No, no, no, this hasn't devolved into a "burger blog". But, hey, maybe this is my first "theme week" here on the blog. Not a bad idea...
Anyway, remember how I said before that there were other burgers I liked here in Orlando as well, or almost as well as Five Guys? Well, this is the main one- BackYard Burgers. I'm not sure if these are anywhere except here in Florida. Maybe they are, but it's got to be a fairly small chain as I don't see them when I'm out of state.
For years, the BYB on Orange Blossom Trail (OBT) here locally was mine and my oldest daughter's once a week hangout as we read our comic books from Coliseum of Comics right up the street. BYB's burgers taste a lot like the burgers you remember from your youth that Dad cooked on the backyard grill. Hmmm... wonder if that's where they got the name from? ;D
Great burger with a deep, flamebroiled taste. Good waffle fries, and terrific milkshakes. A fairly close second overall to Five Guys and In-N-Out.
Yummmmm..... Now for my local favorite burger! Alright, yes, Five Guys Burgers and Fries are all over the place now, not just in Orlando. But I of course go to the one near me here in O-Town. I decided awhile back, when I first started on my new "fitness lifestyle" ( I never say "diet", BTW), that when I eat junk food I am going to eat the BEST junk food. Five Guys fits that bill perfectly!
Big, greasy burgers that are some of the best around ( I'll talk about a few others I like in future posts), and THE WORLD'S BEST FRENCH FRIES are what keeps me coming here. For those watching their calorie intake, the small FG cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato that I eat comes in at around a very manageable 300 calories.
Okay, before I give you my local favorite burger, it's time to give you the burger I WISH WAS LOCAL. The legendary, elusive In- N- Out Burger. These gems of true "Burger Americana" are only found out West. I'm not sure exactly of the States, but I know whenever I'm in LA or Vegas I make sure to go at least once to whatever In-N-Out I can find. I drew caricatures ( my day job) at a private party for In-N-Out execs and owners a few years ago here at Disney. I made sure I grilled them ( pun intended ) about why they are only out West. They were all very nice, and told me that it was because over the decades they've built up relationships with their produce and meat suppliers out there. To start up anywhere else, with other partners, they'd possibly have to sacrifice quality... something they're simply not willing to do. I had to respect that answer. A franchise that's run like a Mom and Pop place. It made me want them over here even more. The burgers are simple, good old fashioned fare. Just like the burgers I remember at drive ins when I was a kid. The fries are hand cut and delicious as well ( not QUITE as good as Five Guys, though...more on that in a future post). Look at this menu... simplicity at it's best. Love it! Just like stepping back in time. Also, I personally love this touch.
Cocoa Beach is the nearest beach to Orlando, only about 45 minutes away. We go there for a week each Summer to our condo, and it's a great, relatively un-tourist spoiled place that even locals can enjoy. But for fifteen years now, the entire time I've been going there, I have been trying to find good restaurants in Cocoa Beach. Particularly seafood restaurants. I mean, come on, it's the beach! Each year I have high hopes I will find something, anything, that compares to the fish places I knew and loved in Myrtle Beach.
FINALLY, this year, I found somewhere. FISHLIPS is by far the best seafood place I've tried in Cocoa. It's probably the best fish place I know of anywhere near Orlando, actually. And I've tried everyone I've seen! Right on the port, where you can see the cruise ships come and go to the Atlantic, is where it's positioned. Great, scenic location.
I actually went here twice in one week this year, my family and I liked it so much. I had the fresh fish skewers, by the way: grouper, scallops, and shrimp. Yum! It's a casual, "families welcome" kind of place, with good servers, live music on the deck and a busy bar. Plus, ya gotta love this sign.
Actually, Maurice Bessinger's famous BBQ restaurants are in several small towns in lower South Carolina, my homestate, but I know the ones in Columbia best. Lower SC BBQ typically has a mustard based sauce, and since I don't normally like mustard, it's odd that I like the sauce so much. I'm sure all of their sandwiches are great, but Maurice's "Sauci-Chic" sandwich with a big Sweet Tea is absolute heaven to this Southerner.