A Burger A Week – Brick’s Smoked Meats
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When I started burger tasting and burger writing, I figured there would be a whole range of burgers from a pretty wide assortment of places. I was right about that part.
All the way back in May of 2017, a BBQ dream was realized. That’s when KC native Mark Gabrick brought his super popular smoked brisket inside from the weather. His Sarasota Farmers Market booth had been such a big hit that a proper brick-and-mortar restaurant was the next logical step. It just made sense.
For the past five-plus years, Brick’s has been running their “Big Red” smoker and cranking out prime beef brisket, pulled pork, and St. Louis ribs for the hungry, BBQ-loving Sarasota dining crowd.
Mark has since moved to Austin, Texas, to create, market, and sell some damn good barbeque sauce. Here’s a link to Gabrick’s Barbecue if you’d like to stock your pantry with a couple of bottles.
Even though Mark has moved on, Big Red keeps on smokin’ away. Their menu has changed slightly from 2017, but BBQ is still their primary focus.
Through a dozen stops on the Sarasota burger experience, one thing has become apparent. The places we are tasting burgers from are divided into two very distinct subgroups.
The first group is the restaurants where burgers are a part of what they “do.” What I mean by that is that a burger isn’t on the menu, just in case someone wants to order one. They’re a part of that restaurant’s DNA. Examples so far include: Knick’s Tavern & Grill, The Public House, and Shakespeare’s.
Then there are the places that have a single burger choice on their menu. Now, this isn’t a bad thing. We certainly wouldn’t want every place to be a burger palace. The focus of these restaurants is on other culinary endeavors, but they want to be thoughtful and give diners the burger option if they desire. Examples so far include: Baker & Wife, Shore, and The Rosemary.
Brick’s Smoked Meats falls squarely into the latter group. They have a burger on their menu. And that’s the one we’re going to be trying today. We’re having the Chophouse Burger!
Whether your preference is for inside or outdoor dining, Brick’s has a super casual and comfortable feel. You can’t go wrong sitting in either place.
Yes, if you choose to sit inside, you will be tempted by the intoxicating smell of BBQ in the air. If you’re here for the burger, you’ll have to keep your head in the game and not be distracted by the siren song of the aroma.
OK, before WE get distracted, let’s talk about our Brick’s burger experience…
RESTAURANT: BRICK’S SMOKED MEATS (1528 State St., (941) 993-1435)
DATE OF VISIT: OCTOBER 11, 2022
STOP #: 12 OF 52
BURGER TASTED: THE CHOPHOUSE BURGER
📒 OUR TASTING NOTES
🍔 This burger is served as listed on the menu: Lettuce, tomato, onion, and aged white cheddar ($15)
The red onion on this burger is super crunchy and loaded with onion flavor. It will definitely get your attention.
Again, here’s a burger with all of the “toppings” (minus the cheese) on the bottom. I’m really starting to like this way of presenting things.
This was a really good size burger. But it wasn’t a mess to eat. It had a good meaty flavor too.
The Fries – So, I have eaten at Brick’s a lot over the years. And I had never had the fries until now. They were a thicker cut fry sprinkled with a spicy seasoning blend. For me, they were OK. But I think there are better side choices here. I’m a huge fan of the Lone Star Caviar, and the State Street Corn is fantastic.
I sat outside and loved the newish (post-COVID) outdoor booths. It shows off a whole “city” vibe. The service is usually excellent at Brick’s. Today was no exception.
Let’s check out how all of this looked when I ordered it…
BURGER TAKEAWAYS: A solid burger • You get a lot of burger for $15 • Go for a non-traditional burger side dish • If BBQ sauce is your thing, they’ve got that on the table to spice up your burger • Easy downtown parking at the State Street Garage • Quick in and out if you’re on your lunch break • A nice spot for a lunchtime meet up with friends
👀 SNEAK PEEK: Our last trip out to St. Armands Circle was such a success: we’re doing it again! Could we make it two for two? We’re landing next week at a place that has a distinctly vacation feel to it. Let’s see if their burger can take us away from it all. 🌴
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