Text Size

SCLogin

Hamburger Mary's

Hamburger Mary's

Hamburger Mary's is a nice family restaurant. But we're talking a different type of family. Think Sister Sledge's "We Are Family."

Hamburger Mary's Orlando recently moved into the Church Street Station neighborhood in the space that TooJay's last occupied. If I'm not mistaken, in the old Church Street days it was the Buffalo Trading Co. It's part of a franchise that started in San Francisco in 1972. Are you getting the picture yet?

It's the first national chain to market specifically to the gay community. You might have figured it out if you had wandered in on a Tuesday for Bingo Night, hosted by local celebrity Miss Sammy (hint: it's not short for Samantha) or for the Maryoke sing-alongs on Wednesdays.

At other times, you might not have noticed anything different about the place at all. Indeed, on one of my lunch visits, there was a family at the next table, a father, mother and baby in a stroller.

Everyone is welcome at Mary's -- she does not discriminate. She is a terrific hostess, but I don't think anyone would call her the best cook in town, especially if you should wander away from the list of burgers. Suffice to say the place will never be called Meatloaf Mary's.

Stick with the burgers, and you'll be fine. The hard part is deciding on which burger to have. There are 11 variations, with names such as Queen Mary, Sloppy Mary, Spicy Mary and Blue Boy burger. And if you missed the Sister Sledge reference, I doubt you'd understand Blue Boy. (No, it's not served raw. The blue refers to the cheese.)

Most of the burgers are made with a half-pound of certified Angus beef, although one is bigger, made with a full pound of meat. That one is called the Proud Mary, and that's all I'm going to say about that.

I would have preferred a juicier patty, but the burgers I had I liked well enough. A favorite was the Sloppy Mary, slopped with chili and melted cheddar and jack cheese. It's served open-face and is meant to be eaten with a knife and fork. Sloppy is as sloppy does.

I also liked the Guacamole BJ, the initials representing bacon and jack cheese. It, too, could have been called the Sloppy Mary.

HMO's appetizers are hit-or-miss. The inevitably named Macho Nachos, chips piled high with chili, cheddar and jack cheese, black olives and jalapenos, were surprisingly good. Mary Mac & Cheese Balls were not only dry and flavorless, they weren't even balls. They were triangles.

Come here for burgers, come for the camaraderie, the drinks, the loud music videos or the even louder decor of purples and greens and geometric shapes. But if you're not looking to have a good time, you might as well stay home. As the motto says, "Eat, drink and be Mary."

Related Articles/Posts
Sushi Tomi, Created by Scott JosephSushi Tomi...
Sushi isn't as uncommon as it once was. Once relegated only to Japanese restaurants, sushi can now be found in Thai, Chinese and even American restaurants — i...
Eola Wine Company Winter Park Sold, Created by Scott JosephEola Wine Company Winter Park Sold...
The Park Avenue Eola Wine Company has been sold and the new owner will change the name to the Parkview. Scott Schrope, one of the original owners of Eola Wine C...
The Wine Barn, Created by Scott JosephThe Wine Barn...
I'll have to admit that my expectations weren't exactly high when I was invited to the Wine Barn in Winter Park to sample its line of pizzas. I mean, come on:...
American Gymkhana will have Influences of New York's Junoon, Created by Scott JosephAmerican Gymkhana will have Influences of New York's Junoon...
NEW YORK — To get an idea of what is planned for the redo of Raga, visit Junoon on 24th Street in Manhattan, just west of Broadway. Here you'll find a sophist...
Bleu 42, Created by Scott JosephBleu 42...
I found myself up Oviedo way the other day and stopped in at Bleu 42, a curiously named sports bar and restaurant. I say curiously because, well, bleu — Amer...
Tuesday, 22nd July 2014

What is a Flog?

A flog is a food blog with news and reviews of restaurants. Here you'll find all things edible, lots of things to drink, including expert wine advice, and lots of other stuff.