The Best Burgers in Tampa Bay at Burger Monger in Carrollwood

burger monger

PREPARE TO HAVE YOUR MIND BLOWN by savory delicious burger goodness. In a world where fast food dominates the hamburger landscape, and the concept of the burger is mired in economy and uniformity, Burger Monger represents all that a burger can be, if we are willing to let it. If we are willing to accept the fact that a hamburger can be more than a mere food; it can be an art.

The idea behind Burger Monger is simple – the highest quality ingredients and craftsmanship brought to you in a normal, real setting. Fine dining disguised as casual dining. And it works. Burger Monger uses 100% all natural Akaushi Kobe beef in their burgers and hot dogs… and yes, that’s the meat that you only find at fine Japanese steakhouses. Add to that a huge selection of fresh, delicious toppings, real hand cut potato french fries, and creamy hand-dipped milkshakes, and you have a meal worthy of a king.

The store is located on Dale Mabry, a little north of Busch Boulevard. It is in a small plaza next to MAC’S SCUBA ADVENTURES Scuba Shoppe and a(n erotic?) massage parlor/spa. It’s where Mama’s Pizzeria used to be (they had great garlic bread). The inside of Burger Monger is simple, with a whole bunch of booths and tables, and about a million television sets lining the walls. Hell, their menu is on a television screen.

As soon as we entered, we were greeted with a smile and some friendly conversation, despite showing up 30 minutes before they closed. Throughout the course of our meal, I would come to find that not only was service there impeccable and personable, but far above and beyond any expectations I had. We were constantly checked in on by both the employees and the owner to make sure everything was perfect. And it was.

The menu offers up a whole bunch of options for your burger, and it took me a moment to figure out what I wanted to order. I ended up going all the way with a huge meal; way too much for me to eat by myself. Luckily my friends were there to help me out, and also to share their treats, such as:

strawberry milkshake

This amazing strawberry shake. Apparently they use Haagen-Dazs ice cream for their milkshakes, and real strawberries… and it was devastatingly good. So sweet, so rich… a perfect counter-point to:

chili cheese fries

Chili cheese fries. I made the mistake of ordering this for myself, not realizing that it was a full pound of fries, plus Kobe beef chili and cheese sauce. The chili was delicious, a pure beef chili without beans, and not really saucy. It mixed together well with the cheese, which was almost like a good nacho cheese dip; thick and warm, with little chunks of peppers in it. The fries themselves were pretty decent, though I can’t say they rank among the best fries I’ve ever had.

But the shake and the fries were nothing when compared to what they brought to the table next:

burger as delivered

I want to cry just looking at that. My god… look at that thing. I ordered the Double Monger, which is two 6oz patties of the Kobe beef. A step up from that is the Monster Monger, two 8oz patties. I knew that the double would be more than enough for me, and I was right. in fact, next time I may settle for the regular Burger Monger. OR MAYBE NOT. Cause beef is good.

Okay, so I went a bit overboard with the toppings on this: lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions (both raw and grilled), grilled mushrooms, banana peppers, ketchup and mustard, cherry wood smoked bacon, and pepper jack cheese. NOTE: I did not realize that there is a special Burger Monger Sauce, or else I would have added that. I tried a bit of it with the last few bites of my sandwich, and it was amazing. It is a chipotle mayo base, with some sort of fruity relish added in. Make sure to get that for your burger, or your fries.

burger monger burger

The burger was incredible. They allow you to choose how well it’s cooked, and I went with medium rare. And rightfully so – the flavor of the beef was unbelievable. So tender, so savory. It was what beef is supposed to be. In fact, I was a little regretful of the fact that I ordered so many toppings, because the beef was all I wanted to taste after I got started. But all of the toppings were excellent, perfectly fresh and strong flavors coming from each of them. Each bite was an adventure. Everything around me seemed to drop away, and I was left alone with my burger, in a very private, semi-sexual experience. It was just altogether exquisite.

I will be going back. I have to. After eating it, I only wanted to eat more burgers, knowing how good they can be. It’s like it reawakened a passion that I never realized I had (…but I kinda did). The staff was just incredible, and the burger was unbelievable. True artisans. My only complaint is that my order ended up costing me 20 bucks ($10 burger with one $1.49 premium topping, $5.99 chili cheese fries, and a Coke), which is just too much to spend for a burger meal all the time. But that beef is so good that I’m willing to pay it every now and then, just to reassure myself that something this good is possible.


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