Posts Tagged ‘orlando’

June 10, 2016

Five Guys – Regular Cheeseburger

Ok, yeah, this is easily the best reviewer ever and most of us know that. I’ll come back to this…

I never heard of Five Guys when it moved into Waterford Lakes but I liked it immediately. However, I’ve stayed away from it for quite some time now.  I just simply think it’s not worth what it costs, especially since fries are extra.

Although almost everyone couldn’t visit Five Guys with us on May 25, a couple of us were able to give it another little taste, and a few others went by themselves (I still am accepting votes). I’ve been quite surprised how many people say this is the best burger, and ask the question, “Five Guys or In-n-Out Burger?” The answer for me is neither.

Watching the above video, it’s one of the most awesome things in the world to watch. For me, though, I guess I’m more sophisticated when reviewing a burger  (I say that knowing I usually have cheese all over my face when eating one). Maybe because my standards are really high for every meat patty.

Five Guys is a comfy establishment that caters to the casual eater especially with the free peanuts and delicious fries. The menu is very simple as a cheeseburger is really a double.

IMG_4266I got the standard cheeseburger and I could see it oozing with fat when I opened the wrapper. As Bill said, “The regular cheeseburger is just too much so the little bacon burger is the perfect meat to toppings ratio.” I agreed, but I devoured my burger which had some mustard and A-1 sauce on it.

Cooking it on a flat top hurts the taste so I wasn’t overwhelmed with the texture and juiciness. The bun was a flop as I could have purchased it at any supermarket, and they didn’t do anything to it when forming the burger.

It’s easy to see why a lot of people crave Five Guys if they love a slight flat-top crispiness to the outside of the meat, and how you can pour a ton of toppings on as well. For me, I still need an actual grill and a medium-rare slap in the face.

FINAL AVERAGE OUT OF 20 – 14.5

Reminder of the rules:

The voting categories: Appearance & Toppings, Bun, Juiciness/Meat, Overall Taste

Rank each category from 1-5 with 5 being the best. You can go 4.5 if you like. I will average out all the rankings to get a final number for the establishment.

May 25, 2016 – Five Guys – 5:30 p.m.

We have gotten off to a “soft open” in determining the Best Burger in Orlando, but we will get this thing really rolling with our first “meeting.”

For anyone wishing to contribute in the voting process, you are welcome to join us at our meetings, or feel free to visit the establishment on your own and send in your votes within a couple weeks of the date.

The voting categories:

Appearance & Toppings

Bun

Juiciness/Meat

Overall Taste

Rank each category from 1-5 with 5 being the best. You can go 4.5 if you like. I will average out all the rankings to get a final number for the establishment.

Feel free to post your pics on the Facebook group page too!

IMG_4174Shula Burger – Kissimmee

May 14, 2016

To get my appetite going, I stopped by Shula Burger which is practically in Lakeland. So here is a quick recap of my visit.

Entering this location reminded me of Smashburger. The menu featured standard choices including a build your own. They sold beer and wine and had a couple of TVs as well as outdoor seating. The good thing is that they were using an actual grill to cook the meat, and you can watch it all through a long horizontal opening in the wall.

I got the Shula Burger with cheddar and sides of spicy brown mustard and herb garlic mayo. It came out with Shula embedded in the bun just like BurgerFi. They cook it up at a medium temperature but I should have asked for medium-rare. The first couple of bites I got that slight char on the outside and it was slightly juicy. The herb and garlic sauce was like Big Boy sauce but better.

In all, it was good and I would stop again but it didn’t stand out compared to its competitors like BurgerFi and Burger 21.

April 29, 2016

First off, it has been more than a year since I’ve updated this fancy little blog. I was done with it. However, and yes I’m being serious, I had a LOT of people bring up my food blog at random times in the last few months.

This of course will take time, but us Orlandoans are used to it based on how much Colonial Drive is always under construction, as well as the Magic’s “rebuilding” process.

With the help of some amazing friends I’ve met in this town, my goal is to eventually frequent some of the loveliest establishments in the area and chow down on some meat. Influenced by Parks and Rec and one of my favorite scenes of any TV show, though, I wanted to start with a simple homemade burger before racking up SunPass tolls on the journey.

Rules

Voting on burgers works by ranking its Appearance, Juiciness and Overall Taste on a scale of 1-5 with five being the best. Points will be totaled and then an average will be calculated.


Homemade Burger on the Grill

Drinking an adult beverage while grilling some flavorful items serves as one of my pastimes. I could have a live antelope gnawing at my leg and I would just keep cooking. I love it.

To deliver a grilled, juicy burger is incredibly easy, even on this day when we were thankful to a ton of friends who came over to the house. Our ingredients consisted of a couple of packs of ground beef, slices of cheddar cheese and some sesame seed buns, all of which came from Costco. Two big stepsHomemade in the cooking process are simply making an indentation in the middle of all of the patties (laying that side face up when starting) and just flipping the burgers once.

I’m hopeful that everyone was telling the truth, as our friends were loving these burgers. While grilling a burger is easy, making sure they are still juicy and not crusty on the outside can be as difficult as understanding a Rick Scott TV ad (please don’t come after me too…wait, no please do, I’d love to hear what fictional stories you come up with).

Getting that grilled flavor all over your taste buds is a glorious feeling. These homemade burgers won the crowd with their juiciness and taste, however their appearances were lacking. I guess I need to educate myself on plating.

FINAL AVERAGE OUT OF 20 – 14

Brisket Burger at 4 Rivers

This indeed happened. For two weeks a year according to management, 4 Rivers Smokehouse serves up its Brisket Burger. I gobbled a brisket burger in Philadelphia and it was easily one of the best things I’ve ever put my mouth around. I had to try the 4 Rivers version.

4RiversHanging out with some UCF friends at the 4 Rivers location by campus, we learned the Brisket Burger was only $8.99 and came with two sides. Can McDonald’s even achieve this type of price for a hearty burger and sides these days?

I needed more intel. Another member of management gave me some of the lowdown, but asked I keep a little of the information private. So what I will say is that the brisket is mixed with ground chuck and an egg binds it together. They then add some eye-popping ingredients (such as a cheesy snack one would find in the crackers/cookie aisle at a grocery store).

4rivers2Served up on a perfectly grilled bun, most of us were in love and thought the burger was exceptional in the juicy category, however not everyone agreed. A true brisket lover was a touch upset it was mixed with ground chuck and that hurt the taste. Personally, I enjoyed the hints of garlic and parsley that were shining through, and washing that down with mac and cheese as well as some fries hit the spot.

The only thing upsetting to me about this burger was that we won’t be able to acquire the object for another 50 weeks.

FINAL AVERAGE OUT OF 20 – 16.22

Johnny'sFebruary 2015

About four different people I was with were stunned to learn that I was making my first trip to Johnny’s Fillin Station earlier this month. For someone who has always wanted to track down Orlando’s best burger, I do admit I am ashamed of myself for not going sooner.

On an assuming corner off Fern Creek, it has a charming look that one would require in a dive bar. Nothing fancy at all, Johnny’s is a building that likely would not catch the eye of a passing driver. Across its parking lot is something called Johnny’s Other Side, which was offering up live music and the sounds of loud drunks. I will make my way over there in due time.

This visit, though, was for the main course. Patrons were gathered sporadically throughout the joint, watching TV, lounging at a table or attempting to shoot pool. For a Saturday night I expected it to be a little more crowded. Since it wasn’t, three of us were able to find seats at the quaint little bar before meeting others and moving over to a large table. I began to notice the disgusting Pittsburgh Steelers memorabilia on the walls and made a mental note to never go to Johnny’s on a Sunday afternoon.

After another adult beverage, I glanced at the menu, looking specifically only at the hamburger selections. Priced from $6.85-11.36 (what place has a food option that ends in something like 36?), the TEXAS Chili Burger appeared appetizing. I wanted a simple option so I went with the Bacon Cheeseburger for $8.85, and of course the seasoned curly fries.

Scoping the place out even more, I noticed in the kitchen the meat was being cooked on a flat-top grill. I was really hoping it would be an actual grill. That is a strike in my book.

The meat arrived on a standard bun in an even more standard basket, with the fries being carried in a separate container. Two strips of bacon did not look completely cooked, and the cheese on top of them was a simple slice of American that I could grab at a Circle K. Based on appearances, I was not impressed.

I asked for my burger medium, and that is what was given to my mouth. I did devour the first couple of bites, but nothing made it stand out compared to the 2,324,829 joints in town. If the meat was cooked on a real grill, then Johnny’s may have a contender.

Friends at the table did inform me that the burger needs to be on Texas toast, something that could have helped before I ordered. So my next visit will certainly include this different bun option, and I really need to get one-two different cheese slices as well.

Johnny’s was a great dive to visit, and I absolutely loved the ambiance (besides the Steelers garbage). I only wish it was a touch closer to the East side of town.

Tap RoomJanuary 2015

All of these years, I heard about how the Tap Room at Dubsdread boasted arguably the best burger in town. The awards and positive reviews kept flooding their way. So why had I never stepped foot into this establishment? I really never had an answer. Maybe it was because I’m not a “country club” type of person and I prefer menus where a Miller Lite costs less than $2 (they are $3.50 during non-happy hour times at the Tap Room).

I probably wouldn’t have trekked over in January if it was not for Jess’ ambition. So on a Saturday afternoon we jumped on to the 408 and then up I-4 to Par Street where the parking lot was jammed and cars flooded the bordering road. Understandably, golfers were everywhere, and in the Tap Room, 90 percent of its patrons were 60-years old or older. The other 10 percent consisted of a group of young basketball players from a rich, private school in town.

We patiently waited for our booth as the entrance was filled with awards and publications that the Tap Room was proud to display. I couldn’t care less. So many places have trophies or plaques but they end up being brutally bad on my taste buds. We’ll see if this place really is deserving.

I of course wanted the standard burger, which at the Tap Room is a “half-pound burger with Tillamook cheddar cheese” for $11.90. There were only four burger options outside of the patty melt and sliders, and the most expensive was the College Park Burger for $13.90, which carried bacon, avocado and jack cheese. If a meat sandwich costs more than $10, it better have more than this on the inside. But this is a country club so maybe the price is adequate.

A $12 burger with just cheese and fries hovered over to the table and its appearance did not stand out. The bun itself likely could have come from a pack from Publix. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, though. The plate simply was nothing earth-shattering like I expected.

As for the meat, I asked for it at medium temperature and that is what I received. It proved to not be as juicy as I hoped, yet the flavor still was on point. After two bites it made me think that this was a burger I cooked over a campfire, delivering a slight crust on the outside I thoroughly enjoy. I wished the cheese gave me more of a bang, so this burger should have carried two pieces instead of one.

I tried a little of Jess’ chicken sandwich as well. It gave me a scrumptious bite of grilled meat that made me want more. As for the burger, I would rank this in my top 10 in Orlando, but not in the top five. That brings me to my ultimate goal: rank my top 10 burgers in the area. Hopefully that dream of mine will be satisfied this year.

don ShulaI discovered that this blog has actually been getting daily visitors since my last post in August. Which brings the question, why are people so bored that they stumble upon my fake words of wisdom?

Either way, I wanted to at least update this cozy little blog. I don’t have an actual entry, but rather a plan.

I have written down 14 different locations that could possibly claim the title of Best Burger in Orlando. One day, my hope is to get a group to go out and purchase two (or three) standard cheeseburgers from every restaurant and bring them back to one central location. Everyone has a bite, then rates the burgers until we come up with a winner.

Here is my current list in no order whatsoever:

Burger 21

Burger FI

Burger U

B&B Junction

Burger and Beer Joint

Hamburger Mary

Graffiti Junktion

Johnny’s Filling Station

Five Guys

Dubsdread Tap Room

Avenue Gastrobar

Jimmy Hulas

SmashBurger

Shake Shack

I am certainly open to suggestions and ideas if you leave a comment or reply to @OrmiThoughts on Twitter. Thanks and Happy Eating!

CFASummer 2014

My favorite question of all-time had to be asked for this page. So this summer I felt like it was time.

So…what would be your last meal  if you faced the chair (or these days a table that involves a long drawn-out procedure)?

I received some fascinating answers, some were very passionate which made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. My last meal would be:

-Massive pile of Chick-fil-A waffle fries

-My homemade grilled ribs (taught to me by my father)

-Burger from a campfire grill

-Jess’ mac and cheese

-Mother’s lasagna

-Mother’s buckeyes

 

With that said, here are some other responses…

JG:

If homemade is allowed … Mashed potatoes, peas, gravy and roast beef. If restaurant, 10 original wings all wings no drums from Duffy’s with a side of fries. For dessert, I want Killer chocolate cake from Toojays and a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

CP:

Chicken fried steak smothered in gravy with really crispy hash browns or tots, LOTS OF ICE CREAM, my favorite Spanish ham jamon serrano and I’m not sure what else…I’d need to see a menu

AS:

There would almost assuredly be baby back ribs or pork spare ribs … I won’t be picky there. I would also require cornbread (or perhaps spoonbread) with honey. A twice-baked potato would go very well with this, as well.

I would definitely need an appetizer or two. Let’s go with buffalo wings and some bacon-wrapped scaollops

I see no need for vegetables, as this will be my last meal

I would like a bottomless mug of throwback (real sugar) Mountain Dew. Again … last meal, who cares about calories?

If I can order dessert, I would go with a crème brulee!

RG:

Combining styles of food here: grilled lobster tail, bbq ribs and some corn.

NB:

Surf N Turf at its finest, steak and lobster tails

Appetizer Trio of the most mouth-watering comfort food – wings, tenders, burger

Desert of ice cream cake

Wash it all down with a big Slurpee

MH:

My last meal would include homemade chicken and noodles, green bean casserole, mac and cheese, turkey, two dill pickles, cauliflower and a handful of blueberries with sweet tea to drink.

For dessert, I’d have a chocolate cake with whipped cream for frosting and strawberries on top.

BY:

Two plates of five flapjacks delivered by Bonnie herself (from Uncle John’s in Toledo)…with maple syrup and a splash of boysenberry.

DR:

Jessica’s incredible meatloaf and green beans with mushrooms.

JSh:

Seafood stuffed lobster with a side of king crab legs, fries and some pizza with bacon, sausage and pepperoni

EB:

I have been pondering over this every time I see your email …..  and its left me perplexed!!  I am not quite sure, out of all my favorite foods, what I would want for my last meal!

It would probably have to be some sort of pasta.  Hand made.  If we’re going with comfort food I’m gonna go with a nice plate of gnocchi (potato pasta) with butter and grated cheese.  ….. and a nice big fat juicy cheeseburger to go with it.  That would be my last meal!

Ok so maybe that was easier than I thought when I finally made myself just think about it! simple but delicious, to me J

JM:

Guac and chips.

My mom’s baked ziti; parmesan garlic mashed potatoes, broccoli salad, and a piece of cedar plank salmon

A chocolate chip cookie in a skillet with some vanilla ice cream on top with caramel and chocolate sauce.

SA:

non-fatty piece of prime ribe with horseradish/sour creme dipping sauce on side

tomato basil soup, extra creamy

shellfish platter – jumbo shrimp, scallops, crab

piece of carrot cake

BOOM…Roasted.

JH:

Home made chicken enchiladas with white rice. Chips and queso (that’s cheese in spanish) from Tijuana Flats.

or

Salad from Olive Garden, Mac & Cheese with salmon from Macaroni Grill with their bread and breadsticks from Olive Garden and alfredo sauce.

JSk:

Just a bowl of Captain Crunch for the road cause I hear the food is way better in heaven.

AB:

Buffalo Wild Wings Asian zing traditional wings.

Joanna:

Ice cream, calamari, lasagna or baked chicken or grilled chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli and a whole lot of vegetables.

ED:

Jessica’s chicken parmesan, my mom’s fudge sundae pie