Sunday, May 15, 2011

Burger Battle

Fort Lauderdale’s second annual Burger Battle went down Friday night, May 13th.  It was held at the Riverside Hotel Lawn at 620 E. Las Olas Blvd.  The $40 prepaid ticket got you burgers from 15 competing local restaurants, samples from the French fry bar, and three drink tickets.  Sponsors  Publix, Apron’s Cooking School, and Krystal also offered samples.  There were VIP tickets available for $125 but they were not worth it.  The VIP section was nothing to brag about.  Plus, I like “mingling” with the people and being in the crowd.

The restaurants competing were: Capital Grille, Morton’s The Steakhouse, new comers ROK: BRGR and Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill, Johnny V Restaurant, Big City Tavern, Pelican Landing at Pier Sixty-Six Marina, Chef Allen’s Burger Bar, Riverside Hotel, Tarpon Bend, Timpano Chophouse & Martini Bar, Blue Plate at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Rare Las Olas, Hard Rock Café and Georgie’s Alibi.  Last year, the burger from Georgie's Alibi in Wilton Manors was the judges’ favorite, while Capital Grille was the fan favorite.

I sampled every single burger there and I must say that Gilbert’s 17th St Grill’s Havarti Burger was simply amazing!  The patty, like always was unbelievably good.  Richard was kind enough and made one Medium rare for me.  It also had bacon, Havarti cheese all inside a garlic butter toasted English muffin.  I could eat this for breakfast any day of the week.  It just had that feel to it.  If it was missing anything, it was a fried egg.  If so, they would’ve taken first place!

For the second straight year Georgie’s Alibi took first place in the judges vote.  I think the fan vote counts for more, and that's were ROK: BRGR came in, taking first place!  ROK: BRGR continues to prove its point that they have the best burger in town!
Honestly, this event will only get bigger and bigger.  The event just passed, and I'm already counting the days until the next one! Until then stay hungry...

Click to view entire 2011 Burger battle album:!/media/set/?set=a.1915208611510.2110125.1580801122

Monday, May 2, 2011

Nexxt Cafe

Yes, the portions are pretty large,  the menu is made for a giant. There’s great people watching, and a ten minute wait is really a 45 minute one.  If you’re o.k. with all of these, then Nexxt Café on Lincoln Road is for you.
We decided to sit outside and "enjoy” the outdoor seating. Quickly we found that the tables are way too close to each other. There’s barely enough space to move once you sit down.  Due to the amounts of food on the floor, there were a few flies and birds going around. Not to mention the occasional bird droppings from the sky, which actually made it a bit exciting.

Our waitress was pretty busy so she forgot some of the drinks we ordered. Which left us thirsty throughout our meal.  She was very friendly and very familiar with that giant menu so that made up for it. Being friendly and having a pretty smile goes a long way with me. We ordered the Calamari for starters.  It’s massive to say the least. Very tender and I love the dipping sauce it came with.

I ordered the “One Pounder,” grilled Angus Beef cooked medium with American cheese, lots of bacon, and I asked them to bring me some of their Jalapeno mayonnaise.  As you can see it’s pretty big.  It was a bit over cooked, but the meat was soft and had a good flavor to it. The jalapeno mayo was great, I was even dipping my fries in it. I usually eat most of my burgers with lettuce and tomato but for some reason I did not like the taste of it. It wasn’t fresh at all, and the tomato had a weird smell to it.  Other than that the burger was just fine.

My friend had the Baja Chicken Tacos.  "Yes, they look great but beware," he said. The tacos were tasty but had very little spice. The black beans were nasty, and left him with a stomach ache. He did mention that the rice and guacamole were delicious.

I’ve noticed that places like Nexxt Café, that specialize in a wide variety of cuisine, sometimes lack great tasting food. For example, when I go to a restaurant, I like knowing that I am going to eat Italian, Chinese, or Latin food. I don’t want to spend 20 minutes fumbling over a gigantic menu! I'd like to revisit Nexxt Cafe, I mean there is so much more to try. But you have to take the bad with the good I guess.