One of the unpleasant parts of travel is when you get to your destination late at night and there’s no place to get something decent to eat before you collapse into your hotel bed. So I was incredibly happy that my fellow Murloc who Dines had done some legwork and found a burger joint. Beth’s Burger Bar was such a treat and open until 3AM so it was off to get a burger straight from the airport.
There are two kinds of good burgers: There’s fancy ones where the meat is really more of a palette for other interesting toppings, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But there’s also a burger that exists because it’s just a good burger – the somewhat greasy meat and squishy bun are the entire point of the exercise and toppings only exist because they play well with the meat and bun. Both of these have their time and place, and when the time and place is 1:30 AM by the nightclub district you want something that’s going to help you absorb that alcohol. (Or when you’re feeling punchy because you rushed from Calc II to the airport and want something to eat before you crash.) You want Beth’s.
So, I got the daily special – a burger with garlic aioli, grilled sweet peppers, and cheddar cheese. Colin got a burger from their regular menu, the peanut butter burger has cheddar cheese and A-1 sauce. The garlic burger was a punch of allium to the tastebuds with the grilled sweet peppers providing some texture and a sweet counterpoint. But Colin won with the peanut butter and A-1 sauce burger. The steak sauce has a sweetness and umami to it that brought out the best in both the beef and the peanut butter.
For sides we have “frickles” – fried pickles – of which I am always a huge fan. These had a thick, crunchy crust but the salt was too much to go with the garlicky aioli. They were a much better accompaniment for Colin’s sweeter peanut butter burger. No real complaint though, they were piping hot and had an audible crunchiness. The other side were “crack fries”. If they look like little strips of funnel cake with powdered sugar, that’s because that is indeed what they are. Again, fresh out of the fryer at 1:30 AM. They had a distinct vanilla-pudding taste that was divine. The menu is very well designed to cater to the cravings for sweet, greasy, and starchy that you want when you’ve been drinking with zero compromises in flavor or quality.
The staff is insanely friendly. The two gals at the counter and the fry cook (Marian, Kristina, and Eddie) were chatty and exuberant, easily striking up conversation with us like we were regular customers. Being first time visitors we were invited to take a pair of souvenier mugs and they gave us an extra punch for their frequent customer card. Good food will bring people to your restaurant, but great, friendly service will make them dedicated customers.
We had a few good burgers while we were in Orlando – and I will be posting about those – but these were our out-and-out would-keep-coming-back-for-more favorites.