A Burger A Week – The Hob Nob Drive-In
YES! We’re at Sarasota’s classic burger spot 🍔
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We’ve had our share of “upscale” burgers during this nearly yearlong adventure. This stop will certainly not fit that particular profile.
Slinging burgers in one spot for 66 years is a feat. It was WAY back in 1957 that The Hob Nob Drive In Restaurant fired up the grill. Yes, that’s a good long while. And that should tell you something about their product.
The Hob Nob has always been true to their roots. They’re not trying to ride the next big food fad. If anything, the retro trend caught up to them! This place has absolutely no pretense and no frills. It is 100% “what you see is what you get”. And in 2023, that is seriously refreshing!
Things haven’t changed that much in all those years. Back in 1991, Cary and Debby Spicuzza bought the business. They’ve freshened it up a bit over the years, but it still has that distinct “Hob Nob” feel.
Our Hob Nob visit seemed like the perfect occasion for a burger Ride-A-Long. And today, we’re getting 2X for our burger-eating exploits.
Having burgers with your friends is always “funner” than having burgers solo. I mean, in most cases, we’re not talking about gourmet dining. So we’ll be catching up over some pretty simple comfort food. There may be a spirited discussion of fries vs. onion rings, but that’s about as serious as this will get. And that’s a great thing!
Let’s talk for a minute about who’ll be joining me for this quintessential Sarasota burger adventure. We’ve got some professionals in the house today. 😃
Sarasota Magazine has a history of treating our local food scene well. Their past is filled with articles that have featured just about every type of Sarasota dining experience one could imagine. And they’ve done it in the most positive and thoughtful way possible. It’s not just me saying that. They have filled a trophy case with accolades over the years.
I met Cooper Levey-Baker way back when he was Editor at Creative Loafing (I miss that paper 😢). He’s been moving up the local Sarasota publishing food chain ever since. Now he’s perched on top of the heap as Editor in Chief at Sarasota Magazine. 🥇 He’s won awards too. And along the way, he’s even found time to author a novel, Dead Fish Wind.
Our second burger taster is also no stranger to the Sarasota food and dining community. Lauren Jackson is an Associate Editor at Sarasota Magazine. Her expertise, “Food & Drink”. She is a prolific content creator for the magazine, both in print and digitally. I love reading her work. AND if you haven’t, you need to correct that oversight ASAP!
I told you we brought the heat to this burger tasting! 🍔🍔
Let’s talk about our Hob Nob burger experience…
RESTAURANT: THE HOB NOB DRIVE-IN (1701 N. Washington Blvd. (941) 955-5001)
DATE OF VISIT: JUNE 27, 2023
STOP #: 36 OF 52
BURGER TASTED: THE HOB NOB BURGER
📒 OUR TASTING NOTES
🍔 This burger is served as listed on the menu: 2 burger patties, L|T|O, mustard ($13)
• Cooper: “This is an ideal simple burger. Thin double patties + gooey American Cheese!”
• Lauren: “This is everything I want in a burger! American cheese in the ONLY burger cheese for me.”
• Cooper: “Ambiance, spectacular! I can hear the whir of the car vacuum next door” 📝 YES, you can!
• Lauren: “One of the best things about the Hob Nob is the atmosphere; a true roadside burger stand with no frills.”
• Cooper: “Wonderfully friendly staff. It’s an institution. It has lasted so long because they focus on getting the basics right. PLUS, killer onion rings!”
• Lauren: “A great shake with generous whipped cream. Solid and chocolaty!”
⭐ And, of course, I have a few observations of my own…
• We all agreed, great onion rings. They serve them with their “Petal Sauce” (I’m guessing you know what that is…) 😄
• Shake Shack is still the king of crinkle-cut fries (in my humble opinion), but these are a solid competitor. They stayed crispy even when they cooled down a bit.
• The burger is great. It is deliciously simple. (They also serve a mean Patty Melt!)
• It’s not just one thing that makes this place so special. It’s a perfect example of something being the sum of its parts. All of those little details add up to making the Hob Nob a Sarasota institution!
Let’s check out how all of this looked when we ordered it…
BURGER TAKEAWAYS: Can’t beat the Hob Nob experience • Very casual, outdoor dining • Fast, attentive service • Need a car wash? Super convenient! • Onion Rings + Burger + Milkshake = 💖
👀 SNEAK PEEK: For the past ten years, this downtown anchor has been serving some of the most creative cuisine in the area. They’ve got a mac & cheese section on their menu! Let’s see how they do at the burger game… 🍔
✅ Did you miss a week? No worries. Here’s a link to our A BURGER A WEEK SERIES ARCHIVE! 🍔
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🗓️ 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)
📖 BUY A COPY OF OUR 2023 SARASOTA DINING BOOK! – ORDER HERE 📖
🍷 LIBBY’S NEIGHBORHOOD WINE CLUB – DETAILS
DUVAL’S TASTE OF SUMMER MENU! – SEE WHAT’S ON THE MENU!
WEEKLY POP-UP KITCHEN EVENTS – 99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop
Yes, things are looking a little thin on the event front. It is summer. Hopefully, the calendar will fill up soon! 🤞
JUL 29 – Orin Swift Wine Dinner – GROVE Restaurant
JUL 23 – Mattison’s Blues Brunch – Mattison’s Riverwalk
AUG 19 – Laughter in LWR! – GROVE Restaurant
AUG 29 – Wine Pairing Dinner – Amore Restaurant
SEPT- 23 – Sarasota Opera Food & Wine Festival 2023 – INFORMATION
OCT 15 – Morton’s 23rd Annual Chili Cook Off – INFORMATION
🧑🌾 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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