spoon

Smashburger Cheeseburger Review

Category : Hamburgers

Smashburger from the outside

Smashburger from the outside

While eating at Smashburger I came to an epiphany.  I had been laboring in my head for quite some time about what makes a burger a ‘craft burger’… and if it was a craft burger it must be excellent (was the theory).  Today’s meal helped me tune my formula for determining what category a hamburger falls under, but it also it is now proof that not all craft burgers are great.

With that said, I ventured to Smashburger in Fort Lauderdale located on North Federal Highway.  This is the second time in about a week I’ve been there.  Before I wrote my review, I wanted to test consistency and also whether my first experience was how I remembered it.  I ordered a Classic Smash, which is a typical cheeseburger with lettuce, raw red onion, mustard, ketchup and of course a slice of American cheese.  The main dish was complimented with a side of regular fries and a coke to drink.

Smashburger
Website: Yes
Phone: (954) 271.2870
City: Fort Lauderdale
Location (map): Federal Highway
Delivery: No
Outdoor seating: Yes
Lunch $: $8-$12 approx.
Dinner $: same

On paper, Smashburger is hitting on all cylinders.  They provide a great experience and focus it all around the glorious burger.  They have a nice atmosphere, they have just enough options for their burgers and fries to let you experiment a little, they have craft beers, they serve Hagen-Dazs ice cream shakes and they tout “never frozen 100% Certified Angus Beef”.  They clearly have a passion for the business and that does count for some things.  Their smallest burger “the regular” is plenty big in my opinion for the typical eater.

Todd reviews the Classic Smash

Being a nice guy, it’s hard to critique something when the passion is apparent, but as a ‘Taste Critic” I feel it’s my duty to be honest.  Let’s face it, there is a lot of competition in this ‘craft burger’ market and you need to know which ones are worth your dollar and effort.

Assembly complete and looking good

Assembly complete and looking good

Smashburger is simply average when it comes to taste.  Everything about the experience is above average except for the taste and that is the one that matters the most.  If anything, the hamburger patty is over seasoned with salt, and this is coming from a guy who puts salt on everything.  The bun is a bit devoid of flavor and the American Cheese just seemed okay.  When you take it all in and try and analyze the flavors, overall it’s just a little lacking when compared to the best places I know.  The process of “smashing” the burger for 10 seconds while cooking seems like something that may actually make the burger less juicy (and therefor less flavorful).  There was a video in Smashburger highlighting this as a positive feature, but it makes me wonder.

Eating my last bites of the burger, the best analogy I could think of was that Smashburger resembled a Burger King flavor and was perhaps slightly better, but the bland (and very basic) fries and burger itself tasted in the realm of a Whopper.  Does that mean it’s bad?  Not necessarily, but it is not a masterpiece of precision like some other craft burgers in the area, yet it’s priced and presented as if it was.

I want to love Smashburger, I even want to like Smashburger, but having two identical experiences a week apart from each other, I honestly have to say it was an average experience and most likely not worth your time and money.  A burger, fries and coke came in under $10, just like 5Guys and Burger Fi, but your enjoyment of taste and flavor will be superior at these other establishments.

If I had advice to give to the CEO at Smashburger, it would be to closely analyze each component of the burger and make mild adjustments as needed.  The type of lettuce used in my opinion is not as crisp as other restaurants and that detracts from a texture standpoint.  The bun could be slightly more moist and even infused with some flavor, like the potato rolls that the competition use.  Don’t over season the meat with too much salt, which, after two visits wasn’t a fluke.  Is the cheese the single one that will add the most punch to your burger? I am thinking no.  Lastly, the fries are junk.  I had tried the rosemary flavored fries on my prior visit and they were different, but seemed more like a novelty to me.  The regular fries are not even better than your traditional fast food.

Todd’s score:  75/100

Pros: Fresh ingredients, great atmosphere, fun burger options, craft beer, Hagen-Dazs shakes
Cons: Fries are extremely generic and the taste of the burger was too salty and overall just lacking in deliciousness.

Assembly complete and looking good

Assembly complete and looking good

Close up of the patty

Close up of the patty

5 seconds until I dig in...

5 seconds until I dig in…

Burgers are delivered open face

Burgers are delivered open face

Smashburger menu and prices

Smashburger menu and prices

Digital menu with a few different options

Digital menu with a few different options

Grab a menu and order

Grab a menu and order

BurgerFi Cheeseburger Review

2

Category : American, Hamburgers

 

BurgerFi from the lot

BurgerFi from the lot

Luckily for residents of South Florida, BurgerFi is expanding and has several locations in the area.  The restaurant reviewed is on Sunrise Blvd located directly across from the Galleria Mall.  This location in convenient for beach goers or even workers in downtown Fort Lauderdale

BurgerFi has a straightforward menu focused on burgers, hotdogs, onion rings & fries, frozen custard, sodas and a good variety of beer and wine.  You will be full when you eat here.

Seating is excellent with a large outdoor section to use on those perfect florida days.

Todd Reviews the BurgerFi Cheeseburger

The BurgerFi cheeseburgerIt is a good great time to be a fan of a good great burger.

Over the past few years we’ve seen the rise of what I call the “craft burger”, just like we’ve all witnessed the rise of craft beers.  The days of choosing a burger from one of ‘original’ fast food chains (in my opinion) are gone.  Fast food is the dying breed, the ‘newspaper’ of yesteryear.  This should be by choice, as there are such great selections for great burgers.

Enter BurgerFi, a relatively new establishment in this area, located on Sunrise Blvd across from the Galleria Mall.

BurgerFi
Website: Yes
Phone: (954) 835.5514
City: Fort Lauderdale
Location (map): Sunrise Blvd
Delivery: No
Outdoor seating: Yes
Lunch $: $10-$14 approx.
Dinner $: same

I’m not going to beat around the bush here… BurgerFi is excellent.  You can focus on many things to love when you eat here.  The ambience is unique and trendy; they have a great beer selection including an artisan’s selection of craft beers, they have a staff that knows their product and that are happy to serve you; and most importantly, they have an ace up their sleeve with their delicious burgers.

Their menu is just right.  It’s not as basic as something like 5 Guys, but it also doesn’t require a Masters degree to sift through the options.  They have your standard burger/cheeseburger and 3 varieties of specialty burgers (Veggie, Breakfast burger with egg, and an intriguing Prime Brisket burger).  To keep my reviews fair, I ordered a classic “BurgerFi Cheeseburger” which is exactly what you would expect.  It’s a double patty burger, with American cheese, a perfectly moist potato roll for a bun and the fresh toppings that make a burger great.  I have lettuce, raw onion, mayo, mustard and ketchup.  This is exactly how I order my cheeseburgers at other establishments.  To compliment the meal, a tray of onion rings and French fries were served with a delicious Victory Golden Monkey (craft beer) at my side.

As we ate the burger, my partner Brandon and I started discussing the specifics that make an excellent burger.

  • Proportions of ingredients are essential.
  • The right kind of cheese that doesn’t over power is a must.
  • The bun is the silent warhorse of a good burger. It needs to carry it’s precious cargo while being sized right, moist and tasty all at the same time.
  • Fresh/crisp/cool toppings like lettuce and onion are a must.
  • Tasty beef that is never frozen (and in this case it’s also grass-fed/no additives).
  • The best condiments and Heinz brand ketchup.
  • Made on the spot, fully custom and served with love.

BurgerFi hits a homerun in all of these areas.  I ate my meal trying to analyze ways to make improvements and I come up empty.  The burger satisfies on all levels and it could possibly be the best burger out there.   The craft beer and the fries are all top notch too.

With all this praise, what could possibly be wrong?  The only citable weakness you can present is that a perfect meal has an entry fee.  On average, the BurgerFi burgers are going to run you about a buck fifty more that some of the other leaders in craft burger market.  It’s not a backbreaker by any means, but something to note.

To conclude, I’d like to point out our reviews focus on the food itself, and the BurgerFi Cheeseburger is an absolute ace.  I have to reiterate that the bonuses are great as well; it’s a nice location with outdoor seating, nice ambience, nice beer selection, and a friendly staff.  You honestly can’t go wrong.

Todd’s score:  97/100

Pros: Best Cheeseburger (edging 5guys barely), nice ambience, great portions, great sides, awesome beer selection, variety of options for burgers and fries, easy to access, outdoor seating, not overly crowded, knowledgeable staff.
Cons: Price is among the highest for a ‘craft burger’ establishment.

The BurgerFi cheeseburger

The BurgerFi cheeseburger

The BurgerFi meal for review

The BurgerFi meal for review

The BurgerFi meal for review

The BurgerFi meal for review

 

Waiting for burgers at BurgerFi

Waiting for burgers at BurgerFi

Condiment Bar

Condiment Bar

Dining Area at BurgerFi

Dining Area at BurgerFi

BurgerFi Seating Area

BurgerFi Seating Area

burgerfi10

Craft Beer Selection

Craft Beer Selection

The BurgerFi Menu

The BurgerFi Menu

BurgerFi from the lot

BurgerFi from the lot

The BurgerFi meal for review

The BurgerFi logo greets us

The BurgerFi logo greets us

 

 

Shake Shack Restaurant Review

Category : American, Hamburgers

Shake Shack neon signOnce in awhile the Taste Critics crew will get a new blip on the radar that takes them out of the Fort Lauderdale area.  This is one of those reviews.  While doing a random Google search for “Best burger in south Florida” I came across a blog that showcased a few top notch burger places (Five Guys, In-n-Out burger) and this place called the Shake Shack in Miami.  I was reluctant to say the least because I had never heard the Shake Shack and it seemed like a subliminal advertising article.  No need to twist my arm though, I’d gladly travel a few extra miles to try and find the best burger.  So off to Miami we go on a Saturday evening…

After doing some research I learned that Shake Shack is based out of New York and they have a handful of locations in the north east United States.  Their entry to Florida is in a sole location (as of June 2011) in Miami’s luxurious shopping district in South Beach on Lincoln Road.  Getting here was a little work with challenging parking,  but once you find a spot, the rest of your time can be relaxing and enjoyed.

Shake Shack Restaurant
Website: Yes
Phone: (305)434.7787
City: Miami
Location (map): South Beach
Delivery: No
Outdoor seating: Yes
Lunch $: $12+
Dinner $: same

The Shake Shack has a good sized restaurant that has a large open-air feel to it.  The style is very unique and trendy.  The spacious indoor area is complimented with about 8 tables outside if you want to dine out and enjoy the view (people watching is quite enjoyable here).  Outdoor tables are over sized and are under shade.

There was a fair amount of people coming to eat when we got there (around 7:30 pm), but they were quick to process orders and get the food out.  One last note is the menu had a diverse offering of beer and wine for those looking for a little something extra to go with their meals.

Todd Reviews the Double ShackBurger and fries

Shake Shack double with cheeseI am expecting high things from this burger.  Going in with high expectations usually means disappointment, but here we go…

Browsing the menu, the choice seemed to be clear which one to try.  The Double ShackBurger (with ShackSauce no less!).  I got my usual condiments… onions and lettuce.  Ketchup is added later from a condiment bar, where I didn’t see mustard. Hmm.

Waiting a few minutes for my beeper to go off you look around and notice everyone seems to be having a great time with an upbeat atmosphere.  Alas, the beeper beeps…

The ShakeBurger is an impressive size.  It’s a tad larger than the Five Guys double with most of the extra size in the beef patties which makes for a very filling meal.  Other than that it’s pretty much on par with a Five Guys burger (in regards to size).

I take my first big bite and wait for the taste explosion… it’s definitely good.  The patties are cooked medium well with a hint of pink, which is perfect for me, and to be honest I am surprised to see a ‘fast food’ place offer anything other than well done.  All in all it’s a very solid entry.

Comparing it to the best burgers I know which are currently offered by J Marks and Five Guys… it doesn’t quite stack up to that level of perfection.  It is very good mind you, but the most minor flaws prevent it from being a “Best Burger in South Florida”.  The patty size; being larger doesn’t always mean better.  The large patties make for a disproportionate amount of meat, taking away (slightly) from the overall experience.  This is a minor nitpick.  Another flaw is the ShackSauce.  When isolated and tasted on its own, it is actually sort of dull and lackluster.  It seems to be missing a little something.  It’s got no zing, it’s not salty and just seems ‘okay’.  The bun on the burger is well enough and makes for a good burger, but I am forever spoiled by J Marks and the extra effort they put in their buns (grilled with a dab of butter like a grilled cheese).

The Double ShackBurger is a winner, but if I have to nitpick a few things to give you the real deal, then I think I did a fair job describing them to you.  I would definitely go back and get another one, especially if I was in the South Beach area again, but I would probably skip the ShackSauce and perhaps try the single patty version to keep the ratio of condiments in good order.  The fries were average and nothing to write home about, so I won’t waste much time talking about them.

Todd’s score: 88/100
Pros:
A very-good burger that beats just about all but the best
Cons: ShackSauce was nothing special, double patties made for excessive meat, bun was good but not perfect.

Shake Shack menuInside the Shake Shack

Brandon eating his double ShackBurgerShake Shack Burgers Fries and drinksShake Shack BeeperShake Shack Burgers

J. Mark’s Restaurant Review

1

Category : American, Hamburgers

J. Marks RestaurantJ. Marks Restaurant isn’t exactly new to the strip on Federal Highway.  In fact I’ve driven past it dozens of times without really putting much thought to trying it.  I guess my reluctance was because of the fact that the name doesn’t really tell you much about what you’ll find inside.

Had it not been for a referral, countless months would have gone by without me having tried the dish I am about to review for you.

I am fairly sure I have seen other locations of J. Mark’s Restaurant in the area (Google Search…) yes, there are a couple in Boca Raton and others in Broward County.  The one Brandon and I reviewed is one located on North Federal Highway just a little north of Sunrise Blvd.

J Mark’s Restaurant
Website: Yes
Phone: (954) 390.0770
City: Fort Lauderdale
Location (map): S. Federal Hwy
Delivery: No
Outdoor seating: Yes
Lunch $: $9-$14+ approx.
Dinner $: couple dollars more than lunch

Pricing is higher than a lot of the little shops we often frequent, however we didn’t see anything that would break the bank (so to speak).  There were plenty of options from the $10-14 range.  They have a varied American menu with chicken, seafood, pasta and other varieties. Parking is easy and free.

Todd’s review of the Blue Peppercorn Burger

J. Marks Restaurant Blue Cheese Burger with friesThe search for the “best burger the world has to offer” is a never ending quest.  In fact we tread in dark waters when we bring the subject up to the zealous fans of places like In-and-Out, 5 Guys (which we love) and other famous places.

A recent tip off from a friend that J. Mark’s Restaurant had something special was enough of an excuse for us to visit and see for ourselves.

We arrive right around noon and are happily greeted by several hosts and seated promptly.  Our waiter explained several specials while we browsed the menu, even though we already knew what we were going to try.  Deciding which burger (of their handful of varieties) was the only notable decision we had to make.

Reading the description of the Blue Peppercorn Burger sold me instantly.  I asked the waiter how medium and medium well look.  His description was detailed and I chose to get my burger cooked medium well which had a thin section of pink within the burger.  It only took about 10 minutes and the food was ready and delivered to our table.

Now for the good part: So my burger is sitting in front of me, but I must wait to try it as I whip out my iPhone and snap a couple pictures.  Mouth salivating, I dab a little ketchup on the burger and then take a hearty bite.  There are so many flavors and textures to analyze at once that my brain can’t quite make up its mind.  It’s literally 10 seconds later I start nodding my head saying “yeah, I think this one’s a winner.”  Indeed it was!

The chuck that is used to make the burger contains minced onion and bacon.  I am not a bacon fanatic by any means, but the subtle addition makes for one of the best hamburger patty’s I’ve ever tried… really!  In addition to some fabulous flavors a side result is that the burger is extra tender, somehow like getting the prime part of a steak.  Just as the waiter said, the burger was cooked to perfection with a thin ribbon of pink within making for a perfectly cooked meal.  Topped with blue cheese, red onion and fresh cracked pepper I’d have to say that this burger pretty much destroys all other ‘gourmet’ style burgers I have tried (including the famous Rosebud Restaurant burger from Chicago I had).

Last and certainly not least is the bun.  I often refer to the bun as the most underrated part of a burger.  This one was toasted slightly and I assume dabbed in butter to give it a perfect crispness while still plenty moist on the inside.  The texture complimented the fine flavors perfectly.

Alas a new discovery that finds a top spot in our review section!  The fries were hot and fresh, but certainly not the best fries I’ve ever had.  The burger…. yeah, it’s all about the burger in reality anyway.

The service was actually near 5 star.  I don’t know if the waiter (Jeff) was tipped off that a review crew was coming or not, but he provided us with superb service which helped compliment a perfect burger.  Walking to the car after lunch I was happy and content and yet puzzled that this new discovery existed for so long with me knowing.  So bottom line time… best burger in south Florida? It’s such an important question, but as of right now, I would have to answer with a “yes!” Honestly, I don’t know what they could do to make it better.  If I figure it out, I’ll post my finding here of course!

Todd’s score: 96/100
Pros:
A perfect burger…yeah, I scored it higher than 5 guys!  Perfect service.
Cons: Fries were ‘standard’, prices are slightly higher than typical lunches ($10).

Brandon’s review of the Cheese Burger

J. Marks Restaurant Cheese Burger with Sweet Potato friesIt’s going to be tough to match Todd’s review on this one. I really wish I hadn’t read it before I had to write my review but here goes anyway.  Just to let you know, I love Five Guys burgers and fries.  In fact, before eating at J. Marks, I would say that Five Guys burger was probably my favorite that I could name off the top of my head.  I’ve had so called “gourmet burgers” all over the country including in New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco. I loved In n Out burgers (only available on the west coast) and thought they were pretty darn good until Five Guys opened near us down in Fort Lauderdale – and in my humble opinion, Five Guys smokes In n Out.  I’d rather have Five Guys than pretty much any other burger I’ve ever tried – that is until a few days ago when Todd and I stumbled upon J. Marks.

We were actually on our way to Jets Pizza (killer pizza btw) but on the way there saw J. Marks on the road which Todd mentioned had been recommended by a friend as her favorite burger of all time. Given that we are expert food critics, we were skeptical of the so-called “gourmet burger” but decided to give it a try.  That decision may have changed my life forever.

We arrived just before noon and J. Marks wasn’t very busy yet so we were seated promptly. Our waiter (Jeff?) was very efficient and friendly and provided us with menus and took our drink orders. Of course we both already knew that we would be ordering burgers, but we didn’t realize that there were actually a few distinct options. Todd went with the blue cheese burger which I was sooooooo tempted to order because I do love blue cheese, especially on steak, but something about the “classic cheeseburger” called out to me. Jeff informed us that the burgers at J. Marks were made with beef that was pre-mixed with bacon and onion which further intrigued me. I do like bacon, but not a lot of it at once.. It can be overpowering – so I was a little worried when he mentioned this fact, but still went ahead with the order.  I also decided on the sweet potato fries which are a nice change-up from the potato fries that accompany most burgers.

After a short wait, our meals arrived and the burgers certainly looked good enough, but it wasn’t until about 15 seconds after the first bite that I realized we had a true winner on our hands. It really did take a few seconds for my brain and taste-buds to realize what was happening in my mouth and when that realization occurred, I was in heaven. The burger was delicious. A delicacy. I really couldn’t believe what I was tasting.. and even now while writing this I worry that the experience was a fluke and will never be repeated. The meat was perfectly cooked (I ordered it medium). The cheddar cheese was perfectly melted. The red onions on top were crisp. The bun was perfectly fresh, chewy and buttery all at the same time. The combination of it all was uniquely perfect.  The burger was quite large actually and while I was very hungry, I was still barely able to finish it despite how delicious it was – yet I did finish it all including the sweet potato fries which were also quite good (though not as good as the burger itself).

It is a rare event when I am so unexpectedly and pleasantly surprised by food nowadays. I honestly walked into J. Marks thinking it was just going to be another fancy gourmet burger with the usual “good but not great” outcome. This, my friends is great. No – great does not do this burger justice. If you like burgers you MUST go here and try it. I hope it wasn’t a fluke or one time event and that next time I go it will be disappointing. If so, I’ll remember this as the best burger I ever ate, even if it was a one-time experience. Yes, food fans (and burger fans especially), you owe it to yourself to give J. Marks a try. Hopefully you will not be disappointed – I pray that I won’t be next time I go!

Brandon’s score: 98/100
Pros: Best burger I’ve ever eaten and that’s saying a lot. Perfect size, perfect proportion of ingredients, excellent service, great sweet potato fries.
Cons: Bun gets a little soggy if you don’t eat fast enough. This wasn’t a problem for me because I ate like a maniac – only the last few bites had any sense of imperfection.

California Burgers and Shakes Restaurant Review

Category : Hamburgers

California Burgers and Shakes - view of the restaurant from the outsideUpdate:  As of 2011, we realized this restaurant is closed.  Most likely due to the poor location and lack of traffic…

Expanding TasteCritics.com coverage of restaurants we decide to venture outside the city limits of downtown Fort Lauderdale and head to the Galleria Mall on sunrise Blvd.  Directly across the street from the mall is a small plaza where Califoria Burgers and Shakes is located.

The only reason we took the 10 minute ride to get here (from downtown) is to see for ourselves if this burger joint stacks up to the competition.  Having been tipped off that they are good, the best way to know for sure is to go check it out, and that’s what we did.

The restaurant is very easy to miss.  We did not see a sign out front advertising that it existed, however a ‘sign boy’ was out front by the street doing a little manual advertising.

Once inside, things were fairly basic and straight to the point.  There were perhaps a dozen tables or so and a casual environment to dine in.  One jab I must deliver is that there was visible smoke everywhere, like a haze or fog was in the restaurant.  I don’t know if the vent system was broken or not, but it shouldn’t be that way.  I’m all for fresh flame broiled burgers, but breathing in the smoke I’ll take on the side please.

The menu is very clean and simple with burgers, hot dogs and some salad options.  We were even told of a double Big Kahuna Burger some guy ate there recently (2 pounds of beef)!!  It was an easy sell, burgers for all!

Todd reviews the double cheeseburger with fries:

California Burgers and Shakes - might fine french friesCalifornia Burgers and Shakes - double cheeseburger with onion, lettuce, mayo, mustard and ketchup On Friday, nothing makes the Taste Critics crew happier than trying a new hamburger.  We browsed the menu and promptly ordered our burgers exactly how we like them.  I got a double patty cheese burger (each patty is 3oz) with lettuce, raw onion, mayo, mustard and ketchup.  We split a side of fries and got cokes.  All in all the meal will cost each person about $8 each.

Everything was made fresh, as you order it.  After about 7 minutes or so everything was ready.  We picked up the order and brought it to our table with much anticipation…

I dabbed a little ketchup on my burger and took a big bite and was instantly delighted with what my taste buds were telling me.  My favorite burger of all time is Five Guys, and this burger was almostexactly the same!   The beef was fresh and flavorful and the condiments were in just the right amounts making for a fabulous taste.  Trying to find a flaw is difficult, but if I had to pinpoint one it would be the bun.  Somehow it was just typical and ordinary (where five guys has a certain sweetness that’s hard to describe), but thankfully it didn’t take away from the great burger.

The fries were excellent too with a fresh potato flavor a lot of fries seem to lack. They put on some kind of mild cajun seasoning and a perfect amount of salt.  The fries are up there as some of the best I’ve had.  One order of fries is enough to share with two people.  Lastly I must add that I got a peppermint shake to go.  I feel like a glutton because I got a litle of everything, but they are called “California Burgers and Shakes“… so I had to try one, right?  The shake is very smooth and tasty, without being too rich.  I like the extra touch of the ‘hose straw’ too, which is perfect for a shake.  The straw was big enough to put my finger into.

In conclusion, I highly recommend California Burgers and Shakes, they truly rival my favorite burger place, Five Guys.  Give them a try and see who you like better.

Todd’s score: 87/100
Pros: great burger, great fries, great shake – Taste to the max!
Cons: It’s hard to find a real flaw in the quality of the food to be honest.  The restaurant was a little smokey when we visited.

California Burgers and Shakes - easy menu California Burgers and Shakes - seating inside California Burgers and Shakes - Peppermint Shake

Red Hot Shack Restaurant Review

Category : Hamburgers

Red Hot Shack Restaurant - A funky little shackThe last beacon of civilization before you go too far south of the downtown Fort Lauderdale area would be where the red Hot Shack Restaurant is. Go any more south on Federal Highway and you’re headed to the airport or beyond.

This ‘shack’ really has an identity problem. You can easily imagine this being on a beach somewhere or along a boardwalk, but as you look around you see the fuel storage fields across the street and the sound of jets taking off from the airport… very industrial.

Parking is very sparse with only 4 spots (and 1 handicap) spot available. There are other parking lots for nearby businesses you can use though.

The staff was bubbly and very friendly. Even though they were talkative and jokey, they were very efficient at taking your order and delivering your food promptly.

In a nutshell, they have a simple menu with some hamburgers, hot dogs, wings and tamales. Daily specials have some funky and unique options, including…

Todd reviews the Chili Cheese Burger:

Red Hot Shack Restaurant - chili cheese burgerThe Friday special included a chili cheese dog or burger. Add a bag of chips and a beverage and your looking to spend $6.35 (after tax). Pretty cheap for any lunch that’s not delivered from a national fast food chain.

Because the service was so friendly, its hard to have to jump into the negatives so quickly, but to keep the review honest I feel I have to.

The burger was really nothing special. The chili and cheese did add some uniqueness and it was flavorful, however the burger itself was completely lost and almost seemed like it wasn’t there at all. Inspecting the goodies in the bun you can see the burger isn’t exactly huge. At least the toppings sort of made up for it.

The burger, chips and drink made for a modest but filling meal, but at the same time you might be looking for a little snack around 2PM.

As I ate through the burger I couldn’t pinpoint any part of the meal I would go out of my way to recommend. It was cheap food with great service. The location is unique and could make for a make or break scenario… perhaps the Tamales are something to try during a future visit?

Todd’s score: 66/100
Pros: cheap, casual atmosphere, very friendly service
Cons: absolutely nothing special about the food

Red Hot Shack Restaurant - casual seating outside Red Hot Shack Restaurant - daily specials menu

Five Guys (5 Guys) Hamburgers Review

2

Category : American, Hamburgers

Five Guys (5 Guys) HamburgersFive Guys (5 Guys) are a national chain that is quickly sweeping the country up.  Not too long ago a Five Guys came to Fort Lauderdale, located in the Harbor Shops right off of 17th street.

Their menu is simple: Burgers, Hot Dogs, Fries and soft drinks.  Yet, you’ll always see lines in Five Guys, so having a vast selection on a menu isn’t always needed.  Pricing is just a couple bucks more than fast food, but read a little further to see why that’s not a problem.

Ordering is easy and it doesn’t take them more than a few minutes to make your food.  Everything is made fresh ‘as you order it’ which is great.  Unfortunately, I have not seen a drive through at any Five Guys I’ve been too.  However, these burgers are best enjoyed at the restaurant, where they are hot and ready for consumption!

Todd’s review of the Cheeseburger and French Fries:

Five Guys (5 Guys) Hamburgers - 2 burgers that are only 1 minute oldI’ll admit, this is not the first time I’ve been to a Five Guys.  I know when I come here there is one requirement… come hungry.

Five guys offers a single patty (little hamburger) and a two patty (hamburger).  I try to be as manly as possible and get the double patty every time.  For this review, I ordered a cheeseburger with onions, lettuce, mayo, mustard and ketchup.  I also got a coke and a regular order of fries, which is plenty to share with another person.

Of all the burgers that I am currently aware of, I enjoy the Five Guys burgers best.  I say this with confidence and resolution.  Nothing at Five Guys was every frozen and it shows by enhancing the flavor of the beef.   Every bite of this burger is a treat, and even if you feel full, you’ll find a way to finish your meal.

The burger patties are fried on a large griddle.  Perhaps this is the secret to keeping all that flavor intact.  French fries are cooked in peanut oil and actually taste like real potatoes.  When is the last time you had french fries that were overwhelming with flavor?  If you get french fries at Five Guys you’ll know what I mean.

In conclusion, Five Guys has mastered their art.  They focus on making the best burger and fries in town and I am a zealot to their cause.  I am open to the idea of a better burger existing out in the world somewhere, but as of today it has yet to be found.

Todd’s Score: 95/100
Pros:
Best Burger and Fries in south Florida – period.
Cons: No drive through, sometimes hard to find a table

Five Guys (5 Guys) Hamburgers - a simple menu Five Guys (5 Guys) Hamburgers - On deck to make my order Five Guys (5 Guys) Hamburgers - burgers in motion Five Guys (5 Guys) Hamburgers - Prepping for the food to arrive Five Guys (5 Guys) Hamburgers - 2 burgers that are only 1 minute old Five Guys (5 Guys) Hamburgers - a cheeseburger with 2 patties part two Five Guys (5 Guys) Hamburgers - a cheeseburger with 2 patties