The 2015 Best Burger in Coral Springs Contest Winner


Darren McEwan, Senior at Coral Springs High School holds up his Prime Rib Burger at Big Bear Brewing Company


By: Sharon Aron Baron and Dan I. Cook

The winner of the Best Burger in Coral Springs 2015 has been decided by our judges and it was a tough one. First off thank you to all of our judges and to Big Bear Brewing Company, Burger Fi, and Lefty’s Tavern and Grille. We had a great time at each place.

Since this was a first time event, everything went really smoothly.  However, there must be a winner and our top scores for the Best Burger goes out to:  

Big Bear Brewing Company

Big Bear Brewing Company co-owner Greg Sherman with our award.

Big Bear Brewing Company co-owner Greg Sherman with our award.

The Judges

We had 17 judges with us and they deserved to be recognized: Ron Malanowski contacted us through our Facebook Page and Dan’s Yelp account. Ron brought his friend Jon Fishman who teaches 6th Grade English at North Broward Prep; Darren McEwan, Senior Class President of Coral Springs High School; Greg Ohl, Senior Class President of Coral Springs Charter; Class Secretary Greg Caveccia; Coral Springs Charter Athletic Director Mike Higgins; Assistant Head Coach and substitute teacher Rob Perez; FAU Freshman Hunter I.; Ross Kuruc, who is a Broward College Freshman; Andrea Hilera, an eight grade student at Coral Springs Charter; Angel and Michelle Hilera, residents of Coral Springs; Diana Aron, retired office manager; Fred I., Coral Springs resident and retired entertainer from the Mai-Kai; and Allison I., Coral Springs resident.

As you can see we had a wide range of people who were judges. We want to thank all of them for taking the time to put on their “stretchy pants” for this event.

The Rules

Judges prepare for a day of burger tasting heaven.

Judges prepare for a day of burger tasting heaven.

Before we started judging the burgers we went over a few issues, and this one being the most important: our goal was not to beat up any of the three restaurants. The poll received over 2,000 votes, so each of these restaurants deserved to be in the hunt for best burger in Coral Springs. We’re very proud to say we received no discounts or free items. We paid as any customer would and tipped the waitstaff accordingly, which is the way it should be when you are trying to promote businesses in your community. We don’t think this style of judging has ever been done in South Florida and we’re very proud of that.

The Burger Trials 


Ron Malanowski and Jon Fishman

So how were we able to stay hungry during three rounds of judging delicious hamburgers?  It was extremely hard. Many of us split the burgers in half, and we didn’t eat the french fries.  We did see Andrea eat her pickle at Big Bear and even order dessert. It’s great to be in the eighth grade!

Man, it was hard not to overindulge each round, but this was serious business and we had to save our appetite for each finalist.

Big Bear Brewing Company

So let’s talk about what made Big Bear Brewing Company burgers come out on top of the pack.  Four of our judges ordered the Bistro Burger. The Bistro Burger has brie cheese, balsamic onions, old smokehouse applewood bacon, garlic mustard mayo.

Prime Rib Burger

Prime Rib Burger

“So delicious,” said Allison I. “Each separate ingredient was fantastic from the bun, cheese, bacon and meat.”

Four of our judges ordered the Bear Burger which has old smokehouse applewood bacon, Vermont cheddar, fried egg and mayo.

“I think there was nothing you can do to make the burger better,” said Andrea Hilera.

“The waitress offered a higher quality of meat but I passed and I wasn’t let down,” said Angel Hilara.”Right size of bun, juicy, made as ordered, and just ecstasy. Best burger today.”

Coral Springs Charter Athletic Director Mike Higgins; Varsity Head Baseball Coach Rob Perez;

Coral Springs Charter Athletic Director Mike Higgins; Varsity Head Baseball Coach Rob Perez;

Three of our judges ordered the Black and Blue Burger which has cajun seasoning, bleu cheese, Canadian bacon, roasted red pepper mayo.

“The flavor of the blue cheese made the taste of the burger amazing. The presentation was very clean.  The bread surrounding the burger was the perfect size, “ said Robert Perez.

Four of our judges ordered the Prime Rib Burger which is an 8 oz burger topped with cheddar cheese, shaved rare prime rib, and caramelized onions.

Ron Malanowski said, “The Wagyu beef was incredible and cooked to perfection,”

“Out of this world,” said Jon Fishman.

“The best burger ever,” said Fred I. “Tastes good like it should.”

“Love at first bite.” Said Ross Kuruc.

Lefty’s Tavern and Grille

Burger from Lefty's Tavern and Grille

Burger from Lefty’s Tavern and Grille

Our judges loved their burgers there and Lefty’s offered a variety on their menu that our judges purchased including:  the Breakfast Burger, Bleu CheeseBurger, Sonoma Burger, Bacon Burger and French Onion Burger.

Gregory Careccia loved his Breakfast Burger and said it was extremely flavorful.  The burger included an egg, maple syrup and bacon.  “The flavors of all the toppings on the perfectly cooked meat made the extra condiments unnecessary.  “One of the best burgers I have ever had.”

Darren McEwan ordered the French Onion Burger which had Gruyere Cheese, Caramelized Onions and Garlic Aioli. “Very juicy and a great onion flavor,” he said. ”When you bite into the burger, the juices just flow into your mouth.”

“Excellent flavor.  Juiciest burger I’ve seen in awhile,” said Ron Malanowski who ordered the Sonoma Burger. “Loved the arugula, red pepper and the goat cheese toppings and the soft fresh bun.”

Coral Springs Charter School Senior Greg Ohl enjoying his Breakfast All Day Burger from Burger Fi

Coral Springs Charter School Senior Greg Ohl enjoying his Breakfast All Day Burger from Burger Fi

Burger Fi

Our judges tried the Brisket Burger, Breakfast All Day Burger BurgerFi Burger. Ross Kuruc had BBQ and Bacon on his Cheeseburger said that his burger was small but filled with tremendous flavors.

“If you’re hungry, you will need more than one,” said Michelle Dones who had the Burgerfi Burger. “The patties are small, not too thick, so the burger is not too juicy but flavor is good.  Good solid burger.”

Gregory Ohl purchased the Breakfast All Day Burger and said, “Overall good burger.  Very crunchy bacon and hash brown.  Egg was cooked perfectly over easy.”


We had such a great time and believe we started something awesome here. We think our next “Best of Coral Springs” could include: pizza, wings and even sub sandwiches. Who knows?  We could even rate the best pancakes in town. The choices are endless. The good news is our judges say they are in, and they have the taste buds  – and the stretchy pants to handle it.

But wait, that doesn’t mean anyone else can’t be a judge. When we post our next “Best of” Coral Springs just let us know you are judge worthy. We at Coral Springs Talk would love nothing more than walking into the next business with 30 judges. Now that folks, would be cool to see and I’m sure the businesses would love it too.

Stay Hungry!

Author Profile

Dan Cook

Dan Cook
A native of Broward, Half-Samoan Half-Irish or Afa Tasi, Food Warrior, Beer Ninja, United States Marine, owner/talent of Retired Oakland Park Police Department/BSO Sergeant, DLE.

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