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Rok: Brgr Gastropub in Fort Lauderdale Good Enough to Survive Burger Trend

Burger joints live or die on one dish, and this one's a good one.
Burger joints live or die on one dish, and this one's a good one.
Photos courteys Rok: Brgr

There's a scene from a 1981 episode of "Little House on the Prairie" (my sister made me watch it) with a man in a white suit, hat, and Fu Manchu goatee who pulls up to the town's restaurant. He proposes turning the place into part of his new chain of fried chicken places. The restaurant's owner laughs the man off her porch, saying he's wasting his time.

Col. Sanders, or at least his spitting image, replies with a smile: "Time will tell. Time will tell." 

Of course, he was right in 1981, when every town in America had or was soon getting its own KFC and McDonald's. And he's right again three decades later, when every other new restaurant seems to be a high-end burger joint.

Rok: Brgr in downtown Fort Lauderdale's Himmarshee Village is the newest incarnation of the one-plate concept. And luckily, they make a damn fine burger.

The concept here was to create a space with the feel of a prohibition-era speakeasy, with

the kind of comfort food anybody would want with a pint of something

cold. The look is all exposed brick and leather, with a bar that spans

half the space on one side. Windows open up to Himmarshee, with stools

outside facing inwards.

Lobster corn dogs: damn good after-the-bars close food.
Lobster corn dogs: damn good after-the-bars close food.

Chef and co-owner Marc Falsetto created a

menu featuring burgers but with a fair share of steaks, mom's meatloaf,

and other comfort foods.

Like all burger joints, the place may

live or die on the meat, and Falsetto has certainly thought out his

"secret blend." He orders certified Black Angus from a supplier in

Nebraska, and his American kobe comes from Mishima Ranch in California.

He grinds it daily.

The Australian burger comes with pineapple, beets, arugula, and a fried egg.
The Australian burger comes with pineapple, beets, arugula, and a fried egg.

The concept even spans the drink menu:

Martinis come with a blue cheese-stuffed olive wrapped in bacon, and a

pair of cocktails come with a bacon-infused bourbon. 

Lobster

corn dogs ($12 for four) combine lobster meat with a sweet batter more

akin to apple fritters. Outside, they had the texture of the crispy

edges of funnel cake, while inside the batter and the meat melded

together in a crabcake-like texture. That one appetizer answers any

question whether Rok: Brgr can survive the burger joint trend.

The fry trio plate ($10) includes hand-cut fries, truffled numbers, and sweet potato fries as tender as mashed potatoes inside.

Burgers

include a Mediterranean with wonderfully gamey lamb and cooling taziki,

a Las Olas with gruyere and wagyu, and an Australian with a fried egg

over pineapple and beets.

The beers are cold. The fries are crispy and salty. And the burgers? Yeah, Rok: Brgr is good enough to survive the trend. 


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ROK:BRGR Burger Bar and Gastropub

208 SW Second St.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

954-525-7656

www.rokbrgr.com


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