Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 4:31pm
St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (May 22, 2014) - As the official kickoff to Summer, Memorial Day Weekend is the time for beaches and burgers, and St. Pete/Clearwater has the best of both worlds to start your summer off in classic style.
To go along with the area's award-winning beaches---including three of TripAdvior's Top 20 for 2014---we've compiled a list of some of the area's best-loved yet least-known burgers, ranging from old-school drive-in fare to steak house staples to more exotic creations topped with beer-battered chicken, short ribs and friend jalapeno mac-n-cheese.
Check out the list below, or take a video tour of our Best Beaches and Best Burgers!
El Cap: A Gulf Coast institution, the baseball-themed El Cap specializes in building burgers "your way," which could mean topped with carmelized onions and topped with "the works." Tip: Napkins. Lots of 'em.
Rococo Steak: St. Pete's new upscale steak house offers a burger made from a ground New York Strip, then topped with house-made bacon onion jam, cheddar cheese and rosemary aioli. It was the celebrity pick in last fall's "Battle of the Burg" competition at Enjoy Arts & Tastes. Tip: It's $18 on the dinner menu---but holds its own among pricier fare.
Engine No. 9: The Saint burger is one of the most popular choices at this new-ish burger stop on the outskirts of St. Pete's downtown core. It's a short rib and chuck patty with cheese, bacon, beer-battered chicken (yes, chicken!), potato pancake, creole mustard and brown gravy. Tip: All four food groups on one burger: beef, chicken, bacon and gravy.
Tarpon Tavern: The New Yorker gets much attention with an Empire State Building-sized tower of onion rings stacked on top, but the Juicy Doozy is the most popular burger at this Tarpon Springs favorite: two beef patties stuffed with gorgonzola cheese and carmelized onions, finished with cheddar cheese, bacon, pickles and olives, served on a pretzel bun. Tip: Two patties, one with gorgonzola, the other with cheddar. ONE burger.
Dunedin Smokehouse: Creativity is at the heart of the Smokehouse's weekly burger offering, but a staple on the menu is the Pork Belly burger: an 8 oz. patty topped with fried jalapeno mac-n-cheese, sliced pork belly and a sweet bourbon sauce. Tip: Don't be worried about the jalapeno being too spicy. The sauce creates a perfect sweet-and-spicy balance.
Biff Burger (St. Petersburg): This 49th-Street landmark has been cranking out burgers dipped in a special sauce made of nine ingredients since 1958. Almost as popular as the classic car "Cruise Ins" they host every Friday night. Tip: No frills, classic American burger joint.