Here's the Beef

by: Pedro Sempertegui, Dining/Nightlife/Shopping Expert

This past weekend, I was driving home from a friend's place.  It was well past midnight and for some reason I wanted a burger to sit in my belly.   There is a McDonalds right down the road from my place so, in my tired and hungry mind, it was the only reasonable option.  As I pulled into the parking lot, I soon realized that I wasn't the only person with a hankering for some junk food.  The line went around the building and almost met itself in front of those familiar golden arches which would have cemented the Idea in my mind that this "quick bite" would be more of a long wait.

As I sat in my car I had time to reflect on the weekend, the night, and then ultimately on my reason for sitting in this stagnant line.  I got to thinking about the amazing places to grab a burger we have here in Tallahassee.  My favorite local joints are Wells Brothers (better known as Monks), and Voodoo Dog for their unprecedented variety of burgers.

The summer before I got accepted into FSU, my brother told me that there was this place north of campus that put peanut butter on their burgers.  I didn't believe a word of it but he assured me that peanut butter burgers were big in the Midwest. I never thought that someone would mix beef with peanut butter.  He upped the ante by making me promise to try it with jelly.

When I arrived in Tallahassee he took me to Monks (now Wells Brothers) and ordered me The Lip Smacker.  It was the heartiest burger I've ever had.  The cheddar cheese and peanut butter stuck to the roof of my mouth and gave my jaw a nice workout.  Between the bacon, beef and peanut butter, it all melded together in meaty goodness.   I put on a glob of jelly and one thing was for certain, that saltiness really brought out the jelly's sweetness.

The Lip Smacker introduced me to a more creative side of the classic American Burger.  There is life outside of usual lettuce, tomato and ketchup.  My current favorite is the Italian Stallion which attempts to blur the established lines between pizza and burger with melted mozzarella, pepperoni and homemade marinara.  It may sound messy but that's why man invented napkins.

In a previous blog, I've showered Voodoo Dog with praise for their inventive hotdogs, but they deserve recognition for their creative work in the burger field.  This place is, hands down, my favorite spot in town to grab a bite to eat.  If you're in the mood for a hot dog, or a burger, this is the place to go. 

The peanut butter burger isn't a stranger to the owners and they offer a version of their own called the PB&B.  Aside from the PB&B their burger selection ranges from conventional ideas like Bleu Moon (blue cheese on a classic burger) to more outlandish Barth Burger (fried egg, bacon, and cheddar on a classic burger).  My favorite burger is the Holey Moley (guacamole, bacon and Swiss cheese).  I consider it the big brother to the Tijuana dog due to their delicious resemblance. 

Needless to say I didn't end up eating at McDonalds.  Instead of wasting 5 bucks on an ok burger, I put it towards a great burger.  It may end up costing a few bucks more but the quality is night and day.  These local restaurants care about putting out the tastiest product they can, not about cutting quality to maximize profit.   I went home hungry but avoiding those late night mistakes for some afternoon delights.

Pedro Sempértegui - Recent Graduate from Florida State in Tallahassee Author:

Pedro Sempertegui

Dining/Nightlife/Shopping Expert

Bio:

Pedro Sempértegui is a recent graduate of Florida State University's English department. After growing up in the quiet suburb of Coral Springs, Fl, he moved to the capital to pursue writing. Since Tallahassee's nightlife has introduced him to new music, awesome food, and delicious microbrews, it's only right that he tries to pass on that knowledge.

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