A Burger A Week – Mattison’s City Grille
We’re in the heart of downtown for this week’s tasting!
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Landmark. That’s a word that you could use. And it would absolutely fit. That jolly chef is impossible not to recognize. Especially if you have been in this town for longer than a day and a half. If Downtown Sarasota has an “epicenter,” this place sits at the center of it.
Yes, of course, we are talking about Mattison’s City Grille. Our burger pieces have a loose format. We usually do at least a little bit of a build-up to our location for the week. But, in this particular case, that seems a little unnecessary (and maybe silly).
In an odd coincidence, dineSarasota and this iconic downtown restaurant share a birthday! 🎉 Maybe it’s me, but it just seems like Mattison’s has been around A LOT longer than we have.
Yes, we both started our things in 2002. I think that’s where the similarities come to a non-dramatic end. Chef Paul Mattison does his thing, and we do ours. And, sometimes, like in this very moment, our two paths intersect. Who would have ever thought that a burger would bring us together?? 🍔
Mattison’s City Grille is a comfortable place to hang out. It’s 100% outdoors. That’s the very definition of Florida casual. It’s also understated in the best way possible.
Yes, they’ve got a bar. They also have some high tops. And some low tops. (That stage in the back is for a little LIVE music 🎶)
There has been SO much written about City Grille in the past 21 years that it is a nearly painful experience to try and divine something about this place that hasn’t been rehashed, repackaged, and rewritten a hundred times before.
So, let’s lower my writer’s anxiety and not worry about that. Let’s instead focus on, yes, THE BURGER! We’re here today to sample the Mainstreet Burger.
Let’s talk about our Mattison’s City Grille burger experience…
RESTAURANT: MATTISON’S CITY GRILLE (1 N. Lemon Ave. (941) 330-0440)
DATE OF VISIT: APRIL 11, 2023
STOP #: 29 OF 52
BURGER TASTED: MAINSTREET BURGER
📒 OUR TASTING NOTES
🍔 This burger is served as listed on the menu: Niman Ranch beef, choice of cheese, L|T|O, brioche bun. ($15.00)
• This burger tasted like it was taken directly off of your backyard grill. Yes, it had that much of a “char-grilled” flavor. I LOVED that about this burger.
• They use Niman Ranch beef. This growing network of U.S. family farmers started back in the 70s in Northern CA. A few restaurants in town use their product. And for good reason; their beef is great! 🤠
• The brioche bun on this burger met the challenge. It was a sturdy and reliable carrier for all of that beefy deliciousness. Sometimes this type of bun can be a little fragile. This one stood up pretty well.
• We’ll get to the fries in just a sec. But first, I wanted to mention that this burger comes fully equipped with one of my favorite burger sides. Yes, that is correct, the humble dill pickle spear. 🥒= 💗
• OK, the fries. Yes, I know I love fries (this was such an unexpected burger series revelation!). These were crispy, cooked through, and seasoned great. 🍟
• Knowing what to order in the world of burgers can be an intimidating task. Especially if you’re more than just a lettuce, tomato, onion person. SO many choices, SO many decisions. My server, Alex, thought I should have added jalapeños to my burger. He disclosed this little tidbit after the fact. 😢
• If you’re looking for a casual outdoor downtown dining environment, it’s pretty hard to beat Mattison’s City Grille. Being at the intersection of Main & Lemon makes this a little “fishbowl-like,” but it also gives you a pretty great vantage point to feel the city.
Let’s check out how all of this looked when I ordered it…
BURGER TAKEAWAYS: The $15 price point is right about in the middle of the burger pack • As you would expect, the service at City Grille lives up to the Mattison’s name and reputation • LIVE music in the evenings means you can burger & boogie in the same location • Lots of parking thanks to the Whole Foods and State Street garages • Finish off your burger experience with a trip to the Fat Donkey for a delicious scoop or two🍧
👀 SNEAK PEEK: We’re bringing it back to SK for a trip to a place that is super popular with Sarasota visitors. It features an “oyster happy hour.” The BIG question, can they deliver on the burger??…
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✅ Did you miss a week? No worries. Here’s a link to our A BURGER A WEEK SERIES ARCHIVE! 🍔
🗓️ SARASOTA FOOD EVENTS 🗓️
Here are some upcoming local food events that we think you might find interesting. All you need to do is make that reservation. We’ve provided you with a link to more info. (If you have an event, send us the details! (EMAIL IT)
ALL APRIL – Epicurean Menu, Portugal – Michael’s On East
WEEKLY POP-UP KITCHEN EVENTS – 99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop
MAY 5 – 18th Annual Dick Vitale Gala – INFORMATION
MAY 10 – Wine Cellar Social Club – Michael’s On East
MAY 10 – Walking Progressive Dinner – Taste Magazine
MAY 14 – Mother’s Day Brunch – Mattison’s Forty-One
MAY 14 – Mother’s Day Brunch – Pier 22
MAY 14 – Mother’s Day Brunch – Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood
MAY 14 – Mother’s Day Brunch – GROVE Restaurant
MAY 14 – Mother’s Day Brunch – Michael’s On East
MAY 20 – LAUGHTER in LWR! – GROVE Restaurant
MAY 25 – “Lavish” Wine Paring Dinner – Andrea’s
MAY 23 – Hope Family Wines Wine Dinner – Michaels On East
🧑🌾 FARMER’S MARKET INFO 🧑🌾
EVERY SUNDAY – Siesta Key Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY SUNDAY – Farmer’s Market at Lakewood Ranch – DETAILS
EVERY SUNDAY – The Meadows Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY WEDNESDAY – The Phillippi Farmhouse Market (Oct-Apr) – DETAILS
THIRD THURSDAY NIGHT – RADD Night Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Sarasota Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Downtown Bradenton Public Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Venice Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
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