It was way back in 2005 when GQ Magazine declared Le Tub Hollywood, FL to have the “Best Burger in America”. What followed was a deluge of gourmet experts, foodies, and burger fans flocking to the quaint and quirky dockside restaurant and saloon to try the now World famous burger. Shortly after Alan Richman published the article in GQ Magazine. Oprah Winfrey caught wind and sent her favorite cohost Gayle to start going through the list of best burgers in America and visit each to see if they were really all they were cooked up to be.
Oprah and her team agreed and The Le Tub saloon took the prize again for the Best Burger In America. This caused a frenzy of customers flocking to the docks to get a taste of the massive hunk of beef. People waited for hours, outside, in the heat, just to get a seat, outside, in the heat and wait another 40 – 55 minutes to receive the classic ground beef creation.
The owner stated that the special secret is that, “We use fresh-ground sirloin.” He said, “We never freeze anything—it’s all fresh!”
I visited a few weeks ago to see if anything had changed; interestingly enough, it has not. The character and nostalgia of Le Tub Saloon are the same in 2022 as it was in 2005, and probably since they opened. (although now they do accept credit cards). Even the menu is still handwritten and really has not changed much.
Old Hollywood, Florida Nostalgia
As you walk in the famous toilet seats and various ocean flotsam jetsam are located throughout the exterior and interior space. There is a wooden dock on the Intracoastal and the dock covers the entire exterior seating, with many steps and various up and down levels (no wheelchair access available outside). The grill is still the same size and you will still wait for almost an hour to get your burger.
We visited on a cloudy Saturday afternoon in Sept 2002. Sitting dockside with a view of the water and passing boats was excellent. The cold Miller Light was refreshing and at $5 affordable for beach bar standards. Even the famous burger is moderately priced at $13.50. When the burger did arrive in front of me I noticed its large size (thankfully shrinkflation has not crept into Le Tub Hollywood, FL). It is a basic burger on a basic bun. The taste was good and it was cooked perfectly. Nothing I can say bad about the burger. But I do not think it is the best burger in America. The fries were big thick steak fries. Not my personal favorite, but still decent.
Maybe if you put together the quirky decor and waterfront charm of yesteryear you can enjoy the burger more than a local landlocked burger joint. But in the end, I did not feel the need to go back and have another one. Actually, the burger was so big that half was taken home and consumed cold the following day (It tasted great the next day).