There’s no doubt about it, Crackers Casual Dining makes me feel good.
I’ve had about 10 meals here over the last two years and there’s only one thing I wouldn’t order again, the Brisket. My bud FGH had the same sentiment when she visited Crackers. Now that we got that out of the way, I can gush over how great and addictive the dishes are.
I’ve tried about 90% of the menu and there are some standouts that you gotta do.
Those freakin’ Fatty Fries are in my afternoon daydreams. I’m skipping along to my farmhouse and find a giant plate of Fatty Fries at the dining room table. My Mom is ringing the dinner bell and I’m trying to eat as many as possible before the rest of my family shows up. Ok, so that wasn’t a real daydream I had but it could have been.
The Chicken Fried Chicken on a bed of Garlic Mashed Potatoes is the perfect meal to have right before you take a nap. You will wake up refreshed and probably still full but that’s a good thing.
On the dessert tip everyone seems to trip over themselves for the Deep Fried Bread Pudding but I’ve found that the daily Pies and Cakes are where it’s at. If by any chance, the Double Chocolate Cookie Dough Cake is available please let me know via social media. I will be forever indebted to you. Hey, I wasn’t kidding about that last part.
Country Fried Steak Bites
Chicken Wings w/Ranch
Fried Green Tomatoes w/Bacon Aioli
Mozzarella Sticks w/Marinara Sauce
Bacon Spread w/Toast
Fatty Fries w/Gravy
Pulled Pork Sliders
Sweet Potato Casserole
Crackers Grilled Cheese
Open Faced Meatloaf Stacker
Buffalo Chicken Sammich w/Blue Cheese & a side of Cheese Grits
16 Burgie Awards (chosen by you the reader of the Burger Beast blog) will be handed out in these categories: Best Miami-Dade County Burger, Best Broward County Burger, Best Food Truck Burger, Best Non-Traditional Burger, Best Hot Dog, Best Dessert, Best Food Blog, Best Miami Food Truck, Best Broward/Palm Beach Food Truck, Best Taco Food Truck, Best Restaurant, Best Sandwich, Best Local Food Chain, Best Wings, Best 24 Hour Eats & Best Orlando Burger.
Funky Buddha Brewery will be there and from what I hear, might have a keg of the Maple Bacon Coffee Porter.
Volksmusik will be DJing and Cuban Pete & the Hialeah Hooligans, Miller & the Revolvers and the Osceola Brothers will be performing LIVE.
Live Art by Nate Dee, Nomiie, Rei Ramirez, Brian Reedy, Surge & Derek P. Wilson.
Every seen a Fashion Truck? Fierce Finds Mobile Boutique will be here.
Some Great local food vendors/restaurants will be there like Babe Froman Sausages, Illegal Bakery, Miami Angels Roasted Corn, Papa Cherry’s Pie in a Jar, Pincho Factory and Yayi’s Desserts.
The return of the iconic Velvet Creme Doughnuts in their very own Food Truck. I’ve definitely missed them.
And finally the BEST from South Florida’s Food Truck Scene: 2 Jive Turkeys, Arepas Las Gorditas, BC Tacos, Boba Station, Curbside Gourmet, Daddy’s Grill, Dim Ssam a Gogo, Don Mofongo, El Rey De Las Fritas, El Rincon Del Coqui, FOAR, Food Junkies, HipPOPS Handcrafted Gelato Bars, Jefe’s Original Fish Taco & Burgers, Jersey Dawg, King of Racks BBQ, Liquid N2 Ice Cream, Ms. Cheezious, Paradise Cups, Poblano’s Mexican Fusion, Rolling Oven, The Rolling Stove, Spring In Roll Out, Sugar Yummy Mama and Woody’s Burgers.
ONE LAST THING….Check out the post I did about SPECIAL DiSHES at the 2015 Burgie Awards.
My wife Marcela is Nicaraguan which means two things. First, I’ve eaten from way more Fritangas than your average Miamian. Secondly, there’s little credence placed on my thoughts about Fritangas (Nicaraguan quick service-style restaurant). So of course when I spotted Fritanga Caña Brava and mentioned it to my wife I was shot down, not one but multiple times over the course of a few months.
Then one afternoon Marcela calls me and asks if I’d like anything from this “NEW” Fritanga that she and her family have discovered. This “NEW” Fritanga is of course Fritanga Caña Brava. This is my Groundhog’s Day situation that I’m doomed to repeat forever.
On the first visit to a new Fritanga I always order a pretty standard Carne Asada, Gallo Pinto, Queso Frito & Tajadas (thin sliced longwise & fried Green Plantains).
Please realize that this is a cafeteria type of set-up where everything is in steamer trays.
The Carne Asada is always a hard Medium Well to Well Done. You can either accept this fate as I have or you can order to your liking which will definitely prolong your order and possibly cause a revolt with the folks waiting behind you in line. The Carne Asada was great, nice, soft and well seasoned.
Carne Asada & Gallo Pinto
The Gallo Pinto is some of the best I’ve had in town and they didn’t over-fry the Queso Frito which sometimes can leave it very stiff.
Best of all Fritanga Caña Brava is only a mile and a half from my house which means I’ve got one more spot close to me worth eating often at.
If you love Pig, Pork, Swine or any other synonym then I really think you’ll be missing out if you don’t hit up the 7th Annual STMC Pig Out Pig Roasting Competition.
Teams will compete to find Miami’s Best Pig Roaster and you’ll be able to sample them!
The General Admission ($10) will get you all you can shovel into your mouth samples from the roasters, DJs, some more entertainment plus Bounce Houses and Face Painting for the kids. And all 12 and under are FREE.
VIP ($25) includes everything from the GA plus admittance to the Big Game Liquors VIP Tent with Cocktails by FINKA Table & Tap, Beers from Wynwood Brewing Company, Tight Ashes Cigars and much more. It seems to me like this is the deal to get the full experience.
Proceeds to benefit Feeding South Florida (formerly Daily Bread Food Bank) and Local Catholic Charities that feed the homeless and hungry of our community.
This is very local and Miami only event. It’s a must attend for you Miami homers out there. #localsrule
On December 9, 2009 I wrote “In a city where it seems hype goes a lot farther than substance, it’s great to run into the real deal.” I was talking about my first encounter with Chef Jeremiah and his gastroPod.
The opening of gastropod ushered in Miami’s Street Food Movement and later on what would become the city’s Food Truck movement. Soon afterwards, the food that really made that movement hot was getting lost to the newer folks putting the $ in front of producing quality and interesting fare.
The guy who started it all took a backseat to the circus it had become and was doing his thing quietly to those who knew where to find him with dinners and brunches here and there. Next thing you know, the gastroPod was gone. It was sad really, and I couldn’t bear the thought of the Mo’ Betta Burger being gone.
In true Jeremiah he recently reappeared with a new version of the gastroPod. Gone is the airstream trailer and in it’s place is a converted shipping container that houses a full functioning kitchen. But wait there’s more….it’s a permanent spot in Wynwood.
Yes, there’s seating and even a few parking spots. It’s within walking distance of Wynwood Kitchen and Panther Coffee to kinda give you an idea of its location.
The food of course did not disappoint but then again, I didn’t expect anything less from gastroPod.
P.S.The Mo’ Betta Burger is still majestic, it’s a timeless beauty.
Who’s ready for the Amstel Light Burger Beast Challenge? Or #AmstelBurgerBeast for short.
Get real close to the screen, so I can whisper to you how this works. We’ve got a two parter on our hands folks:
1) The 20 Participating Restaurants will receive a visit from a very special someone aka ME. I will be pairing their signature Burger with an Amstel Light Beer. Whichever Burger pairs the best in my humble opinion will win a coveted spot to cook at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Amstel Light Burger Bash.
It’s a big deal to be a part of the Amstel Light Burger Bash and I hope none of them are taking this lightly.
The #AmstelBurgerBeast Restaurant Winner will be revealed right here on my blog and everywhere else you can find me (Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram) on Tuesday, February 17, 2014 at Noon.
2) So you’ve been wanting to attend the Amstel Light Burger Bash but it always sells out before you get a chance to get tickets. Here’s your chance to win a pair to THE signature event of South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
All you’ve got to do is hit up one of the participating restaurants I listed above, order an Amstel Light and a Burger (please make sure it looks good) and snap a pic with the #AmstelBurgerBeast hashtag for your chance to win two tickets!
The Amstel Light Burger Beast Challenge Social Media Winner will be announced here, Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram on Wednesday, February 18, 2014 at Noon.
I will be giving you updates on what’s going on with the Amstel Light Burger Beast Challenge so stay tuned to your bud, the Burger Beast.
We’re getting close to the actual Burger Beast Burgie Awards event and revealing who the winners are. In the meantime to build up some anticipation here are some the special dishes that will be available along with everyone’s regular dishes.
While at the event, every attendee will be able to vote for their favorite dish at the Miami Lakes Auto Mall tent and the winner will receive a People’s Choice Best Dish Burgie Award!!!
REMEMBER: Saturday January 31, 2015 from 5-10PM at Milander Park (4700 Palm Avenue) in Hialeah. Admission is FREE. You’re all invited.
To see the entire line-up of Food, Art & Music for the Burgie Awards: CLICK HERE
2 Jive Turkeys: Turkey-Avocado Sandwich – Carved Deep Fried Turkey Breast, Melted Swiss Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado with our Cranberry-Sangria Dressing on a Butter Toasted Roll.
Babe Froman Fine Sausages: Brat-O-Saurus Burger – 1/3 Lb. Bratwurst Patty topped with Sauerkraut, melted Jarlsburg Cheese and Grain Mustard on a Pretzel Bun.
Curbside Gourmet: Thai Pork Belly Sliders – The Pork Belly will be braised in a 5-spice Broth, then marinated in Lemongrass-Sata, seared to order & served on a local made Roll with a Chili-Lime Slaw & drizzled with truck made Peanut Red-Curry Sauce.
FOAR: Breakfast Beast – Griddle-Fried Taylor Ham, 2 Fried Eggs, melted American Cheese, layer of Home-Fries & Onions dressed with Malt Vinegar, sliced Roast Beef with homemade Gravy, melted Muenster Cheese on a Hoagie Roll.
HipPOPs Handcrafted Gelato Bars: Frozen Hot Chocolate Bar – Our secret blend of our Cocoa Belgian Gelato, dipped with our Signature Semi-Sweet Chocolate, dusted with Sea Salt & topped Mini Marshmallows.
Frozen Hot Chocolate Bar
Jefe’s Original Fish Taco & Burgers: SS Fishwich – Filet of fresh Fish dredged in seasoned Flour fried crispy served on a toasted Bun with house-made Tartar Sauce, Vine Ripened Sliced Tomato, crunchy crisp Lettuce, melted Pepper Jack Cheese & house-made Pickled Red Onion.
Yayi’s Desserts: Blueberry Apricot Goat Cheese Flan – The Blueberry & the Apricot provide an excellent counter to the slightly bitter taste of the Goat Cheese. The Goat Cheese makes it a super creamy delight.
Every 3rd of the month the Wheelin’ Dealin’ Street Food Festival happens at Magic City Casino. And every 3rd Saturday you can find my family, my friends and I trying to sample as much food as humanly possible. This past Saturday was no different (Jan 17th).
Unfortunately as it gets darker it becomes impossible to get great pictures of everything but below is a good 80% of what we ate.
You can also see the great picture Fatgirl Hedonist snapped when she hung out for a little while with us last night.
Remember it’s every 3rd Saturday and I curate, choose, whatever you prefer to call it the Food Trucks. If there’s a Food Truck you’d like to see please leave a comment and let me know. Thanks.
Sausage Balls from Tum Tum’s
Mr. Miyagi San(wich) from Tum Tum’s: Crispy Chicken Sandwich w/Garlic Sriracha Slaw
“Burgies” Bori Burger by Don Mofongo
Small Pizza Bianca from Rolling Oven: Olive oil glaze, fresh Garlic, Provolone, fresh Mozzarella, and Parmesan, finished with fresh Basil.
Small Potato and Chorizo from Rolling Oven: Thinly sliced Potatoes, Olive Oil glaze, Provolone, Chorizo Sausage, fresh Mozzarella, finished with cracked Black Pepper.
BLTCE (Thick Cut Slab Bacon, American Cheese, Fried Egg, Ketchup, Mustard & Roasted Garlic Mayo) from Woody’s Burgers
Nutella, Strawberry & Banana Crepe from Voo La Voo
Beef Cheezburger Wrap from Ipek’s Wykked Kitchen
1/2 Rack of Ribs from Legends BBQ
Buffalo Melt by Killer Melts: Fried Buffalo Chicken, Pepper Jack Cheese, Blue Cheese Dressing, Lettuce and Tomatoes on toasted White Bread.
Soft Serve Swirl from Ice Cream Express, pic by FGH
Chefs on the Run is one of the the restaurants I’ve been telling myself that I need to hit up for over a year. I’m not sure exactly why I hadn’t. When FGH asked if I’d like to accompany her to Knaus Berry Farm I said Yes with the only stipulation being that we hit up Chefs on the Run for lunch.
After having to wait around for FGH to pick her Strawberries we headed out. I was excited, hungry and had only a Cheese Bread Stick in my stomach holding me over. There’s only one parking space available when we arrive and it involves parallel parking, one of my kryptonites.
Chefs on the Run seats about 30 folks and has one wall covered with local art for sale, which is a nice touch. I had already scoped out the menu and was ready to order. FGH was a bit on the sick side and was all about getting a Soup. They were out of Soup so she had to settle for the Habanero Chicken and Pinchos (Skewers) I ordered “Pa Picar”.
There was no settling here as the Habanero Chicken were beyond excellent with a just right buttery Habanero Sauce (not too spicy) and a side of Lime Ranch Sauce. If I had my druthers, I’d be a Bleu Cheese Sauce but you can’t win them all. The Chicken & Churrasco Pinchos were good too but I would have preferred the BBQ Sauce on the side so that I could control how much each one had. I assumed they would be, but we know what happens when you assume.
I really wanted the Habanero Burger but two spicy dishes is not really the way to start your day. I’m glad I chose the Chef La Burger (Grilled Onions, Provolne Cheese, Hot Pastrami & Creole Mustard). It’s beautiful, it really is.
I remove the offensive lettuce & tomato and look at the marvelous crust on the bottom of the Burger, I was sold. One bite and boom, there it was, an explosion. It’s a very well constructed Burger with some equally great ingredients. The Creole Mustard really tied the Pastrami to the Burger. They nailed it.
There’s a Tripleta, a Bahn Mi, & Mofongo which give me multiple reasons to return to Chefs on the Run. Plus, I really need to try that Habanero Burger.
Menu Page 1 (click to enlarge)
Menu Page 2 (click to enlarge)
Herb Butter Bread
Habanero Boneless Chicken w/Lime Ranch
Pinchos: Chicken & Churrasco Skewers w/BBQ Sauce
Chef J’s Burger (Grilled Onions, Provolne Cheese, Hot Pastrami & Creole Mustard) – Side One
Chef J’s Burger (Grilled Onions, Provolne Cheese, Hot Pastrami & Creole Mustard) – Side Two
P.S.: FGH had Hummus, one of the few items I have banned from this blog, “thou shalt not be photographed“.
The Wheelin’ Dealin’ Street Food Festival (which takes place every 3rd Saturday of the month) is this Saturday January 17th from 5-10PM. Magic City Casino (right near the Miami airport) hosts and we have over 20 of South Florida’s BEST Food Trucks attending.
I have been curating this event since the first time it was held back in March of 2011, we’re nearing the four year anniversary. It’s also the longest running Food Truck Event in all of the state of Florida.
Even though the Wheelin’ Dealin’ Street Food Festival takes place at Magic City Casino, ALL AGES are welcome & admission is FREE. And yes, Beer is sold at this event if you wanna throw down a cold one with your grub.
This month you can catch first timers like Ice Cream Express, Killer Melts, Legends BBQ, Rolling Oven & Voolavoo plus regular favorites like Daddy’s Grill, Don Mofongo and Taco Fresh. Check out the entire line-up below.
There’s also a FREE Concert that night by Orquesta Brava at 8PM.
A collective sadness came over Sweetwater and the hop, skip and a jump away FIU with the closing of A&G Burger Jointlast June. It looks like it might be time to turn that frown upside down (yes I borrowed that line from Lionel Playworld) as the new owners of the space are opening up as 109 Burger Joint in that same location.
The menu is compromised of not only 10 eight ounce (half pound) Artisan Burgers with names like The Blue Moon (Blue Moon Beer Aged Patty w/Blue Cheese Crumbles, Sautéed Onions, Mushroom Orange Mayo, Julienne Romaine Lettuce, Tomato & Pickles), The Panther (50% Angus, 50% Pancetta Patty w/Cheddar Cheese, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Homemade BBQ Sauce, Leaf Lettuce, Red Onion, & Tomato) and likely to be popular in this Nicaraguan heavy part of Miami, the Nica Burger (100% Angus Patty w/Nicaraguan-style Fried Cheese, Mild Jalapeño Cream Sauce, Fried Sweet Plantains & Nicaraguan Coleslaw).
There’s also their signature Burger, the 109 Super Burger. This over the top creation includes American Cheese, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Guava Sauce, Mozzarella Sticks, Onion Rings, French Fries and Mini Mac Balls on a 1/2 pound Burger patty. And of course you can choose to Build Your Own Burger option if you’re not into their pre-made creations.
For you Beer folk there’s an extensive selection of Craft & Local Beers. What I really like is that there’s a Beer Sampler available for us rookies too.
109 Burger Joint opens up on Friday January 16th at 6PM.
The entire Menu is below so you can start figuring out what you’re gonna order.
If you live in Miami and drive with any frequency to the Airport or Miami Beach, I will assume you’ve seen the giant Burger King building located right off of the Dolphin Expressway(SR836) on the NW 57th Street exit. I would like to assume that you know that Burger King has been headquartered in Miami since 1959. And that it was originally called Insta-Burger King when it was founded in Jacksonville, FL in 1953. But, maybe you don’t.
The first Insta-Burger King location in Miami, FL opened on December 4th, 1954 at 3090 NW 36th Street. It’s no longer there at that same spot, the #1 was moved down the street to 3601 NW 27th Avenue.
Besides Burger King #9 (I have yet to find out where that was located), of the original 10 locations 6 are still operational in the same spots they opened at in the 1950s.
One last fast fact that might interest you, the Whopper was not always on the menu. The Whopper was the creation of James McLamore in 1957. It sold for 37 cents. He was one of the two men who brought Insta-Burger King to Miami and eventually became the co-founder of the Burger King brand a few years later.
When you were a kid, what was your favorite Burger King Burger?
Mine was Burger King’s Double Cheeseburger
Main Source: The Burger King: Jim McLamore and the Building of an Empire – 1997
In 1962 my Grandparents Gollo & Maruca Echevarria decided they were going to uproot & leave behind their lives in Cuba to look for something better for their children Gregorio & Caridad (my Mom) in the United States.
Echevarria Family in New York City, 1962
A few short years later the Gonzalez family (which included my father Serafin Jr.) would find their way to New York also as my grandfather Serafin Gonzalez Sr., who wrestled professionally under the name Cruz Diablo found himself without a job because of the Castro regime in Cuba.
My parents met in the early 1970s right after the passing of my grandfather Serafin, married in 1972, had me in 1974 and my sister Michelle in 1975. The newly created family unit (Gollo, Maruca, Serafin, Carded, mini-me & Michelle) moved to Miami in 1975 and settled in the Westchester area to be with the rest of our family who had already also left Cuba in the hopes of something better.
I was lucky to have spent over 30 years with my maternal grandparents who told me about their lives in Cuba, what a beautiful country it was and all about the culture.
My grandmother Maruca cooked and I was introduced to Cuban cuisine through her. She is responsible for my addiction to Black Beans & Rice. And much like many of you feel about your grandmother, I believe she made the Best Flan in all of the land with Lila’s a close second.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts my grandfather Gollo was the palate of the family, years before all these crowd sourcing sites existed to find out where to eat. He was the man. He had his ear to the ground and always knew where we should eat or when some restaurant was past its prime. His obsession was Pastelitos and you could find him daily at his favorite bakery La Suiza picking up Pasteles de Carne (Beef Pastries) in the afternoons.
One of my favorite memories was sitting with them and watching the Buena Vista Social Club documentary about the forgotten musicians of Cuba filmed in and around Havana (Capital of Cuba).
In 2001, my Abuela passed away and then a few short years later in 2004 my Abuelo passed on. It was heartbreaking for us.
This is how I remember them, Abuela & Abuelo – May 1999
When my wife Marcela and I began creating Food events I knew that one had to revolve around everything that I grew up with. I wanted to capture the spirit of being Cuban and really wasn’t sure if it would be possible at all. We knew we had to be meticulous about the decor, the food and of course the music…..so Frita Showdown was born.
Frita Showdown is, was and always will be dedicated to not only the memory of my grandparents Gollo & Maruca but to all of those who sacrificed themselves so that their families could have a future and better life in the United States.
I discuss Burgers a bunch and one topic that comes up rather often is whether or not a Patty Melt should be classified as a Burger. I’ve always felt that a Patty Melt was a Burger. I also feel that it’s almost impossible to mess one up.
The “official” ingredients are rather simple:
I can’t say that I ever remember eating a bad one anywhere and I’ve had them in many cities and states. I do encounter variations on the Cheeses (American Cheese, Cheddar Cheese) and occasionally on the Bread (Sourdough), rarely on the protein (Turkey Patty Melt). Another thing, most Patty Melt Purists say that the Rye Bread is never to be toasted only griddled on the flat top.
The Patty Melt should taste like the child of a great Burger & Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
“Turkey Patty Melt” by Ms. Cheezious
Where did the Patty Melt come from?
Unlike the Burger or Cheeseburger where you’ve got a bunch of folks claiming to be the creators, the Patty Melt was birthed in California. Tiny Naylor owned a chain of Biff’s and Tiny Naylor restaurants in the late 1940s and 1950s. It was there that the Patty Melt made its debut.
Tiny passed in 1959 but his son Biff (yes the restaurants were named after him) now owns the Du-Par’s chain (with a pretty mean Patty Melt on the menu) and his granddaughter Jennifer now a caterer was a former executive Chef for Wolfgang Puck.
While I haven’t come across the recipe for Tiny Naylor’s original Patty Melt, I did find one for the Patty Melt Jennifer served at Wolfgang Puck’s. Remember, beggars can’t be choosers.
Jennifer Naylor’s Patty Melt Recipe:
Patty Melt Ingredients:
2 tablespoons Butter, softened
4 slices Rye Bread
Salt and freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pound fresh Ground Round (divided and shaped into 2 Oval Burgers)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 small Red Onion, peeled and sliced into rings
2 to 3 slices of Swiss Cheese
Patty Melt Instructions:
Melt butter over flat top griddle/large cast-iron skillet to toast Rye Bread slices.
Season Burgers w/Salt & Pepper, then grill on flat top.
Cook to Medium-Rare or desired doneness.
Put Olive Oil on griddle and grill Onions until caramelized.
Melt Swiss Cheese slices over each Burger.
Assemble Patty Melt by placing Cheeseburgers over one slice each Rye toast, top with caramelized Onions and then remaining slices of Rye toast.
Arepas Las Gorditas‘ Pocahontas Arepa: What do you get when take a freshly made Venezuelan Arepa and stuff it with some Thanksgiving love? An unbelievable Arepa that is unfortunately only available during season or maybe not, fingers crossed.
Arepas Las Gorditas’ Pocahontas Arepa: Turkey + Stuffing marinated with Gravy/Cranberry & Homemade White Cheese (Guayanes)
Box of Chacos‘ Bang Mai Buns: Chaco‘s Bao Buns are always changing and evolving. I’ve seen BBQ Short Rib, Duck, SPAM and even Vietnamese Crab Salad Bang Mai Buns. These are some buns I love banging (get your thoughts out of the gutter).
Box of Chacos’ Bang Mai Buns
FOAR‘s N.Y. Egg Sandwich: An excellent breakfast sandwich is hard to come by in these parts so imagine my surprise when I ordered the N.Y. Egg Sandwich from FOAR and it was a specimen. And it’s pretty too!
FOAR’s N.Y. Egg Sandwich w/Eggs, Cheese & Bacon on a Kaiser Roll
HipPOPs Handcrafted Gelato Bars‘ Salted Caramel Brûlée: It was midsummer, hot as hell and I want something not only refreshing but flavorful, enter the Salted Caramel Brûlée POP. When HipPOPs debuts a new flavor people listen as they know a lot of care has gone into creating it. This one was a Grand Slam in the bottom of the ninth at the World Series.
HipPOPs’ Salted Caramel Brûlée (in the front) & Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Crunch (in the back) POPs
The Lobsta Guy‘s Original Lobster Roll: I’m no expert in the realm of seafood but I can’t imagine a Lobster Roll that could be better than this one. If the lines at this food truck are any indication I’m not alone in those thoughts.
The Lobsta Guy’s Original Lobsta Roll on a Toasted Buttered Bun
Marlie’s Delights‘ Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie: I love Cinnamon Rolls and I’m also an Apple Pie-o-holic. When Chef Leslie of Marlie’s Delights mentioned that she was creating a Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie I thought it might mean the coming of the Dessert Apocalypse. Zombies watch out, these are my brains.
Marlie’s Delights’ Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie
Ms. Cheezious‘ Croqueta Monsieur: I’ve been making Grilled Cheese Croqueta Sandwiches for years. When Catalina Foods came aboard as a sponsor for my event Croquetapalooza I suggested they supply some of their Croquetas to a few folks, one of which was Ms. Cheezious. I knew they would create something really special with them and so the Croqueta Monsieur was born. It will be King of the sandwiches one day, trust me.
Croqueta Monsieur: Ham Croqueta, Tavern Ham, Bechamel & Swiss on Sourdough Bread
The Rolling Stove‘s Cuban Sandwich: I’d to think it was all my talk about Cuban Sandwiches & Medianoches that pushed the Rolling Stove‘s Troy Thomas to create their take on the classic dish. It was only available at a couple of events in July 2014 but here’s to hoping that we’ll see it make a few appearances in the new year.
The Rolling Stove’s Cuban Sandwich
Tum Tum’s Thai Fried Chicken: TFC = Chicken Chunks marinated in Thai seasonings, fried and tossed in a Sweet Chili Sauce. You ever agree to share something and then realize you made a bad mistake? Don’t share these ever.
Tum Tum’s Thai Fried Chicken
Woodys Burgers‘ Alpine Burger: As a kid I loved Char-broiled or Char-grilled Burgers but as I became older I fell in love with Burgers cooked on the flat-top or griddle. Well, like old things that become new again I again returning to my roots. If you’re Char-grilling then I’m listening. Woodys Burgers is char-grilled and they’ve managed to layer the flavors in such a way that I’m breaking all the Burger rules I place on the meat patties I love (no condiments & veggies of any type). One thing is for sure, nothing in my book beats a well crafted and thought out Burger, nothing.
You can catch the Ask The Beast Column here on Burger Beast every Wednesday (I skipped last Wednesday, Sorrreeee).
These are all real questions, none of them were created or sent in by me. It would be kinda ridiculous for me to send in questions.
Don’t forget to send in your questions using the form below or using the hashtag #askthebeast on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google + or there is no #AskTheBeast column.
Question from Lauren through the BB Blog Form: One day in Orlando with nothing to do… where do I eat? I probably can’t through every spot on your “2 Days in Orlando” post, but they all look awesome. Thanks
BB: I’m gonna have to agree that the 2 Days in Orlando post might be a little excessive. It would really depend on what you’re looking to do but if the plan is just to fill up at one spot I’d definitely suggest the Hash House a Gogo. If you want a great Burger with a hard rock ambience check out the Oblivion Taproom. Pig Floyd’s opened up recently and is definitely worth the drive.
Andy’s Sage Fried Chicken Benedict from Hash House a Gogo
Half a Rack Ribs from Pig Floyd’s
Question from Felipe Alvarez through the BB Blog Form: Have you had a cronught? Can one be had locally without going to Epcot?
BB: Were you a part of the local education system?…And to answer your question, Sure. Cronuts can be found at Mojo Donuts in Pembrokes Pines and Rhino Doughnuts in Ft. Lauderdale. I suggest you call ahead to make they have them available.
Rhino Horn, theRhino Doughnuts version of the Cronut
Question from Mario Bava through the BB Blog Form: Why do you hate Asians?
BB: Mr. Bava I’m a big fan of your films. My first thought is why would an Italian Director who created such atmospheric Horror Movie classics like Black Sunday and Kill Baby Kill care about whether I hate Asians. I don’t hate Asians but I do dislike Asians who are taller than 6 feet, they are an anomaly and we need to put a stop to it.
I’m not even sure why I answered that question since it had nothing to do with food but you might as well watch the trailer for Kill Baby Kill:
Question from J. Wellington through the BB Blog Form: Marry Fuck Kill
BB: J. Wellington……I see someone is trying to make a funny. J Wellington = Wimpy of Popeye’s fame. I understand the question and see that you mention Michell Sanchez of Latin House and David Garcia of La Camaronera but I don’t know who that third person is. It wouldn’t be fair to answer cause all that would happen is he ends up getting fuck’d. P.S.: This is a thinly veiled plot to make you look up the name to someone I don’t particularly care about.
Did you know? There is a Burger chain called Wimpy in the United Kingdom. It was founded in the United States at Wimpy Grill in 1934.
Here is a Wimpy’s Coffee Jar from the 1940s that I own.
Question from Fernando l pineda through the BB Blog Form: Where is the best salmon burger in Miami
BB: There is no such thing. Please stop blaspheming.
Don’t You Blaspheme In Here! – Aretha Franklin in the Blues Brothers movie
Guess who’s 25 years young? That’s right, Karla Bakery. The Pastelito powerhouse is celebrating its 25th Anniversary today (Saturday December 20th) from 3-6:30PM at its original location. There’ll be music, gifts, surprises and best of all Pastelitos for 25¢ (10 per person so that you’re not an abuser).
I’m going to go ahead and leave you the address but I’m really of the opinion that you should already know it: 6474 West Flagler Street.
*I must have been behaving pretty good this year cause I received an iCoffee Opus Single Serve Coffee Machine from Remington Designs. Just kidding, obviously it was so I could try it out.
I own pretty much everything I can think of to make coffee, here in no particular order: Cuban Cafetera, French Press, Drip Coffee Maker, Keurig, Tassimo, and 2 Nespresso Machines (including the one that does regular coffee). When I was asked if I’d like to have an iCoffee I was like sure, why not. My wife Marcela on the other hand wants me to get rid of machines not add to the collection.
The iCoffee runs very similar to the Keurig and can in fact use Keurig Coffee pods. It also includes a reusable cup to fill with your favorite ground coffee. You must be thinking why not just buy a Keurig and be done with it? The newer Keurig machines only allow their K-Cups to be used via a reader which hurts those folks who want to use their own grind.
The iCoffee had a few sample cups in the box including a really nice One Love Medium Roast by Marley, yah man.
I used some ground coffee I bought at Dunkin Donuts and it was good. I have no doubt I could make a pretty perfect cup of joe playing around with which coffee I’m using, how much coffee I’m adding to the reusable cup and how many ounces I’m choosing from the iCoffee to brew (4 to 12 ounces). It’s gonna take some work but it’s possible.
The only real issue I encountered was the little platform the mug sits on, it would not fit properly where it goes which was annoying.
It’s a nice machine and if you’re trying to decide which single serve Coffee machine to buy, you should definitely consider this one.
iCoffee Press Release:
The single serve brewer from Remington Designs is called the iCoffee Opus Single Serve and it is the world’s first single serve brewer to use SpinBrew technology that produces a dramatically smoother and better-tasting beverage from any K-cup compatible coffee pod. The SpinBrewis a technology that uses a patent-pending spinning needle with jets that steam and stir the grounds inside the K-cup creating a French Press effect that cannot be achieved by other brewers. This revolutionary brewing technology virtually eliminates the bitter and acidic aftertaste often associated with single serve coffee makers.
Another crucial feature of the iCoffee Opus Single Serve is that it doesn’t limit you to one type of K-Cup; instead it accepts all brands including all K-Cups, RealCup capsules, OneCup and ALL Treehouse private label cups and it even works with an owner’s favorite bean using the included reusable cup. Since you’re a coffee lover, you may be familiar with the fact that the new Keurig uses a form of digital rights management so make sure that you can ONLY use their K-cups in their system. With our system, you have the freedom to trust your favorite brew AND you can even use the system to make hot chocolate for the kids on Xmas morning (of course, that’s after you’ve had your cup of coffee due to the god awful time it is when the kids wake you up to open presents.)
The iCoffee Opus Single Serve also features the world’s first Dial-a-Brew control for single serve a brewer which allows consumers to customize the strength and taste by simply dialing any brew size between 4 and 12 ounces in 0.5-ounce increments. This feature also lets consumers select the precise amount of beverage when brewing over ice.
Before the iCoffee Opus Single Serve became available this year, Remington launched the iCoffee SteamBrew multi-cup brewer with SteamBrew technology in 2013. It was the first coffee brewer to utilize steam and jets inside the brew basket to open the grounds which unlocks rich coffee flavors while virtually eliminating any bitter or acidic aftertaste.
The iCoffee Opus Single Serve delivers “impossibly smooth” taste and unlimited freedom of choice and is available exclusively at Bed, Bath and Beyond at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $139.99. For more information about the company, please visit www.icoffee.com.
P.S.: I forgot to mention how much I love the blue light when it’s brewing, very Close Encounters of the Third Kind of them to do that. Here’s a short video I shot this morning on my iPhone.
*I did receive this machine free of charge but I was not required to write about it, I chose to do that.
Bennett’s Fresh Roast was our third stop in our 4 hour Sanibel/Captiva foodscapade, Schnapper’s Hots & the Bubble Room were stops 1 & 2). We’re here exclusively for the freshly made Doughnuts. We ask the only logical question, what’s the most popular Doughnut at Bennett’s? I’m pretty sure I could have guess the Maple Bacon because it was a thing of beauty with real Bacon made daily, not that freeze dried and then nuked Bacon going around.
A couple of the sandwiches on the Bennett’s lunch menu look interesting like the Bennett’s Donut Dog (A “long john” donut split down the middle and loaded with an amazing Nueske’s® Applewood Smoked Hot Dog, Bennett’s homemade chili, BBQ sauce, honey mustard and cheddar cheese) and the Chicken & Donut (A fresh made Bennett’s Donut (no icing or glaze), halved and smothered in fresh homemade chicken gravy made with fresh house-roasted and brined premium chopped chicken breast meat, cream, seasonings and vegetables including diced carrots, green beans and corn).
My friend Joakinn asks for a Glazed & a Boston Creme Doughnut while I order up a Glazed, Maple Bacon and a Maple Toffee Crunch for my wife. We have them packed up together and I take a Glazed Doughnut test bite in the car on the way to our next stop.
It was a great sneak peak but did not prepare me for the Maple Bacon which was off the charts. The Maple Toffee Crunch (Heath Bar) Doughnut was received well by my wife but the Boston Creme’s fate was less glamorous. Some ants that were hiding out in my kitchen found it and had their way with it, those heathens.
The Bubble Room is a very interesting & kooky place with lots to look at. I didn’t end up eating here as I was too busy walking around and taking in all of the decor. My bud Joakinn did convince me to take home some of the Orange Crunch Cake which was the right call. It’s not what I would normally order but after trying it I can see why it’s got so many fans. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a slab of a piece too.
My old school buddy & pal Joakinn has wanted for me to hit up the Sanibel area for years. He got tired of suggesting it and took matters in his hands, we drove up for a four hour mini food tour (10 if you include travel time). We started at Schnapper’s Hots, then worked our way to the Bubble Room in Captiva and then back to Sanibel for Bennett’s Fresh Roast and Rosie’s Cafe & Grill. This was just a small portion of what’s worth hitting up in the Sanibel/Captiva area and I’m pretty sure I’ll find myself back to continue the exploration soon enough.
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Rocky on the Wall
Elvis on the Wall
I see Fresh Cut Fries and my eyes automatically look for a larger than normal portion to order which in this case was a bad idea since we were trying to pace ourselves. The Fries were nice & crispy but we barely made a dent in to them. The Cheeseburger was chargrilled and chargrilled when done right is full of smokey goodness. We must have inhaled this Burger cause I remember enjoying the first bite and then much like Keyser Söze, it was gone. Joakinn wasn’t too keen on the Chili Cheese Dog but he was oddly fascinated with the tipping bell. Me? I loved it so much I was imagining long walks on the beach with it.
Large Fresh Cut Fries
Chili Cheese Chargrilled Hot Dog
That dream of course wouldn’t last too long if I was hungry.
The Wheelin’ Dealin’ Street Food Festival (which takes place every 3rd Saturday of the month) is this Saturday December 20th. Magic City Casino (right near the Miami airport) hosts and we have over 20 of South Florida’s BEST Food Trucks attending. Even though it is at a casino, all ages are welcome. And yes, Beer is sold at this event if you wanna throw down a cold one with your grub.