Bad As’s Burgers

Written By Scott Joseph On December 22, 2022

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John Collazo, the chef and owner of the Foodster Award-winning Bad As’s Sandwich shop in the Milk District, has opened a burger version called Bad As’s Burgers in Curry Ford West District. Yes, you could make the argument that a burger is also a sandwich but let’s not niggle.

Also known as B.A. Burgers, at least on its Facebook page, the new concept moved into the storefront that previously was Kathi Rolls and before that the inaccurately named Forever Naan. (It started out as a Hungry Howie’s Pizza; anyone who ever ate one knew why Howie was hungry.) (I assume by calling it B.A. Burgers or even using the unnecessary apostrophe in As’s is meant to thwart social media algorithms.)

The menu is true to its name – all burgers and all made with meat. No chicken, no pretend meat, no vegetables or mushrooms served between buns. And the beef is all Australian wagyu. (We’ll save the discussion about the mainstreaming of the wagyu classification for another time, too, right after we get around to talking about what 100 percent angus beef means.)

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White Castle

Written By Scott Joseph On September 15, 2022

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I finally broke down and visited the new White Castle that opened a few months ago in the Flamingos Crossing area near Walt Disney World. I intentionally waited until the initial hoopla waned a bit. When it first opened there were rumors of eight hour waits to get food. I will do a lot of things for you, Gentle Diner, but waiting that long for a miniature burger is not among them. Heck, I wouldn’t even wait eight hours to get into Victoria & Albert’s (which, by the way, recently reopened; I’ll have that review next week).

And besides, it isn’t like White Castle isn’t a known commodity. It’s popular for its tiny, square burgers that initially had a reputation of being so small and greasy that they just slid down one’s gullet, bringing the term slider into our lexicon.

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Knife Burger

Written By Scott Joseph On June 28, 2022

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If you head out to try Knife Burger at JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, you may want to take your swim suit along. The newest offering from meat master John Tesar is essentially a service of the resort’s pool bar, a covered but open-air pavilion with tables and bar seating and guests in various degrees of undress and dampness.

If you didn’t already know that Tesar, whose knife & Spoon restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton next door was recently awarded a Michelin star, was attached to the burger joint, you probably wouldn’t figure it out if you just hopped out of the pool with a craving for a bite to eat.

Neither the signage nor the menu, which features more than just burgers, give any indication that the celebrity chef is involved.

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What the Chuck

Written By Scott Joseph On January 21, 2021

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Just under the name What the Chuck and its big orange W logo (which was vaguely reminiscent of Whataburger’s) it says “A burger joint.” That pretty much sums it up.

Well, not entirely. I suppose you should also know that the burgers this joint offers are of the smash genre, wherein the patty is pressed down during grilling and flattened somewhat instead of being a thick and juicy hunk of ground beef oozing with red juices. Smashed burgers cannot be ordered, say, medium-rare because as soon as they’re smashed they’re pretty much beyond that point. Which is not to say such burgers can’t also be satisfying. You should just know before you go.

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Hamburger Mary’s

Written By Scott Joseph On October 20, 2020

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I felt the need to visit Hamburger Mary’s, the bar and burger grill in downtown Orlando, recently. The reason was the death of Sam Singhaus, a local entertainer and popular personality who regularly entertained at Mary’s as his alter ego Miss Sammy. Sam, who was a friend and one-time neighbor of mine, died Oct. 12 after a recent diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumor. He was 60.

Sam grew up in Orlando but moved to New York to break into show business. And did he ever. He landed a part in the original Broadway cast of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” a 1982 stage version of the 1954 film musical that played 15 previews and five performances before closing. (Considering the story line involves the titular siblings abducting young women to cook and do the housework for them in their backwoods home, it isn’t likely we’ll ever see a revival.)

But the following year, Sam was cast as one of Les Cagelles in the original Broadway production of “La Cage aux Folles.” (Search YouTube for the La Cage performance on the Tony Awards broadcast and you’ll see a closeup of Sam about 37 seconds in.)

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Takeout Review: The Whiskey

Written By Scott Joseph On May 12, 2020

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The Whiskey, the fun Restaurant Row tavern with good food, has reopened under the state’s Phase 1 guidelines. I have not reopened myself to in-house dining just yet, but I was anxious to get some of the Whiskey’s good food for takeout.

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Twisted Root Burger Co.

Written By Scott Joseph On February 26, 2020

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Twisted Root Burger Co. is an odd name for a burger joint, so you’d think there might be a logical explanation for it. But I’ll address that later. TRBC is a youngish chain out of the Dallas area with a hefty handful of locations. The one that opened recently on Aloma Avenue in Winter Park is one of 17.

Owners Jason Boso and Quincy Hart started the concept in 2006 after meeting in culinary school, where they both were seeking new careers after jobs in stock brokerages and telephone line repair. That first Twisted, in Deep Ellum, a Dallas neighborhood, caught the attention of Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” television program, and, as has happened so many times before, it took off.

The newest Twisted is in the Grove at Winter Park shopping mall on Aloma Avenue at Old Howell Branch Road. The entrance sits under a marquee-like sign. You can spot the front door because it says “Get you buns in here” right next to it.

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Ford’s Garage

Written By Scott Joseph On November 27, 2018

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I suppose it’s a good thing they didn’t call it GM’s Garage.

Ford’s Garage is a burger and beer brand born out of Ft. Myers and now headquartered in Tampa. You’d think Michigan, right? But there is a natural connection to the Sunshine State over the Great Lakes State: Henry Ford had a Winter home in Ft. Myers, less than a mile from where the first Ford’s Garage restaurant opened in 2012 (Henry did not attend).

Nearly all of the locations, just under a dozen so far, are in Florida, though one opened last year in Dearborn, Mich. The Orlando restaurant is in a freestanding building at the Orlando Premium Outlets on Vineland Avenue (it’s on the side with the Saks Off Fifth store).

As you might expect with a garage-themed restaurants, Ford’s is tricked out in a design that might be classified as early grease monkey. But except for the exterior, which like the rest of the mall structures is your basic faux Mediterranean-meets-Florida pale yellow stucco, it isn’t cheesy at all. In fact, there are a lot of nice details.

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Nona Social Bar + Kitchen

Written By Scott Joseph On November 8, 2018

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Nona Tap Room is gone and Nona Social Bar + Kitchen has taken its place. Except for the variation of the name, I can’t see a whole lot of difference between the two.

It’s still a neighborhoody place that is more bar than kitchen. Still a bit on the small, cozy side. It still features a menu that is burgercentric. And the kitchen still can’t cook a burger to a medium-rare temperature. Or perhaps just refuses to.

Too bad because the burger I had when I visited recently, the Bacon Bleu, was a good burger that could have been better if it had been cooked properly. The patty was a decent size and had a nice char. It was topped with a smear of blue cheese that was half melted, plus a couple of thick-sliced bacon rashers. The bun was plain but fresh.

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The Hangry Bison

Written By Scott Joseph On August 23, 2018

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Hangry Bison, the new non-Italian restaurant from longtime pizzeria owner Joe Liguori, is doing a lot of things right with its burgers, bourbon and beer, the items that it lists as its specialties under that name.

That name.

Hangry is a portmanteau of the words hungry and angry and represents a condition wherein the need for food without any food foreseeable can cause a precipitous change in mood. It’s a real thing. I myself am among the sufferers. We don’t have a telethon.

But we have Hangry Bison to alleviate the symptoms.

Click below to see a video version of this review

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