RESTAURANT REVIEW: Square 1 Burgers & Bar is much more than a typical burger joint

A really good burger is hard to find. And, chances are if you find it, it’s really expensive and you almost have to “treat” yourself to it.

Square 1 Burgers & Bar is located at 2542 Burnsed Blvd. in the Pinellas Plaza shopping center.

When Square 1 Burgers & Bar came to town, we were skeptical. There was a lot of hype around the opening, including being allowed to bring your pets to dine on the outside patio with you. Although we have a beloved pet, we never bring him out to eat with us – it was OK for us to leave him at home without us having separation anxiety.

We’ve been to Square 1 numerous times over the years and have had consistently good food, service and an overall pleasurable experience. It’s a fun place to dine with its cowboy-like décor, fancy chandeliers and colorful table lighting.

French Onion Soup, top photo, and Spicy Eggrolls are a perfect way to start a meal at Square 1 Burgers & Bar.

The seating is comfortable and you don’t feel squeezed in. The spacious booths are upholstered in furry hide, and although quite large, are very cozy. The restaurant offers booth, table, high-top or bar seating, indoors or out. And isn’t dining out more pleasurable when you don’t have to fight for a parking spot? This location is 2542 Burnsed Blvd., in the Pinellas Plaza shopping center, and parking is plentiful.

We started our dinner with the French Onion Soup. I opted for a cup and my dining partner a larger bowl. The cup was plenty for an appetizer and the bowl was large enough for a dinner. It was perfectly cooked and filled with crusty bread bits. It had just the right amount of gooey cheese on top and the onion flavor was not overpowering.

The Grilled Meatloaf with roasted potato wedges and green beans, top photo, proved to be a delicious choice, while the Decadent Chicken Sliders with caramelized onions and melted brie cheese were quite tasty. And the green beans – with just the right amount of crunch – are a must.

Next, we tried the Spicy Eggrolls that came with a southwest dipping sauce and a side of coleslaw. The eggrolls are quite spicy, crunchy and delicious, especially when dipped in the sauce. They’re filled with a mixture of Wild Bourbon Pulled Pork, slaw and pepper jack cheese. The real surprise was the coleslaw. It has a vinegar base instead of creamy mayo and was surprisingly delicious – almost tart!

Next came the entrees. Although Square 1 specializes in burgers, this trip we opted to mix it up a bit. We’ve had their delicious burgers in the past and we wanted to experience more of the menu. I had the Grilled Meatloaf with roasted potato wedges and green beans. Now, let me just say this – I am a total meatloaf snob. If it’s not my own recipe, or made by my dear mother, I will not eat it.

Square 1 Burgers offers a full-service bar with spacious seating areas.

But after our server described it, I just had to try it. This meatloaf is made with both ground beef and pork. It doesn’t even try to be an Italian meatloaf – just good ’ol American-style. After it’s baked, it’s grilled and served with authentic char marks. It’s topped with zesty meatloaf sauce and served on top of a delicious signature brown gravy.

You’d think after being baked, then grilled, that it would be quite dry. Quite the contrary – it was juicy with a slight crust and it was marvelous! The roasted rosemary potato wedges were seasoned to perfection. And the garlic green beans were quite flavorful – with just the right crunch.

Square 1 Burgers features a cowboy-like décor with fancy chandeliers and booths that are upholstered in furry hide.

My dining partner had the Decadent Chicken Sliders with caramelized onions and melted brie cheese, along with a side of those wonderful green beans. The chicken was slightly seasoned, the buns were soft and warm and the cheese was perfectly melted.

Although we really did have enough to eat, we just couldn’t resist having dessert – rich, exquisite dark chocolate layer cake with a dollop of whipped cream. I don’t think I need to say more. If you’re a chocoholic, then this will not disappoint!

The dark chocolate layer cake can only be described as exquisite and the perfect ending to a great meal.

If you’re planning to bring a large party to Square 1 Burgers, you’ll find comfortable seating options.

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