The Grand Marlin

The Grand Marlin (TGM) may be the finest restaurant in all of Pensacola.  With breathtaking views of Pensacola Bay and Santa Rosa sound- it’s easy to relax at the Grand Marlin.  Real easy.  They print their menus twice every day to include only the freshest local ingredients.  Most people know TGM is a great place to bring a date- but who knew they had a burger on the menu?  We’d never seen it.

For weeks now, recommendations have been pouring in for the Grand Marlin burger, and we couldn’t ignore them any longer.  This week, the Tour rolled straight through the front doors of the Marlin.

If you’ve eaten at the Grand Marlin before, the burger is -quite frankly- exactly what you’d expect.

Like everything else on their menu, it’s good.

The grilled brioche bun is the perfect size and texture; not too thick, but substantial enough to keep your hands from sinking into the burger.  Two of our Panel Members would have preferred a traditional hamburger bun, but in all- the brioche received high marks.

Each burger at the Marlin is grilled perfectly and finished with a slice of Tillamook cheddar cheese.

You cheese snobs may know what Tillamook cheese is- but we had no idea.  We had to Google it.  Tillamook is the self-proclaimed “World’s Best Medium Cheddar.”

Oddly enough, the “World’s Best Medium Cheddar” was found to have very little flavor.  Several of our judges said they would have preferred a sharp cheddar or any cheese with stronger flavor.

The Grand Marlin burger also features “house-made pickles.  It turns out house-made pickles are actually just slices of cucumber soaked in vinegar, no real cause for excitement.

What the Grand Marlin burger doesn’t feature is onions.  No onions.  Perhaps a positive for those on a romantic first date, but a huge negative to most burger lovers.  The onions were sorely missed by several Panel Members.

At first bite several Tour Members commented: “Good char!”  This burger does have the perfect amount of charring.  And somehow they’re able to achieve this char while keeping all the juices locked inside the burger.

Sadly, the patty (although charred well) was considered by many to be flavorless.  Nearly every Panel Member found himself applying salt and pepper in mass quantities- which did enhanced the flavor.

The produce was fresh, but not the caliber we’ve found elsewhere.  Did I mention no onions?

Bottom line is: the Grand Marlin makes a good burger.  The only problem is that this burger finds itself on a menu beside Fresh oysters, Grouper Picatta, local Cobia and Grilled Snapper.  Even if you did head to the Grand Marlin with intentions of ordering a burger – chances are you’d buckle under the pressure and order one of their other amazing entrees.

Let’s face it, when you step into a place called “The Grand Marlin” you know that the burger isn’t their thing.  These people are passionate about seafood.  It shows.  They do a fine job of making a burger, but it pales in comparison to the other great choices on their menu.

At the end of the day, the Grand Marlin burger finished with a final score of 7.38 which makes it one of the top burgers in Pensacola, just not deserving of the title (yet, anyways.)

Check out TGM.  Bring a date.  Order the Blue Angel Chips and a dozen oysters.  Try the burger and let us know what you think.

Then check back next week to see exactly where the Northwest Florida Burger Tour rolls next…

Happy Eating!

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