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I love burgers! I have spent the last year going to restaurants from Foley, To Gulf Shores to the Eastern Shores in search of burgers I'd recommend to travelers. It became obvious to me I was going to have a difficult time choosing the very best so I am breaking them down into categories for you to choose. My hope is that you try at least a couple --- then start your own list! Enjoy!
Once I decided I didn't mind paying $12 for a hamburger I decided to try Ginny Lane's burger. Once I decide to pay this much for a burger then I usually expect three things: 1) that the burger will be hand pressed and cooked to perfection 2) the bun is homemade and 3) the sides are genuine and at least interesting.
I'm listing the Ginny Lane Burger first as my most favorite "Southern Style Burger"
Here's the lowdown. The burger I chose had the above criteria with a slice of fried green tomato and an in-house made remoulade-Creole type sauce with crawfish atop.
My taste buds went nuts! The bun was slightly sweet and was a perfect density that didn't fall apart at the huge thickness of the burger. The slight tang of the fried green tomato hit about the same time the sweetness of the bread was recognized and the slight heat of the sauce kicked in later.
This was one of those "Oh my gosh" moments of silence for me. I don't recall any conversation at this point because I quartered that sucker up and it all in no time flat.
Here's the downside: the fries were frozen (beer battered) variety. Yuk and yuk. I would have been so much happier to have say a sweet potato fry with a little cayenne type dipping sauce, marmalade? anything --- just something more unique and real than frozen fries.
Would I go back? yes
Would I recommend? yes and yes
How was service? on this day? the server couldn't quite "get it together" --- as if distracted
Did I care? The server could have put the pitcher of Sweet Tea and Water on the table and I would have been happy as a bloated tick. I didn't care. The burger was that good.
Things to know: Ginny Lane breads are made in-house at the Intra-Coastal Bakery next door at the Wharf. The Intra-Coastal Bakery sells the same desserts so if you want to take some items skip dessert and head to the bakery.
I've already written a hamburger review for this restaurant. I vote as "Best Wood-Fired" Grill Burger.
Now mind you I went to what was voted top in Baldwin County --- Bimini Bobs in Daphne. Hubs and I had a bad experience there. They simply could not grill a med rare or rare burger. Ours came out charred twice so we left. I must say I took a bite of my well-done burger and the flavor was good --- it did not meet my criteria for a recommendation.
The view however, made the trip worth the drive.
If the bun on this burger was homemade and was as sweet as the bun I had at Ginny Lane's this burger would be my #1 all around favorite hands down!
But eating a burger here was not only one of the best dining experiences I've had recently it was one of the best burgers Ev vah!
Where to start with this burger? Here are the details off their website: Half pound of blue cheese stuffed, grass-fed, hormone free, ground bison served blackened on a toasted bun. Topped with caramelized onions, applewood smoked bacon, crisp romaine, organic tomatoes, & a roasted garlic aioli.
It was cooked to perfection (rare in my case --- and you want to get it slightly rare because the cheese will get too hot and drippy if not)
Let me just say that I had a similar experience rejoicing like I did when eating the burger at Ginny Lane --- when I tasted the sweet of the carmelized onion, the smokiness of the bacon, the punguent taste of the bleu cheese all together I could not concentrate on anything else.
My side was a perfectly made and creamy Parmesan risotto. Not only did I rejoice in eating such a gourmet burger I had yet to find a restaurant serve such an original side for the price $11 !
Here's the best part of eating at Cobalt --- the view is gorgeous. The restaurant is somewhat upscale yet casual enough to go in shorts/flip flops. It was apparent the restaurant caters to the condos next door and diners were dressed very casually.
One other plus? If you don't have room for dessert take some of their goodies to go. The have a case with cupcakes, cookies and bagged candies to choose from as you leave.
5 stars for this restaurant and especially their Bleu Cheese Bison Burger!
This is now one of my favorite places to get a "Tropical Burger"
I love the vibe of this funky Tiki Bar. Most everyone brags about the "Big Kahuna Burger" but I'm going to insist you try their other burger --- the one with pineapple, ham and Swiss cheese. I've bragged about the burger at Bahama Bobs on the beach but I'm afraid this burger bumped the title.
Here's what's to know. Fries are extra but get the flower pot of mixed hand cut and fried regular and sweet potatoes. Get the five samples of dipping sauces. Order a "Sweetwater Beer" and donate to help our Gulf Coast. If you go during one of the times they have live music --- even better!
This burger gets 4 stars --- and the restaurant gets an extra star for Tiki originality and spirit!
This is my favorite most original "Steak Burger"
Here are the details from their website: Shay Burger – $9
½ lb. ground filet & ribeye grilled to perfection with your choice of toppings for $.50 each: Cheddar, Provolone, Bacon, Swiss, Smoked Gouda, Sauteed Onions and mushrooms.
Here's what I liked about it: The bun was a Ciabatta, buttered and toasted to perfection. I loved it. It didn't fall apart when eating.
The burger was the best, most flavorful straight up burger I've had in this area. I opted to have Smoked Gouda for a 'gourmet" twist. I opted for grits instead of fries.
I also want to say I ate at the Cold Hole --- a more "bar" like atmosphere. You won't want to leave without taking along a shopping bag for groceries, wine and goodies at the grocer next door.
Burger and atmosphere? 4 solid stars --- 5 for the burger!
Shipps Island Thyme is located at Zekes Marina overlooking Cotton Bayou in Orange Beach, AL. 26619 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach, AL 36561. 251.981.5111. Hours: open daily at 2 p.m.
The menu simply says Filet Burger, Bleu Cheese Crumbles Port Wine Demi-Glace. Price $8. You get a side choice of fries or slaw.
After settling on a homemade slaw (w/a unique twist of flavor --- somewhat horseradishy in taste) I ordered my burger medium rare and hoped for the best.
Here's why it made my list of top five all time favorite burgers in the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach/Foley/Magnolia Springs area: The burger was perfectly done to order. It comes on a toasted onion roll (Yes! Can I say enough how burger buns NEED to be toasted otherwise they just gum up on your teeth as you eat?) which adds a sweetness to the pungency of the Bleu Cheese. A fresh leaf of lettuce contrasts with the bright red of two (yes two slices) of tomatoes lightly sprinkled with Kosher Salt and pepper.
I chose not to add one thing to the burger and ate it the way the chef conceived. The burger was juicy, flavorful and will now replace the former #4 burger on this list.