A friend came into town and wanted to get dinner. He asked me where I wanted to meet. I thought about it. Here’s a friend who hasn’t been in Arlington in awhile, and I wanted to take him somewhere “Arlington” that has good food, cold beer and fun atmosphere.
Only one answer popped into my head: Grease Monkey.
The Grease Monkey Burger Shop and Social House is a fixture to downtown Arlington and rightfully so. It sits right next to the historic Vandergriff Chevrolet building and within walking distance from the Arlington Music Hall.
The burger joint is a hub, a literal epitome of its name, where everyone can hang out, grab a beer, eat a burger or a basket of fries while enjoying the rest of Arlington who joins in.
And I have a habit of bringing friends there. Anytime someone wants to do dinner, “Grease Monkey” is always my first suggestion.
Grab a quick lunch? Have a long chat with a new friend? Enjoy a beer and company? A meet up place after an event? Try somewhere new? All done at Grease Monkey.
It’s so on the tip of my tongue that sometimes I suggest it even when it doesn’t actually make sense.
I needed a nice quiet place to meet with a colleague, and I suggested Grease Monkey – a place never lacking enough people to be considered quiet.
But we still met there because Grease Monkey makes a mean burger, and we could find a quieter place in the back.
Grease Monkey’s food menu is nothing fancy – but worth rolling up the sleeves and tucking into. It’s mostly burgers, fries and apps, but there’s enough of a variety of each that you can either have a favorite or not get bored rotating through the menu.
I’m partial to the “Black and Blue” burger, a beef patty dressed with blue cheese crumbles, onion strings and bacon.
The Black and Blue burger is not only my favorite thing there, but it’s the only blue cheese burger that I haven’t had to scrape off anything to get the ratio right.
The burger is perfect. And something I think about frequently. That and their sweet potato fries.
Man, those fries are something else.
On the bar side, the alcohol options are less exotic than those at many bars around it, but sometimes a beer is all you need. They have many on tap and available in bottles/cans.
And once you get that beer, you can enjoy it at their open-aired bar. One side is inside while the other side has you enjoying that Texas sunset. The whole place feels like a friend’s garage, where you go and hang out with the door open.
It reminds me of my Texas summers when I was little; my neighborhood was big on spending summer nights in someone’s opened garage. It is also a place where I want to hang out as
I like eating outside at one of the oversized outdoor tables and enjoying my friends’ company.
Or inside, listening to social house noise or live music.
I like being downtown and seeing a downtown that didn’t exist when I was a kid.
And I love showing it off to my friends any chance I get.
Grease Monkey gives me the best venue to do so, and with great burgers and beer.
Sara Pintilie is a distinguished writer, editor and photographer who calls Arlington home. In her column, she offers a millennial’s take on things local.