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!

Mediterranean Shish-Kebab Restaurant

It took a bit of convincing to get the kiddos in the door at St. Augustine’s Mediterranean Shish-Kebab Restaurant. They really wanted burgers but I was too tired to drive to GAS and, honestly, it was late and I wanted our food 10 minutes ago. I remembered tales of a Mediterranean Restaurant with an Indian buffet (buffet = no waiting!) … two minutes later we were pulling in. Four more minutes later I’d convinced everyone it wouldn’t be spicy and they could enjoy the taste adventure. We went inside.

We were ushered to our table- the only table in the room where the buffet was set up, how convenient!! Bright walls and clean floors gave a good first impression. Fabric tablecloths covered with paper were fine with us- I passed out pens and my kiddos happily started drawing and playing tic-tac-toe. That’s what paper on tables is for, right?

Points for paper over the fabric tablecloths so the kiddos could draw!!

I ordered baba ghannouj for a starter. Smoky eggplant, the zing of garlic and a flood of memories hit me with the first bite. It’s so close to the way my Giddo & Sitto made their baba ghannouj! I honestly didn’t expect it to be so good- great start to dinner!

Lauren and Georgia Anne decided to share a lamb gyro. When our server asked if they wanted the “salad” with it, I said no since we’d already had a salad course… turns out he meant lettuce and tomato. Oops. But the girls didn’t complain about their lamb-bread-and-french-fries dinner. I found the meat to be a little dry and suggested dipping it in the yogurt, mint and garlic sauce (tzatziki sauce), which was delish.

The most surprising thing about this restaurant to me is their Indian buffet. It varies daily, features many locally sourced ingredients. There are 4-6 choices daily including both meat and vegetarian options. The dishes I sampled had the customary “kick” of Indian food and were too spicy for most of my kiddos but I enjoyed the variety- this is one cuisine I don’t prepare at home but never tire of!

I had just written and photographed an assignment on Indian food in Jacksonville the week before our visit, so I was excited to compare the dishes. Everything I had was better at Mediterranean Shish-Kebab Restaurant.

My favorite was the simple rice dessert, kheer, which was noticeably thicker and more flavorful.

Kheer was the dessert available from the Indian buffet.

Like most Americans, I’m a “Heinz 57″ when it comes to family heritage. One great-great-great-great grandmother was ordered via mail from Ireland during the potato famine. A great-great-great grandpa was Cherokee Indian… or Blackfoot, depending on which relative is telling the story. Many of the European-roots stories have been lost over time but my Lebanese-Catholic heritage is clear and I have the passion for food, love of hospitality and protection of my family to prove it. Sharing plates at St. Augustine’s Mediterranean Shish Kabob Restaurant tasted and felt comfortable- I’m looking forward to returning for both the Arabic and unique Indian dishes!

Mediterranean Shish-Kebab Restaurant
2180 US Highway 1 S
(904) 460-2846

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