Matty G’s burgers explode with flavor and originality; served in a family-focused atmosphere
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Oftentimes, when people set out to achieve their dreams, it requires a leap of faith. For Matthew Gorman, his dreams consisted of the following: food.
Gorman, the owner of Matty G’s, has always been a foodie and worked in the restaurant industry as a secondary job until finally taking that first leap of faith when he opened his first restaurant in California in 2008. With running the restaurant as his main job, Gorman went through his fair share of trials and tribulations. When things didn’t work out with his first endeavor, Gorman decided to take another leap of faith by opening Matty G’s in 2016.
“Ironically, I had a sushi restaurant that wasn’t working. I said, screw it, if I’m going down, I’m going down my way. I’m going to make burgers, hot dogs, chicken, and that’s kind of how it started,” Gorman said.
After seeing success and meeting his wife, Gorman brought Matty G’s to Arizona, opening his first location in Mesa near Brown and Gilbert Roads in 2018. Four years later, Gorman is sharing his love and creativity for burgers at multiple locations around the Valley, including one in Flagstaff. Gorman and his team tried different things and combinations while designing the expansive menu, but ultimately, it came down to making burgers. Gorman knew that if he offered different taste profiles, he could make his burgers in a way that would resonate with people.
His approach to his restaurants is to build a family environment with an old-school sports décor, where generations can share and pass down stories from moments they witnessed legends play or share other significant moments in sports history. Gorman’s dad, who is 75, still travels out from California to the Valley anytime his son opens a new location so he can craft the interior décor. Gorman said he grew up playing baseball and had a stint in the minor leagues with his dad as his coach and best friend.
Gorman said he loves opening new locations because he gets to see and spend time with his dad. It’s those types of family bonds Gorman said he hopes his patrons experience at his restaurants, including moments he gets to share with his own family. “I have kids, a wife and two boys. One of them is 16 and works here, so we get to have that experience as well. And the 11-year-old doesn’t know it, but he’s going to wash dishes later,” Gorman said, chuckling.
When thinking of a “good problem to have,” an obvious example could be having too many tantalizing and mouth-watering menu options to choose from! That’s what you’ll find at Matty G’s, which stacks 30 different signature burger options on its menu. Gorman spared no creative expense to mix and match ingredients and sauces to create some truly unique two-handed beasts that have a diverse range of flavor profiles. After perusing your way through the comprehensive burger options, you’ll find options for salads, hot dogs, wraps, and more! Gorman says his goal was to cover all his bases by curating an experience where there’s something for everyone.
“Not only do we have burgers, but we have chicken, foot-long hot dogs, we have wraps, but burgers are our niche. When you come in, you’re not just going to get a choice of a standard burger, cheeseburger, or bacon burger. We have probably about 18 to 20 different varieties, everything from having whipped cream cheese in the middle to ghost pepper cheese to 4 to 5 ingredients per burger,” Gorman said. “And if you’re real hungry, you can always get the slumpbuster, which is seven patties.”
Some of Gorman’s burgers have made home runs at burger competitions. For example, Gorman says his ‘Field of Dreams’ burger once won 2nd place in a competition for all of San Diego County, and that burger packs some heat! This crowd pleaser gets two steakburger patties with ghost pepper cheese in between, sauteed mushrooms on top, and pickled jalapeños with chipotle aioli on the bottom bun. If you can’t handle the heat, the Red Card is a milder selection. That burger comes with cream cheese spread between two steakburger patties, topped with grilled Ortega chilis, lettuce, tomato, pickled jalapeño, and a house spicy ketchup.
I must say, the Red Card definitely lights up the taste buds with varying heat influences but stays controlled enough by the cream cheese to keep the overall taste in check and downright delicious! Some burgers even feature things in place of patties like grilled pastrami, grilled roast beef, grilled prosciutto, grilled chicken breast, or grilled portobello mushroom. This menu roster goes deep!
I watched the burger-making magic happen in the kitchen as some lunch orders came in, and what a sight to see. The Matty G’s flat grill is kept at a roaring 550-600 degrees, so the minute those patties hit the surface, you can HEAR that sizzle! The chef uses a special tool to press out the patties once they’re on the grill, giving them a thin and flatter appearance. This also pushes out the juices, which then instantly caramelizes and chars onto the patty. This adds a new element to the taste and even texture of the patty. Simultaneously, elsewhere on the grill are various toppings and veggies getting grilled, from the Ortega chilis to grilled onion or sauteed mushrooms. To describe the smoke and smells emanating from the grill top as heavenly would be selling it short because those aromas are enough to send anyone’s empty stomach into a frenzy.
While no two days are the same in the restaurant business, Gorman says there’s nothing quite like being able to turn a frown upside down when a guest comes in hangry (an angry-induced state caused by extreme hunger) and leaves happy. “To come in, eat your food, leave happy, become kind of a friend or at least an acquaintance and get to know a little bit about them and talk, and then they’ll tell ya, it never gets old when they’re like, ‘That’s the best burger I’ve ever had’ and that’s pretty cool because I never went to culinary school. I just love food and creating something special,” Gorman said.
Gorman is continuing his quest to spread joy, family and togetherness, and great-tasting burgers with the grand opening of his newest Matty G’s location in north Scottsdale near Scottsdale and Thunderbird roads next Thursday July 28. Another Matty G’s is planned to open in downtown Chandler sometime in mid-August, according to Gorman. For more information on Matty G’s, store location, and hours, click here.
This is the sixth segment in a series on burgers in the Phoenix metro. Arizona’s Family Foodie is rolling out to some beloved local joints and restaurants around the Valley to check out some seriously stacked patties and two-handed beasts. Whether it’s a local staple or something new pushing the boundaries with one of America’s arguably most cherished foods, let’s roll up our sleeves and enjoy some juicy burgers!
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