To most South Floridians old enough to remember, Don Shula is a football legend. To those of us in the slightly younger generation, Don Shula is the name plastered on a chain of high-end steakhouses scattered about South Florida. It was only a matter of time before the franchise branched out into burgers. After all, if you know your steaks, then burgers should be a cakewalk. Thus, Shula Burger was born.
I arrived at Shula Burger expecting a sit-down restaurant with table service. I was surprised to walk in and find a walk-up counter to place my order. Much like Five Guys Burgers and Fries, you place your order at the counter, which is then prepared to order. However, unlike Five Guys, you are given a number to place on your table, and your food is brought to you. Menu items are sold a la carte. So, if you want fries, be sure to specify.
I ordered the Shuila’s BBQ Burger – which boasted double cut peppered bacon, cheddar cheese, and BBQ sauce on a brioche bun – and a side of fries. I was given the choice of taking my burger medium or well-done, of which I selected the former. When I mentioned that I was in a bit of a hurry (work gives us a 1 hour lunch break), I was quoted 10-15 minutes for my food to come out. I was pleasantly surprised when my food was brought out mere moments after I had finished getting my drink and condiments.
Shula Burgers, I found out, do not come with any additional toppings other than those listed on the menu. So, there was no lettuce, tomato, etc. on this burger. The meat was juicy and flavorful, but not overbearing. The bacon, while good, was unremarkable. The cheese was excellent, and a generous helping of it melted deliciously over the sides of my juicy patty. The subtle sweetness of the brioche bun played on the sweetness of the BBQ sauce, which served as a compliment to the savory meat and sharp cheddar cheese.
The fries, unfortunately, were a disappointment. I say this not because I have a preference of thin, shoestring fries (though, I do). The menu labeled these as Sea Salt Fries, but I didn’t detect a whole lot of salt on any of them. Plus, they weren’t very crispy. Normally, I rate my fries based on how much ketchup I need to use to eat them. Not even overloading them with ketchup could get me to finish the entire serving.
Price-wise, I spent a few dollars more at Shula Burger than I would have at Five Guys for a burger, fries, and drink. Would I go back? Sure. So far, it’s the best burger that is available in the area around my workplace. On my off days, I would certainly go someplace like Rok:Brgr instead. Oh, and next time, I’ll definitely skip the fries.