One Summer afternoon in 2008, nine red-blooded heterosexual American men walked into the Oval Office in Milton, FL for lunch.
They didn’t need menus. They gathered around a white folding table and each man ordered a cheeseburger, fries and a Coke.
These friends met on a regular basis to eat lunch, discuss sports, politics, religion, and of course; hamburgers.
Halfway through their meal a hush fell upon the group. Each man was lost in his own thoughts, quietly savoring each bite of this delicious burger.
One voice broke the silence and announced matter-of-factly “This is the best burger in town.” A handful of the men agreed, nodding, unable to speak given the amount of food in their mouths.
“Honestly, I prefer the Blue Dot” one man spoke up. Several agreed.
Quickly, two camps were formed: those who preferred the Oval Office and those who favored the Blue Dot.
Determined to settle this “Best Burger” debate- one man reached for a napkin and tore it into nine separate pieces. He handed each person a small portion of the napkin and gave instructions:
“Rate the burger you just ate on a scale of 1-10. Next week we’ll meet at the Blue Dot, we’ll score that burger and settle this debate once and for all- like gentlemen.”
That following week the same group of men gathered at Bartam Park in Downtown Pensacola. Seated on picnic tables underneath a small canopy- they waited patiently.
One of the men arrived with a grease soaked paper bag full of hamburgers from the Blue Dot on De Villiers Street.
The burgers were distributed as each man sat to eat his burger in near silence. At the time, it seemed they were moments from crowning a champion and settling the “Best Burger” debate.
The grease soaked paper bag was torn into bits and functioned as a makeshift “score card.” Without conversation, each man scored the burger.
As the scorecards were being collected- one man addressed the group “You know, if we’re going to do this the right way, we need to go to Jerry’s Drive In. Jerry’s is a Pensacola institution.”
This sparked a wildfire of conversation amongst the group about other great burgers: Fish House, The Times Grill and McGuire’s were each mentioned.
And so the Tour was born.
Within a week they had a fully functional website: www.pensacolaburgertour.com
The website gave readers an option to “Recommend a Tour Stop.” And the suggestions came pouring in.
That year the “Burger Tour” would go on to sample more than 25 hamburgers in the Pensacola area- each at the recommendation of one of their followers.
“It became a matter of public duty” one panel member commented.
This Panel made it clear that they weren’t concerned about ambiance or a five star dining experience. They’re committed to scoring the burger based on one criterion; TASTE.
And so, what began as a disagreement between nine friends has become much more.
This Panel is a group of everyday, ordinary guys- but their combined “expertise” has become the trusted stamp of approval when it comes to the Pensacola Burger experience.
The Accountant, The Carpenter, The Banker, The Computer Whiz, The Yankee, The Coach, The Preacher and The Construction Worker
At your service,
The Pensacola Burger Tour