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National Cheeseburger Day

Cheeseburger In paradise @ Margaritaville
September 18th is officially National Cheeseburger Day. I personally think everyday should be national cheeseburger day, because who doesn't like a mouthwatering cheeseburger any day of the year?

To help you celebrate this wonderful day, I have provided a brief history of the Cheeseburger, and some great tips on how to make a perfect burger from the folks at Margaritaville.

Adding cheese to hamburgers became popular in the late-1920s to mid-1930s, and there are several competing claims as to who created the first cheeseburger. Lionel Sternberger is reputed to have invented the cheeseburger in 1926 at the age of 16 when he was working as a fry cook at his father's Pasadena, California sandwich shop, "The Rite Spot," and "experimentally dropped a slab of American cheese on a sizzling hamburger. An early example of the cheeseburger appearing on a menu is a 1928 menu for the Los Angeles restaurant O'Dell's which listed a cheeseburger smothered with chili for 25 cents.

Other restaurants say they invented the cheeseburger. For example, Kaelin's Restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, said it invented the cheeseburger in 1934. One year later, a trademark for the name "cheeseburger" was awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in Denver, Colorado. According to Steak 'n Shake archives, the restaurant's founder, Gus Belt, applied for a trademark on the word in the 1930.


Here are some tips from the folks at Margaritaville on how to make a great burger. If you recall my post from a few months ago about National Hamburger Month at Margaritaville, I think they know a thing or two about making burgers.

  • Choose your meat carefully. If you’re going to a local butcher, ask for 80 percent meat with 20 percent fat. The quality of burgers is heavily dependent on the protein selected. The fat with help maintain the flavors.

  • Turn up the heat. Preheat your stove or grill in order to obtain an evenly cooked burger.

  • Handling the meat. Be careful not to apply too much pressure when shaping the burgers to avoid them from becoming too dense. Also, do not press on the burger patty when cooking.

  • Season the meat prior to cooking with your preferred seasoning, such as salt and pepper, and place the meat in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to prevent the patties from breaking apart.

  • Experiment with toppings. American cheese reigns supreme on many menus, but experiment with cheddar, blue cheese, swiss, jack cheese and any other preferred cheese with other unique toppings such as chips, French Fries, chili, cheese, avocado, fried onions or bacon.

  • Don’t Forget The Buns. The type of bun chosen is typically based on personal preference. Brioche and pretzel buns are popular, but there are various gluten-free buns available at local stores and at Margaritaville. It’s important to toast the bun for the best quality.

Volcano Burger @ Margaritaville
So get out here and enjoy some great cheeseburgers at your favorite restaurant, or at home.


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Chicago's Stuffed Pizza

116 West Church Street
Orlando, FL 32801 
(407) 930-0770 

If you or any of your friends or family members are from Chicago, then you know what a real authentic Chicago style pizza is supposed to taste like and what it should look like. You are also aware of the great debate over "Stuffed Pizza" vs. "Deep Dish" pizza, and the raging battle over who made what first.

The origins of the Chicago-style deep-dish pizza go back to 1943, and most believe that the original Pizzeria Uno in Chicago and its owner Ike Sewell had a hand in inventing the monstrous creation. However, a 1956 article from the Chicago Daily News says that Uno's original pizza chef Rudy Malnati developed the original recipe. By the mid 1970s, Pizzeria Uno was so successful, that it provided the inspiration for two now famous Chicago chains, Nancy's Pizza, founded by Rocco Palese, and Giordano's Pizzeria, operated by brothers Efren and Joseph Boglio, to open their own restaurants. 

In an effort to keep with traditions but stand out as something different than what Uno was offering, they began experimenting with deep dish pizza and created the "Stuffed Pizza". Palese based his creation on his mother's recipe for scarciedda, an Italian Easter pie from his hometown of Potenza. Giordanos creation began in a small northern Italian town near Torino where mama Giordano was famous for her most beloved meal known as “Italian Easter Pie”. As you can see, both establishments have a similar background and story, and both were often making headlines and news stories for the huge pies they served, but this led to a never ending debate. To this day, you can easily start an argument with just about anybody from Chicago by asking..."Who was first..Nancy's or Giordano's"

In Chicago there are pretty much three styles of traditional pizza. The first is the "Deep Dish" pizza, that has a crust up to three inches tall at the edge, slightly higher than the ingredients, which include large amounts of cheese and chunky tomato sauce. Then there is the traditional "Thin Crust" pizza that is almost flat bread like and is your standard fare. Finally, you have the "Stuffed Pizza". Stuffed pizzas are often even deeper than deep-dish pizzas, but otherwise, it can be hard to see the difference until it is cut into. A stuffed pizza generally has much deeper topping density than any other type of pizza. As with deep-dish pizza, a deep layer of dough forms a bowl in a high-sided pan and the toppings and cheese are added, then, an additional layer of dough goes on top and is pressed to the sides of the crust.

Orlando's newest pie maker, Chicago's Stuffed Pizza is here to further the great pizza pie debate, and serve up some pretty good food too. The name of the restaurant was specifically chosen to represent their mission, which is to bring that same great style of pizza you will find in the greater Chicago area to Orlando. After all , we do have Giordano's in Orlando, but as of yet, no Nancy's..so let the debates begin.

In addition to huge stuffed pizza, Chicago's has an offering of appetizers like mozzarella sticks, breaded mushrooms , fried zucchini, and even fried calamari.You can also order a variety of pastas like fettuccine, spaghetti and lasagna and they have a decent sandwich menu too. Some of the sandwiches include the classic Italian beef, Philly cheese steak, and chicken Parmesan  to name a few.

We ordered the fried zucchini for a snack, since our pie was going to take 30 minutes to bake. These were pretty good, especially dipped in the marinara sauce,and the first time I've had zucchini fried. 

Since I was dining with a friend from Chicago, he insisted we try out the Italian beef combo sandwich with beef, sausage,and Giardiniera peppers. Although it was really good, he was let down by the use of ciabatta bread instead of a hoagie roll.

We ordered a medium special pizza with sausage, mushrooms, green peppers and onions. For $23.95, this pie sliced up into 6 slices, and was impressively massive.

After sharing our appetizer and sandwiches, we could barely finish one slice of this pie. It was delicious and tasty, but very filling, and my Chicago friend approved of this pie very much.




I really enjoyed Chicago's Stuffed Pizza and am looking forward to a return visit with a group of friends. During our visit beer was available, but they were still waiting on their liquor licence. A small stuffed pizza cuts into about 4 slices and goes for $18.95 while a large 8 slice pie goes for $27.95.

It may be a good idea to call ahead and order your stuffed pizza, since they are made to order and take over 30 minutes to bake. Chicago's Stuffed Pizza may be hard to find, as it is in the old Eternal Tap location, which suddenly closed...perhaps to poor location. The building itself is next to the railroad tracks and is behind Hamburger Mary's.

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Highball & Harvest at Ritz Carlton

4012 Central Florida Parkway
Orlando, FL 32837
(407) 393-4422
View Website Here

When it comes to going out for dinner, a lot of people tend to forget that some of the best restaurants in Orlando can be found inside some of the areas great hotels and resorts. Some times these restaurants are upscale and may be out of your price range, while others are very modestly priced and offer great food with impeccable service.

When you think of the Ritz Carlton name, you automatically think of ultimate luxury and glamour, with good reason. The Ritz Carlton name has been synonymous with luxury on a grande scale for over one hundred years. Aside of the beautiful architecture and an outstanding  dedication to service, the company is also known for fine dining...after all Louis Diat, a French chef at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City, is most often credited with the invention of Vichyssoise there back in 1917.

The Ritz Carlton here in Orlando is steadily upholding the brand name and has been one of the leading luxury resorts in the area. The Grande Lakes property is comprised of The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Orlando that sits on 500 acres with a luxury 582 room Ritz-Carlton and a deluxe 1,000 room JW Marriott hotel situated at the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. In following the Ritz heritage, the Orlando hotel is also synonymous with great food and has a very nice offering of restaurants on the property, including Chef Norman Van Aken's famed establishment Norman's.

What makes the all new Highball & Harvest restaurant such a unique experience is that guests can enjoy some really great farm to table food created by top chefs at a better price point. The Grande Lakes property continues its dedication to farm-to-fork dining and authentic, local experiences with the opening of its new casual dining concept, Highball & Harvest. The restaurant features innovative and interactive dining, handcrafted cocktails, and a creative, playful menu that features seasonal Low Country and Cajun-inspired cuisine from young, Southern-raised Chef de Cuisine Mark Jeffers.

H&H offers hyper-local dishes infused with Floridian citrus and ingredients from nearby purveyors as well as the resort’s own 7,000-square-foot Whisper Creek Farm, which opened in October 2012. Ingredients from local farms and Whisper Creek Farm will be specifically noted on the restaurant’s seasonal menu. H&H’s railroad-inspired design  features communal seating, a large bar/lounge area, a raw oyster bar (with chefs shucking oysters by hand), and custom hand painted dishware.

Signature dishes include H&H Pig-n-Potatoes, a decadent all-day breakfast dish, house-made beef jerky, dips with pickled veggies presented in a rustic tackle box, and a signature H&H Hot Sauce made from Whisper Creek Farm peppers. The resort’s thirty-strong pastry team, that works magic baking everything from scratch, has created one of the restaurant’s most exceptional offerings: Parker House Rolls made from old-world Khorasan wheat, served up warm and moist with significantly less gluten than typical bread.

The thirst-quenching heart of the restaurant is an interactive cocktail table, where knowledgeable bar chefs muddle ingredients while instructing over carefully curated and personalized cocktail classes. H&H will offer a hand-crafted, seasonal cocktail menu. Signature cocktails include: the Moonshine “Whistle-Stop,” the refreshing “Green Acres” with house ginger beer and jasmine tea, and a “Cranberry Cobbler” mixed with honey from the resort’s on-site apiaries. Most cocktails will be served on the rocks with hand-carved ice, sculpted bar side with a Japanese ice saw and often infused with herbs and citrus from Whisper Creek Farm. H&H will also feature Central Florida’s largest selection of wines from the cask, carefully selected by Advanced Sommelier Kris Soto, to ensure perfect temperature control and freshness.

I had the privilege to attend a grand opening event and of course got to sample quite a bit of the menu. I can truthfully say, I was really impressed with just about everything I was able to try. The flavors, seasoning, presentation and overall enjoyment of each dish I sampled was mouthwatering and delicious.


We began with the Parker House Rolls made from old-world Khorasan wheat, served up with an apple butter and an herb butter. This bread was amazing and just melted in your mouth.


Our first starter was the Crab Cake and Fried Green Tomato with a Cajun remoulade and corn chow-chow. Generous amounts of crab meat and zesty fried green tomatoes made this enjoyable. 

Our next starter was The Southern Spread with pimento cheese dip, smoked fish dip, pickled veggies, lavash, and sourdough bread. The pimento was spicy and delicious, and the fish dip had a very good smokiness and flavor.

For my entree I chose Chicken Fried Chicken with potato puree, garlic kale and watermelon. This is hands down some of the best fried chicken I have had in quite some time. Seasoned right and fried perfectly.

The Blackened Grouper with a hominy ragout, andouille, and pickled okra was very flaky and tender. The hominy was a nice accompaniment with a rich and wonderful flavor.


Another favorite was the H&H Pimento Cheese Burger, made with double short rib patties, bacon, pimento cheese and spicy pickles. This was a burger of epic proportions and pretty darn good.


The Grilled Line Caught Swordfish was also a very nice treat. The dish comes with beluga lentils, cilantro coulis, and mango.





Although I did not personally taste the Booker's Skirt, I was told that is was a superb steak offering with grilled corn & tomato salad and a potato puree.



The desert selections were impressive as well. The Strawberry Shortcake  with poached rhubarb and bubble gum ice cream was a tasty treat.




Baby Donuts were a crowd favorite with cappuccino ice cream and a tube of Nutella.






The Warm Chocolate Cake was very rich and decadent, but oh so delicious. It is served with a bourbon pickled apple chutney and a vanilla sauce inside of a light bulb. A great idea for desert.



We really enjoyed the H&H Key Lime Tart with Winter Park honey infused oranges.





As I said earlier, I really enjoyed Highball & Harvest and look forward to a return visit there. All of the food was impeccable, and the service was top notch. Most of the menu offerings are modestly priced with starters ranging from $4.00 to $16.00 and entrees ranging from $16.00 to $32.00. Highball & Harvest is a great way to experience gourmet quality fine dining with fresh ingredients that will not break the bank, or your budget. Whats even better is that all guests of H&H receive complimentary valet parking. I can not wait to return there and try out some of the other selections...especially the fresh shucked oysters with the H&H house made hot sauce. This has potential to be my new favorite restaurant.

In 2015 the resort will open a new casual dining restaurant at the JW Marriot property called The Kitchen. The new restaurant will be spotlighting charcuterie, Whisper Creek Farm ingredients, and beer from the JW Marriott Orlando Nano Brewery.

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East Coast Wings & Grill

3138 S. Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32828
(407) 930-0830

About a year ago, my favorite wing place closed down and mysteriously went out of business. Ever since then, I have been on a mission to find a solid replacement for my dearly departed local wing joint, and East Coast Wings might just do the trick.

If you are unfamiliar with the brand, East Coast Wings & Grill is a fast growing casual dining chicken wing franchise that has 24 locations in North Carolina, and has signed agreements to add 70 new restaurants across the country within the next several years. The franchise concept not only caters to the chicken wing lover by offering 75 different flavors of chicken wings in any of nine heat intensities, but also features salads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers and more, all using fresh ingredients.

The newest franchisee for Orlando just happens to be a former small forward for the Orlando Magic by the name of Quentin Richardson. Although Richardson may be known for his basketball skills, he has a keen interest in business development. With the help of Jackson Brown Hospitality Group, he has signed on to open ten East Coast Wings locations in Orlando over the next seven years.

Two of those locations are now open for business. The first one to open up was on south Alafaya trail closer to UCF and the Waterford Lakes area. The second location is in Downtown Orlando, and is aiming to give the downtown crowd some good alternatives for lunch and dinner. I had an opportunity to stop by the downtown location and try them out.

While we can all argue about the origin of the wing, or how big a wing should be, I personally like a nice medium sized wing. I get fed up when I am presented with those tiny miniature wings that some places try to serve, but I also do not want a mega jumbo turkey drumstick either, and I am very pleased with the size of wings at East Coast Wings. The variety of sauces and flavors as well as heat intensity offered here can be a bit overwhelming, so I would recommend going with a group and getting lots of wings.

What makes this place unique aside from the wings is the variety of other foods offered as well. They have a surprisingly large menu full of unique appetizers, salads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers, pot stickers, nachos, egg rolls...you name it...they have it. There is something on the menu to satisfy everybody, and they have some pretty damn cold beer too!



We started our adventure with the Chester's Pub Pretzels. These are soft pretzels, served with your choice of bourbon honey mustard or Sam Adams craft beer cheese sauce.

The soft pretzels were good by themselves, but that beer cheese sauce was addictive and delicious.







We could not resist the Buffalo Chicken Pot Stickers. Wonton style dumplings are stuffed with seasoned chicken and cabbage, garnished with shredded carrots and celery, and drizzled with Peppadew Ranch. A must have treat!

Chester's Wing Sampler is 30 wings in your choice of 6 flavors-We decided on Grande Cayman, Jamaican Jerk, Mango Bango, Bourbon Street, Garlic Hot, and Caribbean. Some were bone in and some were boneless, but all of them were good.


As a grand finale, we ordered the Big Easy Binnies. These are miniature versions of a New Orleans beignet, dusted with cinnamon, powdered sugar and served with your choice of caramel, chocolate or raspberry sauce. 

Overall I was really impressed with the food at East Coast Wings. I am looking forward to a return visit, not just for wings, but for maybe a burger, or a turkey and Swiss, or maybe a wrap, or...well you get the picture. So much good food, so little time.

Stop by and check them out some time, your gonna love it. 


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Eleven at Reunion Resort

7593 Gathering Drive
Kissimmee, FL 34747
(407-662-1000)

One of the many great things about Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month, is that it also includes a great deal called Magical Nights at some of the finest resorts and hotels in Orlando. There are over seventy restaurants participating this year and over twenty hotels are participating in the Magical Nights program.

Magical Dining Month is the month long program from the folks at Visit Orlando where participating restaurants feature three-course, prix fixe dinners at the exceptional value of $33 per person. Magical Nights offers guests the opportunity to make the magical dining experience a truly memorable occasion by turning it into an overnight stay.

Many of the Magical Dining restaurants are located in area hotels and resorts, and are offering a special stay and dine package that includes hotel accommodations and a Magical Dining dinner for two. This year Reunion Resort and their beautiful indoor / outdoor restaurant that goes by the name of Eleven is participating in the program.

Eleven, as you may have guessed is on the eleventh floor of the Reunion Grande, the resorts most luxurious one and two bedroom villas. The restaurant is very chic and upscale and features an outdoor roof top lounge that offers stunning views of the skyline and the nightly fireworks display from Disney's Magic Kingdom. The menu at Eleven is full of handcrafted cocktails and steakhouse favorites that showcases prime cuts of beef with rubs, sauces, and other enhancements available to add to your selection.

The Magical Dining Menu goes as follows:


The first of two appetizer choices is a very refreshing Strawberry & Mandarin Orange Salad made with mixed greens, caramelized pecans, sun-dried tomato, goat cheese, and raspberry dressing.

If you are not in the mood for a salad, the Fried Calamari with
Sun-Dried Tomato and Tarragon Aioli,  is your second choice for an appetizer. The calamari was breaded very delicately and was quite delicious.

There are three different entree selections to choose from.
The Organic Tanglewood Farms Chicken with a citrus braised kale, havarti polenta, and a tomato demi glaze was an excellent dish.

One of my favorites was the Bourbon Glazed Salmon with a sweet corn and bacon sauté. The glaze was not overly sweet, and went really well with the Norwegian salmon.


For you steak lovers, the Grilled Hanger Steak with whipped potatoes, haricot verts, and chimichurri will not disappoint. Very tender slices of steak packed with flavor in every bite.

If you want to end your meal on a lighter note, I would suggest choosing one of the Vanilla, Chocolate, Mango, or Blackberry Gelato selections for desert. All flavors were fresh and delicious. 


If you want a traditional desert, go with the Crème Brulee. Simple, yet elegant and creamy.





The Reunion resort is a spectacular place to visit, even if its just for dinner. As mentioned earlier, at around 9:00 pm or so, if you are at Eleven restaurant, you do not want to miss the wonderful fireworks display from the neighboring Magic Kingdom.

Magical dining, magical food and magical fireworks are sure to impress just about anyone, but for a real special treat, book the Magical Night package. For just $225.00 per night you and a guest will enjoy one night in a 1 bedroom deluxe suite and dinner for two at Eleven Restaurant, and that will be a night not soon forgotten.

Reunion Resort features three signature golf courses designed by golf’s greatest legends: Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Arnold Palmer and they are the only resort in America with an ANNIKA Academy facility on site. The resort also boasts 10 swimming pools and a water park as well, so you can spend the day splashing around the water park, or play tennis on one of the six lighted tennis courts.

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Siro Urban Italian Kitchen

8701 World Center Drive
Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 238-8619
View Website Here


In preparation for Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month, I got a sneak peak at one of the participating restaurants and got to sample the menu offerings for this annual event.

Magical Dining Month, in case you are unfamiliar, is the annual event put on by the folks at Visit Orlando to help promote tourism and create awareness about all the great culinary adventures that Orlando has to offer. It's a real simple concept where participating restaurants feature three-course, prix -fixe dinners at the exceptional value of $33 per person. Its a great way to sample some places that have been off of your radar, or even too expensive. You get an appetizer, entree and a desert at your choice of over 70 restaurants in Central Florida.

Since it is a month long event, you can go as often as you like and to how ever many restaurants as you like. The month begins with a preview week on August 25th and ends on September 30th. In addition to all the great eats at a great price, this year one dollar from each meal sold will benefit the Foundation for Foster Children

Now, back to Siro Urban Italian Kitchen.

Since opening its doors in 2013, Siro has steadily been gaining recognition in the culinary community for its trendy, yet affordable Italian Cuisine. A big part of the success they are having is due in large part to Executive Chef, Alexia "Lexi" Gawlak. Chef Lexi, if you are unfamiliar with the name, has made stops along the way at some of Orlando's top dining establishments including Luma On Park, Primo, and The Ravenous Pig to name a few. 

The menu at Siro  features dishes that are inspired by local fare, as well as plates that boast vibrant flavors and utilize local in season ingredients that help to maintain Siro’s philosophy of "From Farm to Fork." The main entree courses are simple yet innovative and include everything from thin-crust pizzas and house-made pastas to various meats and fish selections. Siro also has a nice selection of family style dishes available that are served family style on over sized wooden planks.

In addition to signature dishes, Siro also boasts an extensive drink menu, with bartenders that have mastered the “Garden to Glass” method of mixology. They specialize in preparing hand crafted Italian classics from the Negroni and Aperol Spritz to the "The Artisan," Lemoncello Martini complete with fresh squeezed juices and fragrant herbs. Of course no Italian restaurant is complete without a fine wine selection and Siro has a nice collection of true Italian tradition, selected wines that are served by the glass and quartino carafes -- as well as local craft beer selections. 

For the Magical Dining Month menu at Siro you have a choice of three different appetizers, three different entrees, and three different desert selections to choose from. You can mix and match any one selection of the three and create a unique dining experience. Although I made my own selection of items, I was able to sample all of the dishes offered..(perks of being a blogger) So lets get started...

For my appetizer, I chose the Marinated Tomato Salad with fresh tomatoes, Burrata and sea salt. Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. I enjoyed the creaminess of the Burrata with the acidity of the fresh tomatoes.


The next appetizer I sampled was the Frito Misto with fried Key West pink shrimp, oysters, grouper, and lemon-caper aioli. All Fried and all good.




My favorite appetizer was the Grilled Quail with fennel sausage, pepperonata, and a vidalia onion puree. This was a very delicious quail, seasoned to perfection.



For My entree I went with the Grilled Strip Steak served with a 
ragout of summer squashes topped with crispy crumbs. The steak was cooked to a perfect medium, was tender and loaded with flavor.


Another great entree was the Chicken Milanese with summer salad. The delicately battered and fried chicken pieces just melted in your mouth.



The third entree offered was the Bucatini Al Frutti Di Mare with 
mussels, clams, shrimp, fennel sausage, and tomato-saffron brodo. Very tasty as well.




For desert I opted for the Tiramisu. Although served in a non traditional fashion, the flavor of this tiramisu was about as authentic as I have had. 


All of the deserts offered were good, but when the Zeppoles arrived..it was chaos. A bag of deep fried balls of dough coated in sugar and cinnamon and a side of chocolate dipping sauce...Oh my..these were good!


For something more refreshing and a bit lighter, go with the Panna Cotta, a mixture of cooked cream, berries and chocolate.





So there you have it...quite an awesome selection of goods from the folks at Siro Urban Italian Kitchen and all available for $33.00/person during Magical Dining Month. It truly is an exceptional deal especially when you consider that Siro was recognized by Florida Trend magazine as the “Best New Restaurant” in 
Central Florida, within the Golden Spoon Awards for 2013.

But wait...there's more!

For just $219 per night plus tax, you and a guest will enjoy one night in a King or Double Room and dinner for two at Siro.

Most of the restaurants that are in hotels that are participating in Magical Dining Month, also offer hotel packages as well.

Now get out there and have some great food and help support a worthy cause.

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Teak Neighborhood Grill


6400 Time Square Ave
Orlando, FL 32835
407-313-5111

View Website Here

Have you been to Teak Neighborhood Grill recently? I sure have and I can tell you it was great.

Teak is situated in the Hampton's living complex in the Metrowest community of Southwest Orlando. They have been steadily growing a reputation for not only gigantic and delicious burgers but also for their award-winning cuisine and laid back dining atmosphere. Since opening its doors in April of 2010, Teak has specialized in hand-crafted burgers, craft beers and cocktails, using fresh, local and organic ingredients in every dish.

With the help of Executive Chef Philip Romano, Teak has taken the gourmet burger scene in Orlando to a whole other level. Those burgers are becoming famous amongst the local dining community as well, with Teak having earned “Best Burger,” “Top 10 Burger Joint,” a “Must Do” in Central Florida and countless other recognitions. Visitors of Teak can choose from one of their 25 signature hand-crafted burgers like the Cronie Burger, which is a French doughnut tossed in Cinnamon and sugar loaded with beef and bacon or a PB&J Burger. Insiders get even more original and tasty options, with Teak’s password-only secret burger menu.

While it may be hard not to order one of those crazy good burgers at Teak, they do have a large selection of other dishes. Other offerings include, edamame, salads, steaks, ribs, flat breads, an eggplant burger, and fish tacos to name a few. The bar and cocktail menu has plenty to offer as well with over 30 craft beers on hand and gourmet cocktails plus a wine selection.

In addition to all of that, Teak has 30 HD TV's and a 140" projector screen on a huge covered patio. The atmosphere here is laid back and playful, especially if you are there for trivia night on Friday's. There is plenty of seating inside, but the outside patio is huge with lots of seating that would make it a great place to watch some football. 

I can tell you we really enjoyed our time there, and all of the burgers and food we tasted were superb. We sampled a total of three burgers, one appetizer and split a desert, along with some beer and cocktails. The burgers are really massive, and the ingredient list is just as massive, so here goes:  

We started our night with the Fresh-Fried Mozzarella Rounds.

These were deliciously panko crusted pieces of fresh mozzarella quick fried and served with marinara sauce.

The Along Came Danny Burger is a 1/2 lb. Angus Burger topped with provolone cheese, pulled pork, fried plantain, tomato, cilantro mayo, lettuce, drizzled with mango cilantro and served on a brioche bun...whew.

The Not Yo Nacho Burger is a 1/2 lb. Angus Burger topped with chili, cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, salsa, and of course, nacho strips on a pretzel bun. Think Nachos on a Burger.


Chef Philip insisted we try the Brazilian Burger which is a 1/2 lb. Angus Burger with ham, egg over medium, potato sticks, lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun.




All burgers come with a choice of side item. We chose the Garlic Bistro Fries, Beer Battered Onion Rings, and Sweet Potato Tots, all of which were very tasty. Most of the burgers are in the $10 to $12 range and that includes a side. When you consider that a lot of these fast casual gourmet burger joints have a similar price point, you soon realize that Teak is offering a lot of bang for your buck and quite honestly a much better burger.


Although we had no room for it..(who ever does?) we had to order the Ultimate Cronie.

Its a twist on the famed Cronut with a French doughnut tossed in sugar and Cinnamon topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel. This dish looked as good as it tasted, and it was phenomenal. Very light and not too sweet.


For those of you looking for a serious burger challenge, there is the Twin Teaks Burger Challenge.

2 full pounds Angus beef, 9 slices American cheese, 9 slices Swiss cheese, 9 slices provolone cheese, 24 slices smoked bacon, 2 fresh fried mozzarella rounds, 4 beer battered onion rings, tomatoes, lettuce, Danny's beanless chili, cheddar cheese sauce & sliced jalapenos...try if you dare!!

Teak truly is a neighborhood grill that it is nestled into the Hampton's Living complex and is a little bit off of the beaten path, but don't let that stop you from going there. One visit is all it takes to see why Teak should be everyone's neighborhood grill. From the gourmet burgers to crazy beer cocktails and a fun and lively atmosphere, I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Stop in and say hello and tell em Tastes Of Orlando sent you. 

Teak is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week from 11am until 2am and serves a full menu until close and they also offer a Sunday Brunch from 11am-3pm featuring the ultimate Bloody Mary bar.

(If you want the password for the #SecretBurgerMenu, just follow them here on Twitter and Facebook)


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