A Burger A Week – Shakespeare’s Craft Beer & Gastro Pub
They’ve got “12 Great Burgers.” We’re after just one!
🌟🌟 We’re going to start doing some Sarasota burger giveaways! Yes, that translates to Burger Prizes! We’ll be serving these up over on our Facebook Sarasota Burger Page. JOIN THAT HERE. We’ll also be giving those of you who aren’t members of that group some opportunities down the burger road. Good Luck!
Back when I first started going to Shakespeare’s (this is back in the early 2000s), I didn’t really associate an “English Pub” with American burgers. I mean, for me, English Pub ≠ American burger.
I do remember having some killer Bangers and Mash and Cottage Pie back then. And, of course, there was the “Wall of Beer.” It’s not something that I ever had on my to-do list. As a solo endeavor, it didn’t have that much appeal. But I guess if you had a willing beer-guzzling partner, that could be an attractive adventure.
I hadn’t been to Shakespeare’s in a while. This is actually turning out to be one of the big upsides and unintended benefits of this whole Sarasota burger project. In a strange kind of way, it’s almost like I’m trying it out for the first time. I like that!
For the uninitiated, Shakespeare’s has a super comfortable, non-pretentious, and classically “pub-like” feel. Translation, inside tends to be a little dark (they do have some outside seating). Things inside haven’t changed a whole lot since the early 2000s. That’s not a bad thing. Oh, the wall of beer is gone, but the photos of the brave souls who conquered the wall remain! That doesn’t mean you can’t still get a pint of some fantastic brews. You can!
Over the years, it seems like they’ve gotten more of a reputation for their burger game than for the English Pub fare that they still serve. It feels like their focus may have shifted just a wee bit. Their menu currently features 12 burgers! Yes, for those of you keeping score at home, that is a FULL DOZEN burger choices!
And these aren’t just any old burgers, mind you. These are “Award Winning” burgers. All the way back in 2020, Sarasota Magazine bestowed a Best Burger award on Shakespeare’s. So that’s saying something, right?
Which Shakespeare’s burger keeps getting mentioned over, and over, and over again? And which burger does Shakespeare’s very own menu tout as “famous”? Yes, that one, the Caramelized Onion & Brie Burger! Famous is a BIG statement…
📃 Back in 2016, Sarasota Magazine’s new Editor in Chief, Cooper Levey-Baker, offered his take on this burger (gonna have to try and get him on a burger Ride-A-Long!)
Let’s see how this all turned out… 🍔
RESTAURANT: SHAKESPEARE’S CRAFT BEER & GASTRO PUB (3550 S. Osprey Ave., (941) 364-5938)
DATE OF VISIT: JULY 27, 2022
STOP #: 4 OF 52
BURGER TASTED: CARAMELIZED ONION & BRIE BURGER
📒 OUR TASTING NOTES
🌟 This burger is served as listed on the menu: Sweet balsamic caramelized onions & Brie cheese. This burger also comes with tomato, onion, and lettuce ($15.50)
First things first. I completely realize that what sets Shakespeare’s burgers apart from the others is their fresh baked rosemary bun. Now here’s the “but”… But unfortunately, on the day of my visit, there were no rosemary buns to be had.
The German baker who supplies those fresh rosemary buns was off on holiday in Germany. The good news was that I had a more than suitable replacement carrier, a delicious Publix French hamburger roll (I love those anyway!). I know it’s not the same, but sometimes we just have to go with what’s handed us.
Now that we’ve taken care of that little housekeeping matter. How was my burger?
Bottom line, it tasted great! It wasn’t as sloppy to eat as some of the other burgers we’ve tried so far. No trip to the dry cleaner needed (oh, just in case, Mel’s Super Laundry is practically next door!).
The caramelized onion gave this burger a nice, sweet, tangy flavor. The melted brie is the perfect cheesy compliment to the boldness of the onions. 📝 This is the second burger we’ve had that had onions prepared this way (see Baker & Wife).
My burger was cooked perfectly. I realize that the kitchen has had a ton of practice cooking burgers. Let’s just say that practice has paid off.
The Fries! They were a standout. They were super crispy. It was almost like they were coated with something to give them that crunchy exterior. A winner!
This burger wasn’t quite as photogenic as some of the others. Remember, you should never judge a burger by its cover. I think that’s how the saying goes… 😀
Let’s check out how all of this looked when I ordered it…
BURGER TAKEAWAYS: Shakespeare’s has a solid burger rep for a good reason • If you’re looking for a super low-key place to enjoy a burger and a cold pint, this is it • They have a very loyal burger following. That’s no accident. • A good burger for the buck • DO NOT pass on the fries • If this burger was so good, what about the other 11 on the menu!?…
👀 SNEAK PEEK: Next up is a place that puts together some crazy, over-the-top ingredient combos. I know the spot a lot you might be thinking of, but not so fast…
We want to hear about your Sarasota burger experience. So much so, in fact, that we’ve started up a special Facebook Group just for this A Burger A Week series. So, feel free to share your Sarasota burger experiences, photos, and anything else burger related you’d like others to know about.
JOIN SARASOTA’S BEST BURGERS FACEBOOK GROUP HERE!
🌟 We’re still filling out our “Ride-Along” burger tasting calendar. If you’d like to come on one of our stops, here’s a link to a form to fill out. We’d love to feed you a great Sarasota burger!
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