I had never heard of a Tucker Duke’s and I certainly did not know what was in his lunchbox, but any time I hear of a new restaurant opening up, I scour the internet for their menu like a drunk dude looking for a Tinder hookup at 4am. I’m serious, my fingers will Google up a menu faster than you can say “put down the deep fryer Jill, your cholesterol level is rising.” From the moment I saw Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox menu, I knew I was in love. Any menu that has an item on it that belongs on “Man vs. Food” easily crawls its way in to my heart. Their $35 “Tanner & The Unicorn” burger is a ¾ lb burger with toppings from both the Tucker Duke Burger (fried onion rings, American cheese, Tucker sauce, lettuce, tomato) and the Mondragon Burger (6 slices of bacon, a fried egg, 2 slices each of American & cheddar cheeses) all between two grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s like a chronic overeater and a pothead had a brainchild, and I love it.
Now, in the interest of trying all the foods I could fit into my stomach, I couldn’t very well order the “Tanner & The Unicorn,” but I plan to unleash the beast next time I stop in. It’s not going to be pretty. So unpretty, in fact, that I most likely will order it to go with the guise of it feeding a family of four, then secretly devour it while crying about being single during the final rose ceremony of The Bachelorette.
But enough about my typical Saturday night plans.
I was elated to be invited in by Chef Brian to Tucker Duke’s new location in Boca (there are already locations in Deerfield Beach and Niceville) along with my partner in gluttony crime Shaina at Take A Bite Out Of Boca. We started off with a couple of delicious local brews, which is always appreciated at a burger joint. There’s nothing more disappointing than washing your big meaty burger down with a glass of water. The first thing we demanded were Portabella Fries, because fries always.
The fries were brought out along with a cheese fritter and a Reuben fritter. All three were so delicious, but the Reuben fritter won my heart. I’m a Jewish girl who loves her deli, and this took it to a new level – the salty, briny corned beef mixed with the sweet and sour sauerkraut tasted right at home inside the crispy fried breading. A total win!
There are a few “buzz items” as I like to call them on menus, that anytime it’s on a menu, I have to order. Mexican Street Corn is one of those, so although seeing it on a burger menu surprised me, I was anxious to try it. It was served with beer braised shrimp on top and cooked to perfection – I love to taste that little bit of char on the corn. And it was covered in cojita cheese, and not sparingly. Just like cuss words, cheese should never, ever be used sparingly.
We also ordered some fish dip to start out our meal (or at this point it was more like a pre-post-appetizer snack). Seasoned, made in house chips were served alongside a creamy dip that is smoked in-house and served with a sriracha aoili.
Then, it was literally time to get to the meat of things. Chef Brian brought out a burger for me and a “Sami,” or veggie burger, for Shaina. No offense to Shaina, but I think vegetarians miss out on all the fun because this burger literally gave me all of the feels. The burger is part of the James Beard Blended Burger Project, which means that mushrooms were used as part of the patty (side note, vote for Tucker Duke’s for the win here). It was without a doubt the most incredible tasting patty I have ever had. As a kid growing up, I thought McDonald’s was the end all, be all of burgers, but then again I also thought that Lance Bass was straight. The burger was served with bacon, caramelized onions and BBQ sauce, and whet my appetite for more, because your girl does not just do one slider and call it a day.
So at this point, I was getting full, but it was time to get what I came here for: the famous Tucker Duke Burger. Side note, this is why we wear baggy, stretchy pants to dinners like this. I have a whole blog about what to wear when you’re gonna pig out that can be found here. So, now it was time for woman vs. food. A matchup for the ages. Let me tell you about this burger. This burger is made with three giant fried onion rings sitting on top of a delicious patty with cheese and smothered in the famous Tucker Duke sauce. Words cannot describe it, so this video should suffice.
I truly wanted to devour it all, but there were 4 – yes 4 – more dishes to tackle. So I can attest that the next day leftovers of this burger were just as good!
We were then treated to a couple off-the-menu (but soon to be added) dishes.
I’ve never had lion fish before – in fact I’ve barely ever heard of it – but what a treat! The fish is so light and they serve it seasoned intensely with pepper, which makes for a truly delightful bite. It was served over mussels and shrimp in a light broth. I honestly thought about getting in to a fist fight with Shaina over this in order to eat the whole thing myself, but then I spotted the falafel and realized that there were other noms to conquer.
This falafel had a consistency that was much chewier than any other falafel I have had, and I actual really enjoyed it. It also didn’t have the overpowering chickpea flavor that I usually get sick of halfway through, and instead was made with peas and mint for a yummy twist.
Then, dessert time. I’m not big on sweets, but put anything in a deep fryer and it’s gonna go in my mouth. So let’s talk about their Peanut Butter and Jelly Bon Bons. If there is a food that is dear to my heart second after french fries, it’s peanut butter. Like for real, I put peanut butter on my eggs. So this, for me, was a dessert made in heaven. As Chef Brian marveled at the amount that Shaina and I could consume, we lapped these puppies down.
And then we moved on to the second dessert, which was another soon-to-be-on-the-menu item: grilled figs with caramelized onion and bleu cheese, served with grilled brioche bread for dipping. I love when chefs play with savory versus sweet, and this dish brought the best of both sides. The bleu cheese was not too overpowering and mixed will with the sweet figs.
After 11 incredible and diverse dishes, it was time to call the airlift and head home. But I will certainly be back. There are Nacho Tots calling my name. And conch fritters. And fried pickles. And buffalo chicken egg rolls. And shrimp po’ boy. And fried cookie dough. And that’s only just to start before I attempt the $35 Tanner & The Unicorn Burger.
I’m gonna have to marry rich. I am one expensive date.