You searched for:

Start over

Search for…

Narrow Search

6 results

How many guys does it take to flip the perfect burger? The answer's five, in case you haven't already guessed, and Orlando-area beefeaters are just beginning to learn what their D.C.-area counterparts have known for a long time: Five Guys makes the best burgers around, greasy hands down. And the profusion of accolades and superlatives ensconced on the walls underscore the sentiment ' 'Willy Wonkas of burgercraft!â?� raves the Washington Post; 'Five Guys is in a class by itself!â?� shrieks the Old Town Crier.

Sure, the sterile interior of red-and-white-checkered tile may fall about 10 urinals short of the men's room at Union Station, but if you can manage to get your peanut shell'wedged flip-flops past the 50-pound bags of potatoes and to the counter, you'll find a quintet of red-capped burger-flipping artistes grilling patties to perfection. (Be sure to grab a Styrofoam cup and dig into the giant sack of salted peanuts before picking up your grease-speckled paper bag of food.)

'Five Guys� is a reference to founder Jerry Murrell's five sons, all of whom play a part in the family business, and what a simple business it is: burgers. The never-frozen, 100-percent-fresh, lean ground-beef patties come in four burger varieties ' regular, cheese, bacon and bacon-cheese ' and come standard with two juicy, well-done patties, though you can downsize to the 'little� version with just one which, frankly, is filling enough. Best of all, you can crown those beef-filled, sesame-seed buns with 15 available toppings, such as fried onions, sautéed mushrooms and A-1 sauce, at no extra charge. But if you tend to get topping-happy, you'll have a goopy mess on your hands after your burger disintegrates.

I ordered my 'littleâ?� cheeseburger ($3.29) with fried onions, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos and hot sauce, and it held its form nicely. A look under the bun revealed that they forgot the hot sauce, but the miscue failed to spoil my utter enjoyment of this near-perfect, three-quarter-pound burger. It's the kind of sandwich that gets you salivating at the very thought of it. In fact, a couple of nights later, as I sat to write the very words you're reading, a craving for a Five Guys burger overcame me and I just had to have it. You WILL crave a Five Guys burger days, weeks or even months later, and when that hunger hits, you'll drive like a maniac to get to one of their locations (besides the Dr. Phillips store, there's one in Altamonte Springs and another on the corner of Sand Lake Road and John Young Parkway) before the posted closing time of 10 p.m.

The skin-on hand-cut fries ($1.99 regular; $3.79 large), soaked in cold water, blanched in cholesterol-free peanut oil, then crisped when ordered, cry for a splash of vinegar, though you can also get 'em Cajun-style. Word of advice: Unless you're a family of four, the regular order of fries is plenty. A whiteboard advertises the origin of 'Today's Potatoes,â?� and the half-dozen or so times I've eaten there, it's always read 'Rigby, Idaho.â?� Fries are cut French-style, and a pinchful with every burger bite is the best way to enjoy your meal.

Damn, I think I'm getting another craving.

Drive by Hot Dog Heaven at high noon, and the scene is eternally the same: Hordes of "red hot" lovers are hunched over baskets of dogs and fries on the patio tables, chowing down, generally oblivious to the noise and traffic fumes of Colonial Drive.

Pull over by the landmark neon hot-dog sign to climb in line with the rest of the seekers, but be prepared to choose from among the three dozen variations – that's right, three dozen. There are Southern dogs heaped with slaw, Chicago dogs smothered with peppers, pickles, relish and tomatoes, and New York dogs topped with mustard and onions. And every variety is available in regular and jumbo size.

For more than 10 years, owner Mike Feld, a native Chicagoan, has served the same brand of hot dogs he lived on for years in the Windy City. The Vienna Beef brand is made with lean bull beef, all-natural casings and no artificial fillers. Feld steams each hot dog to assure the most thorough cooking.

We placed our order and then claimed our red plastic baskets brimming with fries. We took a seat at the only indoor space available, a small nook with bar seating, surrounded by Chicago photography and autographed pictures of radio hosts and a former Miss Florida. It didn't take long to devour the jumbo Reuben basket ($5.09), with the hot dog topped with Thousand Island dressing, sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese.

We also liked the jumbo chili, cheese and slaw dog basket ($4.99), which comes with a choice of chili with or without beans. The beanless packed a punch, but wasn't too greasy or spicy. And the fries were the way fries should be: sizzling and crisp outside, steamy inside.

With all the focus on hot dogs, it wasn't surprising to find that some of the side items we sampled were marginally acceptable. The potato salad and beans were completely forgettable, but the macaroni pasta salad was an improvement. The Chicago hot tamale (99 cents) was so overprocessed and spicy that we didn't dare take more than a bite.

A much better go-with choice would be a root-beer float ($2.99). They also whip up some tall shakes ($2.99) with pumpkin and vanilla ice cream, or fudge swirl with cookies and cream.

The aroma of dogs and fries hangs in the room, broken only by blasts of wind and traffic every time the door opens. While the setting may not be pretty, the Hot Dog Heaven is worthy of a visit the next time you need a frankfurter fix.

The Florida Film Festival at Enzian Theater continues through March 14, and visitors to the Maitland area have been exploring the shiny eateries along Orlando Avenue, north of Winter Park Village. But to complete the Maitland experience, make a visit to Kappy's, the downscale landmark that makes its own "anti-" statement about development. Use a little imagination to hear the car engines and radios that used to roar through Kappy's -- a 1950s-style diner with a covered parking area and picnic tables. The car-rally days have ended, says owner Bob Caplan. He's kept the place unchanged for 30 years come this May, and he bought it secondhand.

Caplan, a firm believer in "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," was working the order window the other night, whipping up shakes from his weathered building that backs up onto railroad tracks.

Caplan, a firm believer in "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," was working the order window the other night, whipping up shakes from his weathered building that backs up onto railroad tracks.

The clientele who swing in to the odd lot at the corner of Sybelia Avenue (across from a shiny 7-Eleven) are from all walks of life, joined by want of Kappy's Philly cheese steaks, hot dogs, burgers, subs, shakes, waffle fries, onion rings and root beer floats.

The clientele who swing in to the odd lot at the corner of Sybelia Avenue (across from a shiny 7-Eleven) are from all walks of life, joined by want of Kappy's Philly cheese steaks, hot dogs, burgers, subs, shakes, waffle fries, onion rings and root beer floats.

For old time's sake, we tried the "special" -- Philly cheese steak and onion, waffle fries and drink ($5) -- which contained enough carbohydrates to fuel a football team. We also tried the worthy vegetarian sub ($3.05), with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and onions, and a dusting of oregano. The vanilla shake tasted like homemade ($2.85), and the waffle fries were not greasy (89 cents, small).

For old time's sake, we tried the "special" -- Philly cheese steak and onion, waffle fries and drink ($5) -- which contained enough carbohydrates to fuel a football team. We also tried the worthy vegetarian sub ($3.05), with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and onions, and a dusting of oregano. The vanilla shake tasted like homemade ($2.85), and the waffle fries were not greasy (89 cents, small).

There's a slice of counter space inside, with worn stainless-steel swiveling stools that make you feel like you're on the set of a New York hole in the wall.

6 total results

Calendar

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2018 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation