When travel magazines search cities for the culinary hidden treasures favored by the locals, The Driftwood Cafe' (formerly Charlie's Burgers) ranks as one of the top. The Driftwood Cafe' is the “go to” place for those days you just have to have a thick, luscious burger on a warm fresh bun with a side of fries. Still located at 1110 23rd Street, right off of Broadway, it was one of those places that was so popular that while it was changing hands, folks would endlessly talk about the reopening date. Now owned by a management team that includes husband and wife Paul and Michele Murdoch and one of the Quiroga brothers, the menu is being retooled to include all of the old favorites along with some unexpected dishes.
The day I dropped in for lunch, it had nothing whatsoever to do with writing. It was all about the weather changing, finding out they were open and desperately craving a Chili Cheeseburger. I was not disappointed. The thick burgers are not pre-formed patties, they’re handmade, juicy and flavorful. The chili is rich with just a small kick of heat. And I upgraded my expectations with a generous portion of thick, fried onion rings. I shamelessly, tucked a napkin into my collar and enjoyed my lunch hour.
I need to mention that burgers here are only limited by your imagination. Varieties range from “just a burger” to creations that feature, Chili Cheese, Bacon Cheese, Guacamole, Patty Melt or Minis.
Tanya, the Chef and Keith, an employee, love working at an eatery that has so many fans. “People love our French Toast Sandwich and our four Taco special for only $5.85,” they explained. Those comments are yet another reason to drop in. You know you’re in good hands, when the employees are smiling and are proud of their food.
Paul Murdoch, is an IBC married to a BOI, who respects the traditions of this iconic eatery. “We’re going to keep all of the old favorites he said, but we’re going to constantly add others,” Murdoch, even by island standards is not your typical IBC. Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, he’s adding some hometown flair to the menu: “You have to come by on Sundays and try our authentic Scotch Eggs and Fresh Chips”, he said. “We hope to bring true Homestyle Fish and Chips to our customers soon,” said Michele. “And they will have authentic, house chips, salt and vinegar,”
The menu at Charlie’s Burgers, has always featured more than burgers and fries. Under new management, the menu still reflects that variety. For example, if you’re not in a burger mood, Hot Dogs are available several ways including as a Home-made Hand-Battered, Corn Dog with creamy cheese sauce. Wings can be savored in “naked, mild,hot or Garlic Parmesan. Chicken Sandwiches can be fried or even grilled.
Murdoch is especially proud of the fact that his eatery is open for breakfast lovers. Breakfast is served between 6:30 am to 10:30 am, so you don’t have to start your work day hungry. The menu features traditional Eggs, Bacon, Ham, Sausage, Grits, Hash browns and bread. Or you can kick it up a notch with French toast, a Breakfast Burrito, and a BYO Omelet with or without Shrimp. On the weekends, you can add a “Good Morning Quiche” to that long list of choices.
The great news about the return of one of our local treasures is that it opens early and closes late. You don’t have to settle for fast food early in the morning or late in the evening. They’re open from 6:30 am to 8 pm during the week and on Saturdays.
It’s still the spot for pure burger satisfaction and more.
The Driftwood Café
1110 23rd St
1110 23rd St