bite-sized

Find your Function at Grown-Up Burger Bar

Graffiti Junktion lands in Jax Beach and Mandarin

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There's something about the aroma of a juicy burger being cooked to order that makes a carnivore's mouth water. The area's newish Graffiti Junktion American Burger Bars have two functions: Send that scent through the air, then satisfy the cravings it creates. The casual Jax Beach spot has indoor and outdoor bars and seating; the service is efficient—a sports bar vibe with a street art nuance.

The sun is officially shining and it's vacation time, which means we can splurge on stuff we don't usually splurge on. For me, that's something way good greasy I don't usually order. Bring on Buffalo Chicken Tots ($10). Chunky, crispy fried tenders, tossed in housemade buffalo sauce, topped with fresh bacon pieces and bleu cheese crumbles. It's a decent-sized basket—enough to share with a table full of pals. Go one better to impress: get the award-winning Macho Nachos ($15)-layers of corn tortilla chips, a choice of beef or grilled chicken, topped with sour cream, housemade salsa, cheddar cheese and fresh jalapeños. Go for it; I hear they're award-winning.

OK, now the pièce de résistance dans la maison: the much-ballyhooed burger! Each order includes two 100 percent Angus beef patties, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles, plus handcut fries. Graffiti Junktion has at least 10 ways to order a burger, including a veggie variety.

I opted for Brotherly Love burger ($11) because, in these trying times, we could all use a little more of that. The well-engineered burger arrives on a metal tray. My B.L. burger had a layer of peppers and onions topped with mushrooms and cheese, somewhere among the beef and the other stuff stuffed between the buns. Each bite's nice and juicy and the construction stays together-no table of contents here. A side of tots is included; you can opt for zucchini fries or something else that's not fried, but I quit listening—he had me at zucchini fries. The crispy delights held up to being fried—you know how flimsy cooked zucchini can be! Get a starter basket of these yummy squash pieces ($6.75).

There are hot dogs, salads and sandwiches-but who goes to a burger joint for a salad? There are veggie options, like Roasted Veggie Sandwich ($11), a rather fancy combo for a burger joint. Bite into balsamic-glazed portobello mushrooms, cucumbers, pepperjack cheese and roasted peppers, topped with sprouts and a housemade goat cheese spread, all snugged up within grilled marble rye.

There are nightly drink specials, from ladies night to Sunday brunch deals. Adequate beer selection, but I opted for an off-menu cocktail, a dreadful Heathrow Honey combo: Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey, agave sour mix, ginger ale. All the things I thought would work but, oohooo boy, was I wrong! I'm sharing to spare your pain. Stick with a classic whiskey ginger.

Graffiti Junktion is just right for Jax Beach.

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If you have a recommendation, shoot me an email.

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