Archive for July, 2014

B&B JunctionJuly 2014

When 4Rivers changed locations in Winter Park and something called B&B Junction popped up, I of course became skeptical. Whatever it was, my immediate opinion was that it was going to fail just like me trying not to drool when I sleep. So I ignored it.

That is until I received some sporadic feedback claiming that it actually served up a decent burger. And when LivingSocial offered up a $40 value in food and drinks for just $20, I decided, what the hell.

On a Sunday afternoon, we trekked over and found plenty of parking (unlike when 4Rivers held its ground there) but still no indoor seating on this warm and very muggy July day in Florida. For our deal, we were able to choose two drinks, two sides/starters, two burgers and two desserts. We just had to pay tax as well.

Where the specialty drinks like craft root beer used to be now stood a similar cooler but this time it was filled with craft beer. I went for the Bell’s Oberon Ale, and from the burger menu I decided to go for just the standard offering, the #1. However I noticed the #3 burger had blackened seasoning so I added that along with cheddar cheese to my meat. We also got some fries and chicken tenders as the sides, plus a chocolate chip cookie and a cupcake.

Not a bad deal at all.

And the burger? So money. I ordered mine pink (that’s another difference these days, so many places just say pink or no pink instead of rare, medium, etc. I think it’s because the chefs can’t handle a burger medium well and screw it up so much) and the first bite packed a solid punch. The house sauce looked just like what’s spread on burgers at Big Boy, yet tasted much cleaner and had a nice spicy kick to it.

B&B Junction advertises that its beef is “made from 100% local, sustainable, antibiotic and growth hormone free grass-fed beef … served on a brioche bun.” It certainly does not taste like the beef at the supermarket that’s for sure. Every bite delivered what I needed.

Top five in Orlando? For now, definitely. I need to try it one more time to know for sure. However, the bison burger might be up next for me here.

The only issue I had, besides the non-indoor seating, was that the chicken tenders were pretty bland. They looked good, but the batter needed some seasoning.

On the drive home we turned by Johnny’s Filling Station, a place I’ve always wanted to try. On the outside wall, it said it had Orlando’s best burger. We’ll see about that soon.

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Burger USummer 2014

Situated on the UCF campus where the rent is high and foot traffic on normal days can be minimal, Burger U became yet another burger joint in the area. At first places like BurgerFi and Five Guys were all the talk in Orlando (based on my own personal mind), and national stories were running on how burger joints are perfect given the American economy at the time.

So even more burger spots have opened up, and while I appreciate a good meat sandwich, the market is inundated with places like Burger 21, BurgerFi, Five Guys, Burger & Beer Joint, B&B Junction, Beth’s Burger Bar, Burger Bar and so much more.

Burger U is in that category. New to the campus scene, it offers a similar setup to its previous tenant, Tailgaters, as it has a nice little bar, outdoor seating and TVs everywhere. The good thing for Burger U is that it is more focused on its food rather than the beer (when most of the population living near you is under 21 and you’re on a college campus, the beer selection should definitely take a back seat).

Maybe it is because I’ve tried a bunch of burgers lately or that I was more focused on the United States’ World Cup match on the tube, the angus burger with cheddar cheese I ordered up did not hit the spot. Add to it the garlic fries and I immediately began having heartburn. Everything was very greasy, especially the fries. The good part was that the cost of the burger alone was only about $5.

I did have a sample of regular fries from a friend and they were much better, so that did help my attitude. But my desire to try another burger is not very strong. However, even though food is first and foremost here, the adult beverage selections were pretty desirable.

Cask and LarderSummer 2014

First of all, I am not a big fan of Winter Park because it serves those who are above the lower-middle class like me. However, there are some fine establishments offering killer menu items, and splurging is not a bad thing if done properly.

One of these joints is Cask & Larder. Get rid of that dinner menu which features words like “sunburst trout” and “redeye hanger” and give me that late-night option. With only four entrees to choose from, I certainly approve, especially of the Comeback Burger.

For $12, one acquires a double pork burger with bacon, cheddar, pickle (gross), comeback sauce (smooth) and beer battered onion rings (gross) on a toasted bun all with a side of barbecue-spiced fries served in a modern-style cup outlined by a wine menu.

One bite and all the flavors hit me at once. Will the enjoyable taste persist, or just get bland after awhile? A few more shoves into my mouth and I kept wanting more, if only my stomach would have allowed it. The kitchen cooked it to perfection and the seasoning was just right.

It’s upsetting to know that this burger is only available after dinner hours, but maybe that’s what made this feel special. Or maybe it was the $3 house beers they offered late night as well. Either way I need another go at this one in order to rank this as one of the best burgers in Orlando.

(Mediocre shout out to Doug Richards for the recommendation)