Burger Wars

By staff September 5, 2007

I soldier through Southwest Florida, searching for the winning burger. 

By Judi Gallagher


Recently I was in Naples, Florida, styling food with photographer Salvatore Brancifort. One thing you don’t want after shooting all day is to eat anything resembling the foods you just spent intimate hours touching, propping, glazing and re-propping. How refreshing when Sal and I noticed the Five Guys Burgers and Fries shop in a strip mall off Pine Ridge Road. We hadn’t photographed a single burger, and I’d heard that Five Guys ( is coming to Sarasota off University, so we decided to give it a try.


The sign says it all at Five Guys.


 I am pleased, no, make that overwhelmed with delight, that the burger is about as good as an In and Out Burger in California; and the fries—well, let’s just say that anyplace that has a daily board stating where today’s potatoes are from is bound to have great fries. And they do. Plus, the double with mayo, lettuce, onions, pickles and ketchup oozed with juice and goodness. A most memorable burger experience, and I will be the one in my lawn chair waiting anxiously for the Sarasota version to open!


Sal Brancifort demonstrates the art of diving into a burger at Five Guys,

coming soon to Sarasota.


As the unbiased “culinary scooper” I proclaim to be, I thought it only fair to waddle over to Cheeseburger Cheeseburger in the Landings shopping center this week to do a case study comparison. My cheeseburger was cooked perfectly, and Cheeseburger Cheeseburger has a full service component. I would also venture to say the fries are delicious and wonderfully prepared without greasy aftertaste at both places. I do recommend that they clean behind the cash register and the dusty light fixtures, as it takes away from the overall experience. No doubt with season on the way, some preseason cleaning will transpire.


And, to finish the burger world traveler sonnet with a bang, we ventured out to Beach Bistro hoping to try some of the creative new menu dishes. (Lots of new changes at Beach Bistro which will noted in an upcoming blog as well.) Of all the scrumptious dishes we tried, the burger far and away had me at hello! It was loaded with blue cheese, and the grilled bun seeped with garlic butter as we bit into the most flavorful ground beef with a side of gravy to dip our burger into. Only Sean Murphy can bring decadence to a new level. So, instead of a coffee milkshake, it was only fitting to toast with Sonoma Coast pinot noir—some burgers just deserve to be king!


Leave it to Beach Bistro to serve up a gourmet burger.


Do you have a favorite burger joint or burger recipe? Please share it with us by posting below.
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