The Grind Mac and Cheese Burger Bar Serves Up Good Food and Fun

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The Grind Martin Tennessee

The Grind in Martin; Photo credit: Michael D. Tedesco

Burgers, macaroni and cheese, hot wings, ice cream – no, it’s not a Fourth of July backyard barbecue, but it doesn’t get more American than this. The Grind Mac and Cheese Burger Bar in Martin is serving up America’s favorite traditional foods with a twist – in more ways than one. From the creative ingredient combinations and the portion sizes to the way the servers interact with patrons, everything at The Grind is over the top.

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Established in 2017 by Lisa and Mark Laderman and their son, Alan, The Grind is the natural byproduct of the family’s passion for food and old-fashioned hospitality. Alan is the brain behind most of the dishes on the menu, including the stuffed jalapeños that have been a Super Bowl staple in their family for years and the Cowabunga pizza rolls, an homage to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In fact, the restaurant features a lot of nostalgic items on both the menu and in the décor – a nod to the late 1980s and early ’90s that shaped Alan’s childhood and teenage years.

The Grind Martin Tennessee

Photo credit: Michael D. Tedesco

It was in those same formative years that Alan discovered a love of cooking, which he infuses into the innovative, out-of-the-box menu items that customers rave about.

The Grind takes staple comfort foods, like mac and cheese and burgers, to the next level by using freshly prepared ingredients each day. For example, one of their most popular burgers, The Luther, uses fried glazed donuts instead of traditional hamburger buns. The Fried Mac and Cheese Balls are deep-fried and coated in Cheetos dust. And the milkshakes are legendary. For example, the S’more the Merrier Milkshake, one of the more popular shakes, features big marshmallows the servers torch right at the table.

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“The milkshakes are huge, and we pile all kinds of ingredients in and on them to make the most amazing creations,” Mark Laderman says.

These larger-than-life milkshakes are a big part of The Grind’s claim to fame, inspiring gleeful, envy-inducing social media pics.

Chocolate Freak milkshake; Photo credit: Michael D. Tedesco

But it’s not just the food that attracts visitors from across Tennessee and neighboring states. When people come to The Grind, they get an entire experience. Servers are encouraged to create a sense of magic and fun for their guests, which they do by telling jokes, pulling pranks or even bursting into song.

“Every server has their own little thing that they do. We encourage our staff to be themselves, because we want their personality to show as much as possible,” Alan Laderman says.

The staff does more than entertain, however: their No. 1 priority is always hospitality.

“We like to treat our guests like kings. It’s all about over-the-top hospitality,” Mark says. With hospitality as the focus, it’s no wonder that people come hungry and leave happy, raving about the service when they write online reviews.

For the Ladermans, the best review is the smiles on the faces of their customers.

“One day, I heard people coming out of the restaurant and turn to their significant other and say, ‘That was the most fun I’ve ever had at a restaurant,’” Alan says. “It made me smile so big, because that’s what we want. We’re not just serving food and service, we’re serving fun.”

If you go

The Grind Mac and Cheese Burger Bar

Location: 112 Lovelace St. in Martin

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Phone: (731) 587-6912

Website: facebook.com/eatthegrind

Must-Try Menu Items

  • Fried Mac and Cheese Balls: deep-fried mac and cheese, topped with Cheetos cheese dust
  • The Luther: a bacon cheeseburger served between two grilled glazed donuts
  • Chocolate Freak Shake: chocolate milkshake rimmed with Cocoa Pebbles and topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate cake and more
  • Grindhouse Nachos: chips, salsa, jalapeños, cheese and beef – piled up and served in a coffee can
  • Chicky Chicky Parm Parm: fried chicken breast topped with pepperoni, marinara sauce and mozzarella sticks on a homemade brioche bun
  • The Balboa Burger, aka the Italian Stallion: burger topped with pepperoni, marinara sauce, garlic aioli and fried mozzarella
  • Freedom Fries: fresh-cut fries smothered in bacon and cheddar cheese fondue

While You’re There

Visit Discovery Park of America down the road in Union City, or time your visit for Martin’s annual Soybean Festival, an event held over Labor Day weekend.

1 Comment

  1. Brent Roberys

    August 26, 2020 at 3:48 am

    Never been disappointed in anything I’ve tried there. The Food is great

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