by The Great Foodini

How many of you have either heard about or know who Wimpy is from the Cartoon, Popeye the Sailor Man?

“I’ll gladly pay your Tuesday for a hamburger today” was Wimpy’s famous mantra in life and I feel although it is an amazingly fiscally irresponsible way of living and an unhealthy diet, I can’t help but to find wimpy as a kindred spirit since I can be seen eating a burger more often than not.

Folks ask me constantly for advice. The conversation goes, “Hey, you’re the food guy, what’s the best (FILL IN THE BLANK) on the coast”.

I typically have an answer for almost any dish that is available down here….MS Gulf Coast needs to step up their Dim Sum game because it is almost impossible to get good dim sum. Until the last couple of years, I had a “go to” favorite burger. No longer can I just spout out the best burger on the coast with certainty. There are so many places, and I have probably written about each of them so far. So here is my top five list.

First thing to know is that although Burger Burger is an amazing spot, do not be fooled by the name. Their claims to fame lay in other sections on the menu there. I will get into the carrot soufflé and the Cabbage Casserole in another column.

1. The Project Lounge: Yes, it looks seedy and is so dark you need 10 minutes for your eyes to adjust. Yes, occasionally a train rumbles by and vibrates your drink right off the table, but they are and hold firm to their claim that they have the “Best Burger on the Coast”. It says it right on the menu. According to burger lore, they’ve never once deep cleaned the grill that does all their flame broiling. They do have a special marinade sauce that goes on the burgers, before the burgers go on the grill, but they will never tell.

2. Fat Baby and Alise: This spot right on Popps Ferry Blvd. is relatively new, but their Fat Baby burger is a 10 ounce burger with a blended Applewood bacon and beef chuck ground together and topped with smoked pulled pork and more Applewood bacon and cheddar cheese on a brioche bun. This burger is something a family of four could eat on all day, but every bite is so delicious from start to finish.

3. The Rackhouse: Right in the heart of downtown Gulfport sits a restaurant that has quickly become known for many things, but the smoked gouda steakburger is everything one would hope for a big juicy, meaty burger chocked full of flavor, not to mention the smoked gouda flavor that accompanies this patty made from ground chuck, short ribs and brisket. You can order with or without sautéed Vidalia onions, but I suggest that you get them. It really rounds out the flavor.

4. Sea Level: This burger is what you expect the good ole days to actually taste like. The Sea Level burger is made with nothing but pure USDA prime ground beef and topped on a toasted bun and cheese. If you ever get a hankering for just a good big juicy burger. This is the place. Washing it down with a fresh-squeezed lemonade is definitely the way to go.

5. Seriously, like I said, there are so many options for a good burger. I am going to leave the fifth slot open to save myself some ridicule, but also to hopefully learn something. When this article publishes on the facebook page. I want you to go and post your favorite burger and why. What makes it so darn good? Maybe you guys can teach the ole Foodini something.