As a Tampa native, it’s completely normal that I’ve grown up hearing stories about famous Goody Goody Burgers all my life. My dad always told me and my siblings about his family’s weekly visit to there after church. Established in 1925, this legendary place closed its doors after 80 years of business in 2005. Restaurateur and miracle-maker Richard Gonzmart has brought this place back to life, and it’s more alive than ever before.
I got to attend its Media Preview this past Sunday to see if these burgers were really as good as my dad talked them up to be. Long story short– they are.
My dad approving of the Goody burger after years of not having it. FYI: when ordering, the correct terminology is, “a Goody burger with P.O.X.” (pickles, onions, and special sauce). I went O.X. because pickles are from the devil.
Among other amazing people, I was fortunate enough to meet and talk to Richard Gonzmart. As one of the most influential people of this entire city, I didn’t expect to get much more than a, “Hi, thank you for being here”…which would have been perfectly okay in my book. I could not have predicted that I’d get a tour of the kitchen, along with a brief overview of his next projects that he’s stirring up. “People think this is just a burger joint”; don’t let the name fool you. This place even has ahi tuna on its menu (which I applauded him for as a tuna lover myself). Goody Goody Burgers will also serve breakfast all day with pancakes bigger than your head, because he just can’t stand to have to put butter and syrup every single pancake… So why not make a giant one with 14 inches in diameter? These pancakes are also specially created to not get too soggy with syrup… it’s the little things (ironically).
Every single detail has years of thought put into it; no joke–years. Gonzmart explained how he’s been cooking Goody Goody fries at home for over ten years, and that he changed the cut of the potato as late as last week. After getting to try them, you can taste the hard work that’s gone into them. He later told us how 99.9% of the food is sourced from the United States, with the exception of bananas… “I might have to start a banana plantation”, he laughed. With Goody Goody opening on Tuesday, August 23rd at 7:00 AM, the man is already focusing on his next endeavor. In a month, he travels to Sicily for inspiration on his new Ybor concept. Meanwhile, he’s also focusing on a Longboat Key restaurant to open in addition to three concepts at Tampa International Airport: Ulele Grill, Goody Goody Burgers, and a coffee spot.
“Goody Goody is more than a restaurant–it’s a time, in 1925, when businesses supported one another. Let’s get stuck in that era”. The most inspiring part of him is his passion. Richard Gonzmart deserves all the success that he’s had/will continue to have, and has an evident love for Tampa Bay. Congratulations to the Columbia Restaurant Group & Gonzmart family on another staple to the Tampa Bay area!
- Goody Goody is not on OpenTable. However, to shorten your wait time, download the No Wait app which allows you to get a spot in line before you’ve even arrived.
- Beer & wine is new to this location, which people like me were very happy to find out about.
- Two beers on tap: Pilsner and IPA, both brewed from the local Ulele Spring.
- The original Goody Goody Burgers was located on Grand Central, just a half mile from where it stands today.
- The Wheeler family originally owned Goody Goody when it opened in 1925. Richard would pick up to-go burgers all the time on his way to work.