Gilbert's 17th Street Gril1, 821 Cordova Road, Fort Lauderdale. Open for lunch and dinner 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 954-768-8990, or click here.
Gilbert's, which sits in the corner of the Harbor Shops in Fort Lauderdale, is a clean, family-run restaurant, with an all-glass façade and plenty of bright-orange tables. It features a big list of nearly a dozen burgers, plus fish, chicken, and steak sandwiches, some grilled entrées, and a daily rotating cadre of lunch specials. The restaurant is partial service, so to order, you queue up along a counter that looks like a cafeteria line with big display cases, and order from the register. Ask for a burger — recently voted among the best in South Florida by readers of the Sun-Sentinel — and what you get is a half-pound, all-Angus beef patty grilled to a healthy char and cooked to your liking. There are several varieties, like the Cajun-spice-rubbed burger with cheddar cheese or one with crumbled blue cheese stuffed inside the patty, but the most impressive is a burger with melted Brie, bacon, and fried onion strips. Each is served on a tray lined with faux newspaper and finished off by crisp, greaseless fries. You'll pay as much as $15 after drink, tax, and tip, but for a thick restaurant-style burger, Gilbert's is a welcome addition.