Burger Joint in Jacksonville Beach: Col Mustard's Phat Burgers
By VISIT FLORIDA staff
Connor Dowd, 14, considers himself a burger connoisseur.
So when he couldn’t finish his pickle-topped bacon cheeseburger at Col. Mustard’s Phat Burgers in Jacksonville Beach, he was a little surprised.
“The flavor was really good,” said Dowd, who was trying the restaurant for the first time with his mother and older brother. “It’s better than most burgers I’ve had.”
It was also likely one of the biggest.
That’s why Col. Mustard's Phat Burgers boasts a Wall of Fame at its 50-seat storefront restaurant that challenges patrons to eat 1-1/2 to 3 pounds of burger in 15 minutes or less. You see photos of patrons like Cory, who consumed three patties in 11 minutes, 34 seconds and Ashley, who downed four burger patties in just over 8 minutes.
Lots of young adults and families patronize the 50-seat storefront located two blocks from the beach. The summer gets busy with an influx of tourists. In fact, 10 percent of the restaurant’s business is deliveries, to nearby hotels and businesses.
Co-owner Jessica Cooper said she likes to interact with the diners, while her husband Craig enjoys working in the kitchen and sourcing ingredients. She greets guests as they walk in the store and chats with them on their way out.
The couple bought Col. Mustard's Phat Burgers five years ago after years spent dreaming of running their own restaurant. Now they own two. A second location with seating for 60 opened in Jacksonville in March.
Though the prices are comparable to those of fast food burger purveyors (most burgers sell for $5.95), don’t expect the meals to come out like fast food. Each item is cooked to order and brought to your table.
“We hand-pat the burgers and use special seasoning,” said Cooper.
The patties are made from a mix of 80 percent lean and 20 percent fat ground beef. The bun — a challah twist Kaiser — makes a perfect wrap for the patties.
“The egg dough holds up well, even if customers order their burger rare or with lots of messy toppings,” Cooper said.
Customer faves include the Bowden Burger, topped with sautéed onions, bacon and cheddar, and the Jaguar Special, featuring ham, Thousand Island dressing, sautéed onions, bacon and cheese.
Col. Mustard’s also offers three lighter, low-fat buffalo burgers. The chili served atop burgers, hot dogs and French fries is homemade, as is the coleslaw. Finish your meal with a handmade vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or Oreo milkshake, made with Blue Bell ice cream.
“I’ve been coming here for years,” said Norm Campbell, who estimates he visits Col. Mustard’s 15 to 16 times a month from his home in Mandarin home. “It’s just a down-to-earth place.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Col. Mustard’s Phat Burgers
WHERE: 1722 Third St. North, Jacksonville Beach; 8060 Philips Highway No. 101, Jacksonville
WHEN: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
CONTACT: Visit www.jaxbestburgers.com, or call 904-247-5747 for Jacksonville Beach or 904-374-2620 for Jacksonville.