Cafe Gardens is one of my favorite places in Gainesville. It's right across from campus, no more than a 10 minute walk from my home in the Fine Arts Complex. As a result, I have been there many times with many people and everyone agrees that the burgers are great. The place has a very college-y atmosphere-- you know, lots of crazy crap on the walls, Gator paraphernalia everywhere, and waitresses in mini-skirts and fishnets. Artsy. It's a tiny place on the inside, but they also have a ton of outdoor seating, which is really nice.
Cafe Gardens offers a number of different specialty burgers, many of which I have tried, but my favorite is the Blue Moon. I love the combination of bacon and blue cheese, and I love it even more on my burgers. Yet, in attempt at neutrality, I ordered a burger I had never had at Cafe Gardens-- the BBQ Burger.
Per the usual, I loved it. The meat is well seasoned and juicy (without being overly greasy) and the crispy onion / tangy BBQ combo with the slight sweetness of the beef is fantastic. Does that sound a little too Top Chef for this blog? Well, how about this-- it came with tortilla chips that are awesome. Now, those were oily and delicious.
I also give major points for the proportions of this burger (and all burgers at Cafe Gardens). A lot of times, you'll find a patty that is too big for its bun, (or the other way around) or too many toppings to the point of the burger falling apart... but this is not an issue here. The physics of these burgers were near perfection.
Great location (for me and other UF students), straight up awesome burgers, cool atmosphere.
Not the best service in town (not rude or unpleasant, just a bit slow), and they're closing down soon!
All in all, this is one of my favorite burgers in Gainesville. It's right up there with the Copper Monkey at a 4.5 / 5