Burgerquest!

January 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Many of you know about my obsession with burgers. I’m always on the lookout for a burger worthy of my infamous (I like to think) Top 10 Burger List. And today I found that burger.

Let me start by saying it’s been quite awhile since I’ve embarked on a new burgerquest. Certainly this is the first one I’ve taken since we’ve moved to Orlando. And now that I look back, holy cow, Liam was barely out of the womb the last time I did this! So it was high time. (On a side note, I find it interesting that I noted it was an unusually warm day in February when I went to Sunshine, MD. It was an unusually cold day in Orlando today. But as I recall, despite the “warm” weather, it still snowed on our way home, and at a high temp of 49 degrees, it was no where near snowing in Florida!)

I did some research on Yelp.com and Urbanspoon.com, and after ruling out a highly-rated food truck (I doubt Liam, who refuses to wear gloves or hat, would stand for that nonsense.), I settled on a trendy burger joint in downtown Orlando, Pine 22. It was our first venture into the downtown area, and by the looks of the surrounding businesses, I think this particular area has a happening night life. After circling a bit (and realizing I had no coins for meters) I found a relatively inexpensive parking garage. A blast of cold air hit us as we walked to the restaurant, reminding me how scanty our winter-wear was. This burger better be worth it!

We arrived a little after the lunch crowd, which suits Liam well. At the counter we were presented with a menu checklist with an almost endless combination of choices: patty size, bread type, cheese, condiments, toppings. The server warned that it’s easy to go overboard building your own burger, resulting in a $15 burger. So on the back they offered cheaper combo meals that you could customize. I ended up taking the Pine22 burger, substituting 22BBQ sauce and adding applewood smoked bacon. Knowing Liam would likely not try a burger, but wanting to give him the option all the same, they very nicely accommodated my request for just one mini burger and fries for him at a slightly lower price than the kids’ meal. The bill was still a bit higher than I would have liked, but that’s usually the price you pay for organic, locally procured beef. In this case, it was totally worth it.

Despite other reviews I’d read, our meal came out promptly. The burger was perfectly cooked with just the right amount of pink in the middle, and although it was only 5 oz, it didn’t seem overly small or thin. This place doesn’t mess around with run-of-the-mill buns, either. I hate when the juices of the burger run right through a puny bun, but here the bread-to-meat ratio was in perfect balance. Soft and fluffy, with just a touch of sweet and butter. Another home-run: the fries. To me, the fries are just as important as an awesome burger, and in my mind nothing beats super skinny, super crunchy fries. I gobbled mine up, then ate half of Liam’s after he lost interest.

As expected, Liam wouldn’t touch his mini-burger. I took a bite just to give it a try, but it wasn’t nearly as awesome as my burger. I’m sure they cook the heck out of it since they’re serving it to a child, and that’s okay with me. Liam did like the fries, especially the crispy overcooked ones. A day for firsts, I let Liam have his very first sip of Dr. Pepper. I figured since he’s three he can handle the sugar and caffeine. He pulled a face, then said, “I like that.” Then he whined every time I took a sip that it was his turn. Oh dear.

What I particularly love about this place are the numerous options in both burgers and sides. Next time I come I’d like to try the sweet potato fries and fried pickles. And I think just a small order of fries for Liam. Gah, it kills me that he doesn’t even want to TRY a hamburger!! It’s hard to believe he’s half mine, lol.

Be sure to check out my amended Top 10 Burger List, where you’ll see the new rankings. Perhaps when the warm weather returns, we’ll give that food truck a try, too. Stay tuned!

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