Saturday afternoon we stopped at Chattaway's on 4th Street in southeast St. Pete for lunch. If you've never passed by Chattaway's or eaten at the place before (we sat outside up at the bar) it sort of reminds me of a tree house without the tree and the ladder- if that is possible for a restaurant- with its likable ramshackle-and-homey look.
How can I not like a place that wryly announces on its menu that it is "the alternative to the Don" as in the luxurious Don CeSar resort on St. Pete Beach. Chattaway's, which has been going strong now for 55+ years, regularly makes the list of best burger places in Tampa Bay. Of course, this meant I had to put the place to the test.
In addition to ordering a Chattaburger for myself (Traci ordered the "big red"- a spicy chicken sandwich), we decided to get an order of onion rings, too. I'm glad that we did. The onion rings were a meal in themselves and the batter and taste reminded me of hush puppies. Traci enjoyed her "big red" (it was spicy and dripping with hot sauce which always wins points in our book).
I now understand why Chattaway's is praised for their burgers. This wasn't the biggest cheeseburger I've ever had, but it was one of the tastiest. When your burger is such a dripping mess that it gets on your shirt (this does happen fairly often for me) you know it's good. Service was friendly, the food is great, prices are inexpensive, just come prepared for cash-only.
Bottom-line: For dripping-good burgers and lots of great-tasting side items in a funky outdoor garden, Chattaway's in St. Pete is the ticket. Definitely not for health nuts!