Just recently, I had the honor and privilege of graduating from UCF. Yes, that’s right, ladies and gentleman, I'm a big girl (and an alumna) now. And what better way to celebrate than to visit the place that boasts 'Best Burgers in O-Town'? On my ever-continuing quest to find this 'Best Burger', I can't help but get excited for a place like Johnny’s Fillin’ Station. When you ask around to locals about Johnny’s, you'll usually hear the same things, 'bar food' or 'it's okay' or 'it's a hole in the wall'. I learned early on when asking around that it'll usually be a combination of those three things and those three things are perfectly fine with this classy gal.
So where is Johnny's? It's located off of Ferncreek and Michigan and honestly, if you're driving fast, you might miss it. Like so many other 'hole in the walls', unless you're looking for a windowless box, you won't find it if you aren't paying attention. But I have a special spot in my heart for places like this so don't let my description deter you. I've had many fun nights in places that remind me of Johnny's so as a recent graduate, I was looking forward to anther one.
There's no need to wait for a seat or a menu, both are available as soon as you come in. This is a good thing because on the night we went, there was only one waitress for about an hour. I can't remember her name, but she was sweet and she did a fine job since my party grew from two to about eight pretty rapidly. She was very fluid so kudos to her. While we waited for our drinks (and they have decent drink prices, by the way) it gave me time to soak the place in. It's not tiny, which can be disorienting since outside it literally looks like a matchbox. There are two separate rooms. The front room where we sat had some long bar tables, two pool tables and one of those fancy electronic jukeboxes.
Oh, and also, a lot of trophies.
I mean, a lot of trophies.
Not only is Johnny’s apparently good at making burger's, they're fairly good at quite a few other things as well, like bowling. And they aren't afraid for show it. As they say on their website, 'It ain't boasting if we back it up'.
We started our meal off with loaded fries, which were fantastic. It's not hard to perfect fries with cheese on them and Johnny's, like many others, has got it down. I was definitely looking forward to the burger, which came out in a decent amount of time. My poison for this meal? The Bacon Bleu Cheeseburger.
Alright, I know, I know. Disappointing, right?
Yeah, in hindsight I probably could have picked something a little more adventurous, but I went with what I knew because honestly, a bacon bleu burger is as easy as cheese fries. I think I really wanted to be impressed Johnny's and so I didn't give them anything too difficult that could be messed up, but that’s a stretch. There is honestly no excuse for my terrible meal choice. If it’s any consolation for my next go around, I think I'll be a bit more fun and possibly order the Texas Toast Melt or the Patty Melt. I might even go for the Bar-B-Que Burger, which sounds fantastic.
The verdict on the Bacon Bleu Burger from the bar that 'Boasts the Best Burgers' in Orlando?
I'm not terribly impressed, but I'm really hard pressed to admit that. The toppings for the burger were fresh, the lettuce was crisp and everything leading up to the burger had been delicious (watch out for that onion they give you, good God), but the burger itself left something to be desired. The thing is, I could definitely taste the effort. The meat was unseasoned and flavorless BUT it also tasted really fresh, like the meat was a good quality, which I can appreciate. I am honestly willing to give it a second try with a different burger. I really want to give Johnny’s my approval.
I mean, it's been family owned and operated for years and somebody had to put the word out for them having the best burgers. I want to try that burger that makes me nod and say, 'Okay, you're right. They do have the best burgers in O-town.' And perhaps it was a stretch trying to find that in a bacon bleu burger? Who knows, but like I said, I'm gonna give Johnny's the benefit of the doubt and try them again in the future. We’ll just say that the Fillin’ Station was having an off night, how ‘bout that?
Until we meet again, Johnny.