Way way back at the 2011 Burger Bash I first tried Umami Burger. It was around this time I believe that they had announced their intentions to open a spot in South Beach. Late last year Short Order mentioned that Umami Burger had secured the old 8 oz. Burger spot on Alton. While the official opening isn’t until Monday May 20th at 11am I was able to sneak a *taste of what Umami Burger is all about with the Chowfather and my old high school friend Tommy. It’s important to note that Umami Burger (named after the “fifth taste”) not only grinds their own meat but produces everything from their condiments & cheeses to the bread in house.
Once seated I was greeted by this brown paper lunch bag type placemat with the Umami Logo. Next thing I know there’s a trio of sauces dropped off at the table. After our server takes our drink orders we take the divide and conquer menu kind of attack. The appetizers we choose are Truffle Fries, Smushed Potatoes and Fried Pickles. I never got to try the Fried Pickles or Truffle Fries. I did steal some of un-truffled Fries for use with two of the sauces. I’m not exactly sure of the name of it (El Diablo?) but be careful, it’s got some heat that will creep up on you. The Smushed Potatoes were served on a thin bed of garlic aioli. These fellas were excellent and I’m still having nice daydreams of them leaping fences in my potato garden.
I was able to sample 4 Umami Burgers (only 3 are pictured here). The Burgers were ordered Medium-Rare and were crumbly delicious. My actual Burger was the Truffle Burger (house-made truffle cheese, truffle glaze). Chowfather ordered the Umami Burger (shiitake mushroom, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, parmesan crisp, umami ketchup, no picture unfortunately) and Tommy had the Manly Burger (beer-cheddar cheese, smoked salt-onion strings, bacon lardon). After I had bites from each of theirs and polished mine off I had only one thing on my mind: Thank you sir may I have another! If I had to absolutely choose my favorite between those 3, gun pressed to head I would have to give the nod to the Umami Burger. I love you Parmesan crisp!
So for dessert we opted for the Cubano Burger (mojo mustard, house cheese, pickles, prosciutto, smoked ham and a pork/pork belly patty), what did you think we were gonna have? The flavors in the Cubano Burger really came together nicely. My sole objection to this “Burger” would be the use of Prosciutto only because it’s not in a “real” Cuban Sandwich. Still, it was very good and is easily better than a bunch of the “Best” Cuban Sandwiches in Miami I’ve tried.
So there you have it, after 2 long years Umami Burger is finally in Miami. Was it worth it? Well, whoever said “the best things in life are worth waiting for” must have been talking about Umami Burger.
*I was invited by my old high school friend (Thanks Tommy!) to try out Umami Burger during a pre-opening tasting.