If you go
Where: 330 U.S. 41S. , Naples, 262-1127
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday; closed on Sundays
Cuisine: Burgers, sandwiches and pub fare
Beverages: Beer and wine
Atmosphere: Very casual, with a vintage airplane theme
Service: Also very casual, sometimes a little slow
Prices:Everything on the menu, from appetizers to burgers, is less than $10, except for the ribs ($15.99) and the T-bone steak ($16.99)
Recommended dishes: Definitely one of the 50 burgers
Verdict: An old Naples icon, Lindburger serves a vast array of patties with toppings that range from simple cheese to Bernaise sauce and from grilled onions to pineapple.
Fifty burgers. Sounds like a lot, but that’s what you’ll see on the menu at Lindburger’s. Located merely a block north of the glitz of Fifth Avenue, this small, casual establishment is easy to pass by, yet it has a thick following, especially with the lunch crowd. A Naples icon, the restaurant hasn’t changed much in its more than 20 years of life, and it offers the same simple food in the same fun setting. The dining room is set up to look like a vintage airplane hangar — think Memphis Belle times — and it has a definite diner feel to it, with plastic checkered tablecloths, vinyl booths and neon beer signs.
The menu, too, is fairly typical of a diner, with the addition of course of the incredibly large selection of hamburgers. Appetizers mostly fall in the category of fried bar food, ranging from mozzarella sticks ($5.95) to jalapeno poppers stuffed with cream cheese (also $5.95). If you are in the mood for something a little different, the potato skins ($6.99) are a good option, topped with melted yellow American cheese and pieces of bacon and served with cream cheese and chives. The fried zucchini ($5.45) is also a valuable alternative, especially because of the horseradish sauce it comes with — yes, it’s fried food, but at least it’s a green veggie.
Lindburgers also offers some pretty standard sandwich selections: French dips ($6.99), Reubens ($7.45), ham and cheese ($6.95) and the likes, and they all come with a choice of French fries, coleslaw or cottage cheese. A few dinner entrees are also available — a 12-ounce T-bone steak ($16.99), baby back ribs ($9.49 for a half rack, $15.99 for a full one) and a couple of entrée salads.
But one doesn’t dine at Lindburgers for the salad, the chicken or the tuna sandwich. The attraction here is the never ending list of burgers, a list that takes some serious time to go through.
It starts with some fairly traditional choices: the plane ($5.99) is just a plain, old fashion hamburger, while the cheese ($6.45) gives you the choice of American, cheddar, Swiss, Monterey jack, blue, provolone, herbed cheese or mozzarella.
Also pretty standard are the bacon and cheese, the bacon and grilled onions and the bacon and mushroom (all $6.99). But those are just five pretty standard burgers that you can find in most diners and fast-food joints. Here’s where the folks at Lindburgers have differentiated themselves: They have come up with a whopping 45 more alternatives.
In the mood for some south of the boarder flavors? Order the Mexican ($6.99), a burger top with chili, chopped onions and grated cheese, or go for the taco burger ($6.99), made with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese and black olives. If Italian is more your style, Lindburgers offers a pizza burger ($6.99) — a patty dressed with marinara sauce and topped with green peppers, onions and cheese— and the Italian, made with marinara, mushrooms and provolone. The Cajun ($6.45) has a robust flavor, because the meat is seasoned with abundant Cajun spice mix before being formed into a patty and cooked, while the tartare ($7.45), for more adventurous eaters, is raw ground beef mixed with spices and dressed with lemon juice, “cooked” by the citric acid in the lemon.
Most burgers, unless noted, come on a good quality toasted bun that is big enough to hold the toppings and doesn’t disintegrate after the first bite. No sesame seeds in sight here — which to many, including me, is great news.
Note that, oddly enough, the burgers don’t come with lettuce, tomato and onion, so if you like them you have to remember to ask your server — and you’ll be charged 50 cents. Also worth knowing is the fact the burgers tend to come out of the kitchen more done than what you have ordered them, so if you like your burger medium, order it medium rare, and so on.
If you want your burger rare, forget about it — you are not going to get it. But the good news is that Lindburger’s patties, in whatever state of doneness you order them, stay as juicy as they should.