Best Hamburger - 2009
Big Bear Brewing Co.
If there's one food that pairs best with beer, it's a good burger. This must be why Big Bear, an independently owned and operated brewpub in Broward's western annex, puts as much thought into its stellar burgers as it does into its award-winning suds. Each of the half-inch-thick patties is made from ground-daily chuck and griddle-cooked for the perfect amount of juiciness. They're then laid to rest on an airy, sesame-seed-coated kaiser roll and topped in a few distinctive ways. Our favorite is the bistro burger, a pungent offering that's slathered with balsamic caramelized red onions, roasted garlic mayonnaise, Applewood smoked bacon, and a slab of runny Brie cheese. The black-and-blue burger is great too — it's dusted with a Cajun rub and paired with gobs of salty blue cheese and red-pepper mayo, then set against a sweet slice of Canadian bacon. These burgers may be high-class, but they're all low-cost, each clocking in under $12. Which means you'll have plenty of cash left to pair them with a stellar brew, say a pint of Trappist-style Kodiak Belgian Dubbel, which, at 7.5 percent alcohol by volume, is as big a friend as any burger needs.