A Burger A Week – Tony’s Chicago Beef
Can their burger measure up to their Chicago Dog?
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It’s OK to admit it. We all have our culinary comfort zones. It’s not a fault (at least, in my humble opinion). It’s just the way we’re wired. Our experience has formed our love of some foods over others.
I’ve got a really large soft spot for “Chicago Cuisine.” Yes, I was born and raised there. So there goes my experience forming my love of that particular type of food. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp.
Let’s run through a short list (humor me for a moment). Chicago beef sandwiches, Maxwell Street Polish sausage, pizza (deep dish or thin crust, it really doesn’t matter**), and of course, the Chicago Dog (it has to have the electric green relish for it to be “official”).
** It is not my intent to start a raging pizza debate here. But there are a whole lot of us that consider thin crust, tavern, (or party) cut pizza to be REAL Chicago pizza. Here are some sources for your consideration…
🍕 Thank you for indulging that short pizza detour…
When I think of Chicago food and Sarasota, my “go-to” place to scratch that itch is Tony’s Chicago Beef Company (there are folks who like Joey D’s. I like them too!).
In my hundreds of trips to Tony’s, I have never had their burger. They sell lots of them. I see them cooking away on the small grill in their tiny shotgun kitchen.
But I’ve never been able to pass up the opportunity for a dog or a beef. That is until right now! 🍔
Tony’s looks like any typical beef stand in Chicago. Smallish, nothing fancy, down-to-earth customers, and great, simple food. In short, Tony’s is the real deal (they even got a mention in the NYT)
It’s a family affair here. Tony and his son (and occasionally his mom) run the entire operation. And it runs like they’ve been doing this for a while (and they have. Tony’s Gulf Gate location opened back in 2009! We wrote a piece about it back in 2010! 😯).
All of Tony’s burgers are “Char-Grilled.” They’ve got a few to choose from. We usually go with the signature burger version when we do these tastings. So today, we’re trying the Char-Grilled Cheeseburger!
Let’s talk about our Tony’s Chicago Beef Company burger experience…
RESTAURANT: TONY’S CHICAGO BEEF (6965 Superior Ave. (941) 922-7979)
DATE OF VISIT: FEBRUARY 28, 2023
STOP #: 23 OF 52
BURGER TASTED: CHAR-GRILLED CHEESEBURGER
📒 OUR TASTING NOTES
🍔 This burger is served as listed on the menu: mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mustard, and ketchup. Served on a toasted bun. ($6.49)
• First off, this burger is “manageable.” We’ve run across some monster burgers in our travels. This one you can eat with confidence! 😃
• I loved the cornmeal sprinkled bun. So far, this is the first bun like this. It had a lot of extra texture, which made for great overall eating.
• Shredded lettuce! (We’ve covered this before).
• I absolutely loved the pickles on this burger! They weren’t homemade or anything trendy like that. But they were really “pickley.” A nice burst of flavor in every bite.
• The burger patty itself is pretty solid. It’s a ⅓ lb. and had that char-grilled flavor as advertised. It certainly would have been a disappointment if it hadn’t.
• The Fries! These fries are right at the top of my list. They are fresh, hand-cut, natural fries. They are also double-cooked (first par-boiled and then fried). They’re super crispy and bursting with potato flavor! 🍟
Let’s check out how all of this looked when I ordered it…
BURGER TAKEAWAYS: At $6.49, this burger is a bargain! • Love the “Chicago” atmosphere • It’s hard to take a pass on the beef sandwich but DO IT. You’ll leave happy • The side order of fries is just the perfect size! • You can get a can of root beer here! (Also, regular beer) • Usually lots of parking in Gulf Gate 🚗
👀 SNEAK PEEK: This spot got its start ALL THE WAY back in 1999 (that was a different millennium!) They’re known for their delicious Cuban cuisine and live music. We’ll find out how their burger measures up! 🍔
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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)
WEEKLY POP-UP KITCHEN EVENTS – 99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop
FIRST FRIDAY EACH MONTH – Cheese & Wine – Mademoiselle Paris (Downtown)
MAR 8 – Canard Vineyards Wine Dinner – Sage Restaurant
MAR 11 – Saturday Open House Wine Tasting – Michaels’s Wine Cellar
MAR 16 – Tullamore Dew Whiskey Tasting – Michael’s Wine Cellar
MAR 17 – St. Patrick’s Day Block Party – Shamrock Pub
MAR 21 – DAOU Wine Dinner – Michael’s Wine Cellar
MAR 28 – Masterworks Dinner – Sarasota Orchestra
MAR 31 – SPARCC Runway Fashion Show – INFORMATION
APR 1 – Wine Brunch & Charity Auction – Florida Winefest & Auction
APR 9 – Easter Brunch – Duval’s, Fresh, Local, Seafood
APR 9 – Easter Brunch – Element – Reservations
APR 12 – Social Club Wine Tasting – Michael’s Wine Cellar
APR 15 – Food Trucks, Tunes, & Brews 5 – INFORMATION
APR 20 TO 24 – Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival – INFORMATION
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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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