The Grease Monkey is not an automobile repair shop. It is also not some alien sister-wife of the similarly garage-styled Gas Monkey. It is a casual restaurant and the name pays homage to Arlington’s post-war automobile boom that launched the city into what is today. And the burger here is delightful. So, there you go.
The Grease Monkey is a restaurant and “social club” that serves burgers and provides plenty of opportunities for social doings. Such could be simply drinking one of Arlington’s local beers at the bar, dining in the open garage-esque setting (outfitted with tire wheel table stands, a colorful community high-top table, flat screen TVs, and plenty of good old American kitsch to excite your wild American spirit), or enjoying live music on Saturdays and Fridays. Maren Morris, the Grammy nominated country music artist, used to play here and you may even see her in person since she still stops in from time to time. This place is the real deal.
Some key food and drink points: The Smash and Grab IPA from Arlington’s own Legal Draft Beer Company, is a fine pint of brew. With some good sweetness, bouncy hop presence, manageable bitterness and only a slight astringency on the finish, it’s a fine IPA with excellent drinkability. They also carry Upslope, Oskar Blues, Revolver, and Deep Ellum. It is also of the note that they carry a drink called Poontang Punch. This is America, after all.
In addition to drinking the beers, your mouth will want food. Now, to start off your meal, the fried zucchini offers a fine entry to the burger you’re about to eat. Sure, there are cheese sticks, chicken fingers, fried jalapeños, and nachos, but you like yourself and the year has just started. Easy, tiger. The fried zucchini was battered in-house, pleasantly soft and well-seasoned. When dipped in the house-made ghost pepper ketchup, it really makes the biscuits rise. They don’t serve biscuits.
The only burger I can comment on is the chicken-fried bacon chipotle barbecue burger. It’s a mouthful before even landing on the table. Fortunately, and even though no one asked how it should be cooked, the burger was well-seasoned, juicy even after being cooked longer than I like, and not overloaded so much as to hide the beef beneath the sauce or the chicken-fried bacon. But as much as the burger was good, the true star may just be the bun. It was soft and airy but dense enough to hold up without getting soggy, and it possessed a subtle sweetness that made my lips pucker. It’s a sourdough bun grilled with a cilantro and jalapeño butter and it just works.
The Grease Monkey is a friendly and welcoming place, and the appeal is in the comfort of its food and surroundings. The general manager greeted guests he knew personally and everyone enjoyed their lunches in the heartiest of fashions. Should I find myself back in Arlington after the sun goes down, I would love to see how this place sparks during live musical performances and sporting matches. Go to Arlington. Eat a burger. Live free.