A burger and fries with a hearty side of nostalgia

The High-Octane Burger is just one example of the mouth-watering items available at Ford's Garage. Let the feast begin!
The High-Octane Burger is just one example of the mouth-watering items available at Ford's Garage. Let the feast begin! [ Ford's Garage ]
Published Dec. 21, 2022

The world has seen a lot of changes in the last 100 years, and sometimes it can make you want to say just slow down already. Take a beat.

One way to do that? Head to Ford’s Garage. (For a burger, not an oil change.) Started in 2012 in Fort Myers less than a mile from Henry Ford’s winter home, this 1920s-service-station-themed burger and craft beer restaurant — and official licensee of the Ford Motor Company — has expanded to include a total of 20 restaurants across five states. Locations in our area include Brandon, Sarasota, Clearwater-Countryside, St. Petersburg, Tampa-Westchase, and Wesley Chapel. So it’s safe to say there’s probably a Ford’s Garage near you.

Inside, enjoy the atmosphere that features an eye-popping array of Ford memorabilia, including vintage vehicles, fixtures and gas pumps, and a Model T or Model A car suspended above the center bar. Topping off the theme are details like servers dressed as mechanics, blue shop towels used as napkins, and bathroom sinks made from tires and fuel pump nozzles.

But Ford’s Garage isn’t “just” about atmosphere. (One thing that hasn’t changed in the last 100 years is that Americans love good food.) Burgers are the stars of the comfort-food-rich menu, and are made of Black Angus beef. Named after influential locals or organizations in the community, as well as sporting names like the Model “A” and the High Octane Burger, accents include all-natural aged cheeses, fresh toppings like red onions, avocado and chopped Romaine, and artisan buns branded with the Ford’s Garage logo.

Other delicious items include homemade meatloaf, Bourbon BBQ ribs, nachos, chicken tenders, and four kinds (!) of mac and cheese, along with lighter fare like creative salads, grilled chicken, and seafood. Vegetarians needn’t go hungry — try the Green and Clean veggie burger, maybe with a side of fried Panko-breaded pickles with cucumber wasabi dipping sauce. There’s a kids’ menu, of course, as well as a Sunday Brunch menu with yummy selections like the decadent Monte Cristo, and Crispy Chicken with Spiced Bacon Waffle. If you love a good cocktail, don’t miss their drinks menu, where you’ll find imaginative cocktails with names like Model Tea, Mustang Mary and the Back Seat Driver.

So remember this: When the world gets to be a bit too much, and you want to have something delicious and satisfying, and just tune out all the modern-day racket, come on in to Ford’s Garage. Where comfort food and nostalgia reign supreme ... and nobody leaves hungry.

For more information, locations, or to browse the menu in detail, visit