Since its establishment in 2013, Al’s Burger Shack has used the same locally sourced, hormone and antibiotic-free beef to make its award-winning burger.
But, new owners Charlie Farris and Jason Kesler have decided to transition away from using meat from Mooresville-based Mills Family Farms because of quality concerns. Farris did not disclose the identity of Al's Burger Shack's new beef supplier.
“This week, we’re working through the very last of the original supplier that’s out of the Charlotte area and going to the new beef,” Farris said.
He said when he and Kesler purchased Al’s Burger Shack in early December, they decided to revamp the signature burger after conducting a blind taste test with over a dozen participants. The test used a dozen different beef samples from various suppliers.
“We realized that we all had a better burger before — just the beef itself,” Farris said.
He added that, during the taste test, participants considered the burger’s texture, crust and rareness. The taste test results were unanimous and the testers decided on a supplier that offered a 100 percent "chuck" product.
"Chuck" meat is a portion of meat from an animal's neck, arms and shoulders. It is commonly used for making ground beef because of its well-balanced meat-to-fat ratio and flavor.
“The one we were using, sometimes it’d be greasier, sometimes it’d be leaner, sometimes it’d be chewier, sometimes it’d be more tender," Farris said. "And with the chuck, it’s very consistent all along.”
Farris said the restaurant is not planning to switch suppliers for its other local specialty ingredients, including pimento cheese from Winston-Salem and ice cream from Maple View Farm.