Wine Dine and Play: Hamburger Mary’s

Hamburger Mary’s

Hamburger Mary's is a chain LGBTQ friendly restaurant in eight states with six stores in Florida















It’s On Bitches!! Drag Queen Bingo and Hamburgers
Clearwater, Florida USA
Cuisine Style: American, Hamburger Joint, Chain 
Average Price: $$
Overall Rating: 2/5
Dined in: December 2018
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

Hamburger Mary’s Zomato rating:

Hamburger Mary's Bar & Grille Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 












Hamburger Mary’s in Clearwater, Florida logo is to eat, drink, and be Mary, but is it worth a Mary time for a visit? Clearwater is one of six locations in the state with a total of nineteen in seven other states that include Wisconsin, Texas, California, Nevada, Missouri, Colorado, and Illinois. Lastly, the latest location to open is in Berlin, Germany. A seventh Florida store in Tampa's Ybor City temporarily closed in 2018 due to a worker testing positive for Hepatitis A. While waiting for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants to inspect and approve the re-opening of the store, it was decided to close its doors for good.

Hamburger Mary’s Menu:
    • App-teasers and Starters
    • Salads
    • Burgers
    • Sandwiches and Wraps
    • Sides
    • Upgraded Sides
    • Fish Fry
    • Desserts

Hamburger Mary’s advertises itself as an open-air bar and grille for open-minded people, serving a full menu of tasty items that include big and juicy gourmet burgers, yummy apps, soups, salads, and entrees, with an extensive bar menu featuring craft beers and cocktails. Each location has nightly entertainment from ‘Dining with the Divas’ drag shows and charity ‘HamBingo Mary’s,’ to ‘MaryOke-Karaoke,’ and trivia nights. The chain got its start In 1972 when a group of friends in San Francisco’s SoMA neighborhood, a major hub for the LGBTQ crowd came up with the idea for an ‘open-air bar and grille for open-minded people,’ where everyone was welcome. The chain as it is though they prefer the term family of locally owned independent restaurants at first opened in areas known as ‘gayborhoods’ intended to represent stereotypical gay culture, as the name and reputation grew, especially for their charities, they began opening locations in areas where many crowds of people gather versus a specific type. They are a gay-themed and LGBT-friendly burger restaurant, and the name Mary is a reference to the slang "Mary" used for gay men as the early 1900s. Though with drag queen shows and bingos, plus many other LGBTQ activities, they insist that it is not a gay only bar and hang out. My wife and I have no issues with going to restaurants like this one or others in the Saint Petersburg area like Punky’s Bar and Grill that also have the same theme, with a great hamburger list as well. Though some have an issue, we see them as local businesses and they are people just like any other people out there, only they chose to express their individuality, something as a Libertarian that I take pride in. 

The original location closed in 2001, but the name lives on as they offer franchising opportunities. They have also made strides to be more ‘green’ and reduce their impact on the environment, and are switching to recycled paper products, energy-efficient lighting, and biodegradable containers. Some locations have fitted their bathrooms with dual-flush handles and top-of-the-line hand dryers, as well as implementing programs for composting and reusing waste.

Franchise menus vary by location, adding regional flavor to each restaurant. Houston’s franchise serves a Texas taco threesome, Tampa ’s offered a Cuban Mary, Kansas City created a fried pork tenderloin, and Milwaukee serves local Wisconsin cheese and ta-tas loaded with cheese curds. Mary’s believes in the old adage “You are what you eat,” so they serve only the freshest ingredients they can get their hands on. The menus have very lively names such as the Queen Mary, Proud Mary, and Buffy the Burger Slayer, mini Mary sliders, and free-range chicken 'love me tenders'. Catering to lighter crowds and vegetarians they offer turkey burgers and a plant-based hamburger that tastes like meat. This is one thing I have never been able to understand working in the foodservice industry. A vegetarian or vegans diet is the way it is because they don’t want to eat meat, so why make a plant-based (most likely GMO) product that tastes like meat?

The leg glass at Hamburger Mary's is an icon that also lights up, and fun to drink beer or any beverage from
Hamburger Mary's / Glass Leg

Over the years, Hamburger Mary’s has helped raise tens of thousands of dollars to worthwhile organizations, which is what brought my wife and I to the Clearwater location for the Wednesday night drag queen bingo, to which they were sponsoring a fundraiser for the SPCA an international organization whose mission is to advance the safety and well-being of animals globally, and to save animals from cruelty. My wife is a member of the local Saint Petersburg chapter. We began with some wines and other cocktails with our SPCA party, getting ready for the festive bingo about to begin. I purchased a few Jai Alai beers that were in a leg glass for $13 plus the cost of the beers.

We began with the starter of mac and cheese balls, a Mary’s original of creamy Mac and Cheese that is breaded and rolled into balls, deep fried and served with BBQ or ranch sauce for dipping. A very basic presentation and the complexity of flavors were limited to the cheese as I did not detect heavier spices, the taste was as to be expected, fried macaroni and cheese, lovely texture. 

The Mac and Cheese balls are starter favorite at the Hamburger Mary's restaurant chain
Hamburger Mary's / Mac and Cheese Balls

We shared a side salad and the Queen Mary Burger with cheddar and jack cheeses, caramelized onions, applewood bacon, lettuce and the house sauce known simply on the menu as ‘Mary’s sauce.’ The dish came with tater tots that are loving called Ta-Tas, and the staff was nice enough to cut the burger in half and split it between two plates. 

The bingo was fun as the drag queen host gave strict rules that once you were one slot away from a bingo you had to yell out ‘It’s on bitches,’ which added to the fun. As a person won the game they would have to walk around the restaurant where people would pelt them with the losing bingo paper, before the winner reached the stage to collect a fun prize. Overall it is a Mary place to visit.

Drag Queen bingo at Hamburger Mary's in Clearwater, Florida for the SPCA
Hamburger Mary's / Drag Queen Bingo


Dessert:
We did not have dessert during this visit, but some items of interest on the menu include deep-fried Twinkies and funnily named Mary Tyler S’Mores. Maybe on the next visit.

Please see these guidelines for Tipping in Restaurants and on following proper etiquette, customs, cultures, and avoiding assumptions when you dine out.



Other noteworthy Burger restaurant articles and restaurants similar to Hamburger Mary’s:
A burger is a sandwich consisting of one or more cooked patties of ground meat, usually beef, placed inside a sliced bread roll or bun. It can contain variations other than ground beef, to include turkey, pork, bison, tofu, or vegetables. The recipe originated in Hamburg, Germany and first appeared in the United States as a Hamburg Steak in 1884.

Boulevard Burgers And Tap House A beachside burger joint for the carnivore connoisseur in St Pete Beach, Florida
Boulevard Burgers Second review of this burger joint for the carnivore connoisseur in St Pete Beach, Florida
FLIP Burger Boutique Hip burger chain with the space-age decor, reviewed in Midtown, Atlanta, Georgia
Holeman and Finch Public House Modern gastropub and whole animal cookery in Atlanta, Georgia 
Punky’s Bar and Grill Casual LGBT bar and burger joint in St. Petersburg, Florida
The Avenue Eat + Drink Rustic restaurant known for its burgers in St. Petersburg, Florida


See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary



Other Clearwater restaurants, and articles on Wine Dine and Play:

Organic & hormone-free steakhouse
Clearwater, Florida USA
Italian-inspired seafood at the Opal Sands Resort
Clearwater Beach, Florida USA
Music, food, and wine near pier 60
Clearwater  Beach, Florida USA


A few Florida restaurant favorites:

Steaks cooked on a sizzling 755°f lava rock
Brandon, Florida USA
Gourmet organic Taqueria street food
City of Anna Maria, Florida, USA
Third Review of this local sports bar icon
Gulfport, Florida, USA

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country






Final notes, review basics, observations, and more pictures:

Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about. My ratings are by the stars I award (from 0 to 5). The rating is calculated on a point accumulation of six separate factors based on individual experience. They include wine and other beverage selections, plate presentation, customer service, restaurant or café ambiance, food quality, and wow factor. To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

Overall from this experience and the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ section, based on my individual experience and rating, I give Hamburger Mary’s a 2 out of 5 stars, meaning that they were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants.

Scores are detailed in the factor chart below:

Formula Factor Conclusions and Overall Ratings for Hamburger Mary’s
Max Points Possible:
Total Points Awarded:
Total Points deducted:
Ambiance
10
10
0
Food quality
11
7
4
Plate presentation
8
6
2
Customer service
10
6
4
Alcohol and other beverages
8
5
3
Total regular points awarded
47
34
13
Total percentage — less the Bonus

0.723404255319149

“Wow” factor BONUS
5
1
0
Total bonus percentage

0.0212765957446809

Total percentage and bonus for a final star rating

0.74468085106383

Stars Awarded (see chart below)
             0 - 5
2

**A full break down and explanation of the observations and point disbursement is available in the linked article above. To receive a detailed copy of your score, feel free to contact me at any time and I will provide it to you.**


***

Overall Star Rating:
2 of 5 Stars: 
74% Rating with a 1 point “wow” bonus
Far Above the Average Dining Experience
Corkage fees:
Hamburger Mary’s does not list any corkage fee’s however, most American restaurants charge $25.00 per bottle
Restaurant style:
Casual dining
Cuisine Style at Hamburger Mary’s:
American, Bar and Grille, Basic Chain
Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Gluten-free choices, Low Carb Choices, Pescatarian, Sustainable, Vegan Options, Vegetarian Options
Reservations:
Not Required, but Recommended
Walk-Ins:
Accepted, but not guaranteed
Dress code:
Casual attire

It’s Florida, everybody wear’s flip-flops!
Child policy:


The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a kids menu or cater to them; however, for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended that kids not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. 
If not then:
Hire a Babysitter! 
Hamburger Mary’s Experiences:
Contemporary, Modern, Hotspot, Great Bar, Tourist grabber, and a Neighborhood Gem
Payments:
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Parking:
Hamburger Mary’s has a private lot
Wifi
The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Medium to Loud
Smoking:
Hamburger Mary’s is a non-smoking restaurant with a non-smoking patio   
Patio or terrace:
Yes





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Food Prices 
(excludes, alcohol, taxes & 20% gratuity’s)

$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricey)
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)


**Currencies reflect the world’s major travelers, restaurant, or wine connoisseur’s**

Currency:
Price
United States Dollar (USD)
$$
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
££
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
$$$
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
¥¥¥¥
European Union (EUR)
€€

 Alcohol prices:

$37.00 USD




Hamburger Mary’s:

28910 US Highway 19 North
Clearwater, Florida 
33761




Contact Information: 

Restaurant website:
Maître d or host:
+1 (727) 400-6996
Online reservations
Website Contact:


Email Us:


Serving hours:
Eastern Standard Time
(GMT, Zulu, or UTC - 5:00)
Daily: Mon - Sun
11:00 am - 1:00 am

Social Media 
And 
Accolades for Hamburger Mary’s:
Hamburger Mary’s Facebook link                










****
The worlds best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.


A few to tease you with…
Refined and elegant creole fare since 1880
New Orlean’s, Louisiana, USA 
Old-world classic Italian & Mediterranean
New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA
Country-style local ingredients w/French flair
Constantia, South Africa





Other Hamburger Mary’s Pictures:

The icon of Hamburger Mary's restaurant chain is the Mary Statue holding a hamburger in a pink dress, rumored to also be a man in drag
Hamburger Mary's / Mary statue - Is it a man in drag?

The side salad with tomatoes and lots of cheese at Hamburger Mary's
Hamburger Mary's / House Salad

The Queen Mary burger is an iconic menu item for the Hamburger Mary's restaurant chain
Hamburger Mary's / Queen Mary Burger

The drag queen bingo advertisement for Hamburger Mary's in Clearwater, Florida
Hamburger Mary's / Drag Queen Bingo




“Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
-Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)



Who is John Galt?


TTFN








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