Little Bread Takes Over Bread & Butter in Coral Gables

Little Bread - Coral Gables, Florida

Just a little over 2 and a half years ago I wrote about Chef Alberto Cabrera and his just opened Bread + Butter Counter in Coral Gables. This past December I told you about his new sandwich concept in Little Havana called Little Bread which seemed to take the parts that worked best at B+B and expanded on them.

Now Little Bread has taken over the old Bread + Butter Counter space in Coral Gables. Is it a good thing? Absolutely.

Once I tried Little Bread I knew it was more along the lines of what Chef Cabrera was originally thinking when Bread + Butter Counter was created. It makes sense that the change would happen plus it’s better for me since I live less than 10 minutes away.

The menu at this Little Bread location is expanded with all 4 different type of Frita Cubanas available, a Fried Chicken Sandwich (a few other sammies too) and the Lunch Truck Bowls. The Bowls allow you to build your meal by choosing from a Protein, a Grain, a Sauce to top everything and one Side. I’m not feeling the name Lunch Truck Bowls so I will go ahead and rename them “Lunchero Bowls”, it’s more fitting.

The Medianoche Croquetas are the perfect starter and as much as I hate to admit it, that Frita with Bacon, American Cheese, Pickles & Thousand Island Dressing is ridiculously good.

Order the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich and don’t share. All you have to do is pretend it’s not very good, it always works for me :)

Remember to save some space for the Sea Salted Nutella Cookies from Casa Gioia (winners of UM’s Desserts Wars).

Little Bread - Coral Gables, Florida

Little Bread - Coral Gables, Florida

Little Bread - Coral Gables, Florida

Medianoche Croquetas

Little Bread - Coral Gables, Florida

Smoked Chicken Wings

Little Bread - Coral Gables, Florida

Bacon Wrapped Plantains

Little Bread - Coral Gables, Florida

Pan con Bistec Sandwich

Little Bread - Coral Gables, Florida

Lunch Truck Bowl: Marinated Skirt Steak & Onion on Brown Fried Rice

Little Bread - Coral Gables, Florida

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

Little Bread - Coral Gables, Florida

Frita Cubana Trio: Classic, Bacon & Pa Ti Melt Fritas

Little Bread - Coral Gables, Florida

Sea Salted Nutella Cookies from Casa Gioia

Mucho Mas Que Pan:

Little Bread – Coral Gables
2330 Salzedo Avenue Coral Gables, FL 33134
305-484-6743

5 Forgotten Miami Burger Joints

I’m always on the constant search to uncover South Florida Burger & Restaurant history. Sometimes I come across things I’ve never heard of and it just blows my mind. Below you will find 5 spots known for their Burgers and more that were around and now gone without a trace.

I need to thank Phillip Pessar for his help in tracking down addresses and years for some of these. He helped out immensely when I’d get frustrated with reaching a dead end.

So, here you go…..do you remember any of these?


Broadway Joe’s

pic by Lynn Pelham of Life Magazine

pic by Lynn Pelham of Life Magazine

Broadway Joe’s opened in January of 1969 at 2415 Ponce de Leon Blvd. in Coral Gables. Broadway Joe’s was named after Football Hero Joe Namath and featured Hamburgers and Roast Beef Sandwiches are you can clearly see in the picture below.

By May of 1970 there were 11 locations in Florida, New York and Texas, 3 of which were franchises.  December 1970 saw Joe Namath leave the company and not long after that Broadway Joe’s was gone.

pic by Lynn Pelham of Life Magazine

pic by Lynn Pelham of Life Magazine

Article from The Evening Independent - May 21st, 1970

from The Evening Independent – May 21st, 1970

Miami News - Sept. 30, 1970

from the Miami News – Sept. 30, 1970


ChampBurger

picture by Thomas Hoepker, Miami, 1970

picture by Thomas Hoepker, Miami, 1970

Muhammad Ali had a Burger joint?

ChampBurger was a chain of black-owned-and-operated “Champburger Palaces” in black neighborhoods. The two ChampBurger locations were 3268 Grand Avenue in the Grove and 6155 NW 17th Avenue.

TravelCulinary.com did a great job of explaining what happened:

To support his family, he among other activities, signed a restaurant franchise deal that netted him $900,000 from the Champburger Company for the use of his name and image and a 1% royalties on the company’s annual profits. In 1968, Champburger stock sold for $5 a share. The licensing contract he signed with Champburger stipulated that all franchise menus sell Muslim friendly food without pork or shellfish. Thus in addition to the all beef Champburger, franchises would sell all beef “hot dogs, fried chicken, fried fish, boiled fish, other food products and soft drinks including his own endorsed Mr. Champ soda. The franchise never made out of Miami as the company never gained enough investors and got bogged down in a lengthy and expensive court case with stockholders.


Hot Shoppes

Hot Shoppes Ad

Hot Shoppes Ad

Most folks nowadays know the name Marriott for their chain of hotels but in 1927, J. Willard Marriott opened a nine-stool root beer stand that became the Hot Shoppes Restaurant chain.

There were 4 locations in South Florida that I could track down: 950 N Miami Beach Blvd (NMB), 7900 SW 104th Street (Dade), and 3500 S. Dixie Highway.

According to the article in the Miami New in April of 1973, Hot Shoppes arrived in Miami a year and a half earlier. How long they last in the SFL I’m unsure of but on December 2nd, 1999 Marriott closed down the last of the Hot Shoppes.

If you’re still longing for the days of Hot Shoppes and their popluar dishes like the Mighty Mo Burger & Sauce, check out the Marriott Hot Shoppes Cookbook which you can get at a pretty decent price on Amazon.

from The Miami News - April 7th, 1963

from The Miami News – April 7th, 1963 (click to enlarge)

Hot Shoppes Sandwich Recipe (click to enlarge)

Hot Shoppes Sandwich Recipe (click to enlarge)

Hot Shoppes South Florida Ad

Hot Shoppes South Florida Ad

Part 1 from The Free Lance-Star - December 2nd, 1999

Part 1 from The Free Lance-Star – December 2nd, 1999

Part 2 from The Free Lance-Star - December 2nd, 1999

Part 2 from The Free Lance-Star – December 2nd, 1999


Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlor & Restaurant

Jahn's Old Menu

Jahn’s was an old fashioned Ice Cream Parlor chain that began in New York and had two locations in South Florida249 Miracle Mile in Coral Gables and 17262 Collins Avenue in North Miami Beach. There is still one Jahn’s operating today in Jackson Heights, Queens.

I’m not sure exactly as to the dates of operation in South Florida but the first location opened in the Bronx, 1897. By the 1950’s they had spread to other parts of New York, New Jersey and the two SFL locations.

Jahn’s was famous for its huge Kitchen Sink Sundae.


TropiBurger

I don’t know much about TropiBurger which had one location in Little Havana at 1340 Sw 8th Street in the early 1960’s. It didn’t work out for them in Miami so they opened in Venezuela where they had a great run opening many locations.

In February of 1997, the 32 TropiBurger locations in Venezuela were converted to Wendy’s and just like that, they were gone.

TropiBurger

picture courtesy of Pete Rodriguez

TropiBurger

picture courtesy of Pete Rodriguez

TropiBurger

coupon picture courtesy of Pete Rodriguez

You Know What’s Really Good? The Pan Con Lechon from The Butcher Shop in Palmetto Bay, Florida

Pan con LEchon waiting to be discovered

Pan con Lechon waiting to be discovered

You Know What’s Really Good? Pan Con Lechon From The Butcher Shop.

I have been actively looking for the Best Pan con Lechon in Miami for the last couple of years. During that time I had my friend Boza and my accountant Steve constantly tell about this spot in Palmetto Bay called The Butcher Shop.

I was headed down south on US1 when I remembered I was in the vicinity of it. I walk in and make a beeline for where the Pan con Lechons are created. I ask for two to go. After I’m handed the sandwiches I turn around to the counter lining the wall and decide I need to try this right here, right now.

I unwrap and take a bite. I begin to daydream and I’m flying through the sky like my favorite scene in the Big Lebowski. That first bite sent into a state of euphoria. Before I know it I’ve eaten half of the sandwich. It’s as if time hasn’t passed.

The Pan con Lechon is served on this great Cuban bread that becomes razor thin when toasted and contains this moist marinated Pork with Onions and crispy skin. There is only one word to describe it, unbelievable.

Pan con Lechon in all its glory

Pan con Lechon in all its glory

There’s more to The Butcher Shop than just the incredible sandwich. There are other foods and daily specials that can be had including their Chicharrones, another big winner.

Chicharrones

Chicharrones under the heat lamp

I would love to say that next time I’m going to try something else but for now that would be impossible, I’ve only got eyes for the Pan con Lechon.

There Is No Better:

The Butcher Shop
14235 S. Dixie Hwy. Palmetto Bay, FL
305-253-9525

The Fish House – Miami, Florida

The Fish House…..that’s right a seafood place. How did I end up here? It’s a great question so let me explain.

Months ago someone mentioned to me on Instagram that there was a seafood spot I needed to check out located in the gray area between Westchester and Kendall that was serving up a Pat LaFrieda Beef Burger. It’s not exactly easy to find that in South Florida, as a matter of fact last time I remember having one was at OTC a few years back (and unfortunately they’re now gone).

I’m not a big seafood fella but I am willing to give it a go if it’s fresh.

I love me a great Lobster Bisque and make no bones about it, this is one is excellent. Since I was still dipping my toes I also went the Buffalo Shrimp route which went perfect with an ice cold beer. They’ve got a great selection of Craft Beer too while we’re at it.

The House Burger is served on a Pretzel Roll with the usual suspects which I remove but not before I snap a picture for my Burger photo album. I added Cheese but that shouldn’t be surprising. I would never in a million years have thought that I’d find this great a Burger in a seafood restaurant.

A Mango Cheesecake puts the cherry on top. I’m full, happy and impressed. I’ll be back I say to myself………

Lobster Bisque

Lobster Bisque

Buffalo Shrimp

Buffalo Shrimp

BEFORE: Pat La Frieda Blend Burger w/Cheese & too much green stuff

BEFORE: The House Burger (Pat La Frieda Blend) w/Cheese & too much green stuff

AFTER: Pat LaFrieda Blend Burger w/Cheese

AFTER: The House Burger (Pat LaFrieda Blend) w/Cheese

Mango Cheesecake

Mango Cheesecake

It’s a mid-week afternoon and I’m thinking my Pops should be home soon. I also text Chunktronics to find out what he’s up to. Next thing I know I’m meeting my parents and the ‘tronics at the Fish House.

We have a brief conversation about what I enjoyed last time. There is no method to the madness of ordering that happens next. This is what the *appetizer order looked like: Cup of Lobster Bisque, Fish Croquetas, Buffalo Shrimp, 20 Chicken Wings in Hot Sauce, Bacon Wrapped Scallops and Broiled Oysters w/Parmesan Cheese & Garlic Butter.

I don’t have one bad thing to say about any of it, maybe just that I didn’t find the Hot Sauce on the Chicken Wings very hot at all. Speaking of Hot Sauce, they’ve got a house-made Hot Sauce that will annihilate you. If that sauce had been on the Wings I probably would have spent the rest of my meal trying to recover so it may have been a blessing in disguise.

My parents split the Scallop Skillet, I go with the Blackened Parm Chicken on Garlic Cream Linguini and Big C does the SOB Burger. My dish comes with a Salad which is automatically inherited by my Mom.

The Scallop Skillet’s smell is intense and placed right next to me. It looked great and they raved about it. Next.

The SOB Burger is a beauty. Chunktronics said the first bite is a taste of amazingness. I believe him.

As for my Pasta dish, they nailed it. I was probably about 3 bites in when I started doing the old, “I’d come back here just to have this dish” commentary. Wow. I loved it and will continue to love it just like the profound love in The Notebook.

Big Fish Croquetas

Big Fish Croquetas

Chicken Wings w/Hot Sauce

Chicken Wings w/Hot Sauce

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Broiled Oysters w/Parmesan Cheese & Garlic Butter

Broiled Oysters w/Parmesan Cheese & Garlic Butter

The Fish House - Miami, Florida

My Mom’s Salad

Scallop Skillet w/Onions & Peppers

Scallop Skillet w/Onions & Peppers

Blackened Parm Chicken Breast on Linguini in White Sauce

Blackened Parm Chicken Breast on Linguini in White Sauce

Burger w/Pico de Gallo

SOB Burger w/Pico de Gallo & Jack Cheese

You didn’t think we’d walk away without some dessert did you? We settle on a Mango Cheesecake and house-made Flan to share. My Dad and I order Cafecitos (Espressos) to have with our dessert. There’s also Cafe con Leche on the menu if that’s more your speed. The Flan, while good isn’t sweet enough to hook me. The Mango Cheesecake again did not disappoint.

Housemade Flan

Housemade Flan

Cafecito

Cafecito

If you find yourself lost between Kendall and Westchester, if you’re hungry or starving then do I have the place for you…..

Since 1995:

The Fish House
10000 SW 56th St Miami, FL 33165
305-595-8453

*On my second visit, the owner Angela recognized me when I arrived and gave me tour of the restaurant (which included a cool spot where they host live music). She also comped some of the appetizers. It had no bearing on my thoughts of the Fish House as I could have easily just not mentioned something I didn’t care for. It was a nice gesture on her behalf though.

Handy Andy Grocery – Oxford, Mississippi

Handy Andy Grocery - Oxford, Mississippi

Handy Andy Grocery is catty-cornered from the antique shop I had just left my wife Marcela at. While I’m always constantly looking for things to add to my collection, Marcela is much more thorough than I am which generally leaves me with free time to visit the surrounding area.

This is a locals spot, everyone knows everyone except for me of course. I’m ok with it since I’m very focused on taking in a great experience like this. I sit quietly near where everyone is placing their orders and wait patiently for mine to be ready.

Menu

Menu

Handy Andy Grocery - Oxford, Mississippi

He calls my ticket number, I pick up my tray and take my seat in the vip area.

I love it when Fries are served in a “sack” type bag. I like that they served Crinkle Cut Fries which seem like they go perfectly with BBQ. The Fries were just fries. I ate a few before I decide I should put a dent into the other things I ordered.

You can have a Fried Hot Dog at Handy Andy but since this is “Real Pit Bar-B-Q” then I’d prefer one with some char. The dog is a red hot split, charred & served on a soft squishy hamburger bun with some yellow mustard. It doesn’t get much simpler and tastier than that.

Sack of Fries

Sack of Fries

Crinkle Cuts Up Close

Crinkle Cuts Up Close

Hot Dog

Hot Dog

I may have ordered a bit too much to finish in one sitting. I come to this realization only when I’m done polishing off the dog.

I pick up the BBQ Sandwich which is pretty hefty. It had the right amount of Slaw for me which is not too much. You pick up the smokiness of the beef along with a crunch and creaminess of the slaw for a well balanced bite. The Baked Beans also came with the infused smoke and are right up there with some of the best I’ve had. I’m not a Tots guy but they tasted just like they should.

BBQ Sandwich

BBQ Sandwich

Tots

Tots

Baked Beans

Baked Beans

Which now brings me to the Double Cheeseburger. So I unwrap it and find a deformed bun with a meat finger sticking out of it and some melted cheese webs, in other words….a beauty. The char on this fella was so great that I can’t even describe it. I added no condiments and had it as is with only the melty neon cheese. It’s the kinda Burger that leaves you longing for another once you’ve finished it. Bravo.

Cheeseburger

Double Cheeseburger

If Marcela had made it here before I was done I would have also tried the Ribs and Banana Pudding. It’s ok though, this now sets up plans to make a stop next time I’m in Oxford.

He Really Is:

Handy Andy Grocery
800 N Lamar Blvd #5 Oxford, MS 38655
662-234-4621

Reminder: Food Trucks at Magic City Casino

Food Trucks at Magic City Casino

The state of Florida’s longest running Food Truck is the Wheelin’ Dealin’ Street Food Festival at Magic City Casino. It always takes place every 3rd Saturday of the month. I’ve been curating this event since day one thanks to a partnership with the good folks at Magic City Casino.

We’ve got a another great line-up for you this Saturday August 15th that includes fresh off of their Frita Showdown victory El Rey de las Fritas.

Frita Showdown 2K15

Mercy of El Rey de las Fritas holding on real tight to the Best Frita en el Mundo Trophy

For those of you who can’t live without their suds, Beer is also sold at this event. Parking is FREE too!

Saturday August 15th Food Truck Line-Up:

Arepas Las Gorditas
Boba Station
Che Grill
Don Mofongo
El Rey De Las Fritas
HipPOPS
Ipek’s Wykked Kitchen
King of Racks
The Lobsta Guy
Main Stop Grill
Marlie’s Delights
Miami Angels Roasted Corn
Miami Meatballers
Monster Burgers
Ms. Cheezious
Potato Potato
Taco Fresh
Top Fries
Tum Tum’s
Velvet Creme Doughnuts
Voo La Voo

The Details:

Wheelin’ Dealin’ Street Food Festival
at Magic City Casino
Facebook: Wheelin’ Dealin’ Event Page
Date: Every 3rd Saturday of the Month Time: 5PM – 10PM
Location: 450 NW 37th Ave Miami, Florida 33126

Parking: Plenty of Free Parking

2015 Frita Showdown in Pictures

Last night was my 3rd annual Frita Showdown held at Magic City Casino. El Mago de las Frita took home the Downstairs People’s Choice Award while El Rey de las Fritas 3-peated and held onto the title of “Best Frita en el Mundo”.

Special thanks to our sponsors Downstairs Markets, Schweid & Sons (who also supplied all the ground beef for the participants) and Magic City Casino for believing in what we do.

And of course an extra special thank you to all of you who took a mid-week break with us.

See you next year.

All pictures by Dro Photography.

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Frita Showdown 2K15

Cheeseburger Baby Opens in Little River

Cheeseburger Baby - Little River

You lucky ducks in the Little River area of Miami, Cheeseburger Baby is soft opening a second location at 212 NE 79th Street today.

Hours for the new CBB will be 10AM to Sunset. The “Official” Grand Opening Party will be Sunday August 30th.

It will initially be take out only with plans to add some Picnic Tables for dining in the very near future. Delivery is coming soon too.

The menu as you can see below is pretty much the same sans Shakes.

Cheeseburger Baby - Little River Menu P1

Cheeseburger Baby - Little River Menu P2

Not sure what to get for your first time? Then do what I do, get the Bacon Cheeseburger. It never disappoints.

Bacon Cheeseburger from Cheeseburger, my usual at CBB

Bacon Cheeseburger from Cheeseburger, my usual at CBB

Burger Barn – Jackson, Tennessee

Burger Barn - Jackson, Tennessee

My wife Marcela and I, while searching out Antique Shops in the Jackson, Tennessee for my collection ran across the Burger Barn. When you see a sign that says, “Real Homemade Hamburgers” you know that it’s a must stop in my book. Burger Barn is an old school place your order at the window (where you also pick up the food) and then take a seat the covered picnic benches to enjoy your meal.

We’re in the South so a Chili Dog must also be added to the equation. It wasn’t homemade Chili which kinda killed it for me. Marcela wants Spicy Fries and since I agree to share them I go along with her proposition. It was a good choice. I don’t normally like pre-spiced Fries but I definitely enjoyed these.

Burger Barn Menu

Burger Barn Menu

Chili Cheese Dog

Chili Cheese Dog

Spicy Fries

Spicy Fries

On the Burger side of things she goes all Patty Melt while I go Large Cheese Burger (aka 2 Patties). I’m not quite sure I would consider what she was served a Patty Melt (toasted White Bread instead of griddled Buttered Rye Bread) but it did taste good, so that’s gotta mean something, right? The Large Cheeseburger was a winner with added points for the little meat corner hanging out the bread. I’m telling you that for $3.29 this can not be beat.

Patty Melt

Patty Melt

Double Cheeseburger

Large Cheeseburger

I just noticed while reviewing the Menu that Burger Barn also has Hot Wings…..and a Chuckwagon Steak Sandwich? This calls for a return visit.

I’m All About It:

Burger Barn
123 Lexington Ave Jackson, TN 38301
731-427-2168

Caruso’s Eats & Treats – Ft. Myers, Florida

Caruso's Eats & Treats - Ft. Myers, Florida

I’m not one to give up easily when searching online for somewhere different to eat and  Caruso’s Eats & Treats wasn’t exactly on the first page of results. It may take you some digging to find a restaurant worth being found. You’ll be glad you put in some elbow grease when you hit gold.

Caruso's Eats & Treats - Ft. Myers, Florida

My wife Marcela wanted some dessert so Chunktronics and I go savory and decide to split a Chili Cheese Dog, a Cheeseburger, Chicken Tenders and an order of their Chili.

Caruso's Eats & Treats Menu (click to enlarge)

Caruso’s Eats & Treats Menu (click to enlarge)

I enjoyed the Chili all by its lonesome but on that Hot Dog with their house-made Cheese it went off the charts. Fries with seasoning imbedded in its potato wall linings are not my thing but top it with some of that Chili and Cheese sauce and you might change my mind.

I didn’t expect the Burger to be any near as great as it was. I was sure I’d be taking one bite and trying to convince Chunktronics to eat the rest of it. Instead, I found myself quietly eating it and hoping he wouldn’t ask for some more. He did.

Freshly made Chicken Tenders? Really? I didn’t see that one coming either. Definitely another worthy item for you to try when visit Caruso’s.

Chili Cheese Dog

Chili Cheese Dog

Seasoned Fries

Seasoned Fries

Cheeseburger

Cheeseburger

Chicken Tenders

Chicken Tenders

Housemade Chili

Housemade Chili

Marcela enjoyed her Sundae and even though I didn’t try it, it did look killer which is why I posted the picture.

Sundae w/Nuts

Sundae w/Nuts

Next time I’ll finish off my meal with one of those $7 Scoop Milkshakes and no sharing on the Cheese Burger.

Here, You Get Both:

Caruso’s Eat & Treats
9211 Cypress Lake Dr, Fort Myers, FL 33919
239-481-9227

The Burger Beast 20K Instagram Party

I’m always looking for a reason to throw party so when my best friend the Gerther suggested that I do a contest whenever I hit 20K on Instagram I thought, great idea. We had a day long contest on IG and chose some winners plus I invited my friend Cassie the Yelp Community Manager and she brought along some Yelp Elites.

The winners received an opportunity to visit my Burger Beast Museum located inside of Burger Beast World Headquarters where my extensive collection of Burger & Comfort Food Memorabilia reside. But that’s not all….

My buds at Cheeseburger Baby brought their Catering Truck and served Burgers and Fries for everyone but it didn’t end there. Palomilla Grill busted out a bunch of their Ham and Ropa Vieja Croquetas while HipPOPs closed out the meal some of their handcrafted greatness. And to drink? Coca Cola supplied the Soft Drinks while my pals at Sixpoint Brewery brought the Beers.

All the attendees also received Gift Cards from Cuban Guys, Downstairs Markets. Food Truck Invasion and Pincho Factory plus a limited edition Burger Beast Apron along with a sticker and pin set that proudly proclaimed, “I Visited The Burger Beast Museum“.

Thank you to everyone who had a hand in making this first of a kind (for us at least) Contest/Event a success.

See you around.

-BB

Burger Beast's 20K Instagram Party - August 2, 2015

20K Instagram Party Menu

20K Instagram Party Menu

The ladies of CBB

The ladies of CBB

Bacon Cheeseburger from Cheeseburger, my usual at CBB

Bacon Cheeseburger from Cheeseburger, my usual at CBB

Goodies

Goodies

Burger Beast's 20K Instagram Party - August 2, 2015

Chilling with some Sixpoint Brewery Craft Beers

Burger Beast's 20K Instagram Party - August 2, 2015

We went all rustic with the tables

Burger Beast's 20K Instagram Party - August 2, 2015

Save me some

Chef Alex Rodriguez from Palomilla Grill with some of his Croquetas

Chef Alex Rodriguez from Palomilla Grill with some of his Croquetas

Palomilla Grill's Ham Croquetas, since 1975

Palomilla Grill’s Ham Croquetas, since 1975

Ropa Vieja Croquetas

Ropa Vieja Croquetas

Fireman Derek intently listening

Fireman Derek getting ready to retort

And to the victors go the spoils

And to the victors go the spoils

Chief POP Officer from HipPOPs, Tony Fellows

Chief POP Officer from HipPOPs, Tony Fellows

HipPOPs Menu for the 20K Instagram Party

HipPOPs Menu for the 20K Instagram Party

A HipPOP in all its glory

A HipPOP in all its glory

The CBB ladies with Officer Big Mac

The CBB ladies with Officer Big Mac

Fireman Derek making a new friend

Fireman Derek making a new friend

Director Billy Corben & I

Billy Corben (director of Dawg Fight) & I

Nedal Ahmad (owner of Pincho Factory) tells me how he really feels about me

Nedal Ahmad (owner of Pincho Factory) tells me how he really feels about me

The good folks at Food Truck Invasion

The good folks at Food Truck Invasion

Roxie’s Grocery – Memphis, Tennessee

Roxie's Grocery - Best Memphis Burger

An important thing to do when visiting towns is connect with the folks who know their cities really well. I’m not really interested in eating at restaurants listed on “Top 10 Lists” created by someone who doesn’t even leave their desks to write them.

In this case I was in Memphis which means I spoke to my bud Seth at the Best Memphis Burger blog. He directed me to Roxie’s Grocery and asked me to read his post before checking it out, which I suggest you do also.

I also need to agree with him on the Faygo, I’ve never so much Faygo in my life.

It was beginning to rain when I arrived and there were a couple of fellas hanging around outside on what seemed like watch duty. I made my way into the grocery and straight to the back where the kitchen area is. I didn’t have much time to thoroughly think out my order and when it became my turn I blurted out 2 Cheeseburgers with Cheese Fries. I really wanted Chili Cheese Fries but I never corrected myself.

The older lady running the kitchen was berating one of the line cooks like an angry Mom talks to a child who ignores all her demands. It was brutal to watch and all of us waiting for our food just turned our heads in embarrassment for the poor guy. Before I knew it the Burgers were done, I grabbed a couple of Cokes, paid and was out the door.

The rain had picked up a little more by then but my wife Marcela was in the car right around the corner. I jump into the passenger side (over a large puddle) and with extreme excitement open up my styrofoam container to see this bad boy up close. They were beautiful hand pattied and deformed Burgers. I removed the offending LTO on the bottom and could finally dig in.

Wow, just wow! The Burger itself reminded me of Ann’s Snack Bar in Atlanta. The American Cheese was melted all over and as I took bite after bite I was hoping it would never end. It did end of course and then I just sat there and popped some of the Cheese Fries in my mouth. The Fries were seasoned and pretty good but no match for that Burger.

Double Cheeseburger w/Lettuce & Tomato

Double Cheeseburger w/Lettuce & Tomato

Cheese Fries

Cheese Fries

Double Cheeseburger

Double Cheeseburger after I removed the offending subjects

Let me just put it to you this way, next time I’m in Memphis this will be my first AND last stop.

When in Memphis, Roxie’s Your Girl:

Roxie’s Grocery
520 N 3rd St Memphis, TN 38105‎
901-525-2817

*Roxie’s Grocery picture courtesy of Best Memphis Burger

Mooyah Opening Soon In Country Walk & Doral

Mooyah - Coming Soon

Last december I mentioned that MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes was heading to Miami. *I now have confirmation that there will be 2 locations in South Florida, Country Walk (13725  SW 152nd Street) and Doral (8750 NW 21 Terrace) opening very soon, no exact dates yet.

Below you can see their most recent menu and see if anything tickles your fancy:

MOOYAH Menu as of August 2014

MOOYAH Menu as of August 2014

*Beast on the Street reporter The Gerther confirmed the news for me last night

Owens Burger Shack – Clarksdale, Mississippi

Owens Burger Shack - Clarksdale, Mississippi

We were running low on gas while driving around Clarksdale, Mississippi so as the truck was getting its fill at a station I notice a Burger Joint across the street. We (my wife Marcela & I) had just eaten a real hefty lunch so I need to store this spot in my Burger memory banks.

I went light on breakfast (Bagel & Coffee) the following morning since I knew it was Owens Burger Shack for lunch day. I was very excited as Owens Burger Shack has the look of something that’s going to be great. There are no seats and once you walk in there’s a tight space that might fit 2 or 3 people and an order window.

I read and re-read the menu and the pressure’s on when I’m asked what I want to order. So we gotta start with the Hot Wings, Juke Joint Fries, Chopped BBQ Sandwich and a Chili Cheese Burger. I also try to get the Hot Tamales but they’re out.

I’m the only there so ask about the business. The two fellas mention this is a family owned business and that they are brothers. My eyes light up as this is what I like to hear. I tell them I’m in town from Miami as I’m leaving with the food, that I had spotted them from across the street the day before and they thank me for coming back to try them out.

Owens Burger Shack Menu (click to enlarge)

Owens Burger Shack Menu (click to enlarge)

So we’re sitting in the car and we’re looking at everything. It all smells so good. The Hot Wings were first with a flavorful Buffalo Sauce they were soaking in. You also gotta love the piece of bread in the corner used to sop up the hot sauce juices for later.

Again, the Fries here are slightly undercooked (apparently it’s a Southern thing) but those toppings make me forget all about it. Jalapeños, Cheese and that dense smoky BBQ Sauce makes these Juke Joint Fries incredible and make me think these would be a great topping for an all beef Hot Dog.

Everywhere you look in the South you’re going to find Slaw so it’s no surprise to find it on the Chopped BBQ Sandwich. Much like those phenomenal Fries I just had this sandwich is a sloppy winner but a winner nonetheless.

We’re now down to the Chili Cheese Burger which is looking back at me with a scared look. It should have one. I skipped the Slaw on this one but it does have the Chili, Cheese, Onions and Mustard. It’s a beautiful hand formed patty cooked right on til’ juicy. I probably should have started with the Chili Cheese Burger cause *I’m feeling a bit full at this point.

Hot Wings

Hot Wings

Juke Joint Fries

Juke Joint Fries

Owens Burger Shack - Clarksdale, Mississippi

Chopped BBQ Sandwich

Chili Cheese Burger

Chili Cheese Burger

Marcela puts the car on drive and as we begin to move we see the kitchen door of Owens Burger Shack open up and out comes the gentleman I was talking to at the window. They wanted us to try some of their Rib Tips which are only available on Fridays and Saturdays.

These little guys are marinating in that addictive BBQ sauce. I’m one piece in when I realize it’s better I stop now before my Food Coma hits epic proportions. I didn’t need dessert, those Tips filled its place nicely and happily.

Burnt Ends

Burnt Ends

I’m glad we stopped in at Owens Burger Shack, I had a feeling that it would be just what I needed and I was right.

If You’re Visiting The Delta, Go To:

Owens Burger Shack
601 Dr MLK Blvd, Clarksdale, Mississippi 38614
662-624-1187

*It probably didn’t help that I had two cans of Cola.

Sam’s Super Burger – Grand Bay, Alabama

Sam's Super Burger - Grand Bay, Alabama

During our road trip from Miami to Mississippi we needed to stop for gas occasionally. I like the stops to coincide with a town that has a locally owned Burger Joint. On the last leg of the drive we stopped in at Sam’s Super Burger in Grand Bay, Alabama.

Sam's Super Burger Menu P1 (click to enlarge)

Sam’s Super Burger Menu P1 (click to enlarge)

Sam's Super Burger Menu P2 (click to enlarge)

Sam’s Super Burger Menu P2 (click to enlarge)

After thoroughly thinking it out, my order consists of a Super Burger Double with Cheese (w/Fries & Drink), a Super Dog, & 3 Fresh Chicken Tenders. I was super excited to see the branded cup with the Sam’s Super Burger logo which I tried to keep and bring back to Miami but I ended up losing it in Oxford, Mississippi when it rolled under my car into oblivion.

The Super Dog had Slaw, Sauerkraut, Chili, Cheese, Onion and Yellow Mustard. I’m not a Sauerkraut fan so I’m not sure why I ordered this other than to have their signature Hot Dog. The flavors jelled well and I’ve got to imagine this a popular dish here.

For the last year or so I’ve been on a Chicken Tenders kick and these rank right up there with some of the Best I’ve had. They were not some prepackaged deal but made in house and you could definitely taste that. I was in a no sharing zone with these dudes.

The fries were cooked slightly less than I would have liked but it’s something that I found all around the South (Northern Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee & now Alabama). It must be a “thing” here.

The Bread was toasted, the Cheese was melted and it’s definitely a Super Burger. The Burger besides looking like a million bucks was excellent. I spoke to the owner when I was placing my order and he mentioned that they use Midwestern Black Angus Chuck to make their Burgers.

Sam's Super Burger - Grand Bay, Alabama

Super Dog & Fresh Chicken Tenders

Super Dog & Fresh Chicken Tenders

Sam's Super Burger - Grand Bay, Alabama

Fries

Sam's Super Burger - Grand Bay, Alabama

Super Burger Double w/Cheese

I’m sure there was plenty of love in there too cause I felt it and I’m still reciprocating now.

It Really Was Super, Thanks For Asking:

Sam’s Super Burger
8789 Grand Bay Wilmer Rd S, Grand Bay, AL 36541
251-865-3739

or

Sam’s Super Burger
10126 Grand Bay Wilmer Rd., Grand Bay, AL 36541

2015 Burger Beast Burger Bucket List

Five years ago I posted my Burger Bucket List which I’ve done a bad job of trying to get through. Some of the spots even closed down before I got to them.

This time I wanted to make sure these Burgers were attainable and included one Florida Burger and one in Louisiana which is in driving distance (for me at least).

The list is in order from least to most desirable.

After using the words “attainable” and “desirable” you’d think I was talking about something else.

Anyway, which 10 Burgers make up your Burger Bucket List?

Burger Beast Burger Bucket List

10) Lee’s HamburgersCovington, Louisiana

9) Solly’s GrilleGlendale, Wisconsin

8) Apple PanLos Angeles, California

7) Grill ‘Em AllAlhambra, California

6) The Meers StoreMeers, Oklahoma

Irv's Burgers, picture courtesy of Droolius

Irv’s Burgers, picture courtesy of Droolius

5) Irv’s BurgersWest Hollywood, California

Locale Market's St. Petersburger, picture courtesy of Locale Market

Locale Market’s St. Petersburger, picture courtesy of Locale Market

4) Locale MarketSt. Petersburg, Florida

Burger, picture courtesy of Burger Junkies

Burger, picture courtesy of Burger Junkies

3) Burger Pop-UpSan Francisco, California

Emily Burger, picture courtesy of the Gotham Burger Social Club

Emily Burger, picture courtesy of the Gotham Burger Social Club

2) EmilyBrooklyn, New York

Hard Times Sundaes Burger, picture courtesy of Hard Times Sundae

Hard Times Sundaes Burger, picture courtesy of Hard Times Sundaes

1) Hard Times SundaesNew York City Food Truck

Larry, Curly, Burgers and Moe – Homestead, Florida

I was in Homestead a few days ago when I found out about the existence of Larry, Curly, Burgers and Moe. Being a lifelong Three Stooges and Burger fan, it was no brainer that I’d have to stop in. The only problem? They were closed by the time I was ready to hit them up.

A few days later aka today, el Comelon and I make plans to have lunch together and I insist on Larry, Curly, Burgers and Moe. I arrive first (as usual) and order a Stuffed Cheeseburger (w/American Cheese), Coney Island Style Hot Dog, Fresh Cut Fries, Cup of Chili and Buffalo Wings.

Menu - Front (click to enlarge)

Menu – Front (click to enlarge)

Menu - Back (click to enlarge)

Menu – Back (click to enlarge)

Stuffed Cheeseburger (American Cheese)

Stuffed Cheeseburger (American Cheese)

Stuffed Cheeseburger (American Cheese) w/Fresh Cut Fries

Stuffed Cheeseburger (American Cheese) w/Fresh Cut Fries

Buffalo Wings (8)

Buffalo Wings (8)

All Beef Chili

All Beef Chili

While I’m trying to figure which table is best for sitting and taking pictures E.C. arrives. He tacks on a Double Cheeseburger w/only Onions and the Polish Boy, apparently it’s a Cleveland thing. And apparently we’re not having dinner tonight.

Double Cheeseburger

Double Cheeseburger

Polish Boy (Hot Dog topped w/Cole Slaw, a pile of French Fries & BBQ Sauce)

Polish Boy (Hot Dog topped w/Cole Slaw, a pile of French Fries & BBQ Sauce)

I try not to have any expectations when I eat at a new restaurant since it isn’t fair. While waiting I could see everything being prepared from scratch, now I was excited.

Two things stick out in my mind after having tried everything I ordered:

1) The Coney Island Style Hot Dog was a perfect little ditty. No Hot Dog bun here, they use a sub roll which holds up to the all beef Chili. Speaking of the all beef Chili, it had a nice sweetness to it. A great hot sauce would definitely compliment it.

Coney Island Style Hot Dog 9All Meat Chili, Chopped Onions & One Stripe of Yellow Mustard)

Coney Island Style Hot Dog (All Meat Chili, Chopped Onions & One Stripe of Yellow Mustard)

2) I love a great Juicy Lucy (Cheese stuffed Burgers) and I’ve had many in my time. This is one of the best I’ve ever had. It comes with Ketchup, Mustard and Mayo which I embraced instead of shunning as I normally do. The flavors really brought me to back to being a kid and just enjoying a really good Burger without all the noise that exists nowadays. I’m looking forward to enjoying another one of these very soon.

Stuffed Cheeseburger Close-Up

Stuffed Cheeseburger Close-Up

I also ordered a Blackened Chicken Sandwich to go for la señora Beast with some Cole Slaw. She is very picky about her Chicken Sandwiches but she dug this one.

Cole Slaw

Cole Slaw

Blackened Chicken Sandwich

Blackened Chicken Sandwich

How else can I really end this other than saying I’ll be back to Larry, Curly, Burgers and Moe. It was a 40 minuts drive that was well worth it and can also be a great stop on your way to or from the Keys.

Soitenly Great:

Larry, Curly, Burgers and Moe
28838 South Dixie Highway Homestead, FL 33033
786–504-8768

Frita Showdown Returns Wednesday August 12th

Frita Showdown

I love Fritas and I’m sure you know that by now. On Wednesday August 12th from 7-10PM, my 3rd annual Frita Showdown brought to you by Downstairs Markets & presented by and featuring beef provided by Schweid & Sons returns to Magic City Casino at their Cafe overlooking the iconic track.

El Rey de las Fritas, the 2013 and 2014 Frita Showdown winner return to defend their title against Bongo’s Cuban Cafe (Hollywood), Daddy’s Grill (Hialeah), El Mago de las Fritas (West Miami), Frita’s Cuban Burger Cafe (Key West), Josh’s Deli (Surfside) and Pincho Factory (Coral Gables & Westchester).

2015 Frita Showdown

The all inclusive tickets ($25 for a limited time) will get you mini Fritas from all of the competitors plus drinks and snacks from Botran Rum​, 3:05 Cafecito​, Cawy Bottling Co.​ (Jupiña & Materva), Fireman Derek’s Key Pies’ Flan, Ironbeer​, Latin American Bakery & Cafe’s Croquetas​, PG Bakery​, Pico Factory and Vicky Bakery’s Pastelitos.

The Best Frita en el Mundo will be chosen by a group of esteemed judges: NBC 6 South Florida​’s Kelly Blanco, Miami Springs Mayor Zavier Garcia, Tongue & Cheek​’s Jamie DeRosa and The Miami Herald​’s Evan Benn.

Every attendee will get one vote for the Downstairs People’s Choice Award so you must remember to use your vote wisely.

Tickets are all inclusive and will sell out just like 2013 & 2014. You heard it here first: http://fritashowdown.com

Nevermind Awesome Bar & Eatery – Cape Coral, Florida

I spent a week in Ft. Myers but found myself in Cape Coral about half the time eating my way through it. I can’t lay claim to knowing about Nevermind or that I’ve had them on my list to try out forever. I was lucky that @porkrind suggested I try them out. My cousin Chunktronics was with me and we came mentally ready for whatever Nevermind had to offer.

Nevermind Lunch Menu (click to enlarge)

Nevermind Lunch Menu (click to enlarge)

We were seated at a high top and I spent most of the meal thinking someone was staring at us but it was just a picture of Kurt Cobain that was infatuated with me.

The Chorizo Pate was all Fred as I’m not a Pate kinda guy but I did try it. Again, not my deal but he loved it. We split the Volcano Spring Rolls as we do everything we eat when we’re out and about….I really wanted them all for myself.

Our eating partnership works since in cases like Chicken Wings I go drums and he does wings. The Crispy Parmesan Truffle Wings were crispy with Parmesan on them and just the right amount of truffle to not be overpowering. The guys were served with house-made Ranch, Buffalo and Sweet Chili Sauces. Please bottle that Buffalo Sauce as I need it near me at all times.

Grilled Bread

Grilled Bread

Chorizo Pate

Chorizo Pate

Chorizo Pate/Grilled Bread accompaniment

Chorizo Pate/Grilled Bread accompaniment

Volcano Spring Roll

Volcano Spring Rolls

Crispy Parmesan Truffle Wings w/Buffalo, Sweet Chili & Ranch dipping sauces

Crispy Parmesan Truffle Wings w/Buffalo, Sweet Chili & Ranch dipping sauces

The interesting thing about the Buffalo Chicken Burger and Bitchin Triple Bacon Burger is that the buns are turned inside out and toasted which works. Both come cut in half and are soaking in sauces, Buffalo/Ranch for the Chicken and Espresso Ketchup/Ranch for the Burger.

The Buffalo Chicken Burger was good but could not eclipse the greatness of the Bitchin Bacon Triple Burger. I hate hate hate hate, did I say hate Burgers cut in half yet here is one time that I didn’t mind. I thought the choice of sauces really were a little off the wall and then you throw in that thick cut Bacon and all of a sudden you’ve got a homerun on your hands. If I hadn’t mentally committed to having dessert I would have ordered another.

Buffalo Chicken Burger

Buffalo Chicken Burger

Fresh Cut Truffle Fries

Fresh Cut Truffle Fries

Bitchin Triple Bacon Burger

Bitchin Triple Bacon Burger

Chunktronics is really the dessert guy but we opt for both desserts, the Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies w/Rocky Road Cheesecake and something called CONUTS. The Chocolate Chip Cookies were just out of the oven with a little dab of whipped cream. The Rocky Road Cheesecake was the right accompaniment for the 5 cookies and right size too. I preferred this dessert over the CONUTS.

The CONUTS are a mini sight to behold. They’re freshly baked Chocolate Chip cookies topped with mini Red Velvet Donuts and Whipped Cream served with a side of Rocky Road Ice Cream. I’m pretty sure I saw Chunktronics’ eyes leave his sockets for a split second when this dish was placed in front of him. He was mesmerized. I never fell for the hype around Red Velvet over the years so it didn’t do much for me but it was beautiful and tasted great. He’s still in love with, I think he’s writing up a marriage proposal to them as I write this.

Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies

Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rocky Road Cheesecake

Rocky Road Cheesecake

Conts w/Rocky Road Ice Cream

CONUTS w/Rocky Road Ice Cream

A Conut....up close & personal

A CONUT….up close & personal

My only regret was not ordering the Little Pork Shanks & Green Sauce. It’ll have to wait til next time.

One last thing, they’ve got a private monthly dining experience called Cult Carne that might be worth looking into.

As K. Cobain said, Oh Well…Whatever:

Nevermind Awesome Bar & Eatery
927 E. Cape Coral Parkway East Cape Coral, FL 33904
239-471-0534

Food Trucks This Saturday at Magic City Casino

Food Trucks at Magic City Casino

The state of Florida’s longest running Food Truck is the Wheelin’ Dealin’ Street Food Festival at Magic City Casino. It always takes place every 3rd Saturday of the month. I’ve been curating this event since day one thanks to a partnership with the good folks at Magic City Casino.

We’ve got a great line-up for you this month that includes the first appearance at a Burger Beast Food Truck event of Asaos Food Truck, Conch Shack and Pillo’s Pizza & Grill, who also happen to have an excellent Burger and Pan con Bistec on their menu.

Pillo's Burger (Half Ground Beef/Half Chorizo Patty)

Pillo’s Burger (Half Ground Beef/Half Chorizo Patty)

For those of you who can’t live without their suds, Beer is also sold at this event. Parking is FREE too!

July 18th Food Truck Line-Up:

Asaos Food Truck
Aunt Adela’s Empanadas
Best Pasta
Coffee & Cream
Conch Shack
Da Burger Shack
Daddy’s Grill
Don Mofongo
El Rey De Las Fritas
FOAR
HipPOPS
Jersey Dawg
Killer Melts
King of Racks
Legends BBQ
Marlie’s Delights
Miami Roasted Corn
Monster Burgers
Palate Party
Pillo’s Pizza & Grill
Purple People Eatery
Sugar Yummy Mama
Taco Fresh
Velvet Creme Doughnuts
Zombie Ice

The Details:

Wheelin’ Dealin’ Street Food Festival
at Magic City Casino
Facebook: Wheelin’ Dealin’ Event Page
Date: Every 3rd Saturday of the Month Time: 5PM – 10PM
Location: 450 NW 37th Ave Miami, Florida 33126

Parking: Plenty of Free Parking

Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill Is Going Dominican For July

Gilbert's - July 2K15

Well, maybe the title of this post was a little misleading….but I’m kinda right. For the month of July, Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill’s Specialty Burger is called “The Dominican” : An 8oz certified Angus Beef Patty topped with Hebrew National Hard Salami, a Fried Egg, Fried White Cheese, & Pickled Onions served on a Martin’s Potato Roll with Chipotle/Cilantro Mayo.

Esta bien chevere.

Visit:

Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill
Facebook: Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill
Twitter: EatAtGilberts
1821 Cordova Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Where To Find a Frita Cubana

So now that you know about Frita Cubanas your next step is to find where you can get your hands on some. The list below should be a more than suitable starter for finding out where they’re available.

If you’ve come across a Frita Cubana somewhere and I don’t have it listed, please leave a comment and I will add it after I do some due diligence.


California

  • Gigi’s Bakery & Cafe 2200 W Temple St Los Angeles, CA 90026

Florida

  • Bodega 1120 Central Ave Saint Petersburg, FL 33705
  • Bongos Cuban Cafe (Downtown Disney/West Side) 1780 Buena Vista Drive Lake Buena Vista, Fl 32830
Cuban Breezes - Frita Cubana

Cuban Breezes – Frita Cubana

    • Cuban Breezes 13980 W Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL 33635
David's Cafe Cafecito's Frita

David’s Cafe Cafecito’s Frita

    • David’s Cafe Cafecito919 Alton Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139
El Rinconcito Latino's Frita Cubana

El Rinconcito Latino’s Frita Cubana

  • El Rinconcito Latino8488 SW 8th St Miami, FL 33144
  • Florida Bakery3320 W Columbus Dr, Tampa, FL 33607
Frita's Cuban Burger Cafe's Frita Cubana

Frita’s Cuban Burger Cafe’s Frita Cubana

  • Frita’s Cuban Burger Cafe 425 Southard St Key West, FL 33040
Gordos Cuban Cuisine - Frita Cubana

Gordos Cuban Cuisine – Frita Cubana

  • Gordos Cuban Cuisine 1907 West Pensacola St., Tallahassee, FL, 32304
  • La Giraldilla1003 W Hillsborough Ave Ste 4 Tampa, FL 33603
  • Pipo’s: The Original Cuban Cafe – 9531 Bay Pines Blvd St Petersburg, FL 33708
Rei's Bakery - Frita Cubana

Rei’s Bakery – Frita Cubana

  • Rei’s Bakery – 229 Del Prado Blvd N # 1, Cape Coral, FL 33909
Sandy's Cuban Cafe - Frita Cubana

Sandy’s Cuban Cafe – Frita Cubana


Illinois

  • Ray’s Cafe – 607 N Court St Marion, IL 62959

Michigan

  • Frita Batidos117 W Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

New Jersey

  • La Casa de Pan con Lechon336 South Street Elizabeth, NJ 07202
  • Cuban Pete’s428 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042
  • The Cuban Restaurant & Bar333 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ 07030
  • Latin Soul Cuban Cafe507 Market St, Saddle Brook, NJ 07663
  • Rumba Cubana6909 Boulevard E, Guttenberg, NJ 07093

New York

  • Cafecito185 Avenue C #1, New York, NY 10009
  • Coppelia 207 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011
  • Pilar Cuban Eatery 397 Greene Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

North Carolina

  • Habana Cuban Restaurant5945 Cliffdale Rd, Fayetteville, NC 28314
  • Havana Cafe109 BackStreet, West Jefferson, NC 28694

Puerto Rico

  • Caramelo 101 Avenida San Patricio Maramar Plaza Building Guaynabo, Puerto Rico 00969
  • Yam Burger1107,1127 Av. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, San Juan, 00920, Puerto Rico

South Florida

  • Bongos Cuban Cafe (Hard Rock Hollywood) 5733 Seminole Way, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314
Casavana - Frita Cubana

Casavana – Frita Cubana

  • Casavana Cuban Cuisine (5 locations) – 8202 Mills Drive, Miami, FL 33183
Chico's - Frita Cubana

Chico’s – Frita Cubana

  • Chico’s – 4070 W 12th Ave, Hialeah, FL 33012
Cuban Guys - Frita Cubana w/Cheese

Cuban Guys – Frita Cubana w/Cheese

  • Cuban Guys (4 locations) – 10801 Sunset Dr, Miami, FL 33157
Daddy's Grill - Frita Cubana

Daddy’s Grill – Frita Cubana

El Exquisito - Frita Cubana

El Exquisito – Frita Cubana

  • El Exquisito – 1510 SW 8th Street, Miami, Florida 33135
El Mago de las Fritas - Frita Cubana

El Mago de las Fritas – Frita Cubana

El Palacio De Los Jugos - Frita Cubana

El Palacio De Los Jugos – Frita Cubana

El Rey de las Fritas - Frita Cubana

El Rey de las Fritas – Frita Cubana

El Rinconcito Latino - Frita Cubana

El Rinconcito Latino – Frita Cubana

  • El Rinconcito Latino (5 locations) – 8488 SW 8th St Miami, FL 33144
FINKA Table & Tap - Frita Cubana

FINKA Table & Tap – Frita Cubana

  • FINKA Table & Tap14690 SW 26th St, Miami, FL 33175
Fritas Domino - Frita Cubana

Fritas Domino – Frita Cubana

  • Islas Canarias Restaurant – 13695 SW 26th St, Miami, FL 33175
La Cubanita Pizza - Frita Cubana

La Cubanita Pizza – Frita Cubana

  • La Cubanita Pizzeria (2 locations) – 4800 W Flagler St, Coral Gables, FL 33134
La Palma - Frita Cubana

La Palma – Frita Cubana

  • La Palma6091 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33144
La Perla Del Sur - Frita Cubana

La Perla Del Sur – Frita Cubana

  • La Perla del Sur – 5762 W Flagler St, Miami, FL 33144
Larios on the Beach - Frita Cubana

Larios on the Beach – Frita Cubana

  • Larios on the Beach820 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Latin Cafe 2000 - Frita Cubana

Latin Cafe 2000 – Frita Cubana

  • Latin Cafe 2000875 NW 42nd Ave, Miami, FL 33126
Latin House - Frita Cubana

Latin House – Frita Cubana

Little Bread - Frita Cubana

Little Bread – Frita Cubana

  • Little Bread – 541 SW 12th Ave Little Havana, FL 33130
Los Bobos - Frita Cubana

Los Bobos – Frita Cubana

  • Los Bobos – 5600 NW 79th Ave Doral, FL 33166
Luis Galindo 1 - Frita Cubana

Luis Galindo 1 – Frita Cubana

Luis Galindo 2 - Frita Cubana

Luis Galindo 2 – Frita Cubana

  • Luis Galindo’s Latin American 2 – 10700 SW 24th St, Miami, FL 33165
Miramar Bakery - Frita Cubana

Miramar Bakery – Frita Cubana

  • Miramar Bakery – 370 FL-7, Hollywood, FL 33023
  • Montes De Oca (5 locations) – 4360 NW 7th St, Miami, FL 33126 
Morro Castle in Hialeah - Frita Cubana

Morro Castle in Hialeah – Frita Cubana

Morro Castle in Little Havana - Frita Cubana

Morro Castle in Little Havana – Frita Cubana

  • Pillo’s Food TruckStrip Mall at SW 79th Ave & 8th Street
Pizza Cubana - Frita Cubana

Pizza Cubana – Frita Cubana

  • Pizza Cubana 9350 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33165
Polo Norte - Frita Cubana

Polo Norte – Frita Cubana

  • Polo Norte (4 locations) – 10302 W Flagler St, Miami, FL 33174
  • Puerto Sagua – 700 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
  • Rey’s Pizza (9 locations) – 2908 W. 3rd Ave Hialeah, FL 33012
Sazon Cuban Cuisine - Frita Cubana

Sazon Cuban Cuisine – Frita Cubana

  • Sazon Cuban Cuisine – 7305 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33141
Sergio's - Frita Cubana

Sergio’s – Frita Cubana

  • Sergio’s (7 locations) – 3252 SW 22nd St, Miami, FL 33145
Tropical Restaurant - Frita Cubana

Tropical Restaurant – Frita Cubana

  • Tropical Restaurant – 652 E 9th St, Hialeah, FL 33010 

Nikki Beach’s 4th of July Party & Burger Menu

Nikki Beach - July 4th

Those of you wanting to keep your July 4th filled with Food can head out to Nikki Beach on Ocean Drive for their 11th Annual Independance Beach Party. There will be Fireworks, a small army of DJs and a Beachside BBQ that features 8 kinds of Burgers, foot long Wieners and a bunch of Side Dishes. The only catch is you gotta be 21 years of age or older to attend.

Read the entire Press Release below and then check out the pictures of some of the Burgers, Dog and Sides.

NIKKI BEACH MIAMI PRESENTS 11TH ANNUAL JULY 4th INDEPENDANCE BEACH PARTY WITH SOUNDS BY BORIS, COCODRILLS, VANJEE AND MANY MORE…

ALL-DAY BASH FEATURES THE ULTIMATE BEACHSIDE BBQ WITH EIGHT KINDS OF DECADENT BURGERS, SAVORY FOOT-LONGS AND MOUTHWATERING SIDES, ALONG WITH NIKKI BEACH’S OWN MASSIVE FIREWORKS DISPLAY

June 20, 2015 — Nikki Beach Miami, the quintessential South of France style beach club known for it’s joie de vivre and larger than life celebrations does 4th of July the good, old American way – with explosive beats, over-the-top BBQ, and a massive fireworks display across the South Beach sky. Celebrated at each of the twelve Nikki Beach locations across the world, Fourth of July Nikki Beach-style has become legendary. This year, IndepenDance DJ’s include Boris, Cocodrills, Vanjee, Patrick M, ALX, Allan Gallego, Bill Kelly, Donnie Lowe, Carabetta & Doon, Thinking of Us, Chiri, Yander Delgado and surprise guests take to the decks, leading guests into hours of dance floor revelry.

Beachside, guests can feast on the ultimate BBQ featuring eight kinds of burgers – from The St. Tropez Foie Gras Burger, featuring seared foie gras, sautéed mushrooms and a fried egg, to the ‘Meeerrrica Burger featuring American cheese and pork belly bacon smashed between two glazed donuts – and many more. Also on the menu are a variety of foot-long hot dogs smothered in chili and slaw, and Chef Frank’s famous truffle fries, fried macaroni and cheese balls and many more. The night is complete with a massive fireworks show – one of only two that take place directly on South Beach – exclusively for Nikki Beach guests who can recline on the beach club’s luxurious day beds or sit with their toes in the sand teepee-side while watching the night sky.


Burgers

PHILLY CHEESESTEAK BURGER
8oz Black Angus beef, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions and roasted peppers

Philly Cheese Steak Burger

Philly Cheese Steak Burger

BIKINI VEGGIE BURGER
Seasonal vegetables

ST. TROPEZ FOIE GRAS BURGER
8 oz Black Angus beef, sauteed mushrooms, seared foie gras, fried egg

St. Tropez Foie Gras Burger

St. Tropez Foie Gras Burger

NIKKI FIT BURGER
All white ground turkey meat, built to your specification

ST. BARTHS SURF`N`TURF BURGER
8 oz Black Angus beef, grilled shrimp, medallion onions

St. Barth's Surf N Turf

St. Barth’s Surf N Turf

TEX MEX BURGER
8 oz Black Angus beef, salsa, avocado, pepper jack cheese, cilantro mayo, fried jalapeño

Tex Mex

Tex Mex

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS BURGER
8 oz Black Angus beef, fried mac and cheese, fried egg, bacon

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

‘MEEERRRICA BURGER
8oz Black Angus beef, American cheese, bacon smashed between two glazed donuts

'Meeerrrica Burger

‘Meeerrrica Burger

FRANK`S TWO POUND BURGER FOR 2
Two pounds of Black Angus Beef jumbo burger bun with lettuce and tomato

Chef Frank 2 Lb.

Chef Frank 2 Lb.


Hot Dogs

FOOT LONG HOT DOG

SLAWDOG

Slaw Dog

Slaw Dog

FOOT LONG CHILI DOG

Chili Dog

Chili Dog


Sides

Parmesan Truffle Fries
County Style Fries
Sweet Potato Fries
Mac and Cheese
Fried Mac and Cheese Balls

Mac & Cheese Balls

Mac & Cheese Balls

Corn on a Cobb
Chili
Coleslaw


Desserts

Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream
Sliced Watermelon Plate with Basil Chiffonade


IndepenDANCE takes place July 4th from noon til 11pm and is 21+.

Nikki Beach is located at One Ocean Drive, Miami Beach FL.

Tickets start at $20.00 and Burgers start at $10.00.

For more information visit www.independance.com.

Ms. Cheezious & Taquiza’s Backyard BBQ Mashup

Ms. Cheezious - Taquiza

Ms. Cheezious and Taquiza are celebrating their Miami New Times “Best of Miami 2015” Awards by doing a Backyard BBQ Mashup. La fiesta will feature $5 bites like an ooey gooey cheesy quesadilla smothered in Victoria-onion jam with the option to add smoked chicken or BBQ pork (you know, if Ms. Cheezious and Taquiza were to have a baby); torta with lechón, avocado-guajillo spread, and citrus-pickled onion; deliciously smoked chicken nachos with mole, yolk, and bacon (also smoked in-house) for a brunchy fix; street-style esquites with shmayo (chicken-schmaltz mayo!); and finger-lickin’ BBQ pork sliders.

You can wash down the snacks with $2 Sixpoint Craft Beers and Tequila Avión cocktails. DJ Kumi will put you in the Sunday afternoon partying spirit and there’ll be some of those games that socially challenged people like to play obnoxiously like Corn Hole & JENGA.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that it’s this Sunday June 28th from 4-9PM at the Ms. Cheezious Restaurant.

Save me a Torta.

The Details:

Ms. Cheezious & Taquiza’s Backyard BBQ Mashup
When: Sunday, June 28, 2015
Time: 4PM to 9PM
Where: Ms. Cheezious (7418 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33138)
Parking: Street & Lot Parking Available

Swensen’s New Menu Is Absolutely Killer

Swensen's Grill & Ice Cream - Coral Gables, Florida

I decided to stop in at Swensen’s (opened in 1977) a few weeks back since the last time I wrote about them was almost six years ago. I noticed some changes to the food and it turns out that they have a new Executive Chef. Who was it? None other than Chef Alex Parra (A&G Burger Joint) had taken over the kitchen and revamped a good majority of the menu.

*He wanted to take a good menu and make it excellent by using high quality ingredients and adding a twist to things much like what he did at A&G Burger Joint. The full new menu will not be available in its entirety ’til Tuesday July 7th but if you stop in at Swensen’s between now and then there will be different specials which are part of the upcoming revamp.

Below you can see some of the new dishes coming to Swensen’s, my favorites were the Spinach Artichoke Pesto Dip, Buffalo Chicken Flatbread Pizza and the Burger Melt (it was also my favorite at A&G Burger Joint).

Nachos

Nacho Explosion (Fresh sliced Jalapeños, House-made Chili, House-made Guac, Sour Cream, Cilantro, Pico de Gallo, Cheese Sauce & fresh Tortilla Chips)

Spinach Dip w/Tortilla Chips

Spinach Artichoke Pesto Dip w/fresh Tortilla Chips

Spinach Dip

Spinach Artichoke Pesto Dip

Fries & Onion Ring Starter

Fry Trio (chose from any of their Specialty Fries or Onion Rings)

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

Marshmallow Fluff Dipping Sauce for Sweet Potato Fries

Marshmallow Cinnamon Dipping Sauce for Sweet Potato Fries

Onion Rings

Parmesan crusted Onion Rings

Chipotle Dipping Sauce for Onion Rings

Chipotle Aioli Dipping Sauce for Onion Rings

Rosemary Truffle Fries

Herb Truffle Fries

Mustard Dipping Sauce for Rosemary Truffle Fries

Mustard Relish Dipping Sauce for Herb Truffle Fries

Buffalo Wings w/Ranch & Blue Cheese Sauces for Dipping

Buffalo Wings w/Ranch & Blue Cheese Sauces for Dipping

Salad

Fiesta Salad (Corn & Black Bean Salsa, diced Tomatoes, Avocado, Tortilla Strips, Cilantro Leaves, Grilled Chicken & house-made Honey Lime Vinaigrette)

Salad

Very Berry Chicken Salad (Lettuce tossed w/Dried Cranberry, Roasted Pecans, Raspberry Vinaigrette & topped with Strawberries, Black Berries, Goat Cheese Crumbles & Grilled Chicken)

Pepperoni Flatbread Pizza

Mushroom Pepperoni Flatbread Pizza

Olive Oil, Tomato Flatbread Pizza

Spinach Pesto Flatbread Pizza

Buffalo Chicken & Blue Cheese Flatbread Pizza

Buffalo Chicken Flatbread Pizza (w/Blue Cheese)

Double Cheeseburger w/Fries

Double Cheeseburger (2 Half pound Angus Beef Patties w/Leaf Lettuce, Tomato, Mustard Relish, American & Monterey Jack Cheeses on a Sesame toasted Brioche Bun) w/Fries

Double Cheeseburger, closeup

Double Cheeseburger, closeup

Parmesan Melt w/Fries

Burger Melt (Half pound Angus Beef Patty with Cheddar Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Thousand Island Dressing served on a Parmesan crusted Sourdough Bread) w/Fries

Parmesan Melt, closeup

Parmesan Melt, closeup

Blue Burger w/Fries

Ultimate Blue Burger (Half pund Angus Beef Patty w/Lettuce,Tomato, Caramelized Onions, Sautéed Mushrooms & Blue Cheese Crumbles) w/Fries

Blue Burger, closeup

Blue Burger, closeup

Nacho Burger

Nacho Burger (Half pound Angus Beef Patty with Julienne Iceberg Lettuce, House-made Chili, Cheese Sauce, Tortilla Strips, Pico del Gallo & sliced Fresh Jalapeños) w/Fries

Nacho Burger, closeup

Nacho Burger, closeup

Grilled Cheeseburger w/Fries

Grilled Cheeseburger w/Fries

Grilled Cheeseburger, closeup

Grilled Cheeseburger, closeup

Breakfast Burger, closeup

Breakfast Burger (Half pound Angus Beef Patty, Cheddar Cheese, Applewood Bacon, Hash Brown Cakes, Sunnyside Up Egg on a butter toasted Croissant) w/Fries

Breakfast Burger, closeup

Breakfast Burger, closeup

Chicken Sandwich w/Fries

Artisan Club Sandwich (Your choice of Grilled Chicken, sliced Turkey, sliced Ham, sliced Turkey & Ham or Half pound Angus Beef Patty with Leaf Lettuce, sliced Tomato, Applewood Bacon, Avocado, Jack Cheese, Garlic Aioli served on a butter toasted Artisan Bread) w/Fries

Chicken Sandwich, closeup

Artisan Club Sandwich, closeup

Time to Re-Visit:

Swensen’s Grill & Ice Cream
1586 S Dixie Highway, Coral Gables, FL
305-661-7658

*Chef Alex Parra invited my wife & I try to try all of the dishes above. We were treated to the meal and did not pay but did tip (you gotta do that not matter what).