Friday, April 26, 2013

Big Al's - Delray Beach

100% Ground Ribeye. Simple. That's the Cheesesteak Burger served at the window here in right on Atlantic Ave & Federal Hwy at Big Al's Steaks. For a double patty, you are getting the same amount of Rib Eye meat used on a 9" Philly. Nothing fancy. Blended with worcestershire to keep the burger moist, flat top grilled on the same grill as the philly's & served on a potato roll bun. You can top it however you like... I decided to make this a classic Philly cheesesteak burger & topped it with mushroom, onions, peppers wit Wiz! It got a little messy but who cares... This was delicious! I just kept licking my fingers and using the thick cut fries to scoop up all the extra cheese! If you find yourself out partying late night on the Ave... Stop by Big Al's.

Overall Rating: Rare (worst-1) to Well-Done (best-5)
Big Al's Delray - Cheesesteak Burger = Medium-Well (4)

Big Al's Steaks on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fort Lauderdale - Riverwalk Burger Battle 2013

The gang at Riverwalk is getting ready for the 4th Annual Riverwalk Burger Battle™ presented by Publix Aprons Catering and Cooking School on May 31st along the New River in Downtown FTL’s Huizenga Plaza. It sizzles (in more ways than one!) and pits local burger joints and broward county restaurants against one another. 

Here are the contenders in 3 categories (one will reign supreme):

Burger Joints:
- Burger Zone
- Charm City Burger Co. (Returning Champion)
- The Burger Freak
- Elevation Burger
- Gimme a Burger

Bar & Grill Contenders:
- America's Backyard
- Georges Alibi (2x Judges Champion)
The Downtowner Saloon
- Big Bear Brewing Co.
Rosie’s Bar & Grill (Best Bar & Grill Burger)
- ROK:BRGR (Previous Fan Favorite)

Knife & Fork Burger Contenders:
- Timpano Italian Chophouse
- The Grateful Palate
- Grille 401
- Big City Tavern

EAT ~ DRINK ~ ROCK from 7 - 10pm on Friday, May 31st

Guests Will Enjoy:
- Samples of all 16 Beef Burger locations entered in the contest
- The Capital Grille's FRENCH FRY BAR
- Treats from Susie Scrumptious Sweets Dessert Bar
- NOW 3 Drink Tickets!!! (Barefoot Wine, Jack Daniels, Budweiser & Voss)
- A Voting chip to help choose the Fan Favorite Burger Award
- Live Music from SWEET 903
- View a local celebrity slider eating contest presented by Krystal
- Upgrade to the VIP EXPERIENCE that offers a private area, open bar & catering
General & VIP Admission  (21+ )

Burger Belle  (along with Burgers by the Beach) is excited to announce some exclusive info on Riverwalk’s Burger Battle™. They just recruited a Chef-Driven Judging Panel to work together to award the ‘Best Burger’ award and bragging rights in area code 954. Who will win Best ‘Burger Joint’, Best ‘Bar & Grill’, Best ‘Knife & Fork’ Burger?  You get to choose your ‘Fan Favorite’! Here is the line-up, they know their burgers (and get rewarded for their hard work with some cool swag from Jack Daniel’s and Barefoot Bubbly):

2013 JUDGES:
- Returning for his 4th Battle is our own Burger Beast (only Judge to sample all 20 burger bites last year)
- Returning for a 4th Battle, Chef Director Jack Kane at the Int’l Culinary School at the Art Institute
- Returning for a 3rd Battle is Resident Chef Wes Bonner of the Publix Apron’s Cooking School
- New to the team, 3x Contender, Executive Chef Marc Gruverman, The Capital Grille
New to the team, Burgers by the Beach (burger blogger) - Jamie Frankel

- Guest Writer: Burger Belle

Monday, April 22, 2013

Shake Shack - Boca Raton, FL


Burger fans! FAU Students! Boca Residents! Shake Shack is officially open! Just East of I-95 off Glades Rd (University Commons plaza). As of 11am, April 22nd, 2013 (Earth Day), the doors have opened to allow Palm Beach county residents the opportunity to enjoy their incredible menu items: The Shack Burger, The SmokeShack, 'Shroom Burger & Shack Stack, also they serve a ShackMeister Ale (brewed exclusively by Brooklyn Brewery), Flat-Top Dogs such as the Shack-cago Dog, DogMeister, Friskey Dog & Chicken Dog and of course, Custards & Concretes like the Mizner's Muse, Burrowing Banana & Glades Doughnut (See a pattern here Boca...)! They did a great job making you feel right at home. Check out the full menu posted below... It's a welcomed experience, seeing as how they're in the same plaza as J. Alexanders & P.F. Changs. FAU students need a place like this right across from campus.

Shake Shack on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Salt Life Food Shack - Coral Springs, FL

Floridian's. The brand you see labeled on the back of every truck & visor of every fisherman has brought its "Salt Life" beach-living ways to the South Florida restaurant scene. Coral Springs, FL to be exact. You know. That quiet little beach town cornered in-between the Everglades, Sawgrass Expressway and I-95. Wait? Huh? That's not right, is it? A brand dedicated to living your own "Salt Life" in Coral Springs? Seems a bit odd. But who can blame them for opening up their first S. Florida location right in the heart of restaurant row on University Drive in Coral Springs.

When you first walk in, you are of course greeted by Salt Life shirts, hats, and the famous stickers. With a nice sized bar area, it was pleasant to see locals just hanging out on a weeknight. Something a little different for Coral Springs. A nice sized salt water aquarium separated the bar from the dining room, leaving a nice open feel to the restaurant. But let's get down to the goods...

The theme of the evening seemed to be "fried." We didn't really notice it until afterwards, when (spoiler alert), we were over stuffed and exhausted from eating. Joined by members of local rock band FUSE (, we ordered a few appetizers to keep us entertained. First up were the Bimini Conch Fritters. Lightly fried. Moist & full of flavor. Not overdone on the filling & the Shack Sauce was a nice compliment for dipping. Also on the table was a Crunch Roll - tempura battered shrimp, carrot, cucumber & cream cheese rolled in panko bread crumbs, flash fried and served with eel sauce. Lastly, a GIANT plate of Chorizo & Shrimp nachos joined the flavor party. These were topped with corn, black beans, jack and cheddar cheese, pico & finished with a cilantro-lime cream drizzle... YOU FULL YET? I know just from typing out my meal that I can skip lunch today.

With 3 burgers on the menu, the 3 of us thought it would be a good idea to just order 1 of each and share... Mistake? Probably. Seeing as how the appetizers were enough to feed a all 17 of Octomoms kids. (awkward reference)... moving on.

There was the SHACK BURGER - wood-fired served with lettuce, tomato, onion & pickle. My first reaction to this burger was "it looks and tastes like a restaurant-made Whopper." Nothing fancy. Simple and too the point. Fresh ingrdients. Just no wow factor. But again, we are in a seafood restaurant.

Next we had the BURGER CLUB - applewood bacon, ham, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato & mayo. A nice twist on a classic club sandwich. Great thick cut bacon. Sliced in quarters like a typical club would be. Served on skewers, making it fun to grab and eat.

Lastly, we had the TUNA BURGER - grilled yellow fin tuna, drizzled with a wasabi cream & asian sweet sauce, topped with "fried" avocado fries. To enhance the overall flavor of the tuna, the patty was mixed with quite a bit of peppers. It was a solid sized, hand-made patty. Partly overcooked, but they did explain that they cook them one way to ensure proper temperature of the fish when served. The burger had a lot of different flavors, that I don't think came through all that well together. Got a bit messy to eat. The avocado fries were a bit large to top a burger with... Now are you full? I may be even skipping dinner tonight as well after all this...

Over rating: Rare (worst-1) to Well-Done (best-5):
Salt Life Food Shack: Medium (3)

Salt Life Food Shack on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 5, 2013

Max's Harvest - Delray Beach, FL

$21 Burger. Yup. We found it. And didn't have to go far either. Right in my backyard at Max's Harvest in Delray Beach. It's been near impossible to get a reservation here. The concept of Farm to Fork has gained popularity with the Delray crowd, making this the "hot spot" on the Ave for almost 2 years. Its great to see local farming making an impact in our community. With most of the food served being farmed no further than Palm Beach County, and with daily deliveries being made, you truly are eating the freshest ingredients $$ can buy.

We started off with the Daily Soup - Tomato Bisque with small grilled cheese slices for dunking. Brings me back to camp days. I love the combo. I really enjoyed the appetizer. Something so simple brings the child out in all of us.

We also ordered Deviled Heritage Hen Farm Eggs - chives, truffle sea salt & champagne vinegar. The eggs were incredibly light but the "deviled" part was a bit too sweet for our taste. Almost tasted like it was made with relish. Didn't do it for us. And for $5 - 4 eggs seems a bit steep.

But our main focus was "The" Burger! At $21 its gotta wow me. Its made with Dry Aged Prime, House Sauce, Aged Grafton Cheddar, Brioche Roll & All the Fixin's (lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion). I also went ahead and added the House Smoked Bacon ($2). Which now brings me to a $23 burger. A burger can be defined in many ways. I tend to think of hamburgers as a social food, gaining popularity in a down-economy. Making it easy to cook/order with an entire family on a budget. I also feel the same way about "Farm to Fork." Shouldn't an order that is cutting out the middle-man distributor cost less? I understand bulk orders = less overhead cost but getting food direct from the farm shouldn't increase the cost just because its "thats fresh." ... but I digress.

Yes, I know your asking yourself. This burger was worth every dollar of its $23 price tag. As another guest sitting next to us told the waiter, "It's like a meatloaf on a bun. It's huge." We weren't the only table to order it... I saw at least 3 more going out to guests. Could be because it's the cheapest item on the menu but as I tasted, it truly was a knockout item! The handmade patty was oversized. Cooked EXACTLY the way I asked (huge plus for me) and had such an incredible fresh taste. I know. I know. Thats the point right. But even the tomato seemed like taking a bite right off the vine. Each bite got better than the next.

Overall Rating: Rare (worst-1) to Well-Done (best-5)
Max's Harvest = WELL-DONE (5)

Smoked Gouda & Pancetta Mac 'n Cheese

Max's Harvest on Urbanspoon