Sunday, April 17, 2011

b is for burgers

before my love for food grew into exploring exotic cuisines, eating at fancy restaurants and appreciating hole in the wall joints - it was always simple for me - "i'll have the burger."

it's the most ideal thing to eat - a warm patty usually made out of beef, slice of melted cheese, whatever toppings you desire, dollop of ketchup - all nestled into a bun...yum. i've had great ones at places like shake shack, in-and-out, houston's, primanti's, etc. over the past year or so they've become the trendy item to order - just like good ol' cupcakes - and restaurant's are either updating the traditional cheeseburger with unique creations or opening with the entire concept based around the burger. trendy or not, i'll always love a burger and there are two burgers that i recently tried that cannot go without recognition.

rok brgr in ft. lauderdale
rok brgr and the peggy burger

mike o'donnell makes his smooth return to the blog and appropriately so on a burger post. when the two of us aren't bantering about movies, music or just mocking one another - we are usually talking about how great american food is. as mike is trying to expose me to more music he loves (and sports - but that's going to take much longer), i am trying to expose him to eating different types of eats and especially break down his aversion to spicy food. we had been talking about the best burgers we've had for quite some time and when the new rok brgr on himmershee street in ft. lauderdale was getting rave reviews, i knew that's where i wanted to take him during his visit to south florida. it’s a very laid back scene with good music playing and adding to the bar scene in downtown ft. lauderdale,  except here they offer super quality food and lots of burgers.

he was so giddy over all the options and was struggling to decide on one. we happily compromised with ordering two different burgers and splitting them. he got the rok brgr which came with hickory smoked bacon and a winning bourbon bbq sauce and i got the peggy – topped with pulled short rib, same bbq sauce and a horseradish cheddar cheese. both burgers were served with handcut fries – perfect to stuff into your burger for that one really good bite.

photo courtesy of

to drink he tried a hefeweizan beer for the first time and i got a dirty martini, the kicker being the olive stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped with bacon. boom. the burgers were awesome and exceeded all of my expectations. i liked mike’s a little more – the short rib on top of my patty ended up a bit excessive and let’s be honest, the bacon and bbq combo on his was an easy sell. mike declared it was the best burger he ever had and was ready to order another one – no lie.

besides being able to make your own burger, you can choose from other choices like the mediterranean (lamb, cucumber mint yogurt), classic turkey burger and the australian (grilled pineapples, roasted beets and topped with a fried egg) to name a few. if you like burgers or just delicious food, then rok brgr is 
definitely a place to check out.

photo courtesy of

dubliner in boca raton
the lamb burger

the first post i ever did was called ‘my tops of boca’ where i listed places that were the highlights of the town i have come to know so well. although i listed dubliner as a ‘top dive,’ do not let that mislead you from the phenomenal food they serve here. just a little less than a year ago they updated their menu and the new offering that caught my eye was the lamb burger.

friend and former co-worker ms. samantha gurowski and i were catching up with our lives during happy hour in mizner park and soon found ourselves dining at dubliner. a true gemini - she loves her freedom, is incredibly bright and very loyal. sam lives in the name of fun and we always have a memorable time together. having being raised by parents with an adventurous palate, she's constantly willing to try new things and suggests great choices too. sam ordered the honey baked brie and jumbo lump crab cakes and i was thrilled to finally try the lamb burger.

ironically this burger, like the rok brgr, was also topped with bacon and a bbq sauce. dubliner does it a little different by adding guiness in their sauce and serving it with pickled onions and stilton blue cheese but the lamb is clearly why this baby steals the show. juicy, juicy, juicy. it’s not as gamey as most people would describe the meat and has a hint of sweetness… i mean it’s just good. like order it every time you go there goooooood. sam was even shocked at how much she liked it and continued to go on about all the flavor that was packed into it.

dubliner never disappoints and i can happily say that their lamb burger is one of many reasons to check out the oh-so-fine establishment. sam-i-am can testify to this. 

other worthy burgers

the office in delray beach
house-made veggie burger

one of my all time favorites. the patty is made out of quinoa and lentils, topped with caramelized onions, cheddar and sits right in the middle of a tasty whole-wheat bun. it kicks their beef patty burgers little bootays. haven’t had it for quite some time but since this post is about burgers, it deserves a mention. amazing.

table 42 in boca raton
make your own burger - goat cheese, arugula and aioli

i used to do pr for table 42 for and helped promote their '$5 burger night' - i have a previous post about the promotion too. although i no longer work for the restaurant,  i would definitely suggest anyone in east boca on a wednesday night to try this unbeatable deal. they have great toppings to choose from or you can make a simple cheeseburger and you'll be equally as satisfied. 

five guys 
the cheeseburger

many will argue that ordering a classic cheeseburger at five guys is the way to go but i love adding the grilled onions and grilled mushrooms to it. topped with american cheese and served with their cajun fries on the side, you've got my version of a happy meal. i even had the pleasure of taking falan who isn't a burger person and although we mistakingly ordered the regular burger (which comes with two patties and is really way too much) i could tell that in time she will discover why burgers truly are the best meal ever... well, second to chipotle. but that's a whole other post!