When the KFC Colonel surrendered his mess hall at Arcadia and High, he left legions of locals hoping for an encouraging change in fast-food regimes. Well, with the recently opened Graffiti Burger, they've seemingly gotten just what they've been looking for.
Since I live nearby and have been observing marauding armies of eager burger warriors marching into this Clintonville outpost of the Columbus-owned mini chain, I decided I had no excuse but to catch up with a few of its newer menu options (yeah, life is tough!).
By way of background, maybe here I should stress that if you're a hamburger fan but have never tried a Graffiti Burger, you should go pronto. Why? Well, because they use never-frozen, 100 percent Angus beef and hand-sliced potatoes to make - without question - the best fast-food burgers and French fries you can buy in town (even though they've downgraded their puffy, locally baked Auddino's buns to much more forgettable ones).
After listening to a friendly server extol the virtues of the recently released Sicilian Burger ($5, $6.50 for a half-pounder), I ordered one. It was a salt and grease bomb and a major mess -& amp; #160;in short, a success. An obvious riff on the Mr. Hero Romanburger, the Sicilian added sub sandwich ingredients (salami, banana peppers, Italian dressing and seriously unnecessary mayonnaise) to excellent stoner food effect.
The Buffalo Blue burger ($5/$6.50) was another collision of junk food favorites. This one was literally dripping with vinegary hot wing sauce and studded with lumps of blue cheese. Overall, I liked it, but thought the burger got a little lost in the bun-disintegrating mix (hint: as with the Sicilian, opt for the plenty-big-enough quarter-pound "junior" and order it sans mayo).
For something on the slightly lighter side that nonetheless doesn't sacrifice real burger character or flavor, I recommend the decidedly nonindustrial turkey burger ($4/$5.50). Unlike many of its competitors, it doesn't taste funky (note: you can sub in the turkey burger on the Sicilian, Buffalo Blue or whatever burger strikes your fancy here).
Sidewise, the Cheesy Fries ($2.50 for an easily-feeds-two "small") top Graffiti's blocky, golden brown and not too greasy french fries with a viscous nacho cheese type sauce that tastes a little bit like melty Velveeta mixed with pickled jalapenos. While I didn't hate them, frankly Graffiti's fries are so good on their own, they don't need the gloppy sauce - it only gets in the way of pure potato enjoyment.
On the other hand, I did observe my dining partner madly mopping up every last drop of thick cheese sauce with every last itty-bitty fry remnant she could find. In other words, in Graffiti's live-for-today, happy-go-lucky burger world, to each his or her sloppy own.
For more local food news and reviews, click to G.A. Benton's blog at blog.columbusalive.com/underthetable