B & B Junction – Part of the Orlando Burger Revolution

The Number 8 Burger

The Number 8 Burger at B&B Junction

One of the great joys of living in Central Florida is relaxing away a beautiful Saturday afternoon in February while we imagine our northern counterparts huddled around space heaters in heavy wool coats. As Nemo battered the northeast, the wife and I decided to take advantage of the day by trying out a place for lunch we had never been to before. We were looking for elevated pub food, outdoor seating and craft beers. What we found surprised us both. We ended up at B & B Junction, a hip little joint that sprang up after the famous 4 Rivers Smokehouse moved down the street, taking advantage of the new-found notoriety of a location that isn’t historically known as a food hub in Central Florida. The B & B stands for burgers and beer which seems to follow a new trend of farm to table burgers and craft beer places that are springing up around Orlando.

 

First Impressions

The signage and branding of the place doesn’t inspire hunger in me, maybe that’s why I’ve driven by it so many times and dismissed it. You have to work to get past an exterior that, from the road, is more akin to an oil change than a good meal. However when I peeked inside the window and saw the very decent selection of craft beers and the menu, I knew I was in the right place.

The Look Inside

Overall as a restaurant, it’s pretty poorly laid out. No indoor seating (let’s see how that works when summer rolls around)  and indoor ordering with only one door in and out that makes it awkward when there is a line. You have to make the age old decision to give your neighbor the front or back end as you squeeze by them. They have done a nice job making it look like a new place after 4 Rivers had done quite a lot to build that location out. Overall it has a hip look and feel despite its awkwardness. The seating is picnic style outdoor but under cover so you’re not in the sun. Plenty of fans keep the air moving without blowing napkins around. There is a convenient hand washing sink right at the beverage station so you can wash up without waiting in line to use the single-serve bathroom.

Starters

Is beer a starter? In this case, yes. Like many cafe style restaurants in the line of Pei Wei, you order, take a number and a server brings you the food, so the beer you get when you order makes do as the starter. I chose a Brooklyn Pilsner on draft (a beer you don’t see on draft much in these parts) and it proved to be a great beer for enjoying a sunny, mild winter day. The overall selection of drafts is small (8) but eclectic and they back it up with a great sampling of craft beers in bottles and cans. The beers were poured nicely and there was no taste of poor line conditioning. Overall a great way to start the meal.

The Meal

Bourbon-Barbeque Gastrique wings
Bourbon-Barbeque Gastrique wings

For a meal we chose to split an order of the  Bourbon-Barbeque Gastrique wings and the number 8 burger which features an over-easy fried farm egg, aged cheddar, roasted tomato chutney, guacamole, cilantro sour cream. The wings came out first and we were surprised to see that unlike most places, B & B gives you the whole wing without separating it into drums and flats. I am always for bigger wings so undaunted we dove in. Definitely a good choice with a sweet and tangy flavor and plenty of meat. Crispy outside and juicy inside, the way wings should be. Make sure to have extra napkins on hand because these bad boys are very sticky.

The burger was a good choice, I have long been a proponent of fried eggs on burgers. The bread was fresh and moist and the beef nicely cooked (ordered with pink in the middle). The cheddar added some tang to what was otherwise a mild flavor. The other toppings, however get a little bit lost in the mix having similar textures. All in all the flavor was good and I would be interested to try other offerings. The accompanying sweet potato fries were served with a kind of honey mustard dipping sauce that went way better than I thought it would. The home made ketchup added a great flavor to everything and is a staple of the place.

Service and Staff

The staff were extremely friendly and the service was polite and quick. No complaints there.

Overall

Overall I was impressed with B & B as a whole. The food was fresh and tasty and the atmosphere was exactly what we were looking for. I would recommend giving this place a spin and enjoying it’s almost rustic charm that almost makes you forget you are overlooking the dodgy traffic of Fairbanks Ave. I have one suggestion for this place, eighty-six the counter service. Turn the inside in to a bar for those that want to drink for a while, it’s just the right size for that. For diners just go ahead and go full service. It is a real pain in the butt to have to get up and go get back in the ordering line every time you want another beer. Well at least for those of us that drink a lot of beer it is.

UPDATE : 

We’ve got some feedback that the fries (both the regular and sweet potato) have been a little on the greasy/soggy side. We’d recommend going with the onion rings instead.