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Local grass-fed beef and a "farm-to-table" approach is the hook, which seems to be working. The bison rules, but be sure to order it "pink". The No. 6, with an infernal coat of ghost-eppper cheese, is a hellaciously good choice. Sides could use some work, but craft beers on tap and house-made desserts make for very happy endings.

Winter Park burger joint is loud and proud of its all-natural Angus burgers, though flavors can ebb and tide depending on the choice of patty. The double-cheeseburger is stellar; the double prime brisket ultimate burger fell a bit flat; and the quinoa burger will appease vegetarians. Also on the menu: Wagyu beef hot dogs and frozen custard "concretes." Prices are a bit steep, but, hey, rustic-PoMo-industrial décor doesn’t come cheap.


Teaser: Winter Park burger joint is loud and proud of its all-natural Angus burgers, though flavors can ebb and tide depending on the choice of patty. The double-cheeseburger is stellar; the double prime brisket ultimate burger fell a bit flat; and the quinoa burger will appease vegetarians. Also on the menu: Wagyu beef hot dogs and frozen custard 'concretes.� Prices are a bit steep, but, hey, rustic-PoMo-industrial décor doesn't come cheap.
In the midst of celebrity-branded restaurants and kiosks slinging theme-park kitsch, the Cowfish at Universal CityWalk, occupying a sprawling three-story space with more than 500 seats, fills the need for a kind of inventive, delightfully weird cuisine. There’s a menu section for burgers, one for sushi, and a selection of bizarre combinations requiring a suspension of disbelief, like the Buffaloooo-shi burgushi roll: chipotle bison, fried green tomato and feta rolled in crispy tempura flakes. It works.
With an attractive wait staff, eclectic art and 30-plus wines and champagnes, Dexter's makes you feel cool even if you're not. The unique selection of international beers is popular at this wine bar and café; the concrete floor means it can get noisy as hell.

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.

Do demons like burgers? For Graffiti Junktion's sake, I really hope they do. A long line of restaurants ' Thornton Park Café, Luciano's Terrace, La Fontanella da Nino, Rocco's, even Jephanie Foster's Midnight Blue ' have all succumbed to the mean-spirited phantoms cursing this attractive locale. Perhaps an extreme makeover (or extreme makeunder as the case may be) was in order for a proper exorcism; the changes to the once-slick interior are nothing short of dramatic. The style is in marked contrast to Midnight Blue's cool refinement, resembling an abandoned building taken over and decorated by squatters. Doors have been ripped off their hinges, windows removed, graffiti sprayed onto the walls and comfy furnishing swapped out for doodled-on picnic tables. All of it fosters a scene tending toward backward-baseball-cap'wearing post-grads and their girly-girl strumpets, right down to the Jokerman font on the small, simple menu.

It's a lively scene, but I confess I had a better time observing the random T-shirts on diners than I did downing a spoonful of their Texas-style beef chili ($5). The overly seasoned hash caked my tongue with a pungency reminiscent of chili powder from a grocery-aisle packet. The fact that it was served lukewarm with limp, unmelted cheese didn't help salvage the starter. A wasabi chicken Caesar salad ($8) with spicy Caesar dressing seemed intriguing at first, but you wouldn't have known the Japanese condiment was even present had there been no mention of it on the menu. One consolation: The nicely seasoned chicken strips were warmer than the chili.

But the meat of Graffiti Junktion's matter lies in their patties. For the most part, the burgers (all tagged with city nicknames) are thoroughly gratifying ' beefed-up rounds with homemade buns to boot. Yeah, they initially forgot the jalapeños in my Austin City Limits ($10) burger, but the well-trained staff was quick to replenish the peppers and offer an apology. Pepperjack and chili underscored its Texas-manwich status, and as far as the fries were concerned, the skin-on, seasoned strips were entirely laudable, though my dining partner, a self-professed French fry authority, thought them a tad soggy and lacking in crisp. The Fog City ($10) turkey burger, layered with tomato, pepperjack, avocado and sprouts on a whole-wheat bun, proffered the gastronomic yin to the Austin City Limits burger's yang. It's a hefty sandwich, no doubt, but it just seems better suited to a beef patty rather than turkey ' an option that is available if you're so inclined. Desserts, on the other hand, aren't an option and likely won't be for a few weeks, but that doesn't seem to bother the regulars, who seem content with the straightforward fare, full bar and sportive conviviality.

For all its burger-worthiness, Graffiti Junktion does seem to be more about the scene than the food. The din can be uproarious and patrons delightfully vainglorious, so there's nothing else to do but plant your seat at a table, grab some grub and enjoy the show. If you can't join 'em, watch 'em.

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