By Mike Pound
The Double Greasy Gene and its six patties of beef is not the signature sandwich at the Gooch Bros. Grill. But if it were, it be would quite a signature.
It would be the John Hancock signature of signature sandwiches, is what it would be.
The Gooch Bros. Grill, located at 3941 E. 20th St. (the corner of 20th Street and Duquesene Road), has been open since November and pretty much by word of mouth has garnered a loyal following. I stepped into the place around 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon and it was packed.
When Gene Gooch, who was behind the counter working the grill, saw me he looked at the customers in his restaurant and gave me a “What are you going to do?” look.
Gene said the grill has been busier than it has been for the past few weeks .
“Last Friday was our busiest day ever,” he said.
One of the reasons the Gooch Bros. Grill (the other Gooch brother who runs the place is Troy) is doing so well, I think, is because Gene and Troy don’t try and make their restaurant anything but what it is: A burger joint.
Sure, Gene and Troy offer up other dishes like chicken strips, chili dogs, a great looking BLT and an Italian supreme sandwich. And sure, the Gooch brothers also serve some health-food items like a grilled chicken sandwich and a chef salad. And sure, the brothers also prepare daily specials like chicken-fried steak with mashed potatoes or beans and cornbread with fried potatoes.
But the real attraction — the meat, if you will — at the Gooch Bros. Grill is the burger.
You can order up a junior cheeseburger or regular one-patty burgers, cheeseburgers and bacon cheeseburgers. You can also step it up a notch and try a double cheeseburger or the real Gooch Bros. Grill signature sandwich, the Greasy Gene Burger, which is just a mere three patties of beef. The serious carnivores are free to try the Big Mick Burger (four patties of beef), the Bigger Mick Burger (five patties) or the aforementioned Double Greasy Gene (six patties).
For the record, the Double Greasy Gene is not named after one of the Gooch brothers. It’s named after their father, Gene Gooch Sr.
“He loved a good greasy burger,” Gene said.
Gene said probably the most popular burger sold at the grill is the Greasy Gene triple burger. The larger Double Greasy Gene is more of a novelty, although Gene said he and Troy have sold a few of the Yao Ming-sized burgers.
“We sold one to go to a husband and wife who I guess were going to split it. I don’t know of anybody who has eaten one by themselves. We did have a 14-year-old kid eat a Big Mick in one sitting,” he said.
Gene said he and Troy both have worked in restaurants “on and off’ for a few years and always talked about opening their own place. The Gooch Bros. Grill is that place.
They at first talked about opening a steak house but finally opted to start with an old-fashioned burger place. Gene said he and Troy hope to open a second Gooch Bros. Grill in Neosho soon.
“Every thing here is fresh. We make our fries fresh, they’re not frozen. The meat is fresh and we still hand press our own burgers. And everything is made to order,” Gene said.
The Gooch Bros. Grill is pretty much a family run business. Gene and Troy’s wives both work at the restaurant, as does their mother and a number of the brothers’ friends from childhood.
“If you’re going to make it work, you pretty much have to have your family involved,” Gene said.
Want to go?
The Gooch Bros. Grill is open from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. If you want to order in advance or to go you, call 659-4655.
By Mike Pound
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