Before you say anything, yes, 2 out of my first 6 blogs happen to be about burgers. But read on. Friday night was dinner and a movie, this time just the two of us. We dropped the kids off at my folks for a sleep over and headed down to Fort Lauderdale to see the new Batman movie in IMAX (I have to admit I was a little nervous after the events in Colorado). We parked our car just in front of the theater and took a walk down a cute little street (2nd Street) in Fort Lauderdale to explore. We stumbled upon ROK:BRGR, burger bar and gastropub. Before you think a gastropub is, a gastro at a pub, kill two birds with one stone, or maybe a pub that sends you to a gastro when you’ve finished eating (insert laugh here). Actually a gastropub, a term coined in London in the early 90’s, is simply a traditional pub atmosphere melded with a restaurant.
For the purposes of full disclosure, I was introduced to this place a few days ago when a friend on facebook posted a picture of a killer looking burger he had created here. At first sight, the restaurant looks like a shack that was squeezed in between 2 other buildings as an after thought. The door, barely six feet tall, felt like I had to duck on my way in. Exposed Chicago brick and black leather booths line the walls of this very small local’s only feeling burger joint.
At 5:30pm the place was already crowded, we grabbed a seat in the back of the restaurant. They have almost 40 craft beers, unique starter selections from mini Kobe beef hotdogs (which looked amazing on a kids plate when we were walking out) to lobster corn dogs. We started with an order of tempura zucchini and we had to try the lobster corn dogs. It was more like a stuffed hush puppy, although not much lobster, still curiously addicting. My wife did point out that it had been years since I had eaten fried food. True! You can fry just about anything and it will be good (alright not just anything).
The star of this restaurant is the 10 oz. burgers. They have a selection of 17 Signature Burgers and a section on the menu dedicated to building your own burger. We split the “Morning Glory” burger (10 oz. certified Angus beef, hickory smoked bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and topped with a sunny side up egg). The one thing I noticed about the burger when it arrived, which people seldom realize and makes a huge difference, is that they placed the lettuce under the burger rather than on top. This helps to keep the bun from getting soggy. The burger is perfectly charred on the outside and medium rare pink on the inside. The crispy bacon and sunny side up egg don’t even come close to stealing the show away from the quality and flavor of the this burger, it’s excellent. The signature burgers come with an order of fries, which you can substitute for sweet potato or truffle fries. We opted for the truffle fries. Some will argue that truffle oil is an overused ingredient or has over stayed its welcome. Not me, I could drizzle it on just about everything. In fact, if it came in a spray can, like that of sunscreen, I would use it.
The last few years have kicked started the burger fad. With the explosion of Five Guys and locally BurgerFi, this is where you actually come to taste your burger. If you are the area give it a try! Oh and I promise, no more burgers for a while.
208 SW 2nd Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL