Local Bites: Engine No. 9 Burger Bar and Pub

During my last St. Pete adventure, I planned to celebrate a great style shoot with pH over sushi at Hook's, a place I'd heard a lot about from St. Pete friends. Unfortunately, I was ready to eat at 3 p.m., and the restaurant didn't open until 5 p.m. for dinner. Knowing my hangry little self couldn't wait another two hours, I remembered my friend Adam had told me about a burger place he loves called Engine No. 9. They were open, and just five minutes down the road, so I took it as a sign.

This place is amazing, and has easily positioned itself in the top spot of my list of favorite burger places. The front of the restaurant features two-top high tables and a large bar; the back, holds tables large enough to fit five people and each table has its own TV and remote, which is pretty darn awesome. We took a seat in the back and looked at the menu over the sounds of the Food Network's Chopped playing in the background.

For appetizers, we went for the Fried Dill Pickle Spears and Macho Tator Tots. I loved fried sliced pickles, but was a little wary of ordering these spears. Anytime I've ordered fried pickle spears, they've come out soggy. This was not the case at Engine No. 9 - the breading was the perfect amount and the pickles themselves were still crunchy and delicious. The Macho Tator Tots were also delicious - you cannot go wrong with tots smothered in chili and cheese!

Fried Dill Pickle Spears, served with a side of Jalapeno Ranch.

Macho Tator Tots smothered with Chili and topped with Shredded Jack & Cheddar Cheese.

pH ordered the Bokor Burger, featuring sliced brisket, fried cheese curds, jalapeno bacon and jerk glaze. I stole a bite and was pleasantly surprised with how tender the brisket was and how well it paired with the burger. I opted for the Van Helsing, which features every single topping I could ever want on a burger. Seriously. I love pickled jalapenos, I can't get enough of bacon, my go-to cheese is Pepperjack, and when do I ever NOT want bacon?

It was all so delicious, and the fries were cooked to a perfect crisp texture. Engine No. 9 is officially my go-to spot for a burger, and I cannot wait to try the other burgers on the menu - I've got my eye on The Heart Attack Burger next!

The Bokor Burger: Sliced Brisket, Fried Cheese Curds, Jalapeno Bacon & Jerk Glaze.

The Van Helsing Burger: Roasted Jalapenos, Roasted Garlic Bulbs, Pepperjack Cheese and Crumbled Bacon.

Engine No. 9 is located at 56 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street North in St. Petersburg. The restaurant is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. View the menu here.