Second City Smoke Crowned Best Burger For 2nd Year In A Row

Second City Smoke - World Food Burger Champion 2014

Second City Smoke must serve a killer Burger cause to win the World Food Championship’s Best Burger two years in a row is no easy feat.

If you’ve got some time on your hands, you can see the entire line-up of competitors on the World Food Championships page.

2014 World Food Championship Winners:

Bacon World Champion: Ricardo Heredia

World Barbecue Champion: Sweet Smoke Q

World Chef Challenge: Steven Grostick

World Chili Champion: Ray Bogart

World Dessert Champion: Laurie Figone

World Pasta Champion: Suzanne Clark

World Recipe Champion: Half Baked Hippies

World Sandwich Champion: Kelli Fairchild-Cochran

World Seafood Champion: Terry Reinhardt

*picture courtesy of Droolius

Ask The Beast Column #1 November 19, 2014

My peeps & mi gente, keep the questions coming. Column #2 of Ask The Beast will be up next Thursday November 22nd


Question from bmendez17 on Instagram: Thinking of going to Blackbrick tonight. What do I HAVE to order?

BB: Based on my last three visits to BlackBrick I’d go with Fried Chicken & Garlic Dumplings, Spare Ribs in Black Bean Sauce, Explosive Chicken Chili Wings, Vegetable Egg Roll & Veggie and Hot Oil Fried Rice.

Veggie Fried Rice

Veggie & Hot Oil Fried Rice from BlackBrick


Question from Helen Gynell on Facebook: What’s your favorite Action Movie, and what do you snack on at the movies?

BB: I had to really think about it and even though it has some supernatural elements, Raiders of the Lost Ark. I remember sitting at a cinema in Coral Gables watching it with my Dad as a kid and closing my eyes during the end sequence which creeped me out. Anyone who’s been to a movie with me knows the answer to the second half of your question hands down, Buncha Crunch & a fountain Coca-Cola.


Question from recneps305 on Instagram: Where can I get the best croqueta preparada?

BB: This is not as easy of a question as it appears. I’m going to give you two places and let me explain myself before you think I’m copping out on giving a single best. One will be with one of the frozen brand Croquetas you can find at all cafeterias and another will be with a homemade Croqueta.

I really like El Mago de las Fritas‘ take on a Croqueta preparada served on a toasted Cuban Roll with Catalina Croquetas, Julienne Potatoes, Onions, Ham, Swiss Cheese & Special Sauce.

El Mago's Croqueta Preparada

El Mago de las Fritas’s Croqueta Preparada

Even though it’s only a few weeks old I love love love the Croqueta Preparada at Barley & Wich. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the homemade Croquetas in the sandwich won Croquetapalooza.

Croqueta Preparada (Lechon Asado, Croquetas, Ham & Swiss Cheese)

Barley & Wich’s Croqueta Preparada (Lechon Asado, Croquetas, Ham & Swiss Cheese)


Question from Jeff through the BB Blog Form: Can you get me the recipe for the 4 Cheezy My Neezy from Mr. Good Stuff?

BB: It’s not really that tall of an order. I can actually:

4 Cheezy-My-Neezy

4 Cheezy-My-Neezy

4 Cheezy-my-Neezy by Mr. Good Stuff Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups of warm Water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of pre-cooked white Cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Provolone, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Blue Cheese, crumbled
  • Vegetable Oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Pour the Water in a bowl.
  2. Add the Salt and dissolve.
  3. Slowly add the Cornmeal.
  4. Knead until smooth.
  5. Add the Mozzarella, Provolone, Cheddar and Blue Cheeses.
  6. Form balls with your hand or an Ice Cream scooper
  7. Fry in oil on high heat until golden brown.

Question from Melanie through the BB Blog Form: Do you really eat everything that you write and post about?

BB: Now THAT is an excellent question. Do I try everything? Absolutely. Do I eat the entire dish? The short answer is no, not always. There are factors that I might not mention on my posts like for example how many people I’m with which is generally how I’m able to order an excessive amount of dishes.


Tweet me, Facebook me, Instagram me, Google + me using the hashtag #askthebeast or just send the question through the form below:

The Ask The Beast Column Is A Go

Thinking BB

Have you ever wondered why some Food Truck went out of business? Where an idea for a certain dish from your favorite restaurant came from? Who’s the Best Burger Chef in South Florida? Are so and so really related? What’s that person like?

Here’s your chance!

I’ve got a new weekly column called Ask The Beast where you can do just that! Every Wednesday right here on the Burger Beast Blog I’ll answer 5 to 10 questions.

Tweet me, Facebook me, Instagram me, Google + me with the hashtag #askthebeast or just send the question through the form below:

Josh’s Deli – Surfside, Florida

With a couple of friends in town from the UK I wanted to take them to eat something they can’t find across the pond. What could make an impression? And then it hit me, Josh’s Deli.

Chef Josh Marcus, who was also the creator of the unfortunately very short lived MB Brewhouse and the now legendary Chow Down Grill is the man with the plan at Josh’s Deli.

It took me a little bit to wrap my mind around the idea of the unorthodox Josh’s Deli as Evan Benn of the Miami Herald called it. Josh makes his own Bagels, has a Matzo Ball French Onion Soup on the menu plus the excellent & different Pizzas made on Bagel dough every Thursday (Pastrami & Brussels Sprouts is killer).

I’m never been a “Jewish Deli” guy but I do love Sandwiches, big beef ones too. They have them here too like the Jewban (Pastrami, Pork, Pickle, Swiss). It was really Josh’s Deli that created my fascination for Pastrami Sandwiches. My parents are giant fans of his Pastrami Sandwiches.

I feel that I’ve never shown Josh’s Deli the love it deserves. I hope this post changes that and you’ll check it out for yourself. There is something for everyone on the menu done by a chap named Josh who’s doing things his way and helping to make the Miami Food scene diverse, different and delicious. Way to go dude.

Here’s a sampling of some of the Food I’ve had at Josh’s Deli over the last couple of years:

Krunchy Spicy Tuna Latkes (Potato Pancakes) w/Sriracha Cream Cheese

Krunchy Spicy Tuna Latkes (Potato Pancakes) w/Sriracha Cream Cheese

Latkes (Potato Pancakes) w/Apples

Latkes (Potato Pancakes) w/Apples

Everything Bagel w/Egg, Cheese & Pastrami-spiced Bacon

Everything Bagel w/Egg, Cheese & Pastrami-spiced Bacon

JoshsDeli_04

Hand Cut Pastrami Sandwich

Hand Cut Pastrami Sandwich

Potato Pancakes w/Lox

Potato Pancakes w/Lox

Cappuccino

Cappuccino

Regular Bagel w/Egg, Cheese & Pastrami-spiced Bacon

Regular Bagel w/Egg, Cheese & Pastrami-spiced Bacon

Bacon topped Muffin

Bacon specks on aMuffin

S

Pastrami Knish

The Jewban (Pastrami, Pork, Pickle, Swiss)

The Jewban (Pastrami, Pork, Pickle, Swiss)

Poutine (Cheese Curds, Gravy over Fries)

Poutine (Cheese Curds & Gravy over Fries)

Matzo Ball French Onion Soup

Matzo Ball French Onion Soup

Pastry

Apple Pastry

Pastrami Frita Burger (10% Ground Bacon, 80% Ground Chuck, 10% Pastrami Chunks, Caremelized Smoked Onions & Craque Sauce)

Pastrami Frita Burger (10% Ground Bacon, 80% Ground Chuck, 10% Pastrami Chunks, Caremelized Smoked Onions & Craque Sauce)

Pastrami Frita Burger

Pastrami Frita Burger

?

Pastrami Wrapped Date

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Pizza

Bagel Pizza

Pastrami Bagel Pizza

Pastrami & Brussels Sprout Bagel Pizza

More Than A Deli:

Josh’s Deli
9517 Harding Ave Surfside, FL 33154
305-397-8494

Josh's Delicatessen & Appetizing on Urbanspoon

Kreating Kombucha Fermentation Workshop This Thursday

Fermentation Workshop

My bud Tom (who you may remember from Copperpot’s) is a smart & talented dude. This is the type of guy you want to learn from and you’ll have an opportunity as his Kreating Kombucha Workshop will teach you all about fermentation this Thursday at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.

The Garden invites local foodie entrepreneur Tom Wilfong as the guest speaker for this workshop on basic fermentation. Learn how you can create your own kombucha, kimchi and other foods with the power of microorganisms! Tom will break down the chemical process that occurs and touch on the science you need to know to be successful. Then, go home with your own fermentation creation, recipes, and taste some of Tom’s homemade honey wine.

$10 / Garden Members
$15 / Non Members

Register online or call the Garden at 305-673-7256 to reserve your space.

Limited tickets available.

The Details:

Kreating Kombucha Fermantation Workshop
at Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Address: 2000 Convention Center Dr, Miami Beach, Florida 33139
Phone: 305-673-7256
Date: Thursday November 13th, 2014
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Top 10 Chicken Dishes in Miami

Top 10 Chicken Dishes

Originally this was going to be a list of the Best Chicken Tenders in Miami but I ended up stuck at 5 so I switched gears. I thought, sometimes I’m not in the beef kind of mental state and only poultry will satiate my cravings. If I had to, gun to head come up with my 10 favorite Chickens in dishes in Miami, what would they be? So here you have it.

The 10 Best Chicken Dishes in Miami are in alphabetical order by dish name.

1) Buffalo Chicken Sandwich – Pincho Factory (Coral Gables & Westchester): Most Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches around town are breaded and deep fried, not this guy. A grilled Chicken Breast topped with Bleu Cheese, Buffalo Hot Sauce, Turkey Bacon on a squishy delicious roll….I’ll take two!

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich -Pincho Factory

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich – Pincho Factory

2) Chicken Crisper Sandwich – The Rolling Stove Food Truck: Imagine this my food friends, a sandwich made of Chicken Tenders breaded in Cap’n Crunch Cereal, a house-made Slaw, Cheese & Onions. The regular Chicken Crisper Sandwich is excellent but ask for the off menu Buffalo Chicken Crisper and have your pants blown off, no hooker needed.

Chicken Crisper Sandwich - The Rolling Stove Food Truck

Buffalo Chicken Crisper Sandwich – The Rolling Stove Food Truck

3) Chicken Parmesan Hero – Kings County Pizza (North Miami Beach): I don’t think you’re ready for the full picture of this beauty and a beauty it is. The first time I ate the Chicken Parmesan Hero from King’s County I got down on knee and proposed to it. Two years later we’re still engaged and I get can’t enough of her. Quality ingredients always equals excellent results.

Chicken Parmesan Hero - King's County Pizza

Chicken Parmesan Hero – Kings County Pizza

4) Fried Chicken – Caporal Chicken (West Kendall): There are a bunch of people in Washington Heights, NY who hate us for having their iconic Fried Chicken in our town. Caporal Chicken is open til Midnight so there’s no excuse, you gotta make your late night munchies run for some of their grub. Make sure to post your pictures on instagram & use the hashtag #washingtonheights to make them jealous.

Fried Chicken Breast - Caporal Chicken

Fried Chicken Breast – Caporal Chicken

5) Panko Crusted Chicken Tenders – Big Pink (Miami Beach): MY first thought on seeing the Chicken Tenders at Big Pink was, what kind of Pterodactyl sized Chicken did these come from? These fellas are mammoth, who would have thought I could have snuck in two quasi wisecracks about extinct animals. The Panko Bread curbs add some crunch to the tenders and that Mustard Sauce for dipping is just divine.

Pank Crusted Chicken Tenders - Big Pink

Pank Crusted Chicken Tenders – Big Pink

6) Polla a la Milanesa – El Exquisito (Little Havana): This pounded thin breast of Chicken, lightly breaded, fried and then topped with the same quality Ham & Swiss Cheese that makes their Medianoche so good is my #1 Milanesa. Alex, the owner from El Exquisito is in love with me so he created a semi-secret version of this in Sandwich form with Cantimpalo (Chorizo)……oh….you better ask for it!

Milanesa de Pollo - El Exquisito

Milanesa de Pollo – El Exquisito

7) Pulled Hen, Buttermilk Dumplings, Zellwood Corn, Fresh Greens & Parmesan Gravy Soup – The Local Craft Food & Drink (Coral Gables): I could imagine that if I ever found the fountain of youth it would be filled with this soup cause after I had my first cup I was doing one arm push-ups and pull-ups like nobody’s business. I was dancing around like MC Hammer in that Addams Family Groove video. It’s that good.

Pulled Hen & Dumpling Soup - The Local Craft Food & Drink

Pulled Hen & Dumpling Soup – The Local Craft Food & Drink

8) Roasted Chicken – La Brasa Rotisserie & Grill (Westchester & more): I drove by La Brasa a million times before I finally stopped in and was wowed by the rotisserie Chicken. The skin is highly addictive so if you can trick anyone into giving up theirs you should. Do not share.

1/2 Chicken - La Brasa

Roasted 1/2 Chicken – La Brasa

9) Signature Chefen – 3 Chefs & A Chicken (Westchester): Originally, most folks wrote off 3 Chefs & a Chicken as only a Chicken Kitchen knock-off. It is but they’ve done the impossible, bested the original. They use farm raised, antibiotic free Chickens to make their Cheféns (platter of chopped up Chicken Breast & Rice). The Signature Chefén with only Chicken & Yellow Rice is my dish here with a couple of Curry Mustard to drizzle, don’t overdue it on the sauce, enjoy the Chicken.

Signature Cheféns - 3 Chefs & A Chicken

Signature Cheféns – 3 Chefs & A Chicken

10) Special Grilled Wings – Sports Grill (Kendall & more): You can’t mention Chicken without bringing up Wings and you can’t bring up Chicken Wings in South Florida without mentioning Sports Grill. The Wings are fried & grilled, tossed in their Sports Grill sauce then later lightly washed in Worchester sauce, about as perfect as it gets.

Special Grilled Wings - Sport's Grill

Special Grilled Wings – Sport’s Grill

10 Plus 1) Nasi-Lemak (Singapore) – Coconut Rice, Soft Cooked Egg, Grilled Chicken w/Sriracha – FOAR Food Truck: Of course I was gonna throw in an eleventh dish. Chicken isn’t the main component of the Nasi-Lemak but a spoonful capturing Rice, Egg, Chicken & Sriracha will make you realize how important it is. Dear FOAR, I am afraid to say Nasi-Lemak for fear of a horrible mispronunciation.

Nasi-Lemak (Singapore) - Coconut Rice, Soft Cooked Egg, Grilled Chicken w/Sriracha - FOAR Food Truck

Nasi-Lemak (Singapore) – Coconut Rice, Soft Cooked Egg, Grilled Chicken w/Sriracha – FOAR Food Truck

PDQ Opens In Miami-Dade County, Sweetwater Area

I’ve eaten from 4 different PDQs (Flagler, Ft. Lauderdale, Oakland Park & Wellington) throughout South Florida now and I can unequivocally say they’re 100% consistent. I’ve had Chicken Tenders and the Spicy Buffalo Tenders Sandwich at every one and never been let down.The Fresh-Cut Fries and the Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade are also part of my regular order.

I had lunch at the just opened PDQ in Sweetwater (at Flagler & 101st) with my parents. I was able to try the Crispy Turkey Sandwich my Mom ordered. It’s good but I’ll stick to my Chicken or add some Sweet Heat Sauce to it. I’m also looking to try the grilled versions of both the Chicken and Turkey Sandwiches very soon.

I didn’t order any of the fresh baked Cookies but did take home a Heath Shake for my wife and the seasonal special shake Apple Pie. You’re given one of those thick straws and after putting my mouth muscles to work I can see why. Great little chunks of apple would come through, it’s the equivalent of a 3D movie in shake form.

It doesn’t even matter if my last comment made any sense to you, if you love Chicken then you’ll love PDQ. Do it to it.

Menu Page 1 (click to enlarge)

Menu Page 1 (click to enlarge)

Menu Page 2 (click to enlarge)

Menu Page 2 (click to enlarge)

trio of Chicken Tenders

trio of Chicken Tenders

Buffalo Tender Sandwich w/Fresh-Cut Fries

Spicy Buffalo Tenders Sandwich w/Fresh-Cut Fries

Buffalo Tender Sandwich

Spicy Buffalo Tenders Sandwich

Crispy Turkey Sandwich

Crispy Turkey Sandwich

Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Sweet Heat Sauce

Sweet Heat Sauce

Chicken Lovers Unite:

PDQ
10121 West Flagler St. Miami, FL 33172
305-257-3032

Keurig 2.0, What Do You Guys Think? #HelloKeurig

Keurig 2.0

I’m a fan of all things Coffee. At our house, the kitchen area is my domain and we’ve got all of the Coffee machines lined up like a display at a store (so cool). My wife Marcela would love for me to shrink the amount of inventory I’ve got but I just can’t do it.

I’ve been a Drip Coffee Machine guy, a Tassimo guy before converting, a snooty French Press dude, a Cuban Cafetero and I also dabble in Nespresso (which I use to make Lattes) but Keurig is my go to Coffee Machine. I use it multiple times daily.

When I heard Keurig had moved onto a new Keurig 2.0 my first thoughts were pretty much the same as I’m sure everyone else, is this a ploy to make me get rid of my current machine and buy a new fangled one with some minimal upgrades?

And I was wrong.

After reading through the press release (which I posted below for your reading pleasure) a couple of the new features really excite me. The first is the opportunity to make either a single cup or carafe (4 cups of coffee). It’s great for us whenever we have some friends over. You will need to buy a different K-cup for the Carafe option but that’s to be expected. On the price tip, the Carafe averages about 10 cents or so cheaper per cup if you’re keeping that kinda score at home.

The one other feature that really caught my eye was the strength control. I’m an extra bold coffee freak and I don’t need no weak brew around me. If I wanted dirty water I’d drink the one I boil my hot dogs in. Actually…that was really gross, I take that comment back.

I haven’t bought the Keurig 2.0 yet so I of course can’t speak with 100% certainty on functionality. I’m excited to own one and I can’t wait for my wife to read this and surprise me with my very own Keurig 2.0 (in annoying childish voice). I’m making space on my counter for it as we speak.

Press Release from August 25, 2014:

WATERBURY, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. (Keurig) (NASDAQ: GMCR), a leader in specialty coffee, coffee makers, teas and other beverages with its innovative brewing technology, continues to change the way consumers in the United States and Canada brew coffee at home with the release of the new Keurig® 2.0 hot beverage brewing system. This weekend, Keurig® 2.0 made its debut on Keurig.com and national retailers’ websites, as well as at the flagship Keurig® Store in Burlington, Mass., where consumers can be among the first to experience the new system in person. Roll-out at retail partners nationwide will follow in the coming weeks.

Keurig® 2.0 is the first Keurig® brewer to brew both a single cup and a four-cup carafe from a Keurig® brand pack. This innovation delivers everything consumers know and love about Keurig – and more – with game-changing performance and function, unprecedented beverage choice, simplicity and convenience, and timeless design appeal.

“Our new Keurig 2.0 system is the next innovative step for our hot beverage brewing system,” said Brian Kelley, President and CEO of Keurig. “Eleven years ago, we revolutionized the way consumers brewed coffee in the home with a single cup system, and we’ve used the knowledge and expertise we’ve gained along the way to form the basis for continued innovation. We’re thrilled to have changed the game yet again by offering consumers the ability to brew a variety of sizes, from a single cup to a carafe, and choose from more than 290 varieties from more than 50 brands, all within one system, Keurig 2.0.”

In addition to brewing both a single cup and a carafe, Keurig 2.0 is the first Keurig brewer to feature Keurig 2.0 Brewing Technology™, which enables the brewer to recognize the inserted Keurig® pack and optimize to the recommended, customized setting for that particular beverage. The Keurig 2.0 Brewing Technology ensures that the Keurig 2.0 system delivers on the promise of excellent quality beverages, produced simply and consistently, every single time.

“We’re confident that Keurig 2.0 is going to extend the Keurig appeal to an entirely new group of consumers, including those for whom a single serving of coffee isn’t always enough, and we’re excited to show them how Keurig can change their hot beverage brewing experience as it has for so many already,” continued Kelley. “We’ve heard from Keurig owners and non-owners alike that the ability to brew a carafe of coffee is important to them, whether they’re entertaining or just looking to experience a larger beverage quantity in the morning before heading out to work. We look forward to bringing Keurig simplicity and quality to an even broader group of consumers by now offering the ability to brew both a single cup and a carafe with Keurig 2.0.”

The Keurig® 2.0 system is available in the K500, K400 and K300 series. All systems offer the ability to brew both a single cup using a K-Cup® pack – more than 290 coffee, tea and other hot beverages from more than 50 brands, including Green Mountain Coffee®, Starbucks®, Dunkin’ Donuts®, Snapple®, Lipton® and Peet’s Coffee & Tea – and a carafe using the new K-Carafe™ pack. In addition, all Keurig® 2.0 brewers sold will include a plastic Keurig™ 2.0 carafe in the box. A stainless steel Keurig™ 2.0 Thermal Carafe is available for purchase as an accessory ($29.99 SRP).

The Keurig® 2.0 K500 Series ($189.99 – $199.99 SRP) features ten brew sizes ranging from four to 30 ounces. It offers an 80-ounce illuminated water reservoir, Keurig’s largest to date, and an extra-large color touchscreen display with customizable wallpaper and a variety of programmable controls, including strength control, auto on/off, auto brew K-Carafe™ pack, programmable clock, a favorites settings option and a customizable night light. The K500 series also offers a hot water on demand feature.
The Keurig® 2.0 K400 Series ($159.99 – $169.99 SRP) offers nine brew sizes ranging from four to 30 ounces and a 70-ounce illuminated water reservoir. Other key features include a color touch display with customizable wallpaper and programmable controls, including auto on/off, auto brew K-Carafe™ pack, strength control, customizable clock and a favorites setting.
The Keurig® 2.0 K300 Series ($139.99 – $149.99 SRP) features nine brew sizes ranging from four to 30 ounces with a 60-ounce water reservoir. It also offers a grayscale touchscreen with strength control and an illuminated water reservoir.
For more information, visit Keurig.com.

*I was in no way paid for this or given anything in exchange to write about the Keurig 2.0.

Mangia Mia’s The Smasher Recipe

Mangia Mia Food Truck

In 2011 just as South Florida’s Food Truck engines were warming up Mangia Mia showed up on the scene. The great folks (the late Patrick Murdock & his wife Kim) behind the original incarnation of the Mangia Mia Food Truck featured this irresistible sandwich called The Smasher, a smashed Meatball Sandwich on toasted Garlic Bread. Here’s your chance to recreate this beauty!

MARINARA SAUCE:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 ounces tomato paste (no-salt-added)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 14.5 ounces crushed tomatoes (no-salt-added)
  • 1 cup water
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 bay leaf

SAUCE DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat a medium-sized saucepan over med-high heat.
  2. Pour the oil into the pan and swirl to coat the bottom.
  3. Cook the onion and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes until onion is soft, stirring occasionally.
  4. Whisk in tomato paste, parsley, sugar, Italian seasoning, basil, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper.
  5. Reduce heat to med-low and cook for 4 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients.
  7. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

MEATBALLS:

  • 2.5 ounces Italian breadcrumbs
  • 7 cloves garlic, ground
  • 2/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, ground
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ounce Ketchup
  • 1.5 pounds fresh ground beef (88/12)

MEATBALL DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for the ground beef.
  • Mix well, then add ground beef and mix again thoroughly.
  • Roll out mixture into 20 equal meatballs.
  • Cook in oven for 30 minutes.

Mangia Mia's The Smasher

THE SMASHER:

Makes approximately 4 servings

    • 1 large loaf garlic bread
    • Marinara Sauce (above)
    • 5 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated
    • 20 Meatballs (above)
    • 2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated

THE SMASHER DIRECTIONS:

  • Divide garlic bread into sandwich portions.
  • Toast one side of each half on the grill.
  • Spread a layer of marinara sauce on the toasted side of the bread, and then add ¼ of a cup of Mozzarella cheese on top.
  • Take two meatballs and smash them with a large spatula.
  • Place them on top of the Mozzarella cheese.
  • Add a little more marinara sauce on top of the meatball then add another ¼ cup of Mozzarella cheese.
  • Place the sandwich back on the grill and toast the un-toasted sides of the bread.
  • Remove from grill, sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top and serve.

A Look At Barley & Wich

A few things happened to Jorge & Jorgie Ramos’ B&S Gastropub since I was last here in early September. In October, due to issues tied to construction B&S Gastropub could not continue to operate in its current form so the restaurant shut down. At the end of that same week B&S Gastropub competed at Croquetapalooza and took home the win. Which created a question that needed answering…..a very important one…..where can we eat these winning Croquetas?

Within a couple of weeks B&S Gastropub was rechristened Barley & Wich. They’ve got a new mantra that they live by, “When Life Gives You Lemons; Make a Badass Sandwich Shop” and once you eat here you’ll see that they’re right…..Yes, the Croquetas are on the menu too.

There is a lot to choose from and it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out what exactly to eat. Your best bet is to bring a bunch of folks to share a slew of dishes or come extremely hungry.

Can I share something with you? The Croqueta Preparada needs to be enshrined in the Sandwich Hall of Fame. If there isn’t one I’ll go and create it right now.

The Elena Ruz is another one to look out for with its Duck Confit, Goat Cheese, Bacon, Dark Cherry Mostarda & Arugula on pressed slightly crusty bread. Incidentally, Chef Jorgie Ramos will be serving this sandwich at South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Medianoches & Mixology next year.

Barley & Wich is open Tuesday through Friday 5PM-12AM, Saturdays 6PM-12AM and closed on Sundays & Mondays, kitchen closes at 10:30PM daily. Valet Parking is free which is great cause regular parking is a bit of nightmare otherwise.

Menu (click to enlarge)

Menu (click to enlarge)

Menu (click to enlarge)

Menu (click to enlarge)

Aged Serrano & Manchego Croquetas

Aged Serrano & Manchego Croquetas

Pulled Pork Sweet Potato Tots

Pulled Pork Sweet Potato Tots

Wings

Wings

Tomato Bisque & Grilled Cheese

Tomato Bisque & Grilled Cheese

Barley & Wich - Kendall, Florida

Barley & Wich - Kendall, Florida

Croqueta Preparada (Lechon Asado, Croquetas, Ham & Swiss Cheese)

Croqueta Preparada (Lechon Asado, Croquetas, Ham & Swiss Cheese)

Beef Cheek Cheese Steak (Velveeta Cheese)

Beef Cheek Cheese Steak (Velveeta Cheese)

Elena Ruz (Duck Confit, Goat Cheese, Bacon, Dark Cheery Mustarda & Arugula)

Elena Ruz (Duck Confit, Goat Cheese, Bacon, Dark Cherry Mustarda & Arugula)

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Churro Bites

Churro Bites

Oh yes, one last thing, starting next Wednesday November 12th Barley & Wich will be open for Lunch from 11:30AM-2:30PM.

Barley & Wich Lunch

Get Barley & Wich’d:

Barley & Wich
9059 Sw 73 Ct Miami, FL 33156
305-397-8678

Barley & Wich on Urbanspoon

OTC Turns 2 On Friday, Have A $5 Burger To Celebrate

OTC Turns 2

As Vince Vaughn said so eloquently in Swingers, “Our little baby alls grows up!” OTC turns a mighty two years old this Friday November 7th and is there any better way to really celebrate a birthday than with $5 Burgers (regular Fries included) all day starting at 11:30 AM. The $5 deal applies to those eating in, not to you carpetbaggers trying to get the deal for take out or delivery.

OTC Signature Burger

OTC Signature Burger

Here are the 5 Burgers available on the menu Friday for the celebration. I did want to make note of the Green Chili Cheeseburger being up for the Best Non-Traditional Burgie Award so keep your eye on that fella:

OTC Signature Burger: grilled chuck/brisket blend topped with tomato jam, tempura beef cheek, fontina cheese, dijonnaise

Green Chili Cheeseburger: grilled chuck/brisket blend topped with poblano peppers, white cheddar, candied bacon, cilantro aioli

Truffle Monster: grilled chuck/brisket blend topped with black truffle cheese, truffle mayo

Pork Belly Hawaiian: grilled chuck/brisket blend topped with fried pork belly, mushroom gravy, fried egg

Classic: grilled chuck/brisket blend topped with bacon, gruyere, pickles, special sauce

While these Fries are NOT part of the $5 Burger Celebration they are available for order a la carte:

Truffle Fries: white truffle oil, Cotija cheese

Sweet Potato Fries

Loaded Fries: bacon, cheddar, red chili, fried egg

Poutine: mushroom gravy, Cotija cheese, scallion

P.S.: I plan to order all the Burgers. It’s my cheat day.

OTC Turns 2 This Friday November 7th:

OTC Restaurant
1250 South Miami Ave Miami, Florida 33130
305-374-4612

Thanksgiving Top Turkey Dinner Challenge at Magic City Casino

Top Turkey Original Can’t believe it’s time for our 3rd Annual Top Turkey Thanksgiving Dinner Challenge! The last couple of years Top Turkey has been held in Broward County BUT this year it makes its first Miami-Dade County appearance on Saturday Night November 15th from 5-10PM at Magic City Casino (right near the Miami International Airport). How does Top Turkey work? The participating Food Trucks have created Thanksgiving-inspired Savory and Sweet dishes which will be available to the public for sale. Don’t worry, they will also have their entire regular menu for sale too if you’re not in the Holiday spirit. A judges’ panel comprised of Nedal Ahmad (CEO of Pincho Factory), Paula Echevarria (Editor of Tasting Table Miami), Gio Gutierrez (ChatChow TV) and Steven Scharf (The Chowfather) will be choosing a best Savory and Sweet dish. Those winning Food Truck(s) will be named Top Turkey for the 2014 Thanksgiving Dinner Challenge. Feeding South Florida We will also be hosting a Thanksgiving Can Food Drive with the help of our friends at Feeding South Florida and ask that you PLEASE bring Cans of Food and Non-Perishable Food Items which will be distributed to South Florida families and those in need during the Thanksgiving season. If you donate 10 or more cans of food these select Food Trucks will give you 10% off of your entire order as a Thank you: 2 Jive Turkeys, Boba StationChacosCrazy About Chew, Don MofongoEl Rey de las Fritas, FOAR, King of Racks BBQLiquid N2 Ice Cream, The Lobsta Guy, *Main Stop Grill, Sugar Yummy Mama, Taco FreshTum Tum’s & Woody’s Burgers. Here are the participating Food Trucks and what they will be serving: 2 Jive TurkeysSavory Dish: Turkey Pot-Pie Empanada served with a Sweet Potato Mash. Dessert Dish: Pumpkin Pie Ice Pop. Arepas Las GorditasSavory Dish: Pocahontas Arepa (Turkey + Stuffing marinated on Gravy/Cranberry with a Venezuelan twist…Homemade White Cheese (Guayanes). ChacosSavory Dish: TurPHucken (Caja China Roasted Turkey stuffed with Pork Belly, Ham, Duck & Chicken, Served with Chorizo-Cornbread Dressing & Curried Sweet Potatoes). Cold Stone CreameryDessert Dish: Classic Pumpkin Pie Shake. Crazy About ChewSavory Dish: Thanksgiving Flatbread (House-made Sourdough Flat Bread with Smoked Turkey, Sweet Potato, Brie Cheese & topped with Craisins and Whipped Cream Cheese with Chives). Dessert Dish: Pumpkin Waffle (Pumpkin Belgian Waffle topped with Cinnamon Butter & Apple Cider Syrup). Don MofongoSavory Dish: Picadillo de Pavo Caribeño (Picadillo de Pavo con Sun Dried Tomatoes, Especias Caribeñas y Tostones). FOARSavory Dish: The Paco-hantas (Stuffing is mixed in with our Pancake Batter and formed as a Taco. The filling is Sweet Potato Puree, Turkey kept warm in Gravy, Cranberry Sauce, a sliver of melted Brie, a little more Cranberry and then either a drizzle or a few dots of Marshmallow on top). Dessert Dish: The Fall Guy (Our regular Paco “Pancake Taco”  with added Caramel to sweeten it up. The filling is Apple Butter Cream, fresh Apples sauteed in Butter & Cinnamon, our own wet Walnuts, Whipped Cream dusted with Cinnamon). King of Racks BBQSavory Dish: Gobble Gobble Turkey Parfait (A Parfait layered with low and slow cooked Turkey, homemade Stuffing, our homemade Mash then drizzled in our Gravy). Served with our famous Cream of Corn. Liquid N2 Ice CreamDessert Dish: Sweet Potatoe Pie Ice Cream in a Flakey Crust topped with Marshmallow Meringue & a Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream in a Flakey Crust topped with Whipped Cream and Cinnamon Dust. Main Stop GrillSavory Dish: Yuca Bowl topped w/Turkey Confit & a side of Green Bean Casserole, Fried Turkey, Chorizo Stuffing Balls & Cranberry Sauce. Dessert Dish: Pumpkin Cheese Flan Marlie’s DelightsDessert Dish: Chocolate Pecan Tart MV My Food TruckSavory Dish: Thanksgiving Pie (Pizza w/Wood Fired Oven Roasted Turkey, Sweet Potato Puree, Pickled Green Beans, Cranberry, garnished with Fried Onions). Dessert Dish: Sweet Potato Creme Brulee with Brûlée Marshmallows. Poblanos Mexican FusionSavory Dish: A Turkey Cupcake topped with a Sweet Potato Puree. Purple People EaterySavory Dish: Thanksgiving Burrito (Herb Roasted Turkey, homemade Stuffing, Ham, Swiss Cheese, Kale & Carrots with Sweet Potato Gravy) with a side of Cornflake Potato Casserole. Sugar Yummy MamaSavory Dish: Puff Pastry with a Turkey Bacon Glaze. Dessert Dish: Turkey Bacon Pie Crust with a Cherry Filling. Taco FreshSavory Dish: Thanksgiving Turkey Tamales with Tangy Cranberry Pico de Gallo & our Fan-Favorite Green Tomatillo Salsa. Tum Tum’sSavory Dish: Thanksgiving Ramen Woody’s BurgersSavory Dish: Turkey Burger (Smoked Tomato Jam, Wood Grilled Parsnips, Pancetta Bacon, Smoked Cheddar, Fresh Thyme & Maple Mayo accompanied by 50/50 Fresh Cut Idaho and Sweet Potato French Fries and Chorizo/ Fresh Sage Gravy). Dessert Dish: Woody’s Ice Cream Burger (Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Banana Pineapple Salsa, Maple Butter Caramel and Raspberry Ketchup garnished with Dark Chocolate Shavings & served in a Donut/ Beignet). More details at the Top Turkey Challenge website. The Details: Thanksgiving Dinner Food Truck Challenge @ Magic City Casino Date: Saturday November 15th Time: 5PM – 10PM Location: 450 NW 37th Avenue Miami, FL 33125 Admission: FREE Age: All Ages Welcome Parking: Plenty of FREE Parking *Main Stop Grill’s discount will be on certain dishes

Pan de Muerto at La Migaja Mexican Bakery in Little Havana

La Migaja - Dia de los Muertos

Mexico’s Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) takes place over the course of 2 days, the 1st and 2nd of November. On Nov 1st you remember the lives of children who have passed and Nov 2nd is for adults. Some folks find el Dia de los Muertos a bit gruesome as a holiday. I happen to think it’s a beautiful thing to have a day(s) where you remember & celebrate your loved ones and what they liked to eat.

Sugar Skulls

Sugar Skulls

Pan de Muerto

Pan de Muerto

Altars are created to the “difuntos” (deceased) with their favorite foods as well as pictures of them. It can be a very elaborate and intense thing to behold. Mexicans also celebrate by eating “Pan de Muerto” and “Sugar Skulls“. The Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead) is a sweet bread covered in sugar and the Sugar Skulls (Calaveras de Azúcar) are just that.

La Migaja Mexican Bakery in Little Havana is where I have been getting my Pan de Muerto for the last few years. It’s great for those of you who want to keep it real & remember those who have passed.

Celebrate Dia de los Muertos:

La Migaja Mexican Bakery
inside of Mi Rinconcito Mexicano
1961 SW 8th St Miami, Fl 33135
786-499-7846 / 786-290-3991

Knaus Berry Farm Season Is Here

Knaus Berry Farm To Go

Knaus Berry Farm season is here! It’s been 6 months since the last time you made a visit to the hallowed grounds of Knaus Berry Farm and enjoyed one of their Cinnamon Rolls. You’ve got til mid April 2015 before their limited time appearance ends so don’t waste it. I’m driving over there as we speak!

Knas Berry Farm 2K14 Season

Knas Berry Farm 2K14 Season

Knas Berry Farm 2K14 Season

Knas Berry Farm 2K14 Season

Knas Berry Farm 2K14 Season

Time To Do It To It!:

Knaus Berry Farm
Facebook: Knaus Berry Farm
Date: Tuesday October 28th, 2014 through Mid April 2015
Time: Open 8:00AM – 5:30 PM Monday – Saturday, Closed on Sunday
Address: 15980 Southwest 248th Street Homestead, FL
Phone: 305-247-0668

*pictures courtesy of BB on the Street correspondent Steve Simon

Pincho Factory 627 Ale, A Collaboration With Wynwood Brewing

Pincho Factory - Wynwood Brewing Collab

To celebrate 4 years of business, Pincho Factory has collaborated with Wynwood Brewing on their own beer, Pincho Factory 627 Ale. The “627” refers to the amount ($6.27) of money that was in Pincho Factory CEO Nedal Ahmad’s bank account when they opened their first location in Westchester on November 6th, 2010. Pincho Factory 627 Ale is a Farmhouse Saison brewed with Key Lime peel and Coriander.

More from the Press Release:

When they got together with Wynwood Brewing, they agreed to do a Saison, which Nedal admits to being one of his favorites. “We discussed what we were looking for in terms of flavor profile, drinkability and how we wanted it to pair well with our menu. As a testament to their talent, Wynwood Brewing nailed it on their first try,” said Ahmad. The end result was an unfiltered, golden colored ale with an amazing fruity aroma.

Saisons typically use peppercorn and orange peel, and they are traditionally yeast forward beers, which gives it a spicy/peppery characteristic. “We wanted to incorporate Pincho’s “sazón” with Wynwood Brewing Company’s commitment to tradition. We used key limes instead of orange peels, because we wanted to use something that was local to us. We also included coriander, because Nedal mentioned they use coriander to season their delicious burgers. What we came up with was a 627 Ale, which was slightly spicy,” said Luis Brignoni, president of Wynwood Brewing Company.

A pint of the 627 Ale will retail for $6.27, and will be available at both Pincho Factory locations, just in time for their anniversary on November 6th.

*picture courtesy of Pincho Factory

Buchito – Kissimmee, Florida

My wife Marcela and I met up with our friend Marvin to have a late breakfast at a spot he really likes in downtown Kissimmee, Buchito. It wasn’t until we arrived that I really thought about what a great name Buchito is. It’s not used very often but it means “a sip”. So if you want a sip of someone’s drink, you ask for a buchito. Alright, enough with the Spanish lesson, let’s talk about Buchito the shop.

The owner is Cuban and his wife is Mexican. He’s originally from Miami and worked at Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market. He was looking for a change and moved to Kissimmee where he opened up Buchito less than a year ago. It’s mostly a breakfast place with some Sandwiches. Of course there’s Cuban Coffee and desserts like Flan.

I decide on a Cortadito (smaller version of a Cafe con Leche) with the Benny Cuban Sandwich. The Cortadito was right on point and the Benny Cuban Sandwich was good. The bread was nice & crusty and the Pork was unreal. He later on brought by some of the Pork in a little bowl for us to try, it was excellent. My only real issue was that they use Mozzarella instead of Swiss.

His wife makes the desserts and it should come as no surprise that I ate the Flan. It had a perfect creamy texture and wasn’t overly sweet as most Cuban Flans are. It had the best of both Cuban & Mexican Flan worlds.

Buchito - Kissimmee, Florida

Buchito - Kissimmee, Florida

Buchito - Kissimmee, Florida

We were just a few shops down from a great Antique Mall called Lanier’s. Just wanted to give you a heads up too, if you purchase something at Lanier’s you’ll get 10% off at Buchito.

Laniers - Kissimmee, Florida

Buchito
131 Broadway Ave Kissimmee, FL 34741
407-483-7813

Buchito on Urbanspoon

Sakaya Kitchen’s Kalbi Chunk’d Tots Recipe

Sakaya Kitchen - Midtown, Florida

If we’re talking Best South Florida comfort food dishes of all time then Sakaya Kitchen‘s Kalbi Chunk’s Tots will easily make the Top 5. It’s got well marinated Meat, Cheese sauce and fried Potatoes…….SOLD! It is so good that the first time I ate it, I was in line to ordering another one and I wasn’t even half way done with the original.

KALBI SHORT RIB MARINADE:

Mix all ingredients with short rib meat, cover and marinate overnight.

  • 1 pound short ribs, thick cut in 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 apple, sliced

CHEESE SAUCE:

Combine ingredients in food processor until smooth.

  • 1 cup fresh white melting cheese
  • 1 cup Korean red pepper paste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 scallion
  • water, if necessary to blend

KALBI CHUNK’D TOTS:

  • 1 pound potato nuggets
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 cups cheese sauce (see above)
  • 1 pound short ribs (see above)
  • scallions, chopped
  • hot sauce

Directions:

Makes approximately 4 servings

  1. Set grill to high heat. Grill short ribs on high heat until well done. Set aside.
  2. Deep fry potato nuggets at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown.
  3. Remove potato nuggets from oil to a mixing bowl. Toss with a pinch of sea salt and cheese sauce until coated.
  4. Slice short rib meat into bite size pieces.
  5. Place tater tot mixture in serving bowl, top with short rib meat and garnish with chopped scallions and hot sauce.

Thanks to Chef Richard Hales for allowing us to reprint this recipe.

5 Things I’m Currently Obsessed With

I’m not sure that the title “5 Things I’m Currently Obsessed With” is really accurate. It’s more like 5 things you need to keep far away from me or I will polish off.

5) Tasca de España’s Tortilla EspañolaIn general, I absolutely love Spanish-style Omelettes. My father was taught by his late Mom (yes I know, my grandmother) who was a Spaniard how to make a mean Tortilla Española. There’s a lot of love that goes into making one and cooking those potatoes and onions to the right consistency is an art. I’ve stopped ordering the Tortilla at Tasca de España because I find that I can’t share it. There seems to be some internal register figuring out how many more bites I can get in before someone else “steals” some from me.

Tasca de España's Tortilla Española

4) Buena Vista Chocolate & Wine’s Chocolate TrufflesBy no means do I consider myself an expert in the field of Chocolates. I just can’t imagine a Chocolate anything being better than these Chocolate Truffles made of Chocolate Ganache & Cocoa Powder.

Buena Vista Chocolate's Truffles

3) Miami Smokers’ Duroc Bacon – Ladies & Gentleman, imagine a world where all Bacon was made from pigs raised humanely and fed wholesome diets. Once you step into the land of Miami Smokers Urban Smokehouse, your porky dreams will have then come true. There were folks ordering BLTs while I was there last week. Guess what I was having? Bacon. That’s right, no filler for me. Get with the program people.

Miami Smokers' Duroc Bacon

2) The Local’s Soup  – Chef Phil Bryant recently took over the kitchen at the Local Craft Food & Drink. I stopped in for the new lunch menu and of course expected to be blown away by The Burger (and I was) BUT……all in capitals for dramatic effect…the Soup was unbelievable. What was in it? Try Pulled Hen, Buttermilk Dumplings, Zellwood Corn, Fresh Greens & Parmesan Gravy. I know. I know. You need this.

The Local's Soup

1) McCormick’s Mexican Lime Mayonaise – The folks at McCormick’s sponsored one of my events a few months ago and I was given a couple of mini jars of the Mayonesa with Lime to sample. My entire life I’ve been a Helman’s guy til a few years ago that Chef Jeremiah convinced me to switch to Duke’s. I am now a McCormick Mayonesa obsessive convert. It’s perfect for sandwiches and sauces. The reason I think I really fell for it was it made my daily breakfast sandwich perfect so I’m happy the rest of the day.

McCormick Mayonesa

Get Your Fix:

Tasca de España
8770 SW 24 ST Miami, Florida 33165
305-552-0082

Buena Vista Chocolate & Wine
4512 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, Florida 33137
305-396-6056

Miami Smokers Urban Smokehouse
306 NW 27th Ave Miami, FL 33125
305-989-8848

The Local Craft Food & Drink
150 Giralda Ave Coral Gables, Florida 33134
305-648-5687

McCormick’s Mayonesa
Available in the Ethnic or Mexican Food section of your Supermarket

Fireman Derek’s New York Style Cheesecake Recipe

Fireman Derek's Cheesecake

If you’re not up for heading over to Wynwood to visit Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop & Cafe then here’s a recipe for his New York Style Cheesecake. Don’t forget to invite me over.

Fireman Derek’s New York Style Cheesecake Recipe

Makes 6 slices

FILLING:

  • 12 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 ounces sour cream
  • 1/4 stick of butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

FILLING DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add the cream cheese, sour cream and butter in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix together until all the ingredients have blended.
  3. Pour in sugar, eggs and vanilla.
  4. Mix well again.

CRUST:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar

CRUST DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix all ingredients together and spread in 9-inch pie pan.
  2. Place in oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

PIE DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place filling batter on top of crust.
  2. Place in rectangular baking dish and cover with parchment paper. This will prevent browning of the top.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes or until done at 350 degrees.
  4. Let cool and then refrigerate overnight.

Vote Now For the 6th Annual Burger Beast Burgie Awards

6th Burgie Awards

Voting for Burger Beast’s 6th Annual Burgie Awards starts now!

Take Our Survey

If you want to make sure your favorite wins then vote. I take the Burgie Awards very seriously and do not like “fake” votes so there is only 1 vote per IP address. If you try to circumvent the poll by cheating and voting multiple times from the same IP, I will disqualify all of those votes. It doesn’t pay to cheat.

Online voting is from Thursday October 23rd, 2014 – Wednesday January 7th, 2015. The winners are announced live at the Burgie Awards Event on Saturday January 31st, 2015.

Make sure to familiarize yourself with the Burgie Awards:

A Video Visit To El Mago De Las Fritas On Saturdays

Most Saturdays you can catch having breakfast and waiting impatiently for the weekly special of Chicharrones at El Mago de las Fritas. I decided to film this past Saturday’s El Mago adventure. As you will see, it’s a very enjoyable experience.

Saturdays:

El Mago De Las Fritas
5828 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL
305-266-8486

Guess Who’s Turning 30 Years Young? Tropical Chinese!

Tropical Chinese

Tropical Chinese

This coming Tuesday October 28th is big day for beautiful Westchester, Tropical Chinese turns 30 years old.

So there’s gotta be a celebration right? Absolutely, here’s the info from the press release:

On October 28th, 2014, Tropical Chinese will celebrate its 30th Anniversary by treating *guests to a memorable evening featuring complimentary light bites, dim sum demonstrations, art, music and dancing. The evening will also feature handcrafted byejoe cocktails, served from the restaurant’s brand new, ultra-modern, 20 foot bar along, with the unveiling of an original wall mural by local artist, Steve Saiz.

Tropical Chinese opened in November of 1984 and is renowned by locals as well as world travelers. They serve authentic, Hong Kong-style, push cart dim sum that is always hand crafted in their kitchen. The mouth-watering, authentic cuisine served at Tropical Chinese has been featured by everyone from Food Network to Ocean Drive. byejoe is an ultra-premium baijiu brand that is hand-crafted in the East from the finest red sorghum and skillfully refined and filtered in the West using patented filtration technology. (Baijiu, the national spirit of China, is the most consumed spirit category in the world.)

You can catch me that night seated near the new bar wearing sunglasses, sipping a byejoe cocktail, sneaking some bites from the Peking Duck station and enjoying the festivities. You know why? Cause that’s how we celebrate in Westchester.

See you there.

*To attend, guests must RSVP to byejoe@h2cinc.com

Watch Tropical Chinese on Check Please with Michelle Bernstein:

30 Years Young Celebration:

Tropical Chinese
7991 SW 40th Street, Miami, FL 33155
When: October 28th, 2014
Time: 7pm to 11pm

Quickie’s Burgers & Wings, It’s Been A While

Let me give a quick background on Quickie’s Burger & Wings. I ate at Quickie’s Burgers & Wings for the first time when the Burger Beast blog was just turning one year old. I was instantly fascinated with the Burgers and Wings and ended up taking their 4 lb. Burger Challenge which landed me on the front of the Tropical Life section in the Miami Herald.

We (My wife Marcela and I) would make the 45 minute drive from our home to Hollywood twice a week just so I could get some of that smoky Burger goodness. The couple who opened and operated this Quickie’s (there was a second location in Pembroke Pines) were just not on the same page anymore. At some point during this, the food began to suffer and my trips to Hollywood just became less and less until they stopped altogether. They ended up selling off Quickie’s Burgers & Wings about a year and a half ago. I went by shortly after the switch but things still weren’t up to par.

Flash forward to yesterday when I talk Chunktronics into hitting them up one last time for old time’s sake. I’ve gotta pat myself on the back for that idea, it worked out gangbusters. Everything tasted just as it should and did originally. They’re still using fresh beef patties, the highly addictive Cattleman’s Tangy Gold…..I mean their homemade Golden BBQ Sauce on the Wings and the Quickie’s Sauce is just as addictive as I remembered. If I was going to nitpick anything and I will, the portions of the Fries and the size of the Chicken Sandwich were smaller. Also, it appears that they’re now using Turkey Bacon which makes sense since there is a “Halal” sign on the door.

I don’t care for the expanded menu which seems to have every possible deep fried item available on the Sysco order form from Jalapeño Poppers to Shrimp but as long as they keep making those Burgers & Wings just how I like them, I’ll be back regularly.

Golden BBQ Wings

Golden BBQ Wings

Seasoned Fries w/Quickie's Sauce

Seasoned Fries w/Quickie’s Sauce

Chicken Sandwich

Chicken Sandwich

Quickie's 1/3 lb. Char-grilled Burger

Quickie’s 1/3 lb. Char-grilled Burger with Crispy Onions & Quickie’s Sauce

M.O.A.B. (Mother of All Burgers)

M.O.A.B. (Mother of All Burgers) – 1 lb. stuffed with Cheese & topped with Fries, Crispy Onions, Bacon and Quickie’s Sauce

Go M.O.A.B. or Go Home:

Quickie’s Burgers & Wings
1000 South State Road 7, Hollywood, FL
954-981-9464

Quickie's Burgers & Wings on Urbanspoon

Munchies Cafe 2 – West Kendall, Florida

A day before Croquetapalooza I dropped in to Munchies Cafe 2. I had last visited their original location a little over year ago after a BB reader mentioned that their Croquetas are a must try.

I was torn as to which appetizer to start with so I did the only sensible thing, I ordered the Munchie’s Platter (Masas de Cerdo, Chicharron de Pollo, Yuca Frita, Tamal en Hoja, Croquetas & Mariquitas). I’m not sure exactly how I thought it was possible that Chunktronics and I could polish that off and eat the Munchie’s Palomilla and Chicken Milanesa with two sides also. I need to mention that the platter had fresh cut Yuca Fries and not the bagged symetrical fries everyone has around town. Under the crispy Mariquitas (Fried Plantains strips) were two really great Croquetas, hidden just like One Eyed Willie’s treasure in Goonies.

I was not mentally prepared when the Munchie’s Palomilla Steak arrived. As you can see (or more like can’t), the Steak is hidden under a mound of fresh cut Fries. This is very reminiscent of the steak made famous by Lila’s and still available by Rio Cristal just a few miles down the road. The owners mentioned that their cook was originally from Lila’s in Westchester and he asked to add it to the menu as a tribute. There is a very well marinated Steak under those Fries with near perfect flavor.

How do you eat it? I was brought a plate to move some of the Fries over but I didn’t. I must have been a Conqueror in a previous life since I forged ahead, forked and cut through potato & steak til I hit plate. The Palomilla did unfortunately defeat me at about the half way point but I needed to think about having a Flan and Cafecito too, priorities people!

Chunktrnoics’ Chicken Milanesa will easily find a spot in my Top 10 Milanesas list when I update it. If you’re not familiar with the Miami Milanesa phenomenon, imagine if you will a Chicken Breast pounded thin, breaded, fried then topped with Ham & Cheese which is melted. It’s also available in an equally addictive Steak version but I always go Chicken first time around.

In the world of Flans I lean towards the sweeter side but this one while not very sweet still had the creamy texture and excellent taste I always hope for. I capped off the meal with an espumita topped Cafecito (Espresso). It was so beautiful on the outside that I didn’t want to disturb it but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Pansito (Buttered Bread)

Pansito (Buttered Bread)

Cilantro Sauce & Mojo for Dipping

Cilantro Sauce & Mojo for Dipping

Munchie's Platter - Masas de Cerdo, Chicharron de Pollo, Yuca Frita, Tamal en Hoja, Croquetas & Mariquitas

Munchie’s Platter – Masas de Cerdo, Chicharron de Pollo, Yuca Frita, Tamal en Hoja, Croquetas & Mariquitas

Masas de Cerdo (Pork Chunks)

Masas de Cerdo (Pork Chunks)

Tamal en Hoja

Tamal en Hoja

A hidden Ham Croqueta

A hidden Ham Croqueta

Munchie's Palomilla Steak

Munchie’s Palomilla Steak

Black Beans

Black Beans

White Rice

White Rice

Milanesa de Pollo (Chicken Milanesa)

Milanesa de Pollo (Chicken Milanesa)

Flan

Flan

Cafecito (Espresso)

Cafecito (Espresso)

Very Very Good:

Munchies Cafe 2
12761 SW 42nd St Miami, FL 33175
305-551-4688

Munchies Cafe on Urbanspoon