Review: The sweet and spicy sides of Brook’s Gourmet

Will Watts

Beef lovers rejoice, Brook’s Gourmet Burgers and Dogs now has a third location, on East Tamiami Trail in South Naples. It was the destination for my latest dining adventure.

Glancing at the sandwich portion of the menu, there are tons of “themed” sandwiches to choose from; then you get to pick your protein (i.e. a hulking slap of angus beef, a turkey burger, chicken breast or veggie patty).

The “Fig and F.I.N.E.” featuring angus beef; with a side of cole slaw, featuring cranberries and candied walnuts.

My dining companion ordered the “Fig and F.I.N.E.” which features buttered onions, fig jam and goat cheese. And his protein of choice was the angus beef – and in reality, that’s the only choice for this theme worth mentioning.

There’s a cardinal rule among us dining reviewers, and it’s for the readers’ sake. You can’t both eat the same thing and serve the reader. And that goes a long way in explaining my choice of a chicken breast in this burger joint. But not just any theme would do; nope. Rylee’s Ragin’ Cajun. That means my breast came blackened, yum! It was topped with onions, jalapeno peppers and pepper-jack cheese.  

Brook's Gourment's Buffalo Fire Fries.

But wait! I almost forgot; before we get into the weeds of the main courses, we need to start at the beginning with the appetizer of choice for the night: Buffalo Fire Fries. One more time for maximum impact: BUFFALO FIRE FRIES!

Take some Brook’s French fries, slather them in buffalo wing sauce, add some blue cheese crumbles and melted cheddar cheese on top and you have a fantastic way to start a meal. My dinner buddy simply exclaimed: delicious!

The buffalo here is some of the best wing sauce around. Overall though, we couldn’t help but wonder if a blue-cheese dressing won’t be a nice addition; perhaps instead of the melted cheddar.  Some of you might disagree; but this is American, dang it! So go for it.

Back to the fig burger. From the long list of sides (and since we started with fries) my companion for the evening choose the cole slaw, featuring sweet cranberries and candied walnuts.

Rylee’s Ragin' Cajun with a blackened chicken breast

He ordered the burger well done. Stop gasping! I’m appalled too. But to each his own. Perhaps the agony of cooking it that way was too much for the chef, because the burger came to the table a solid medium well. He ate it anyway. We did mention this fact to the waitress. She offered us another burger, even though this one was half way gone. We declined.

I must admit, I was expecting to see a discount on the receipt at the end. Spoiler alert: That didn’t happen.

Along with a Boylan root beer, my companion described the overall meal as a European adventure to a nice little bistro; and what can I tell you; I dared not have any follow up questions to that description.

He said the cole slaw, with the sweet angle, was like eating dessert – so we didn’t order any more. What can I tell you, my cheapness won out.

The under-cooked burger had me going into my chicken a bit leery. But no need to fret. It was amazing, juicy and delish! A bit too juicy; but I will take that over dry any day of the week. And it was not as spicy as I expected; but also a good thing.

The Brook's Gourmet Greek salad.

As my side I choose the Greek salad. It can with a slight upcharge, but I needed to know what a Greek salad at a burger joint would taste like. Solid effort; but nothing to write home about.

It was good enough to make be bemoan the fact that there were no dolmades on the side.