Eating and Drinking in Jacksonville, FL
Our curated Jacksonville burger list comes from Gerry Glynn, creator of the website Eat.Drink.Jax.
Officially launched in 2012, EatDrinkJax is a food-seeker’s guide to Jacksonville. Not only does it have a directory with more than 800 local restaurants and bars (complete with addresses, phone numbers and menus), but it goes behind the scenes and does one-on-one interviews with food folks — like the owner of the Jacksonville Hamburger Mary’s, and city’s own Burger Geeks.
EatDrinkJax has a small in-house review team, but it also highlights reviews from leading critics around the city. Plus, the website offers an eclectic collection of city food and drink recommendations, including a craft beer guide, gluten-free listings, and a directory of Golden Spoon winners from Florida Trend magazine.
Because EatDrinkJax is neutral platform for chefs and restaurateurs, Glynn was reluctant to give a personal “best-of” opinion, but he did talk to us about hamburgers, citing examples of who does things right in Jacksonville.
BBR: What makes a great burger?
For me it’s a combination of a lot of things. Taste is the most important. A burger needs to be flavorful while being neither dry nor greasy. Mojo is an example of a smokey, barbecued burger with fabulous taste.
Being cooked right. I like a burger that’s cooked to medium-rare. Many places want to serve their burgers well done but, for me, that takes away from the flavor. Black Sheep does a perfect job of cooking their burgers to order.
A good bun helps a lot, although I eat most of my burgers without a bun. When I do have a bun it needs to be substantial enough to hold the burger together without being intrusive on the taste of the burger itself. I want to primarily taste the burger, not the bun. Pinegrove Market gets the balance just right.
Done right, toppings can enhance a burger. But like the bun, I don’t want toppings getting in the way of the main course. Epik Burger in Jacksonville has a ton of innovative toppings and is an example of a place that gets their toppings right.
The ambiance of the restaurant can enhance the enjoyment of eating the burger. Price matters too. I’d rather pay a little more to get a great burger but when I pay more my expectations are higher.
BBR: What burger is on your bucket list?
My bucket list is actually to try as many different burgers as I can. I love burgers and will often gravitate to the burger on a menu. But, I’d rather risk an unknown burger than play it safe, so I explore whenever I can.
BBR: What burger do you love but are embarrassed to admit?
I’m not actually embarrassed about this but I love McDonalds, Wendy’s, Hardee’s and a lot of fast food places. The global success of the US fast food industry is testament to what a great job they’ve done delivering solid products with great service, prices and consistency. Even though I mostly eat at local restaurants in Jacksonville I tend to eat at fast food chains when I’m on the road and need to make a quick decision about a fast meal.