Graffiti Junktion

* (1 stars)

We’ve been having a little contest at work to find the best hamburger in town. I’d previously had a pretty good burger at the Thornton Park Graffiti Junktion, so I suggested trying this one.

When we ordered the hamburgers, all of us ordered them medium except one person who asked for medium well, a reasonable request given the dangers of eating undercooked raw ground meat in some places. He was informed that they only prepare them rare, medium rare or medium. This is very odd, as most places in town won’t even cook hamburgers less than medium.

Our meal showed up after a fairly long wait, and looked good. The fries certainly won’t win any awards, as they’re rather limp and flavorless, but the burgers looked good. Then we bit into them. Even around the edges they were essentially raw inside. Given the strange cooking policies, we didn’t even try to send them back, just nibbled the edible parts and left.

Steak is fine to eat rare or raw. I have steak tartare often. According to a 2010 report by the US Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General, ground beef in the US is routinely contaminated with biological pathogens such as e coli and salmonella. Cooking can destroy these pathogens if meat is cooked to a sufficient internal temperature. Given the lack of management evident in nearly every aspect of our visit to Graffiti Junktion College Park, there is no way I would assume they have even stored the meat properly or cleanly, so I will be trying other places.

This place is off the list.

Graffiti Junktion
2401 Edgewater Dr
Orlando, FL 32804
(407) 377-1961

Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse

***** (5 stars)

This is the Churrascaria concept, where roving servers with skewers of meats come by your table delivering 16 different kinds of meat until you beg them to stop (well, actually until you turn over the little red and green piece of cardboard by your plate).

The meats are terrific (especially the house specialty caipirinha seasoned beef, and the baby lamb chops) but I was even more impressed by the delicious offerings at the included salad bar. Each ingredient was incredibly fresh and succulent, and there was a terrific variety, from Ceasar salad to curried cucumber to giant stalks of perfectly cooked asparagus.

Service was hyper attentive. The room is decorated in very appealing woods, a much better ambiance, I thought, than the competing Texas de Brazil Churrascaria up the street, and the food was certainly better.

These places are fairly expensive, with lunch about $26 and dinner topping out at $42. On the other hand, the salad bar only option seems like a pretty good deal at dinner, since it’s always $19.

Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse
8282 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 370-0711