Restaurant Review

Orlando Sentinel restaurant review: Burgers are tops at B&B Junction

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B & B Junction

B & B Junction's seasonal wild mushroom burger served with buttermilk-battered onion rings and the mango shake of the day. (Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda, Orlando Sentinel / March 18, 2013)

B&B Junction in Winter Park is one of the latest eateries to jump on the farm-to-table bandwagon and it may be the first burger joint to do so.

A blackboard showcases the farms of the moment. On a recent visit beef was sourced from Nine's Mine Ranch in St. Cloud; chicken from Ashley Farms in Winston-Salem, N.C.; turkey from Legacy Farms in Barrington, N.H.; eggs from Lake Meadow Naturals in Ocoee; and greens from 3 Boys Farm in Ruskin and Green Sky Growers in Winter Garden.

Gourmet burgers are the stars of the menu. Other choices include grilled cheese sandwiches ($7), soups ($5) and wings ($8-$14). Salads ($7-$9) can be enhanced with a number of proteins.

The beef is grass-fed and the poultry and pork are naturally raised without hormones, which accounts for the deep flavor of the proteins.

We started lunch with a basic burger ($7) slathered with smoky sauce and dressed with tender butter lettuce, a large beefsteak tomato, sweet onion and a house-made pickle. It was expertly stacked with juicy meat and flavorful condiments that weren't afterthoughts and could be a new contender for Best Burger in our Foodie Awards.

We also ordered the buttermilk fried organic chicken breast sandwich ($9) that came with a choice of hot sauce (I went with mild), a watermelon-jicama slaw and watercress. This mild sauce had quite a kick; be sure to have large glasses of fresh-brewed tea at the ready. The best way to mingle all the tastes and textures of this sammie is with a knife and fork. The balance of cool and hot was spot on.

We were three-for-three with the pulled pork sandwich ($9) created with bourbon ham, earthy gruyere cheese, a mojo sauce and mustard. (Mojo incorporates a wide range of sauces with Spanish and Portuguese influences. Spiciness varies and the color can be red, green or orange. Most mixes have olive oil, vinegar, citrus juices garlic, paprika and cumin.)

On a takeout run, I picked up the wild mushroom burger ($8.50) topped with gruyere, a light smear of truffle aioli, peppery watercress and a slice of tomato. Now we're officially four-for-four with this tender and juicy hunk of burger heaven.

All of the sandwiches benefit from the fresh brioche buns. The bread's richness comes from the generous amount of eggs and butter in the dough. When baked, the bread is golden and soft and has a lovely sweetness.

You can order sides for one ($2-$3) or the table ($5-$6). The buttermilk-battered onion rings with a smoked-horseradish aioli were crisp and addictive. Kudos to the person keeping a watch on the fryer temperature. The sweet potato fries were equally good but I preferred them without the maple syrup aioli.

The three diners at the table next to us were inhaling a basket of the fried house-made pickles ($5) with herb-cucumber yogurt. It's on my list for another visit.

For washing it all down there are soft drinks, craft beer and an intriguing selection of wines. And the chef creates a shake of the day ($5.50).

B&B Junction took over the former 4 Rivers Smokehouse location near Interstate 4. B&B has a steady flow of customers, but the parking nightmares are gone for guests and the neighbors.

hmcpherson@tribune.com

B&B Junction

Where: 2103 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park (two blocks east of I-4)

When: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday

How much: $7-$14

Beverages: Beer and wine

Wines by the glass: From $7

Extras: Takeout, good for groups, family-friendly, catering, outdoor seating

Wheelchair access: Good

Credit: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Call: 407-513-4134

Online: Bbjunction.com and Facebook

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