Flavorful Intersection

At B&B Junction, in the old 4 Rivers spot, Aaron Quinones crafts creative burgers as well as a superb mac ’n cheese.



Aaron Quinones offers masterpieces like the #5 burger with bourbon ham, bacon, brie, and egg on French toast (center), as well as killer mac ’n cheese (upper right).

B&B Junction chef/co-owner Aaron Quinones is hoping to carve out a spot in a massive local hamburger explosion.

No fewer than a dozen chains and independent burger joints are open or will soon be opening, from local faves like Pine22 and Graffiti Junktion to big boys BurgerFi and Five Guys, not to mention Colombian burgers, Hawaiian burgers and perennial standbys such as Tap Room and Johnny’s Fillin’ Station. B&B (“burgers and beer”) is taking the route of locally sourced, organic and free-range ingredients, words that not too many years ago would have sounded as foreign as a French menu, but these days are the new—and thankfully, welcomed—state of  business. 

Beef from St. Cloud, greens and tomatoes from Mount Dora, Eustis, Winter Garden and Kissimmee, eggs from Ocoee, all remind us that Central Florida is still a great and varied garden, and B&B harvests them all, plus antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken, turkey and bison from well-known farms across the country. But it’s the way they put it all together that makes this tiny place stand out.

Quinones spent years working in small restaurants and South Florida gastropubs before joining the executive chef team at Darden, and then opening Padrino’s Cuban Bistro in the tourist area of John Young Parkway. Now he’s moved from high volume to hand crafted in Winter Park.

Shoehorned into the original 4 Rivers location on Fairbanks Avenue, B&B has even less inside room, if that can be imagined, but it appears that they’ve sacrificed standing room for an expanded kitchen. Seating is still communal style out back; a counter for ordering, a dessert case and six beer taps is about it inside. The burger selection dominates, with 18 variations on meat-and-bun, plus salads, wings, killer mac ’n cheese, craft beers by the bottle, and wine.

Photos by Roberto Gonzalez

Quinones says he wants to offer sit-down restaurant quality dishes in a fast-casual setting, and ingredients like ghost pepper cheese, watermelon-jicama slaw, and fried fennel certainly catch the eye.

The menu of burgers and “alternative burgers” doesn’t seem as overwhelming as some other all-inclusive eateries; chalk it up to interesting pre-selected combinations. Order by the numbers: #5 combines a 6-ounce, inch-thick patty with mellow bourbon ham, brie, smoky bacon and a Lake Meadow Naturals fried egg, served on brioche French toast ($9.50). I ordered the #4 ($8.50), layering gooey Gruyere cheese, spicy watercress and wild mushrooms, and asked to have the burger “subbed” with turkey. A superb handful it was, the turkey thick and slightly pink, charred on the outside and moist within, accented by a hint of truffle oil in the house-made mayo (ketchup and mustard are made from scratch here too, as are the brioche buns).

Having not had a bison burger before (I know, strange, eh?), I looked to the variant menu, where pulled pork, chicken and veggie alternatives also abound. The bison (#14, $11) was complemented by a wonderful half-savory, half-sweet onion jam, sensuous melted bleu cheese and watercress. I’ll warn you that, as when ordering a good steak, and with bison in particular, if they offer “pink or not,” choose pink.

It wasn’t until he had irreversibly settled on “B&B Junction” that Quinones was told about his burger compatriots Graffiti Junktion just a couple of miles down the road. “I wanted to call it something like The Pickled Cucumber,” Quinones says, “but my dad said Winter Park was all about trains and gathering people together, so Junction made sense.” There’s probably room for two good junctions in the neighborhood. 

Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

 

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

2014 Finest Doctors

Two national surveys name the Best and Top Doctors in Orlando, as recommended by their peers.

Orlando's Top Chiropractors of 2014

More than 75 Central Florida chiropractors make our inaugural list.

Fall Getaways

Fall is finally on its way and now is the perfect time to plan your getaway. Check out some of these great deals and special destinations just a short drive from Orlando.

Real Estate's Hot 100

Whether you’re trying to buy or sell real estate, getting the best deal means finding an agent who possesses savvy and know-how and gets results. This list showcases some Central Florida agents who have demonstrated those skills.

Spotlight on Plastic Surgeons 2014

This special advertising section highlights the accomplishments of plastic surgeons, who tell about their commitment to helping people look their best.

Orlando's Best Lawyers of 2014

Get informed with our annual list of more than 400 Orlando-area attorneys, compiled by Best Lawyers in America. The annual selection features lawyers in 78 areas of practice.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

Memorable Moments-Drs. Chambers, Sweet and Vollenweider

We asked several doctors who appear on the Best and Top Doctors lists to share a memorable day or experience in their medical careers.

Second Life

Recycle your old containers and use them as unique garden planters.

Universal Appeal

Universal Orlando's holiday celebration features a Macy's parade, Mannheim Steamroller and The Grinch.

Memorable Moments-Drs. Sabogal, Parbhu and Woo

We asked several doctors who appear on the Best and Top Doctors lists to share a memorable day or experience in their medical careers.