This week, we asked the Bradenton Herald Facebook group “Manatee Eats” for advice on another delicious food group: hamburgers.
Burgers are a special combination of food and architecture, and it takes some talent to build them just right.
Locally, there are more than a few restaurants that do a fine job of it.
Here are local foodies’ picks for the best burgers in Manatee County. Psst ... don’t forget the ketchup.
S.O.B. Burgers is a Bradenton gastro pub established in 2014. Since then, the place has been slinging burgers like crazy.
The menu offers a side of humor with burger names such as “The Lame” (a plain burger), “The Voodoo” (topped with Cajun cream cheese, caramelized onions and bacon) and “The Hangover” (topped with American cheese, smoked bacon and one egg over easy).
Add complementary lettuce, tomato and sliced onion to any burger.
S.O.B. uses Angus beef for its burgers, and there’s also a house made veggie burger on the menu.
Then there’s the “The Punisher.” The burger is made with two-and-a-half pounds of beef and topped with six slices of cheese, six slices of bacon, jalapenos, mushrooms, onions, a pound of fries, mac n’ cheese sauce and an egg. Anyone who can eat it unaided in 30 minutes or less gets their meal for free and goes on the wall of fame. Lose, and you owe $50.
Try this: The restaurant’s namesake burger, “The S.O.B.,” is topped with blue cheese and bacon. Make it a double for an extra $2.
Details: S.O.B. Burgers is at 5866 14th St. W., Bradenton. sobburgers.net.
Shake Station serves 1950s-inspired diner eats. Simple and delicious burgers are the main attraction.
The restaurant’s 6-ounce Black Angus burgers are hand-pattied and hormone free. They come topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles and mayonnaise; add chili or bacon for 99 cents or make it a double for $1.95.
There are 14 flavors of shake to pair with your burger, plus ice cream, soft serve, floats, splits, sundaes and “Twisters,” a soft serve dessert blended with your choice of candy.
Try this: The “Cowboy Burger” is topped with barbecue sauce, bacon, onion “tanglers” and Swiss cheese.
Details: Shake Station is at 4219 U.S. 301, Ellenton. shakestation.com.
Kelsey’s on Cortez
If you can’t find a burger you like at Kelsey’s on Cortez then you’re probably too picky.
The menu offers a diverse selection of 15 burgers. Highlights include the “Beach Burger” (cajun seasoning, bacon, American, cheddar and pepperjack cheese and guacamole), “Juicy Luicy” (a double-decker burger with American cheese in the middle) and “Texas Red” (a no-bun burger topped with three-bean chili, shredded cheddar, diced onions and sour cream).
All burgers are automatically topped with “the works,” or lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, red onion and pickles.
There’s also a veggie burger made with black beans, chipotle and spices.
Try this: The “Island Breeze” burger is seasoned with Caribbean jerk spice and then topped with lettuce, onion and mango chutney.
Details: Kelsey’s on Cortez is at 7020 Cortez Road W., Bradenton. 941-782-8978.
▪ Full Belly Stuffed Burgers, 8742 East State Road 70, Bradenton.
▪ Shake Pit, 3801 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.
▪ Gecko’s Grill and Pub, 7228 55th Ave. E. Bradenton.
▪ D’s Breakfast and Burgers, 423 10th Ave. W., Palmetto.
▪ The Feast Restaurant, 5406 Marina Dr., Holmes Beach.
▪ Duffy’s Tavern, 5808 Marina Dr., Holmes Beach.
▪ Linger Lodge Restaurant and Bar, 7205 85th St. Court E., Bradenton.
▪ Glory Days Grill, 8253 Cooper Creek Blvd., Bradenton.
▪ RJ Gator’s of Bradenton, 6100 Cortez Road W., Bradenton.
▪ Applebee’s Grill and Bar, multiple locations.
Not a member of Manatee Eats? Join the group today to get in on the local food and drink discussion.