Grillin N Chillin BBQ Festival – Sunday April 2nd

Grillin N Chillin, Wynwood’s 3rd annual BBQ Festival returns on Sunday April 2nd from 11AM til 7PM at the old RC Cola plant. The cool thing about this event are all the other activities to keep you busy while you stuff your face with BBQ from places like Fat Boyz Barbecue, King Of Racks BBQ, Meat Heads BBQ, Pirate Brothers BBQ and Sparky’s Roadside Barbecue. Make sure to eat from Miami Roasted Corn and grab one of their fresh squeezed Lemonades (no mint for me though, I’m OG all the way).

Here are the reasons why you should attend:

  • South Florida’s premier Pit Masters take the stage at The Kitchen Lab to share their “Secrets”.
  • Kids Activities will fire up the morning in the Family Fun Zone with Obstacle Courses, Face Painting, Inflatables and more.
  • At 1pm, Live Music and Bands take the stage!
  • Adults can enjoy Beer and Cocktails at The Pit, a pop – up music lounge.
  • BBQ, Beer, Sides and Desserts are available all day long from variety of different vendors including our very own in house BBQ, debuting this year! Come try a variety of distinctive styles from Memphis, Texas or Kansas City Barbecue to the well-known Brazilian Churrasco and Argentine Parrillada.
  • Your doggies can play in their own playground and Bone Bar. Be sure to come early for Yappy Hour from 12PM-2PM.

SWARM (the creators/producers of Grillin N Chillin) are partnering with Miami-Dade Animal Services to help save the lives of ALL adoptable pets abandoned at the Pet Adoption and Protection Center. They encourage you to check out HOPE Express and their pets looking for a forever home.

SWARM is also partnering with Debris Free Oceans and Volunteer Cleanup to embrace the principle of Zero-Waste, raise environmental awareness and protection.

See you there.

The Details:

Grillin N Chillin BBQ Festival
Facebook: Grillin N Chillin BBQ Festival
Instagram: @GrillinNChillinBBQ and @SWARM_EventAgency
Hashtag: #GrillinNChillin #WynwoodBBQFest #SWARMwithus
Date: Sunday April 2nd
Time: 11AM – 7PM
Location: RC Cola Plant, 550 NW 24th St, Miami, FL 33127
Admission: FREE for kids under 12, $15 General Admission, $25 Family Pack (2 Adults)
Age: All ages welcome
Food: Price of food will vary per vendor

*pictures by Julia Rose Photo

Slice Of New York – St. Pete Beach, Florida

Sometimes in life you’re so busy running around that you don’t take the time to slow down and just enjoy a great meal with friends.

You normally don’t ever see me go into detail about who I’m eating with but I felt on this one excursion it would be cool if you got a peek into who I share my meals with.

How we all ended up in St. Pete Beach at the same time was pure coincidence though:

Fred (my cousin who you may recognize from my Social Media feed as Chunktronics or from his gigs as a line cook at Pincho Factory, Jersey Dawg, El Rey de las Fritas & now Palomilla Grill)


John (my former boss at MetroPCS & also one of my closest friends) planned to drive up to the Tampa to eat at the Columbia Restaurant. It was an incredible meal that I have yet to document on the blog but I really need to.

Alex (owner of Palomilla Grill) was planning to take the weekend off to relax and made plans, you guessed it…to visit the Tampa Bay area.

Nedal (owner of Pincho Factory) was on business in Orlando. just about an hour and a half from us.

Barry (owner of The Magic Box Food Truck & son in law of El Mago de las Fritas) was also in town that weekend selling Fritas at one of the Breweries but he didn’t arrive til the following morning after this late night affair. He did however make it to the lunch at the Columbia.

The Fellas: Nedal, Fred, Alex & John, Barry (not pictured)

We (Fred, John and my wife Marcela, last but certainly not least) had been staying in St. Pete Beach for about a day when Alex (with his Wife, Mom and Son) arrives in the late afternoon. We were all hanging out when Nedal called me to say he was in Orlando and coming over to have dinner with us. The weather was terrible and we headed out to eat at the Waffle House across the street from the hotel so he met us there. Alex and fam decided to go elsewhere.

Everyone reconvened in our hotel room later and as usual food was on our mind. It was late-ish (11:30PM) and we wanted to go out and eat somewhere aka anywhere that might be open. I find Slice of New York online and see that it’s open til 4AM.

The ladies (& child) stay behind talking as the 5 of us are off with the hope that we’re not disappointed.

As we’re parking I realize we’re less than a block from the Frog Pond where Marcela, John and I had eaten a killer breakfast just a few months before.

There was not a soul inside of Slice of New York when we walked in but deliveries were going out every 5 to 10 minutes or at least it seemed that way.

We ordered a good majority of the menu but didn’t veer into sandwich territory, that’s for next visit (hopefully).

The food was great to excellent. If you asked anyone who was at the table they’ll tell you that the Lasagna was the best dish by far, I’m in total agreement with that thought. Nedal and I both had a particular obsession with the Buffalo Chicken Chunks, damn those were good. John really dug the Toasted Ravioli and I faintly remember Alex and Fred keeping their yes fixed on the Sausage and Peppers.

Check out what our spread looked like.

Toasted Raviolis

Sausage & Peppers

Homemade Meatballs

Pepperoni Pinwheels

Pinwheel Closeup

Boneless Chicken Chunks

Chicken Parmigiana Pizza

Meat Lasagna

Garlic Rolls

Sicilian Pizza

In between conversations we munched, laughed and just enjoyed each other’s company. When you add delicious food to that mix, it can’t be beat.

A Must:

Slice of New York
595 Corey Ave St Pete Beach, FL 33706

Food Trucks at Magic City Casino Turns 6 Years Old Saturday

Who would’ve known that years ago when Magic City Casino (450 NW 37th Avenue) contacted me about a collaboration with them we’d still be here today.

This Saturday March 18th (5-10PM) marks 6 years that the Wheelin’ Dealin’ Food Truck Festival has been doing its thing and feeding hungry South Floridians.

Some facts over the last 6 years:

  • Over the course of the 6 years we have had over 150 different Food Trucks participate in the event with some from as far as Orlando, Naples and Tampa.
  • We’ve also had 53 food trucks make their debut at Wheelin’ Dealin’ Street Food Festival including the uber popular HipPOPs handcrafted gelato pops (who will be at the 6th anniversary event).
  • Ms. Cheezious was at the very first Wheelin’ Dealin’ Food Truck Fest and they will also be part of the line-up for the 6th anniversary.
  • The event has never been canceled once due to weather.
  • It was originally called the Wheelin’ Dealin’ Street Food Festival before the term “Food Trucks” caught on.
  • The 1st one happened on a Friday for lunch (March 11th, 2011 from 11AM-3PM), the second one on Saturday April 20th, 2011 for lunch (12-5PM) and all subsequent ones were for dinner (5-10PM) on the 3rd Saturday of the month.
  • We’ve held many special edition events including the 3rd and 7th annual Burgie Awards, El Main Evento Mexican Celebration (4 times), Nationl Hamburger Month Food Truck Competitions (4 times) and 1 Best Bacon Dish Competition.
  • Burger Beast’s 3rd annual Burgie Awards on November 19th, 2011 featured over 40 Food Trucks and 10 Restaurants competing for Best Burger, it drew over 8000 attendees.
  • We set the Guinness World Record for Largest Parade of Food Trucks (62) on Saturday April 20th, 2013, it drew over 10,000 attendees. It has since been broken.

We’ve got a stellar line-up of Food Trucks for this month’s event as well as a few vendors hand picked by me including AM Wood Creations (who did all the amazing woodwork for my Burger Museum) selling some of their custom wood creations, Dough Miami (flavored Cookie Dough), Meringue Factory (flavored Meringues) and PG Tropicals (Mango & Guava Preserves straight from the Redland).

Food Truck Line-Up:

Aja Food Truck
Bahama Buck’s
Bruno’s Food Truck – 1st time at event
Cantina Grill
Che Grill
Chinaman’s World Famous EggRoll Truck
Churrisimo USA
Don Mofongo
Gallos Pintos – 1st time at event
HipPOPs Handcrafted Gelato Bars
King of Racks BBQ
Main Stop Grill
Miami Roasted Corn
Mr. Good Stuff
Ms. Cheezious
Needa’ Pita
Sweet Blendz
Taco Fresh
Top Fries
Tuto’s Cuisine
Velvet Creme Doughnuts
Virgo Bomb- 1st time at event
The Wholesome Rollers Food Truck

One last thing, drop into the Burger Museum (also located at Magic City Casino) on Saturday March 18th between 4PM and 8PM and say “Happy 6th Birthday” and get in for FREE.

Last Man Standing – Restaurant Chains Left with 1 Location

Once upon these restaurants were parts of larger chains that were either regional or spread across the United States. Unfortunately, like most good things in life….mismanagement, bad decisions, declining sales & a slew of other reasons were the cause for them to dwindle down to just one location, a last man standing if you will.

This is just Part 1 in a new series on the Burger Beast Blog where we will feature Restaurants from back in the day.

Just as a FYI , some historical items from these restaurants can be found on display at my Burger Museum in Miami, FL.

Biff Burger

Read about them on Wikipedia: Biff Burger

Visit the last location: Continue reading

Heineken Light Burger Beast Challenge Winners Are….

Deciding the winner of the 2017 Heineken Light Burger Beast Challenge was very difficult. They were some real contenders but after careful deliberation one retaurant stood out in my mind and taste buds.

Fado Irish Pub in Brickell had my favorite Burger, the “Fado Pub Burger“. It’s a grilled Angus 8oz. Burger Patty topped with smoked Cheddar Cheese, Whiskey Bacon Marmalade & a Fried Egg on a Pretzel Roll. It was/is very pretty and very delicious. You need to go out and try it.

Congratulations from Heineken Light and Burger Beast, you will receive a pair of tickets to the Heineken Light Burger Bash!!!

The Fado Pub Burger

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2017 Burger Beast Burgie Award Winners

Voting for the 8th annual Burger Beast Burgie Awards ran from October 21st, 2016 til January 4, 2017 and here we are a month later to reveal the winners.

Thank you to the almost 3000 folks who took the time to place their vote for their favorites in comfort food so without further ado, here are the 2017 Burger Beast Burgie Awards Winners, Congratulations to them:

Best BurgerLatin House

Best CheesesteakA Little Bit of Philly

Best Chicken TendersCaporal Chicken

Best Cuban PizzaPolo Norte

Best DessertHipPOPs handcrafted gelato pops

Best Food TruckChinaman’s World Famous EggRoll Truck

Best Garlic RollsMagic City Pizza

Best Hot DogPincho Factory

Best Local BreweryFunky Buddha Brewery

Best RestaurantBlue Collar

Best SandwichesCuban Guys

Trump’s Favorite Taco Food TruckTaco Fresh

PRØØF – Miami, Florida by ThankfulMonster

I often get asked – “Where do you eat when you are not traveling?” Though it’s a pretty simple question, the answer is a little more complicated. I have places that I like to go to on special occasions or when I have a specific craving. But most often I find myself at a couple local spots that have won me over. Not with the flashy lights or gimmicky hooks that seem to surround many restaurants in Miami these days. But rather, with a constant quality and care for what they do. There’s one particular favorite I gravitate toward for their consistently well executed food and always rotating menu.

Proof Menu January 2017

I’m talking about PRØØF in Midtown Miami where Chef/Owner Justin Flit never disappoints. Over the course of the last two years I have seen it evolve from mainly “pizza and pasta” to a well executed play on New American cuisine. The dishes range widely from handmade pastas to inventive small plates, seasonal salads, and desserts – all inspired by the freshest local products.

And of course, the pièce de résistance, and the reason you are here: their Grassfed cheeseburger with white cheddar aioli, caramelized onions on a homemade potato bun.

Grass-fed Cheeseburger, Homemade Potato Bun, White Cheddar

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Big Mac Special Sauce Bottle – Important Information

Yes, you heard right….McDonald’s is unleashing 10,000 numbered bottles of the Big Mac Special Sauce to the U.S.

I know what you’re asking yourself, how many of these will be available in South Florida and how can you make sure to get one?

So, *100 of these bad boys will be given away at the McDonald’s located at 1148 South Dixie Highway across from the University of Miami between 3PM and 6PM this Thursday January 26th.

If you’re in Palm Beach then hit up the McDonald’s at 3805 Northlake Blvd (Palm Beach Gardens) at 1PM this Thursday January 26th to get a chance at the 75 bottles they’ll have.

You need to show up, line up on a first come, first serve basis and say the magical words, “There’s a Big Mac for That” and next thing you know there’ll be a limited edition Big Mac Special Sauce bottle in your hands.

If you’d really like to prove your devotion to the iconic sandwich then you can also sing the Big Mac jingle or post photos on social media, but make sure to follow @McD_SouthFLA on twitter and use the hashtag #BigMacForThat to win free items and prizes in-store.

I’ll be having a giveaway of my own for 10 Big Mac Special Sauce bottles. Check in to my Instagram and Facebook pages for details on Thursday January 26th at 11AM.

To find out all the spots nationwide with the Big Mac Special Sauce bottles, visit the McDonald’s site.

*Awarded on a first come, first served basis. Must tell McDonald’s crewperson or designated representative the secret code phrase “There’s a Big Mac for that.” Quantities are limited to 100 Big Mac Special Sauce bottles.

Burger & Beer Joint on South Beach Quietly Closes

Burger & Beer Joint - South Beach, Florida

I remember when Burger & Beer Joint opened in August of 2009 as if it was just yesterday. My blog was not quite one year old and the Burger scene in South Florida was pretty much nonexistent.

There was a level of excitement about what they were going to be doing from the elevated Burgers to the Shakes and Cocktails to that insane Mother Burger. They changed the game in South Florida.

Mother Burger in action

A few short months later when I contacted them (founders & owners Buzzy Sklar, Ron Garcia and Executive Chef Carlos Barillas) about being one of the 3 stops on my inaugural The Burger Beast Miami Burger Tour they said yes without blinking an eye about it. I was ecstatic to show everyone how awesome Burger & Beer Joint was.

I loved/love their Food and everything that they brought to change the Burger game in Miami.

So yeah, this long drawn out memorial is about the original Burger & Beer Joint shutting down. You know…as they say….gone but not forgotten.

Don’t be sad though, in Dade County you can still grab some great food from their Brickell and Dolphin Mall locations.

By the way, if anyone’s got some old menus or signs from when they opened, the Burger Museum would gladly accept the donation.

In the meantime, good luck to El Grito Mezcaleria who is opening up in the old B&B SoBe spot, you’ve got some big shoes to fill.

UPDATE: The story took an unexpected turn:

The Miami Herald – A gay bar opens upstairs. Downstairs, Burger & Beer Joint loses its franchise

Heineken Light Burger Beast Challenge, Win 2017 Heineken Light Burger Bash Tickets

Alright, so one of the most important dates of the year is coming up and I’m not talking about my birthday. I’m obviously speaking about the Heineken Light Burger Bash at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

It’s almost like a prom night for me and I think one lucky Burger Beast fan should have the chance to attend. So I reached out to my friends at Heineken Light (big fan over here) and next thing I know the Heineken Light Burger Beast Challenge is in full effect.

I need you to hit up one of the 20 restaurants listed below, order a Burger, a Heineken Light and then take a picture of the pairing (make sure it’s food porn at its finest).

Then all you gotta do is upload the image to your Instagram/Twitter/Facebook account with the hashtag #burgerbeastsweeps

I will choose one winner from all the entrees who will receive two (2) tickets to the Heineken Light Burger Bash at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival happening February 24, 2017. The approximate retail value of these tickets is $500.

The #burgerbeastsweeps ends on Tuesday February 21st at 11:59PM and the winner will be chosen on Thursday February 23rd at Noon.

When does it start? Friday January 20th aka NOW!!!

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