Burger Buckets Restaurant

Local funny guy, Kelly, joked, “I noticed Fudge Buckets went into the {old} LoveBerry on St. George Street. Soon, ALL restaurants in St Augustine will be FB.”

He’s not too far off. What started as a “sweet” idea for creatively packaging homemade fudge has developed into 3 locations in 3 historic St. Augustine blocks. The two Fudge Buckets are sweet shops – featuring ice cream, fudge and Pop-n-Off Popcorn – and the 3rd is Burger Buckets, a three-meals-a-day restaurant.

How it all started… patented Fudge Buckets store the fudge at room temperature without it melting all over your purse!

The kiddos and I hit Burger Buckets for a late lunch on a recent rainy day. Our friendly server was very easy-going when I asked to order adult meals but split between a couple of kids. She was so kind it put me at ease and allowed us to enjoy a pleasant lunch.

1 mom +6 kids = no problem!

Georgia was my salad girl that day. I don’t ever remember ordering a salad when I was a kid! But she loves them. Her greens and toppings were fresh- no wilted pieces snuck past this team! Toppings were simple enough that my picky friend Mike would still eat it… that made it a little boring for me but Georgia happily smothered it in Ranch.

Really, kids, must you pour that white stuff over everything? Sheesh. But then they are eating salad at an age where I was downing Whoppers and fries… so who am I to complain?!

I snapped this photo before the ranch arrived!

We sat in the giant circular booth in the middle of the restaurant and watched A&E’s Storage Wars on the nearby TV. That was an education, let me tell you! One lady bought a unit with a coffin in it, another group ended up with a bouncy house (which my kids thought was a great score!) and some others ended up with Alien paraphernalia, preserved organs and crystals. You might have homeschooled kids if… they don’t know what a poorly-bleeped word means but they know a “rock” is actually a fulgurite
before the people on TV do.
 {For all you non-homeschoolers (uh… that included me!) a fulgurite sometimes forms when lightning strikes sand. See an example from Amazon here.}

Other TVs showed football games and the overall atmosphere is loud enough that kids can be kids.

Back to the food… The Classic Cheeseburger ($7.99) was perfectly cooked and came in a “bucket”. They take their name very seriously. Fudge in buckets. Burgers in buckets… what’ll they think of next?!

Ben went for the Reuben ($9.99) on marbled rye. Beside the burger in a bucket and surrounded with sweet potato fries, the Reuben with chips looked a little skimpy and cost more. Best value there is the burger for sure.

My burger was topped with cheddar, grilled onions, bacon, BBQ sauce and pineapple… a Gluten Free Hawaiian ($9.99). And it was delish. The staff didn’t mind serving it on lettuce for a GF option and I was super impressed the lettuce wasn’t iceberg!

The thing about being a food writer with 6 kids is that by the time I go to take photos of the 6th one’s food… well, see for yourself:

Andrew never met a Mac & Cheese he didn’t like… he devoured this bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese ($4.99) and started in on the fries before I had my first bite of burger! He gives Burger Buckets 2 thumbs up!

If you’re not stuffed to the gills after your meal at Burger Buckets, you can take a walk on the sweeter side of life in the Fudge Buckets part of the building. They have all manner of ice cream treats, freshly made fudge and Pop-n-Off popcorn. We opted for a chocolate covered datil pepper. When you go, I double-dog-dare-ya to try one! Post a video of the experience on Simply St. Augustine’s facebook page for bragging rights and my ever lovin respect!

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Fudge Buckets.

I’ll leave you with one last protip: Order a Roast Beef Deli Cone if Gary is working!! It’s a secret menu item so unique that locals couldn’t guess it on our #WhereIsItWednesday facebook game! Here’s a photo of this off-the-menu masterpiece:

#WhereIsItWednesday Burger Buckets

Burger Buckets
3 Cordova St
(904) 342-5295

Burger Buckets has a few parking spots, but they’ll likely be full. Plan “b” is parking in the garage right across the street.

If you’re from St. Johns County, make sure to show your ID! Burger Buckets offers a locals discount!

Hot Shot Bakery

I met Sherry Stoppelbein at a Women’s Food Alliance event when her meatloaf beat mine in a cook-off. Now that I’ve eaten in her restaurant and seen shelves lined with awards and honors for best chowder, best Datil Pepper sauce, best… best… best… I see I stood no chance. Fortunately, you can enjoy her art -which is making any meal amazing- at local Hot Shot Bakery which faces Lightner Museum’s plaza.

Here’s a virtual visit to hold you over… When you first walk in, you’ll meet Sherry and some of her team:

Sherri, left, with Hot Shot Bakery cook Elizah Smith.

A long counter is all that separates you from the open kitchen, which hugs the left wall half the length of the restaurant. You can sit at the bar or choose a table. I stood at the counter and chatted with a regular patron and the cooks for a while then made my way to a table with a cheery mug and a great view of the plaza.

Fresh flowers fill the window boxes outside, top the tables inside and welcome hungry locals, Flagler students & tourists.

I’ll need to go back several times (or once with all the kids) to taste our way through the menu. After hemming & hawing, I went with Sherry’s suggestion of Pumpkin Waffles topped with homemade caramel sauce and bananas. Eggs over home fries were tempting ($7.50) but the pumpkin waffles called me from the seasonal special board.

When Sherry brought the plate out, I knew I’d made the right decision. Crisp waffles stood up to the drenching of perfectly sweet caramel sauce and pecan pieces added crunch after the sauce soaked into the waffles.

Hot Shot Bakery serves breakfast all day but if I’m there around lunch time, I think I’ll go for the Reuben or Vegetarian Panini (both $6.50) – Red pepper pesto, provolone, goat cheese, avocado, and tomato make that veggie panini sound like a sandwich worth exploring!

I was there for breakfast, so I didn’t check out the bakery case. I’ll definitely be back with my kiddos, though. The case is filled with freshly baked goodies daily- don’t even think about asking if it’s made elsewhere. Everything from the coffee syrups to the baked goods to the award-winning datil hot sauce is made in house. Sherry constantly tweaks her menu to ensure everything is both unique and affordable.

Whether you’re looking for breakfast at 2:00 pm, a freshly baked cookie, or an award-winning bowl of Minorcan chowder made by someone with Minorcan heritage, now you know where to go!

Hot Shot Bakery
8 Granada Street
(904) 824-7898
Hot Shot Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon

The law requires that I tell you I enjoyed a waffle on the house. Long time readers know that all opinions here are my honest to goodness own. Y’all will enjoy Hot Shot! Tell me how it was on twitter or facebook!