Steamed sandwiches and cocktails are Knuckle Sandwich's thing, but when I arrive on the first day of the Lower Greenville spot's lunch service, I'm on a mission for the burger. The Knuckle Burger ($13) is prime beef topped with two slices of smoked Gouda, fresh bibb lettuce, an extravagant heirloom tomato and a crispy, book-thick onion ring. Chipotle ketchup is swiped over the bottom of an Empire Bakery bun. I go for the house-cut fries as my side, which are, as the menu promises, fried twice and hit with flakes of kosher salt.
The burger immediately fills the hole in the heart that Vagabond, the joint that Knuckle transformed, left wide open. Keep an eye on this place, and this burger.
The beef has a hard enough sear on the bottom that, for a moment, I thought it was bacon. Always a good sign. Campbell confirms for me later that it gets its sear on a hot griddle. The smoked Gouda drapes over the patty. The bibb lettuce is screaming fresh, and the heirloom tomato was steakhouse-level good. I’m enjoying this sandwich, and wondering how I can take advantage of this "First Luncher" thing and order 15 more to-go. The onion ring, which is often wildly unmanageable on a burger, has a batter so crispy it cracks when you look at it. Same goes for those fries.
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If you’re going to do a condiment at all, I like mustard, but the Chipotle ketchup added a nice nudge of sweetness. Even in its early months, Knuckle Sandwich is already good eating.
As I’m signing out, my server tells me Knuckle’s new lunch hours will include — wait for it — $1 cocktails. They’re adding Wi-Fi, too, which means your work lunch emails can grow increasingly weirder as you drink. Welcome to the block, Knuckle lunch.
Knuckle Sandwich, 3619 Greenville Ave.