O’town Burgers N Wings

Lunch wings combo

Lunch 1/2 pound Angus burger combo

Exterior

Interior

***** (5 stars)

Usually when a place tries to do too many things, they fail to do any one thing well. Fortunately, that’s not the case at O’Town. Not only do they have one of the best burgers in town, they also have terrific wings. Plus the gyros, shawarma, and other offerings look great, too.

We shared the lunch combo burger and the lunch combo wings. The burger was a generous 1/2 pound of Angus beef, perfectly seared with a bit of char on the outside, and with all my favorite toppings: lettuce, tomato, onion slice, pickles, and a mayo-based sauce. I added a bit of mustard and it was heaven.

I also really liked the wings, which were perfectly cooked, not fatty, and served with a delicious teriyaki sauce (many other sauces are also available).

Each special came with fries (thin cut) and a drink, and both were reasonably priced.

Service was friendly. It took a while because the food was cooked to order, but not too long, and when our food was delivered our drinks were refilled.

I’d definitely place this in the top burgers in town, and will definitely return.

O’town Burgers N Wings
6614 Old Winter Garden Rd
Orlando, FL 32835
(407) 286-0515
http://www.yelp.com/biz/o-town-burgers-n-wings-orlando

Tommy’s Original World Famous Hamburgers

Exterior

The grill

***** (5 stars)

There’s nothing quite like an authentic Tommy burger. There are imitators all over town, but none of them get it quite right.

There’s something about the flavor of the strange orange glop they call chili that can’t be duplicated. Frankly the stuff might be terrible by itself, but with the slab of tomato, diced onion, and handful of dill pickle slices, it all seems to go together.

Oh yeah, and there must be meat in there somewhere, although who knows what it tastes like.

The fries deserve a shout out, too. They’re not thick or thin, but just fat enough to have a nice crust and soft inside.

Oh, and don’t get that orange stuff on your hands. It never comes off.

Tommy’s Original World Famous Hamburgers
2575 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90057
(213) 389-9060
https://www.yelp.com/biz/tommys-original-world-famous-hamburgers-los-angeles-6

Burger Lounge

Shake

Exterior

Interior

Half and half fries, lounge burger

**** (4 stars)

I have fond memories of backyard type burgers being served at small grills from my youth, and the burger prepared at Burger Lounge is just like those. It has all the ingredients I regard is essential and a hamburger: a slice of tomato slice of onion and lettuce on the bottom that holds together.

I also tried a 50-50 mix of onion rings and fries. Although the fries were nothing special, the onion rings were perfectly crisp and delicious. I also had a root beer float, which was just like I used to make for myself.

As others have noted, for a counter serve place the service here is terrific. Several people checked on me outside while I was eating and brought me condiments on request. An excellent dining experience.

Burger Lounge
281 S Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 385-0898
https://www.yelp.com/biz/burger-lounge-beverly-hills

O’Charley’s Restaurant & Bar

Exterior

Entry

Interior

Interior

Bread

Wedge side salad

Cedar plank salmon

Appetizer sampler

***** (5 stars)

I rarely give five stars to a chain restaurant, but this place really deserves it. Sunday lunch here was one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in months. Everything about our visit was perfect, from the hostess stand to the friendly and attentive server, James, to his helpful assistant and the manager. And the food was far above expectations.

The first surprise was the interior decor. From the outside I was expecting a dark and dreary steakhouse. But it turns out those brown walls are panes of smoked glass, and inside the place is lit by a two story atrium. There’s also outside seating, which wasn’t apparent from the parking lot.

I had the cedar plank salmon. It was a huge, succulent piece of perfectly seasoned fresh salmon, and had really picked up the cedar flavors from the plank it was served on. This was honestly better than the cedar plank salmon at Disney’s Artist’s Point, at about one-third the cost.

Not only was the salmon great, the sides were, too. I selected the wedge salad and a loaded baked potato. Both were every bit as good as you can get at any high-end steakhouse in town. For all that fabulous food I felt like $16.99 was an extremely fair price.

My companion went a completely different route and had the appetizer sampler. The potato skins, fried cheese, and chicken tenders were all perfectly crisp and excellent–everything you’d expect from a good sports bar-type place, but served in a much nicer environment, and at $8.99 another great value.

Our drinks were refilled multiple times, the waiter stopped by to check on us and chat several times, and the manager bid us farewell on the way out the door. I can’t really imagine a better dining experience than this.

O’Charley’s Restaurant & Bar
8081 Turkey Lake Rd
Ste 700
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 354-0010
http://www.yelp.com/biz/o-charleys-restaurant-and-bar-orlando

Smashburger

BBQ Bacon cheddar

Exterior

Interior

Spicy jalapeno Baha and smash fries

**** (4 stars)

The main attraction here is the extraordinary staff. They are definitely into providing great customer service.

The burgers are fairly juicy, despite being “smashed”. I tried the BBQ bacon Cheddar burger, which was fine, but I wasn’t a fan of the limp bun. That said, if you build your own burger there are several bun types and many toppings to choose from, so next time I would definitely roll my own. They also have turkey and black bean burgers.

The burger price seemed comparable to competitors such as Burger-Fi and Shake Shack. However the “smashfries” were a rather small serving for the over $2 price. I was expecting them to have more of the rosemary flavor that warranted them being more costly than the regular fries.

Smashburger
5812 Conroy Rd
Orlando, FL 32835
(407) 440-3595
http://www.yelp.com/biz/smashburger-orlando-5

Johnny’s Fillin’ Station

Sign

Bacon cheeseburger

Fries

Interior

***** (5 stars)

For at least 20 years Johnny’s has been acclaimed for having the best burger in Orlando (they even have the 1998 plaque on the wall to prove it), and it still is. The secret is a thick, meaty patty perfectly cooked to order served on a bun with some substance. And the bun is grilled on the insides to make sure it doesn’t get soggy as you make your way through the burger. The bacon cheeseburger is the way to go. And it comes with all the fixin’s you’d expect of a fillin’ station.

The fries that come with the burger could be better, as they are steak fries rather than something skinnier, but if you order them crispy they will do.

The atmosphere is also unchanged in at least twenty years: quintessential dive bar. It’s a real dive bar that has earned its designation, not some artificially decorated pretender. The junk on the walls is all there for historical reasons.

Service is not what you’d call attentive, but it is pleasant.

Johnny’s Fillin’ Station
2631 S Fern Creek Ave
Orlando, FL 32806
(407) 894-6900
http://www.yelp.com/biz/johnnys-fillin-station-orlando-2

Mrs Potato

Exterior

Interior

Empanada

Chicken Catupiry Rosti

**** (4 stars)

This is both a counter serve and sit down restaurant. Although there are only three tables in the building, an adjacent permanent tent accommodates many more. The menu offers many variations of potatoes rosti, and also baked potatoes.

Rosti is essentially a beret-sized mound of hashbrowns with whatever filling you like. I tried the Chicken Catupiry Rosti. I enjoyed the crispy brown hashbrown crust, but the filling wasn’t my favorite.

In addition to potatoes, they also have many Brazilian and South American entrees and appetizers. My favorite was the empanada. The beef version I ordered was unavailable so I tried cheese, and it was excellent, with a delicate crust cooked a perfect golden brown, and served with an excellent salsa/relish.

Service was excellent, very friendly and efficient. I was impressed that every customer was promptly and warmly welcomed upon arrival.

They also have a large assortment of Mr. Potato head toys for the kids to play with!

Mrs Potato
4550 S Kirkman Rd
Orlando, FL 32811
(407) 290-0991
https://www.yelp.com/biz/mrs-potato-orlando-2

Shula Burger

Exterior

Interior

Custom Veggie burger with rings

***** (5 stars)

I’d put off trying this place for years, but I’m really glad I did. I love the ability to build a burger any way you like from the ground up. I’m more fond of toppings than the actual meat, so I tried the veggie burger and found it excellent. I will warn you that the Korean BBQ sauce is not messing around spice-wise!

I also had the onion rings, which were perfect, with a very crisp breading and tender inside, served piping hot, and not greasy.

The meal was reasonably priced for its quality.

Most impressive was the friendly and helpful staff. Everyone in the place seemed glad to see me, and even the person bussing tables thanked me for coming as I left. That’s a well run restaurant.

Shula Burger
8124 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy
Kissimmee, FL 34747
(407) 238-1999
https://www.yelp.com/biz/shula-burger-kissimmee

Beth’s Burger Bar

Exterior

Interior

Bacon Cheeseburger

Bacon Cheeseburger

*** (3 stars)

I like the concept at this place, which isn’t a burger bar, per se, but a counter serve place that lets you specify how your burger is to be assembled, starting with the type of patty, then adding condiments and optional toppings. I had a bacon cheeseburger with everything, and I liked all the toppings except the lettuce, which was shredded rather than leaf. The burger itself was a bit dry, as was the bun.

We loved the frickles (fried pickles) and fried cheese curds, but the french fries weren’t notable.

Beth’s Burger Bar
9938 Universal Blvd
Ste 120
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 203-8100
https://www.yelp.com/biz/beths-burger-bar-orlando-2

Twin Peaks

Quesadilla

BBQ burger with bacon

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Interior

*** (3 stars)

This sports bar follows the Hooters formula, but has better food than Hooters or the nearby Ale House. There are so many TV screens here they hardly need lighting. Aside from long communal tables there are also individual tables for four that are a bit quieter. I like that they play rock music rather than the soundtrack of the TV sports, and that it wasn’t too loud to talk.

Of course the main draw is supposed to be the vast expanse of midriff exposed by your server, but the hamburger (I had the sweet BBQ burger plus bacon) was excellent.

Twin Peaks
12353 Winter Garden Vineland Rd
Orlando, FL 32836
(407) 778-4810
https://www.yelp.com/biz/twin-peaks-orlando-3