 40 years ago. Today, the menu on the wall lists a mushroom burger, a bacon burger and a mushroom-bacon combination called an Adrian's burger. Each one is a hand-formed patty made from a solid pound of fresh ground beef. The first time you go to Adrian's Burger Bar, you'll see a pot-holed parking lot, a shabby dining room and a business that appears to be on its last legs. But after a burger or two, you'll start to see a third-generation restaurant tradition thriving against all odds in the city's most historic black neighborhood.