Quarantine Post #45: Burger 21

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Burgers… my favorite food. I had never heard about this place… but there was a time when I went to work. The job I had at the time was awful but it was in the city. There were plenty of restaurants to try. So with an hour in hand… I pulled into a shopping center and found a new burger joint. (If you read my post about Red Robin, you’ll know all the trouble I went through to find that joint, but Burger 21 found me. And I am glad that it did.) At the word, Burger… I don’t need anymore prodding. I was determined to see how this was going to work. So I parked and walked in. This is definitely a place that I will have to drag my sister to when I get a chance. It is makes lunch quick and easy. So a bit of history: Burger 21 started in Florida, but has expanded to a few different states in the last few years. Burger 21 was founded in 2009 by the owners of The Melting Pot restaurant. They wanted to create a modern burger restaurant that served high quality burgers.

I have to admit that I did not have high hopes for the place when I walked in and realized that I had to place my order at the counter. I really thought to myself that I don’t see myself coming here for a large dinner with the family. I am not sure how that would work. Luckily for me, I was way wrong. The lady at the counter was very helpful. She walked me through my options told me where I could get my drink and introduced me to the sauce station. The sauce station is pretty epic. There are 10 dipping sauces. So of course they have ketchup and mustard and then they have more unusual options like Thai ketchup and a Ragin’ Cajun dip. There are two sauces developed for Burger 21’s sweet potato fries: Apple Cider and Toasted Marshmallow. The Thai Ketchup worked perfectly with the fries. Honestly, it tasted just like traditional ketchup with a kick, but that was all it really needed. My favorite was the Ragin Cajun sauce 

I was wondering why the name was Burger 21 but the lady out the counter answered that right off the bat. They offer 21 burgers: 10 beef and 10 non-beef, including chicken, turkey, shrimp, and veggie. On the 21st of every month, a new burger that’s not on the regular menu is featured. I ordered a buffalo chicken sandwich. It is usually my go to order when I go to a new place. If you mess that up, chances are I won’t be back. Well, Burger 21 did not disappoint. I would say they have a very diverse menu which I always look forward too. The chef-inspired burgers which include fresh, 100 percent Angus chuck as well as chicken and turkey burgers ground fresh on site, sushi-grade Ahi tuna burgers, shrimp burgers and two varieties of veggie burgers. There are also hot dogs that are served on grilled split lobster rolls. Other choices include chicken tenders, sliders, and six different salads. They do have a gluten free menu… which I am sure is important for many people. There are 7 different burger options, 5 salads, french fries & sweet potato fries, shakes, floats, Woodchuck Hard Cider, coffee & espresso, and kids’ options on their gluten free menu. (Kudos to them.)

They have a shake bar that serves up a menu of traditional and creative shake flavors (Ybor City Double Espresso, Bananas Foster, Key Lime Pie) and it has a featured shake of the month (Balkava, Crème Brulee, Gingerbread). The shake bar also offers hand-dipped malts, ice cream floats made with high-end Boylan sodas, and a variety of signature sundaes. Now long ago I used to work at Steak N Shake… so I was familiar with the Milkshake and Burger combo but these shakes are a bit more involved and I enjoyed the one I chose. Good times.

The average check is anywhere from $10-$13. Keep in mind that the burgers don’t come with sides. (Bummer… I have lived in the era where you got sides… onto to the new way of thinking now.) I could easily bring my family here and not break the bank. Good news. The stores are open from 11 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m., depending on location.

So for me… I enjoyed Burger 21 very much. I give it a rating of 8.5/10. I love that whether you’re in the mood for something spicy, or something rich, or even if you’d just like something somewhat healthy, they have a dish to suit you. I love that they didn’t over think burgers. You order at the counter; you can watch shakes being made… pick out your own sauces. Super simple. The way they do their hot dogs will get my brother’s attention.

If you have a burger joint for me to try… I am super open to suggestions. Definitely give Burger 21 a try… Until next time…

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