Whether you’re hankering for a simple, blue-collar burger or a patty with a bit more flair, you’ll find something to suit your taste in “Flipping for Florida Burgers,” VISIT FLORIDA’s occasional series exploring the state’s burger joints. Check out previous series installments on Johnny’s Fillin’ Station, Biff Burger and Danny’s All American Diner. Hungry for some meat? Let’s eat!
Longtime owners Steve and Robin Sidle keep it simple with only one type of burger on the menu, but it’s one heck of a burger – 13 ounces of slow-grilled beef that cooks into a 1-1/2-inch patty.
The decor includes colorful decommissioned toilets, vintage bathtubs (hence the name), nautical gewgaws and hanging plants. Everything about the place, from the ambience to the servers to the bikini-clad guests, adds to Le Tub's funky, laid-back vibe.
Most of the seat-yourself benches and tables are outdoors at Le Tub, which opened on 39 years ago. By noon on a Saturday, all the tables are taken, filled with young kids, boaters, retirees and bikini-clad college students. Obviously, the word of mouth approach is working.
Childhood memories are what drew Jeremy Jensen of Sunrise here with his sons Brandon, 8, and Korey, 9, one weekend.
“I used to come here with my dad,” said Jensen. “I grew up basically coming here every weekend. I played Pac-Man with the bikers. I learned to play pool here.”
The decor – which includes funky signs poking fun at life, handwritten menus and Red Stripe six-pack holders serving as condiment caddies – helps create a casual vibe.
“It’s fun to laugh at the ambience,” said Andy Helfan, a Fort Lauderdale resident who boated up to the Le Tub dock in The Wetever, “and the attitude of the servers.”
And then there’s the food.
“It’s a good, fat juicy burger,” Helfan said. “And their Bloody Marys are excellent.”
“We use fresh meat with a light amount of spice and we slow cook them on the grill,” said Stephen Bucci, Le Tub’s day and night manager.
It takes a while to grill the perfect patty – the burgers can take 30 minutes or more to make it from grill to table.
“We’re not a fast-food restaurant,” Bucci said.
The patty is served on a Kaiser poppy seed roll, delivered nightly from Cusano’s Bakery. And toppings include Swiss or American cheese, onion, tomato and lettuce. That’s it – one style, one size, one big, beefy burger.
But the menu isn’t limited solely to hamburgers. Don’t visit Le Tub without trying the seafood salad of salmon, large shrimp, squid and crabmeat, especially dressed with a drop of green jalapeño sauce and a dab of the homemade dill vinaigrette dressing and served atop a Saltine cracker.
Round out your meal with a slice of not-too-tart, made-on-premises Key lime pie, loaded with whipped cream, and you’ll be feeling as happy and laid-back as the staff.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Le Tub Saloon
WHERE: 1100 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood Beach
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. weekdays, noon to 2 a.m. weekends
CONTACT: Visit www.theletub.com or call 954-921-9425