Hangry Bison’s tag line, “Come Hangry. Leave Happy.” was the perfect theme for the night of my momentous first visit to this very popular Winter Park Village eatery. Opened in 2018, it took less than a year to win the 2019 Orlando Sentinel Foodie Award for Orlando’s Best Burger. Well earned, indeed! The two burgers we ordered were each a flavor powerhouse and massive enough to require take home boxes.
September, being Bourbon Heritage Month, is the perfect time to explore their extensive list of bourbons and delectable burgers. I suggest starting the evening with one of the many sumptuous craftails featuring high-end bourbons and spirits; drinks with names like the delicate Blushing Betty or the spicy Hangry Mary. Any of these would be the perfect elixir for a hot summer night. The Sweet and Salty ($12) called out to me, not only because it describes me, but because I adore a good aromatic botanical drink.
This margarita ingeniously combines Buffalo Trace bourbon, lavender liquor, sour mix, lime juice, and a salt and sugar rim. Pretty and perfectly refreshing without being too sweet. I absolutely loved it. My partner ordered the signature craftail, the Smoked Bison ($16), and I was instantly impressed. While my drink exemplified understated elegance, his was theatrical and demanded an audience, it was to be hailed as King of the Night in all its glory. Allow me to explain there was a glass dome, a flamed orange peel, and sweet, ethereal smoke spreading itself in a luxuriating indulgent haze. It was sexy and cool.
Both being bourbon lovers, we decided to enjoy the Lexington Flight ($16), composed of the Town Branch Straight Bourbon, Town Branch Single Malt, and the Town Branch Rye. Town Branch is new to me and newish on the scene, coming about in 2012. Overall, it has a nice oaky aroma and caramel coloring. I preferred the Rye for its slightly spicier note, while my partner preferred the single malt for its smoothness.
Our server, Kendall, was very knowledgeable of the menu so we took her up on several of her suggestions – all winners. Appetizers were brought out quickly and presented beautifully. At Hangry Bison, farm fresh veggies are cut in-house, and this focus on freshness and quality was apparent in the Fried Green Tomatoes ($8), which were flash fried to a golden-crisp and served with a basil aioli. My favorite were the Calamari ($12), also flash fried ensuring tenderness, while the banana peppers they were tossed with added delightful and unexpected burst of bright flavor.
Options galore abound in their “Bison Builds” menu allowing you to create a burger of your own creation from an extensive list including such proteins as: Salmon burger, Tuna steak, spicy Italian sausage, Impossible Burger, Bison, and other more traditional choices. If you are picky about buns or need Gluten free options, enjoy exploring toppings and sauces, then you will love this menu.
We chose signature burger, the Hangry Bison ($17), a juicy explosion of flavors and toppings piled high with pepper jack, arugula, tomato, green olives, and for added kick, sriracha and brown mustard. The pretzel bun takes this burger to the next level making apparent why they have been voted Best Burger on more than one occasion. Jimmy, the manager, ensured our burgers were cooked to our liking and made sure we had everything we needed.
Not to be outdone, the Bleu Bison, ($18), is an umami-packed behemoth loaded with portobello mushrooms, crumbled bleu cheese, tomato, fried onion straws, lettuce, and A1 sauce all between a brioche bun. Perfection. This heavyweight should pair perfectly with any of the bourbon craftails or extensive list of craft beer which proudly highlights some of our great local breweries.
For the perfect ending we had the Maple Bourbon Bread Pudding ($8), paired with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel.
Located directly across from the Regal Theater, which is now open, the Hangry Bison offers a perfect evening out. If you are a bourbon aficionado, this is the place to get your whiskey fix. If you are newly delving into the wonderful world of whiskey, first of all, I salute you, and, secondly, fear not, Jimmy and the great staff will walk you through the options and ensure you make the right selections. Cheers!
The Hangry Bison
480 Orlando Ave #130
Winter Park, Florida 32789
For more information, please visit: https://thehangrybison.com/