Burger U

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burgeru interior

Hey, Burger U. That sounds kind of rude when you say it like that. But if you think of it more as a suggestion, or perhaps a recommendation on a place for a good bite to eat, it isn’t so crass. Especially if you don’t use hand signals when you say it.

It also helps to know that the U in Burger U is for University, as in Central Florida, of. Burger U sits across from the UCF Arena, which is actually the CFE Arena, just to make things a bit more alphabet soupy. It was for many years a popular sports bar called Tailgaters Smokehouse & Spirts. 

But that place closed, and it is now a footnote in an ongoing investigation of murder and intrigue that has made international headlines. (In 2012, Gregory Faull, the former owner of Tailgaters, was found murdered in Belize, where he was living. What made the crime particularly newsworthy was that Faull’s Belizean neighbor, John McAfee, the man who developed McAfee antivirus software, was questioned about the killing after it became known that Faull had confronted McAfee about the latter’s “vicious” dogs. McAfee has since moved back to the U.S. and the murder remains unsolved.)

So then, Burger U.

It’s still primarily a sports bar mien, but one with a focus on burgers rather than barbecue. The burgers are more of the midlevel quality -- better than fast food, but not exactly gourmet quality. But a good burger nonetheless.

Burgeru burger

I had the 4-ounce angus burger, which is a very reasonable, student affordable $4.49. A double, 8-ounce patty is just $6.49, which might suggest they’re paying too much for their buns, but who hasn’t at one time or another?

Most of the toppings are free, except for the ones that really matter. But cheese is only 59 cents; bacon will run you 99 cents, because a dollar would be gouging.

The patty was pretty close to medium-rare and was sufficiently juicy. It does not take two hands to handle a Burger U burger, but it’s more than enough to fill you up. I wasn’t as taken with the seasoned fries, which cost another $2.99. There wasn’t a thing distinctive about them, including the rather muted seasoning. Save yourself (almost) three bucks and the unnecessary calories.

You can put a Burger U burger on the level of one from BurgerFi or Burger 21, both of which have opened outlets in the UCF area. But BU has the advantage of being an independently owned restaurant, and it’s full table service (or bar service, if you prefer) rather than fast casual. Plus the whole excitement of a sports bar on a college campus. Much better.

Burger U is at 4233 E. Plaza Drive, Orlando, on the UCF campus. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. There is no website, but the Facebook page has the full menu. The phone number is 407-882-0450.

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