Emma Key’s Flat-Top Grill of Greensboro, North Carolina
Restaurant Review

Emma Key's open Greensboro burger joint
Emma Key’s – Greensboro, NC

greensboro new restaurant emma keys
New Flat Top Grill Burger Joint

emmett morphis own emma keys
Emmett Morphis – Owner

flat top grilled burger fries emma keys
Flat Top Grilled Burger & Fries

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Enjoying Lunch At Emma Key’s

Caleb and I went to Emma Key’s Flat-Top Grill restaurant in Greensboro, North Carolina today. Joel Leonard, one of my foodie friends, had told me that I needed to check out this new restaurant, and I’m glad he tipped me off.

What is Emma Key’s?

Emma Key’s is an old fashioned type diner hamburger joint with sort of an urban and upscale spin – so the best of both worlds. You can get hamburgers and hot dogs with traditional toppings but also things like homemade pimento cheese (yum) and a fabulous chili that has some kick. Then, there’s Pete’s Vegan Cake served on a lettuce bed or a Veggie Burger and tea, sodas, or micro brews to wash things down.

If you have a sweet tooth, you can get milkshakes that are hand spun or floats with ice cream in various soda pops. If I could eat more then I’d have tried the Brownie Sundae or probably even more likely the pound cake that is homemade by Kristen Robeson. That is heated on the flat top grill and then served with the fresh dip ice cream. Oh heaven. I will have to go back just to have grilled pound cake now.

Meet the Owner of Emma Key’s of Greensboro

Emmett Morphis (who is a co-owner at Fincastle’s which is a popular Greensboro restaurant) started up Emma Key’s. The restaurant is named after his grandmother, and he said he’d be named Emma had he been a girl. Since he’s a guy, his parents named him Emmettt instead, since life would be hard for a guy named Emma.

Where is Emma Key’s?

Emma Key’s is in a building that used to be the old barber shop in town. It’s right off the corner of South Elam Avenue and Walker Avenue at 2206 Walker. You can see the restaurant from the intersection. There’s not a parking lot at Emma Key’s, because there’s just no room after they expanded the size a bit. You can find some “on street” parking (but check the signs close – and don’t park in tow zones). Emma Key’s paid for spaces at Suds and Duds. That’s where we parked, and we didn’t have any problems. It took maybe two minutes (or less) to walk back past two buildings to get to the restaurant.

Our Visit to This Fun New Greensboro Burger Joint

Caleb and I got to Emma Key’s, and we spent some time looking over the menu. I guess you could call it pretty basic with burgers, hot dogs, fries, and milkshakes mainly. But, they have a number of interesting topping ideas. Also, they have a soup of the day (ask about that – it varies), sweet potato fries, and then there are things like cheese plate appetizers (chunks of cheese sprinkled with barbecue seasoning and served with dipping barbecue sauce). So, they bump it up beyond just a burger meal.

Caleb is really traditional on his food most of the time, so he went with the Flat-Top Cheeseburger with cheese (American was his choice), but I went with the Lou Lou which is a burger with homemade pimento cheese made from Emmett’s grandmother’s family recipe. My Southern roots kicked in, so I had them add chili and mustard to my burger as well (good plan as it turned out).

I was planning to drink water as I usually do with meals, but I was Natty Greene’s Wildflower Witbier which is local, so I decided to get a bottle of that. It did, indeed, taste quite a bit like wildflowers which is rather an odd twist on a beer. I’m glad I tried it, but I can’t say that I’d spring for another bottle of that. Not bad. But, I had flower heartburn the rest of the day which is not really a special thing.

My Verdict on Emma Key’s

My burger at Emma Key’s was one of the best I’ve had. Though I don’t care for store bought pimento cheese, the homemade pimento cheese is something extra special. This was the real deal. Even if you’re not a pimento cheese fan, I’d recommend trying the Lou Lou burger.

Next time I go I want to try the sweet potato fries. A lady sitting near me had them, and I was lusting. I’d also like to try the Baby Cake Sweets Pound Cake off the grill with ice cream. So. Those are on my “to try” soon list.

The food was terrific, and the service was top notch too. This is a friendly place, and I would be a regular if I lived close. I don’t live close though (about an hour drive), so this will be on my list of special stops when I’m headed up I85 toward Greensboro.

Address (in case you missed it above)

Emma Key’s Flat-Top Grill
2206 Walker Ave
Greensboro, NC 27403



Other Notes on Emma Key’s:

– There are 5 inisde tables and 10 stools, but they have outdoor dining tables for warm weather. This is not a fish camp style place packed with tons of people and loud as heck.

– It’s not all meat at Emma Key’s. You can get a veggie burger or a salad. That’s not how I swing, but it’s nice to have chocies.

– They do have a kid’s menu. The prices are great, and this is a place where kids should be just fine. It’s relaxed, quick, and everyone is laid back.

– The Sophie hot dog is named after Emmett’s pet, but we are not going to tell Caleb’s girlfriend that, since she is named Sophie.

– If you want a blast from the past, then get the fried bolgona sandwich. That is so Southern and so good. I think I might go make one now, but the IGA is probably closed, and I don’t even keep bologna on hand.

– Look for New Orleans Sno-balls – Those are being added sometime this spring (2011).


Originally Posted by Yes Weekly