Helping friend during cancer fight turns into search for best burger

info@islandpacket.comApril 29, 2012 

Thanks to Tom Briley of Hilton Head Island for sharing the story of how helping a friend turned into a search for the best cheeseburger in town.

"GREAT CHEESEBURGER QUEST" By Tom Briley

Logic would dictate that there is but one sure way to determine who serves the best cheeseburger on Hilton Head Island -- try them all. And if it is what the doctor orders, then so much the better.

Frank Concino had been battling prostate cancer for nine years, and one of his doctors suggested that eating red meat would be a good way to get his red blood cell count and his hemoglobin to normal levels before he underwent regular tests.

That prompted Frank and fellow Indigo Run resident Don Creamer to hit upon the notion of the "Great Cheeseburger Quest." The plan was to try a new restaurant every Thursday, make notes about the burgers served by each, and compile rankings at the end.

Frank enjoyed a successful career in banking, and served a brief stint as president and chief executive officer of the First Community Foundation of Pennsylvania in Williamsport before moving to Hilton Head five years ago.

Don spent 17 years in Williamsport, and when he left he was president and CEO of Susquehanna Health System, an alliance of three hospitals.

I had the pleasure of playing golf with them, both in Williamsport and on the island, and was invited to join the burger bunch early on. (Don and I have been here 11 years.)

The Thursday sessions forced us to get together, and not just for health purposes. As Frank said one day, "It is a good way to solve the problems of the world."

Before it was over, we had visited 25 restaurants. There wasn't a unanimous decision on ranking them in order. But there was consensus on the top five, all judged "excellent." In alphabetical order, they were Drydock, Harold's Diner, Jump 'n' Phil's, Red Fish and The Golf Club at Indigo Run. In the "good but not great" category there were Chart House, Frosty Frog, Longhorn Steakhouse and Street Meet.

There was one No. 1 ranking -- the "skinny" onion rings at Drydock.

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