The bar and part of the expansive dining room at Greenville's new Angus Grill.
By Jane Hudson
At its simplest, a hamburger is a beef patty in a bun.
But Angus Grill, which opened its second Pitt County location Saturday at 201 S. Jarvis St., has elevated the hamburger -- without being pretentious about it.
The new location -- in the ECU-area space once occupied by Dr. Unk's -- is owned by Jeff Quann, who has been involved with local restaurants for seven years. He is a partner in the original Angus Grill at 4054 S. Memorial Drive in Winterville beside Pitt Community College. The same menu is offered at both locations.
Angus Grill begins elevating its hamburgers by using certified Angus beef -- meat that's well marbled, tender and flavorful. You may order a burger with one patty, two patties or three patties.
Next, it raises the bar with its buns: "salt and pepper hamburger buns" that actually are a soft yeast bun with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and poppy seeds.
And sure, you can get a classic hamburger with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and American cheese. It's called the Classic Burger.
But you can also get a wide variety of creative burgers with house-made sauces and unusual combinations of sweet and salty toppings.
A burger with onion rings, Bubba dipping sauce and a Pepsi from Angus Grill.
Take, for instance, one of Angus Grill's best-selling burgers: The Brown Sugar Egg Burger. The Angus beef patty is crowned with a fried egg, American cheese, and bacon sprinkled with brown sugar. A swipe of maple mayo is the finishing touch. (It's $7.99 for one patty, $8.99 for two patties, and $9.99 for three patties). Quann calls it a "brunch burger."
* The Hawaiian Burger, with grilled pineapple, bacon chipotle mayo and Cheddar cheese;
* The Fried Green Tomato Burger, with fried green tomato, bacon, house-made Russian dressing and house-made pimento cheese; and
* The Jalapeno Popper Burger with Angus Grill's signature mixture of cream cheese, bacon and jalapenos with Cheddar Jack cheese.
Other burgers include The Chili Mac Burger with homemade chili and mac-and-cheese bites; The Sweet Onion Burger with candied onions and hot honey mayo; The Loaded Tot Burger with Tater Tots and house-made Ranch dressing; The Bacon Jam Burger with bacon jam, pickles and maple mayo; and The BBQ Bulldog Burger with a fried onion ring and barbecue sauce.
"We started out with six burgers and we've tried out new things as 'features,'" Quann said.
"We have fun back in the kitchen, which I call 'The Lab.' We come up with ideas and balance out the sweet and salty.
"If we get a lot of good response (to a burger), we may add it to the menu."
Sandwiches also are available at Angus Grill, including Smoked Brisket Sandwich, Buffalo Chicken Cheese Steak, Chipotle Turkey Burger, Rib-eye Steak Sandwich and Chicken Club Ranch Sandwich.
Sides include french fries and Tater Tots (both served with the restaurant's popular Bubba sauce), potato salad and side salad. Onion rings are available for an additional charge.
Salads also are offered.
Jeff Quann poses at the bar at the new Angus Grill on Jarvis Street.
And Quann said that the new location's larger kitchen will allow him to add appetizers to the menu.
There is a large bar with 20 beers on tap, and bottled beer also is offered. Pepsi products are served.
The 7,000-square-foot restaurant has seating for 120 people at booths, bar tables and the bar. There are ceiling fans whirring above, pendant lighting, neon beer signs and three flat-screen TVs on one wall.
The separate entrance foyer is filled with arcade games, Skee-ball and pool tables.
The new Angus Grill location employs 25-30 people.
(Editor's Note: Bill and I paid for our lunch at Angus Grill. We were not compensated in any way for this article, and the opinions are our own.)
On Monday, Bill and I stopped by the new location of Angus Grill to grab a late lunch and chat with owner Jeff Quann.
We were tempted by so many of the burger offerings that we had a hard time making up our minds. Many of the combinations we had never seen on a restaurant menu before.
Angus Grill's Brown Sugar Egg Burger
Since Jeff said The Brown Sugar Egg Burger was one of the most popular items, I decided to give it a try. Am I ever glad I did. "Brunch burger" is an apt description. It's like a mash-up of a McDonald's Egg McMuffin (with the egg and cheese) and a savory hamburger with a touch of sweetness from the maple mayo (what a great combination) and the incredible brown sugar-topped bacon. This is a winner, people!
Angus Grill's Eastern Carolina Burger
My traditional husband Bill ordered The Eastern Carolina Burger, topped with house-made chili, slaw and mustard with Provolone cheese. Bill said it had good flavor, he enjoyed it and he would order it again. (High praise from him --- he can be critical about burgers.)
The Angus Grill's burgers were juicy -- and we were glad there was a napkin dispenser on the table.
201 S. Jarvis St.
Open Sundays through Thursdays from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Jane Welborn Hudson, a native of Greenville, wrote The Daily Reflector's Hot Dish restaurant column for 12 years and the Greensboro News & Record's Short Orders restaurant column for 8 years. Email her at email@example.com.