Dude, here’s a place where you can grab a “radical” burger and some “gnarly” sides — and it doesn’t matter if you arrive in your swim trunks and Rollerblades. Just a few blocks from Fort Lauderdale beach, the small California Burgers & Shakes shack plays up its sun-and-surf theme with posters, cutesy menu names and a nonchalant attitude toward the scantily dressed beach crowd. The West Coast-themed spot offers a range of burgers, from a single to the Big Kahuna — two ½-pound patties. You can add toppings like the flavorful but messy Malibu (teriyaki sauce, cheese and a grilled pineapple ring) or the Santa Barbara (chili and cheese) to just about any item, including the grilled fish and chicken sandwiches. The meat patties have char-grilled flavor, and the fish sandwich is impressive — a slab of grilled mahi-mahi on a wheat bun. Fries are hand-cut with the skin on. Most items come with lettuce, tomato, mayo, pickles and caramelized onions. Don’t skip the thick shakes, served with a giant straw, in fun flavors like coconut, amaretto, peppermint and peanut butter (50 cents extra). Located in a 7-Eleven plaza across from The Galleria, the place is a little hard to spot, but it has caught on. A second California Burgers & Shakes is set to open this month on U.S. 1 in Fort Lauderdale. Awesome.
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