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Caught in the Aftermath - The Best Burger in Phoenix

Updated: Jun 3, 2022

In the words of the late Anthony Bourdain, whose portrait can be found in the dining room of Aftermath, “Food had power. It could inspire, astonish, shock, excite, delight and impress. It had the power to please me... and others.”

What Chef Bowman and owner Charles Barber crafted with Aftermath is an approachable yet powerful menu of unique spins on comfort foods, international takes on steakhouse fare, and a beautiful cocktail and wine menu to pair it with. As Level 1 sommeliers - they understand the beautiful relationship between wine and food pairings.

“Aftermath” is a personal venture for Charles and David. Charles worked at the french bistro ‘Zinc’ for sixteen years, the last five as the bar manager. David was executive chef, and for roughly eight years the two worked together and forged a strong relationship. In 2019 Charles left Zinc to open ‘Hush Public House’, which was then sold it last summer to his partner and Chef.

After a long grueling summer struggling with and surviving a pandemic, city permits, a divorce, selling a company and embracing fresh starts, ‘Aftermath’ was born.

Baby Beets, grilled scallops, wild jumbo shrimp

Bowman is one of the best chefs in Phoenix, with an impressive portfolio as Chef de Cuisine at the legendary Zinc Bistro and former Petite Maison.

What Charles and David have built here is more than a restaurant. The kitchen staff has 2-3 executive chefs, coming from Clever Koi, Mission, Zinc and Water Grill. It is a local gathering place, in a casual atmosphere, but with all of the show stopping entrees one would expect in a fine dining restaurant.

As a burger lover, I want to highlight one of my favorite menu items, the 'Aftermath Burger'. It is the #1 seller on their menu, and for good reason. A nod to Bourdain, the burger was his favorite meal. And he loved them as intended. Simple. He even had ten burger commandments on the perfect burger, and this burger nails them all - down to the Velveeta cheese.

“Thou shall use a potato bun.” CHECK (Its a toasted Kona onion bun, and it's perfect and squishy)

“Thou shall use a hunk of well ground, good quality beef.” CHECK (grass fed beef from Lintz).

“Thou shall use processed meltable cheese.” CHECK (If it doesn't melt, you don’t want it near your burger. And the velveeta cheese on this burger only adds to the juicy and creamy flavors.)

Burger commandments aside, the menu offers a variety of dishes on which you can feast your eyes, and your palate.

Owner Charles Barber muses, “You can come here five days a week, or for your anniversary. You can enjoy an $8 cocktail or a $500 bottle of wine.” Aftermath is a must-visit for a casual burger and beer, or five course meal with wine pairings. The relaxed atmosphere makes it an engaging local watering hole, or an intimate spot for a romantic dinner.

Charles and David couldn't be happier with the restaurant they have created, and they have the numbers to show it. Currently nominated for three categories including "Best New Restaurant" by Phoenix Magazine.

Beautiful bites on the menu:


Earthy, nutty forbidden rice on a banana leaf, on which sit these perfectly seared maine scallops, garnished with colorful miso pickled vegetables, with the crunch of crispy rice and peanut crumbles. The flavors and textures are enhanced by the delectable addition of a charred lime aioli and thai chili sauce (nam prik pao).


Juicy and plump jumbo shrimp, that have

a satisfying crunch at first bite, floating in a nutty and sweet sunchoke puree. Cascabel chile crisps and marcona almonds add crunch, where the basil vinaigrette adds depth and flavor.


delicately colorful baby beets dance in a dish with a garlic boursin spread with orange, rye crisps, and pistachio for texture.

The Signature cocktail is the


A sweet and spicy mix of Dulce Vida Pineapple Jalapeno Tequila, Piment d'Esplette, Passion Fruit, Lemon, Lime, and Agave.


An impressive cut of the most tender meat, sitting on a bed of beluga lentils (named for their physical likeness to caviar), roasted root vegetables, smothered in a green harissa glaze, shallot escabeche and guajillo jus.

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