Square One Burgers
Posted by Tampa Bay Food Monster on April 26, 2011
alright. i’ve put this one off long enough. it’s time. for me. to write. about. square. one. burgers.
it’s a sit down burger restaurant. they got beer. a full bar. they’re hip. they have ingredients. there may be some TVs. there’s outdoor seating. they do swot perderder fries. what more could you ask for?
square one is a gourmet burger restaurant and bar. it’s located on henderson (that wacky angled street), just east of south dale mabry. don’t let the picture fool you – it’s actually got a pretty laid back atmosphere. but it is kinda fancy for a burger joint. i mean, look at those little dangly things. i don’t know what they’re for, but by god do they look classy.
so you’re sat down at a nice table, with your big group of friends. or sexy dinner partner. or by yourself. and you’re given these menus to look over. and it’s about then that you realize that these guys make some fancy friggin burgers. i mean, you got options. lots of options. for the meat alone, you get your choice of angus beef, kobe beef, buffalo, chicken, turkey, ostrich, portabello, sashimi tuna steak, and veggie patty if you’re into that sort of thing. lots of things to pick from. and some damn fine options. tuna steak burger? aw hellz yeah. ostrich? okay, maybe. and dat kobe beef.
think it over. grab a beer.
aw yeah. beer. i ordered a beer. of some sort. and that’s what they served me. this particular sort of beer was an orange blossom pilsner, a delightful honey beer born in orlando. it’s not nearly as sweet as you’d imagine, and the honey flavor is more subtle than i was expecting. pretty good. it is perfectly drinkable, and i feel like it is crafty enough not to make you look like a pansy if you order it. probably. but if you DO get beaten up, don’t blame me.
square one burger introduced me to the taste sensation that is fried pickles. since then, i’ve had them at numerous other locations. but square one’s are still my favorite. they are lightly battered, such that sometimes the batter separates from the pickle. they’re fried until crisp, and not heavy at all for something coming out of a fryer. they’re served with ranch. and they’re just perfect. god i love these.
this visit was the first time i had tried the “sq 1 really big chicken wings”. i had never even thought about getting wings there until then. and i was really glad i tried them. i got a small order of six, and they come in three styles: buffalo, frickin’ hot sweet chili, or bar-b-que. i went with buffalo, but cannot even remember there being a buffalo flavor involved. that’s because i was so overwhelmed by their smokey goodness. square one’s wings are apparently smoked in-house, and smoked is what you get. all i could think of when i ate these were those giant turkey legs you get at renaissance festivals. perhaps there was a bit of spice to it? i can’t remember. but they were good. they weren’t fall off the bone smokey like the wings at copper top, but they were tender and meaty. maybe not “really big”. and definitely not traditional wings. but damn good.
so at this point, of course i had already worked up my courage to order the best possible burger i could come up with for that evening. every time i go here, i get something different, but each time it is delicious. this time was no exception.
majestic. i know. it’s a beautiful monstrosity. let me see if i can remember all the goodness featured here: kobe beef patty, kaiser bun, sooner sauce (a chipotle ranch) and chipotle ketchup, pepper jack cheese, grilled red onion, lettuce, pickles, avocado, and applewood-smoked bacon. that is, i believe, all that was involved. there may have been sauteed sweet peppers, but i doubt it. all that matters is that it was awesome. the meat is always very good here (especially the kobe, which i invariably get). i cannot say it beats out burger monger, but it’s still great. their toppings are what really do it for me. i mean, the variety lets you get really creative, and every single piece of the puzzle is perfect. fresh, high quality produce, cheeses, and sauces.
this particular burger was excellent. i really like getting a ketchup/guacamole combination on burgers (no guac, square one?? come on!), so the avocado filled that role along with the chipotle ketchup. which, in turn, is a bit tangy, and blends well with the sooner sauce. the onions were extra flair, lettuce was unnecessary but nice, pickles are always a must for me. pepper jack is the king of cheese. bacon makes everything better. it all came together really well. i maybe should have gotten jalapeños to make it spicy, but it was just fine without. i got it with their sweet potato fries, lightly sweet by nature, then given a cinnamon sugar sprinkling. very good, but not so different from regular fries that it messes up the meal. next to my savory burger, it was a great compliment.
but the meal did not end there! oh no. there was more food to be had. by all.
oh god i ordered an orange dreamcicle shake. it was delicious. frothy and thick. with whipped cream. i love orange freezes from steak ‘n shake, which became my go to shake after they discontinued the delicious lime freeze (RIP). this was excellent, creamier than steak ‘n shake’s freeze with its blend of orange and vanilla.
and one of my friends ordered the southern red velvet sundae. one of the best parts of square one is their desserts, specifically their cupcakes. they make these little mini-cupcakes in a variety of flavors (red velvet, vanilla, chocolate, and carrot pecan). they’re all great. for the sundae, they scoop some ice cream, toss in a couple cupcakes (complete with a rich cream cheese frosting), housemade hot fudge, and whipped cream with little sugar sprinkles. it’s really good. but i only had a bite. because i was stuffed. why the hell did i eat so much??
of course, i’d do it all again. i would, and i will. square one burgers is a favorite spot of mine, and if it weren’t so far away, it’d be a much more regular spot. the prices are fair for what you’re getting, and the place is really nice. it’s a good alternative to the more straight to the point burger places i’m used to, adding class and character to some really delicious gourmet burgers. 38 stars.
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