The old headbanger refrain goes, “Heavy metal isn’t a type of music, it’s a way of life.”
When Ryan Harkins and Matthew Chernus launched the heavy-metal-inspired food truck Grill 'Em All in 2009, slinging monstrous burgers became a full-time lifestyle, boosted by a first-place finish on the first season of The Great Food Truck Race.
Their newest project: a music-blasting, brick-and-mortar restaurant in Alhambra nicknamed “Valhalla” by the staff, with walls plastered in rock posters and a huge mural proclaiming “Death to False Burgers.”
Creations from the original Grill 'Em All truck are available, such as the classic Waste 'Em All ($9), a burger sluiced with green chiles, grilled onions and pepper jack. More face-melting still are the delicious monstrosities created for the restaurant’s expanded menu.
We loved the sweet-savory riff of the Powerslave burger ($9), made with bourbon-apple compote, balsamic aioli and melted brie, and the Anvil Fries ($7), Belgian-style frites smothered in cheese curds and duck confit.
And although the beef comes from nearby Rocker Brothers Meat, and the specially designed buns are baked daily in Burbank, you won’t hear any bragging about local sourcing. “Well, shit, everyone should be doing that anyway,” says Harkin with a shrug.
Grill 'Em All Alhambra, 19 E. Main St., Alhambra; 626-284-2874 or grillemallburgs.com