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Mar 30, 2024


Jesse Blanco

Photography By

Are they Top 5? On the island? You bet...

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Once upon a time, it was a significant source of consternation in Eat It and Like It world. It happened all the time. At first it was fun, then it became less so. Then it became a seemingly monthly duel with someone who wanted my opinion about a particular item of food: “Give me your Top 5 burgers!”

It usually happened during a conversation with a friend. Sometimes at a party with a stranger, but – more times than not – became with a game showesque snap and a point. Sure, I’ll bite. I always do, with a smile.

Where the game always goes sideways is when I stumble to name five. I mean really, if I put you on the spot to name your Top 5 anything, you couldn’t do it in a 30-second lightning round. No chance. Same goes for me. If I get to 5 and don’t name their favorite, there have been times when I’ve been asked to keep going: 7, 8, 9 burgers later until I name their favorite. Most times? Game over. Sometimes, game over, begin debate.

People are quite persnickety about their burgers. It is most definitely a thing. A Bluffton/Hilton Head thing? No. Y’all obsess more about pizza and pasta than burgers, but you get the idea. They can be discussed forever. 

Smash burgers (which I love when done properly) and thick grilled burgers. They are very different, as we know, and deserving of categories. In my book anyway.

All that to tell you that, from my seat, there is a candidate for best burger on the island in town and you should, at the very least, consider trying it because it is phenomenal.

Fraser’s Tavern, which I know I’ve discussed in this space before for their BBQ, rolled out a new burger line last month and I am here to tell you that these burgers are exceptional. This Craft Burger line, six in all, would win every award on the island for most photogenic burgers. The best part is, these aren’t empty suits. The actual patties are wonderful.

Short rib, brisket, and chuck is the blend. That was my first question. 

My second question, I didn’t even bother asking. I know a lot of the guys who put in the time behind the scenes in the culinary department at The Sea Pines Resort. Trust me when I tell you someone didn’t wake up on a Monday, decide to change up the burgers, and roll out six brand new ones by Wednesday. These combinations and flavor profiles were discussed, tested, and discussed again. My guess is the only real deadline was to have it ready for spring and Heritage season, which they have accomplished.

The first one I tried was the Lowcountry. A burger topped with pimento cheese, which in and of itself was exceptional. Then a block of fried mac and cheese. I just don’t eat fried mac and cheese. But this was what the burger came with so I ate it – and loved it. It was also topped with crispy collards, which I believe was hardly necessary. A collards lover might disagree and you are more than welcome to. It was one of the best burgers I’ve had in a year. Easily. 

The Hula in One Burger also caught my eye because of the caramelized pineapple slice on top. Add to that smoked pork (which I already love), ginger aioli, and cilantro and that will be the next one I try.

It’s funny, I was invited to try them a few weeks back and someone somewhere thought I’d eat more than one or two of these monsters. Are you serious? I’ll try them all, but it’s going to take multiple visits, which I most certainly will be making.

This Craft Burger line at Fraser’s Tavern in Sea Pines Resort, six in all, would win every award on the island for most photogenic burgers. The best part is, these aren’t empty suits. The actual patties are wonderful.

The Korean BBQ Burger also promises to be a showstopper. Topped with Gochujang curry barbecue, mixed greens, pickled purple cabbage, chili garlic mayo. If those are your flavors, this might just be your burger.

These burgers are massive. My guess is most of you reading this, unless you’ve just played 18-plus holes, are taking some of this home or splitting with a friend. I can eat a whole one sans golf, but then I’m likely not going to eat the rest of the day. Yeah, that big. But believe me, every bite is delicious.

Are they Top 5? On the island? You bet, along with Marley’s Shrimp Shack, Chez George’s Bistro, Lucky Rooster, and someone else I know I’m forgetting. See? It happens all the time. OK, let’s go R Bar in Bluffton. Good people over there. Great burger. 

By the way, as a bonus – because I care for your needs – one of the best burgers in the region right now is in Savannah at Brochu’s Family Tradition. Thank me later and enjoy.  

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