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Hot Dish: Burgers, Buns and the Best Kind of Bling

We present a sinful sampling in honor of tomorrow's international Hamburger Day.



Brooks Gourmet Burgers and Dogs classic burger with cheese

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As if you didn’t already need an excuse to order a juicy, dripping patty (and, if you’re a purist, a sliver of iceberg, tangle of onion, slab of tomato, and pickle or two), May 28 is international Hamburger Day. It’s only fitting the celebration extends beyond our borders because the perfectly portable, meal-in-itself has comforted us all, whether wedged between soft, sesame-freckled ends or a tufted brioche. In Southwest Florida, our burger joints satisfy any number of cravings. Try them for yourself Thursday—or any day.

 

Fresh and Original

Brooks Gourmet Burgers and Dogs (330 Ninth St. S., Naples)

Owned by a Naples couple, this tiny diner-esque place dishes up unique pairings for their angus like the “Pesto & Goat Cheese,” “Twice Baked” (a decadent play on potato fixings), and the sweet-savory “Donut” that’s sandwiched between glazed fritters and topped with bacon and cheese. It’s the type of place that has rolls of paper towels on the table, and you’ll need them.

 

The Full Monty

Ford’s Garage (three locations in Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Estero)

These Lee County hot spots have everything a burger-lover could dream of: a menu of inventive combos, a build-your-own option complete with “burger bling”—grilled shrimp, pulled pork and fried pickles, to name a few—and, last but not least, a revved-up atmosphere with a large bar, antique cars and hot-rod accessories (even the napkin rings are done to theme!).

 

Build Your Own

The Counter (9110 Strada Place, Naples)

Take a mini clipboard, check off exactly what you want from myriad options (there are 27 sauces alone, from apricot to sesame-ginger to horseradish aioli) … and voila. It’s that simple. Vegan veggie or hand-cut ahi tuna patties, Gruyère or Brie, pickled daikon, pretzel buns—or skip the bun for mixed greens—come one, come all and come hungry to reap the larger-than-garden variety of customizable selections.

 

Tiki Does It

Harold’s Place (2555 Tamiami Trail N., Naples)

If relaxing under a thatched-roofed poolside hut, sipping a Bud at a bar can’t sound any better, throw in one of the area’s best burgers and it does. Harold’s classic, which has topped many a poll and won many an award, is still that good. Just make sure to stop chowing down long enough to mop up the juices running down your fingers with plenty of paper napkins. Dig right back in and repeat.

 

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