Frita Showdown Wins The305’s 2014 Best Foodie Event

Frita Showdown 2K14

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

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.

Abuela & Abuelo - May 1999

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… 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.

2014 Best Foodie Event

Why would I give you this long introduction to Frita Showdown winning The305’s 2014 Best Foodie Event?

This is more than just an event to us and we are very proud to see it receive this accolade.

Thank you to Schweid & Sons, Goya Foods and Magic City Casino for sponsoring the 2015 Frita Showdown.

Thank you to all the restaurants & food vendors, everyone in Team BB who worked on the event and of course to those of you who attended.

See you in August for the 2015 Frita Showdown.

A Little Patty Melt History

Patty Melt from The Bar

Patty Melt from The Bar


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:

  • Burger Patty
  • Rye Bread
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Grilled Onions.

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

“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:

  1. Melt butter over flat top griddle/large cast-iron skillet to toast Rye Bread slices.
  2. Season Burgers w/Salt & Pepper, then grill on flat top.
  3. Cook to Medium-Rare or desired doneness.
  4. Put Olive Oil on griddle and grill Onions until caramelized.
  5. Melt Swiss Cheese slices over each Burger.
  6. Assemble Patty Melt by placing Cheeseburgers over one slice each Rye toast, top with caramelized Onions and then remaining slices of Rye toast.

Sources: ChowhoundHamburgers & Fries, Jennifer Naylor & my brain

Top 10 Food Truck Dishes of 2014

Top Lists

Every few weeks I like to unleash a new List or Best Of on the Burger Beast site and with 2014 coming to an end I thought a Top 10 Food Truck Dishes would be the ideal one.

You can find these Food Trucks at events I curate in Miami every 3rd Saturday (Wheelin’ Dealin’ Street Food Festival) and in Hollywood every Monday (Food Trucks at Arts Park).

The Top 10 is in alphabetical order.

  • Arepas Las GorditasPocahontas 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)

Arepas Las Gorditas’ Pocahontas Arepa: Turkey + Stuffing marinated with Gravy/Cranberry & Homemade White Cheese (Guayanes)

  • Box of ChacosBang 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

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

FOAR’s N.Y. Egg Sandwich w/Eggs, Cheese & Bacon on a Kaiser Roll

  • HipPOPs Handcrafted Gelato BarsSalted 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

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

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

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

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

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

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.
Woody's Burgers' Alpine Burger

Woody’s Burgers’ Alpine Burger: Char-grilled w/Smoked Gouda, Caramelized Bacon & Onion, Portobello Mushroom, Dijon Mustard &, Garlic Mayo

Read more Top Lists and Best Ofs

MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes Coming To Miami


MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes is opening their first Florida location in Miami early next year. There are plans to open at least 10 more MOOYAHs over the next ten years.

Yup, the MOOYAH website confirms it

Yup, the MOOYAH website confirms it

The MOOYAH Menu is made up of Burgers (a variety of proteins & a Hot Dog), Fries, Salads & Shakes. You can see the current menu below.

MOOYAH Menu as of August 2014

MOOYAH Menu as of August 2014

As soon as I find out more details so will you.

Source: 1851project

Ask The Beast Column #6 December 24, 2014

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

Andy’s Sage Fried Chicken Benedict from Hash House a Gogo

Half a Rack Ribs from Pig Floyd's

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

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
Michel Sanchez
Jim Heins
David Garcia

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.

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

Don’t You Blaspheme In Here! – Aretha Franklin in the Blues Brothers movie

Read previous Ask The Beast Columns.

Send in your Question:

Karla Bakery’s 25th Anniversary Party Is Today

Karla Bakery's 25th Anniversary

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.

Karla Bakery - West Miami

Karla in Pastelito-mode


iCoffee Opus Single Serve Coffee Machine Product Review

iCoffee Machine

*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

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 – Sanibel, Florida

Bennett's Fresh Roast - Sanibel, Florida

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.

Maple Bacon Doughnut

Maple Bacon Doughnut

5 Doughnuts To Go

5 Doughnuts To Go

Do It:

Bennett’s Fresh Roast
1020 Periwinkle Way Sanibel, FL 33957

Bennett's Fresh Roast on Urbanspoon

Bubble Room – Captiva, Florida

The Bubble Room - Captiva, Florida

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.

The Bubble Room - Captiva, Florida

Decor above the Sweets area

Decor above the Sweets area

Decor in the Hallway

Decor in the Hallway

Orange Crunch Cake To Go

Orange Crunch Cake To Go

The Bubble Room
15001 Captiva Drive SW Captiva, FL 33924

The Bubble Room on Urbanspoon

Schnapper’s Hots – Sanibel, Florida

Schnapper's Hots - Sanibel, Florida

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.

Schnapper's Hots - Sanibel, Florida

Comment Posting Area

Schnapper's Hots - Sanibel, Florida

Rocky on the Wall

Schnapper's Hots - Sanibel, Florida

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

Large Fresh Cut Fries

Chargrilled CheeseBurger

Chargrilled CheeseBurger

Chili Cheese Chargrilled Hot Dog

Chili Cheese Chargrilled Hot Dog

That dream of course wouldn’t last too long if I was hungry.

Schnapper’s Hots
1528 Periwinkle Way Sanibel, FL 33957

Schnapper's Hots on Urbanspoon

-Schnapper’s Hots picture courtesy of Jim Hall

Food Trucks At Magic City Casino Is This Saturday

Wheelin Dealin - Magic City Casino

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.

Wheelin' Dealin' Street Food Festival Poster

December 20th Line-Up:

2 Jive Turkeys
90 Miles To Go
Boba Station
Churrasco Grill
Da Burger Shack
Daddy’s Grill
Don Mofongo
El Rey de las Fritas
HipPOPs Handcrafted Gelato Bars
Jersey Dawg
King of Racks BBQ
Liquid N2 Ice Cream
Los Chamos
Main Stop Grill
Marlie’s Delights
Miami Roasted Corn
Mr. PB&J
Ms. Cheezious
Peru Sabroso
Sugar Yummy Mama
Taco Fresh
Top Fries

The Details:

Wheelin’ Dealin’ Street Food Festival
at Magic City Casino
Facebook: Wheelin’ Dealin’ Event Page
Date: Saturday December 20th & Every 3rd Saturday of the Month
Time: 5PM – 10PM
Location: 450 NW 37th Ave Miami, Florida 33126
Restrictions: ALL AGES
Parking: Plenty of Free Parking

You Know What’s Really Good? The Esponnrú at Pastelmania in Little Havana

Pastelmania - Little Havana, Florida

You know what’s really good? The Esponnrú at Pastelmania.

What is an Esponnrú, you may be asking yourself. It’s a Sponge Cake Rusk unlike most of the ones you will find out there, this one is moist. Pastelmania sells them 5 to a pack and they go down perfectly with a Cafe con Leche (Warm Milk with Espresso).

WARNING: Do not set the bag of Esponnrú on the couch when watching TV or on your desk when you are surfing the web, you will eat them all. I know this from experience.

Pastelmania - Little Havana, Florida

Go Forth:

1989 W Flagler St

Locale Market in St. Petersburg Opens This Wednesday Featuring The St. Petersburger

Locale Market Logo

For you lucky ducks in the St. Petersburg area of Florida, this Wednesday December 17th at 3PM Locale Market opens up. What is Locale Market you say?

Imagine two Chefs (James Beard Award-winning Michael Mina & Cookbook Author Don Pintabona) whose friendship has created a culinary marketplace where you can enjoy fresh pasta and gourmet cheese samplings from the handmade pasta station, cold-pressed juices featuring locally sourced produce, hot-pressed Panini sandwiches fresh off the grill, delectable hand-made chocolates and more.

Chef Michael Mina & Chef Don Pintabona

Chef Michael Mina & Chef Don Pintabona

Locale Market will also feature seasonal, organic and local ingredients as well as artisanal foods. Best of all, there will be made-to-order prepared and semi-prepared foods which leads into what I was really trying to tell you about, the St. Petersburger:

“It fires on all cylinders!! Flavor wise. It’s rich, smokey, earthy, salty, sweet and subtly spicy. Texturally, it’s soft, chewy, and crispy. It keeps the palate engaged to the point that when it’s gone, you wish you had just one more bite.” – Chef de Cuisine Jeffrey Hileman, creator of the St. Petersburger

Chef de Cuisine Jeffrey Hileman w/the St. Petersburger

Chef de Cuisine Jeffrey Hileman w/the St. Petersburger

What’s in this bad boy? A house-ground dry aged beef patty from Locale’s dry age program. It sits on top of a bed of crisp shredded Romaine from Faithful Farms, 20 Miles south in Palmetto. The lettuce is tossed in “secret sauce.” The patty is topped with melted smoked Gouda, double-smoked crisp bacon from Miami Smokers Urban Smokehouse, caramelized onions and mushrooms and melted ‘Merican Cheese. It’s all housed on a brioche bun baked at Locale’s Bread Box bakery.

I am normally inclined to remove any type of shredded green from my Burger but I don’t think that’s gonna happen this time since it’s tossed in secret sauce. Just looking at that Burger makes me feel like jumping in my car and driving over for one right now.

Behold.....The St. Petersburger

Behold…..The St. Petersburger

The St. Petersburger is the signature sandwich of a five burger program at The Grill inside Locale Market created by Chef de Cuisine Jeffrey Hillman.

The Burgers at Locale Market:

  1. St. PetersburgLocale Market dry-aged beef, double smoked bacon, gouda $13.49
  2. Peanut Butter Crunch – Bacon jam, pimento cheese, potato chips $11.49
  3. Turkey Burger – Florida avocado guacamole, pepper jack cheese, sambal aioli $10.49
  4. BBQ Salmon Burger – Ginger aioli, Gamble Creek Farms cucumber, gochujang $11.49
  5. Fava Bean Falafel BurgerGamble Creek Farms cucumber yogurt, tomato confit, tahini $9.99

Go Locale & Eat A St. Petersburger:

Locale Market
in the Sundial Lifestyle Center
179 2nd Ave. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Facebook: Locale Market
Instagram: Locale Market
Twitter: @LocaleMarket_FL

-All pictures courtesy of Locale Market

People Of Hialeah & Kendall, Sweetness Bake Shop Has Panther Coffee

Sweetness & Panther Coffee

Here’s some news for you Panther Coffee fanatics who live in Hialeah & Kendall, Sweetness has Panther Coffee. You can now cease those long and lonely trips to Wynwood, Coral Gables or wherever else you make you long & lonely trips to get Panther Coffee from.

Please remember who told you this information first aka you owe me one.

Get Your Panther Coffee at:

Sweetness Bake Shop & Cafe – Hialeah
839 W 49th St | Hialeah, FL 33012


Sweetness Bake Shop & Cafe – Kendall
9549 SW 72nd Street, Miami, FL 33173

Sandy’s Cuban Cafe – Naples, Florida

Sandy's Cuban Cafe - Naples, Florida Sandy's Cuban Cafe - Naples, Florida Sandy's Cuban Cafe - Naples, Florida

Every summer my family rents a home in Marco Island for a week. At some point, normally early on I get impatient and go for a drive through Naples. A year ago I drove by Sandy’s Cuban Cafe with plans to hit it up but it was closed for the day by the time I went back. So I waited…….almost an entire year for another attempt. This time I made it.

I walked in and was greeted by the Cuban soft drink trio of Ironbeer, Jupiña and Materva. I took this as a good omen of things to come.

We started with some Croquetas of the boxed non-homemade variety. I’m ok with that cause hell, they’re good. I wasn’t surprised to hear that they were out of Ropa Vieja for the Sandy’s Nachos since it was late in the day. They were closing up shop in 30 minutes so I settled for some Shredded Pork as a replacement, not a bad trade off. Sandy’s Nachos are made of Mariquitas (Fried Plantain Chips) instead of the usual Tortilla Chips. The Mariquitas are topped with Picadillo (Seasoned Ground Beef), Pico de Gallo, Cheese and in my version, Shredded Pork. I say Yes, order them if you get a chance.

The Medianoche came with a side of Mariquitas. It was right on point with its toasted sweet bread and melted Swiss Cheese. No complaints here. The Frita came on a Burger Bun with those canned potato sticks that I dread. If we were to ignore those factors, mostly the sticks, the patty itself was very good. This Frita, with a little dressing up could be a contender.

I finished off the late lunch with a Cafecito or Espresso as the Starbucks acolytes call them. No dessert for me as the floor was getting wiped down around me. We were now 10 minutes past closing time so I took that as a sign it was time to go even if that wasn’t meant as one. I’m hoping next year to try out their Cuban Sandwich and Flan but I’ll arrive earlier, I promise.



Sandy's Nachos

Sandy’s Nachos



Frita Cubana

Frita Cubana

Cafecito aka Espresso aka Cuban Coffee

Cafecito aka Espresso aka Cuban Coffee

Lunchtime at:

Sandy’s Cuban Cafe
1383 Airport Pulling Rd N Naples Fl Naples, FL 34104

Sandy's Cuban Cafe on Urbanspoon

Royal Castle’s Royal Carousel #tbt #throwbackthursday

There is only one Royal Castle Restaurant left from the Miami chain. It’s located at 2700 NW 79th Street and still open 24 hours a day. Royal Castle was founded by William Singer in 1938 way before Burger King opened up its first Miami outpost in 1954. It was the original Miami Chain.

In April of 1967 Royal Castle announced during its quarterly report to Stockholders:

“The opening of a new type of quick service restaurant that will be more fully automated then the present kind, with more self-service by the customer.”

The Miami News - April 24th, 1967

The Miami News – April 24th, 1967

A few months later in July of 1967 an ad appeared in the Miami News looking for “Restaurant Personal” and Managers for future locations. The address was listed as 167th Street and N.E. 6th Avenue in North Miami Beach.

Royal Carousel Job Ad - The Miami News July 18th, 1967

The Miami News – July 18th, 1967

The Miami Times and The Miami News both ran stories about the opening of Royal Carousel in August of 1967. It was touted as the first Electronic Restaurant in the Southeast. The idea was that you come in, place your order at a Master Console (as the Miami Times called it) and then it would be cooked and packaged by the Royal Carousel machinery.

The food deviated from the Royal Castle menu with items like French Fried Shrimp, Specially Breaded Chicken, & Hush Puppies. I found it most interesting that they served a “Charbroied Super Double Hamburger with Special Sauce” since Royal Castle cooked their Sliders on a flat top.

I also noticed the mention of the air conditioned dining room which was not the norm for fast food in that era.

The Miami Times - August 18th, 1967

The Miami Times – August 18th, 1967

The Miami News - August 24th, 1967

The Miami News – August 24th, 1967

I can not find any evidence to support how long Royal Carousel lasted or if it even expanded past the original location in North Miami. It seemed like a great idea that didn’t pan out.

Hope you enjoyed this Throwback Thursday post about Miami’s Burger past.

If you’ve got anything you may remember about Royal Carousel please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear about it.

Ask The Beast Column #5 December 10, 2014

You can catch the Ask The Beast Column here on Burger Beast every Wednesday.

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 +.

Question from Cristina through the BB Blog Form: Hi! So my question is about mac & cheese. My husband still dreams about the jalapeño mac from the former Smoke’t on US1, and claims that no one else’s has ever come close. Should he get over it? Should we try and get the recipe out of the chef? Or do you have a favorite mac & cheese that might make him forget about Smoke’t altogether?

BB: Let’s answer this multi-parter together.

  1. It’s good to dream.
  2. He should not get over it but keep that in a special place in his gut.
  3. If you know the Chef I’d ask him for it. I’m pretty sure he’d be happy to hand it over. If not f’ him.
  4. I’ve got two Mac & Cheeses that you should try, one in North Miami from Vega’s Burger Bar and another from That One Spot in Ocoee (near Orlando).
Vega's Burger Bar's Mac N Cheese in the front, Chili in the back, Mix for an unbelievable experience

Vega’s Burger Bar’s Mac N Cheese in the front, Chili in the back, Mix for an unbelievable experience

Grandmas Mac & Cheese w/Bacon & Jalapeño from That One Spot

Grandmas Mac & Cheese w/Bacon & Jalapeño from That One Spot

Question from ciento treinta ocho through the BB Blog Form: Royal castle or Krystal? Which is better?

BB: If you know me I’m all about the Locally owned Food scene and Royal Castle is part of that history. It’s not a tough choice, just take a look at both Sliders below. Which would you rather have?

Krystal Slider

Krystal Slider

Royal Castle Slider

Royal Castle Slider – BB’s Choice

Question from Kali Bensaadon through the BB Blog Form: Why does Randy Fisher hate croquetas?

BB: Randy Fisher produces amazing events throughout the United States with his company CREaM (Culinary Related Entertainment and Marketing) including the legendary Burger Bash at the South Beach & NYC Wine & Food Festivals. Now that I’m done giving his company a plug I can answer the question.

One day I noticed Randy didn’t share my enthusiasm for the Miami Icon, the Croqueta. He does not hate Croquetas but I don’t think he understands the fascination people in Miami have with them. This of course led to a “Randy Fisher Hates Croquetas” rant at my birthday party in front of my friends and family.

I’m pretty sure he didn’t attend Croquetapalooza for fear of what may have happened that day in front of all of those Croquetaholics when I was on stage. He claims that he couldn’t make it because it happened to coincide with the NYC Wine & Food Festival, a likely story. To think he scheduled those events the same week as Croquetapalooza so he could get out of it is unbelievable.

Thanks to Kali, Senior Partner at CREaM for sending this in. Oh and yes, Randy Fisher Hates Croquetas. Spread the word. Use the Hashtag #randyhatescroquetas

Randy Fisher Hates Croquetas

Question from Alex Blanco through the BB Blog Form: Have you ever eaten at Alabama Jack’s? You have to try the chilicheese fries.

BB: Wait a second, isn’t that a Seafood place? Chili Cheese Fries huh? Next time I’m down in Key Largo I’ll go there just for that.

Question from Brenda through the BB Blog Form: Have you tried Category 3 burgers? Excellent!!

BB: I can’t say that I have.

Question from Jean through the BB Blog Form: Yo Beast! I work in Downtown and I’ve been hankering for a solid bowl of chili. Is there such a place in existence around here that would do me right?

BB: Do you right? Are we really talking about Chili here? If The Filling Station had not closed down I would have sent you to have a Bowl of theirs and we would have been rejoicing right now. Another great option would have been Tobacco Road but then again, they’re gone too. So I’m gonna have to cheat & send you to Brickell to have the Home-style Texas Chili from Burger & Beer Joint.

Question from Jason Schoendorfer through Facebook: Do you know anything about the 109 Burger Joint opening up in the old A&G spot? Specifically if anyone from A&G is involved? I sure am craving a croqueta burger but I’m afraid this might be some knock off crap.

BB: The 109 Burger Joint is owned by family of Alex Parra, the Chef & creator of A&G Burger Joint and their Burger creations. The relationship breakdown between them caused the closing of A&G Burger Joint. I don’t want to get into specifics since they went to court over the situation but A&G Burger Joint will rise again and could be making its first re-appearance at Burger Beast Event in the nearish future. You can bet on that.

Question from Wil Wheaton through the BB Blog Form: Dear Sire Beast, If the Miami Food scene were a comic book what would be the super powers and cryptonite of the following characters? Fat Girl Hedonist Michael Schwartz Lee Schrager Nedal Ahmed Mercy (El Ray) Richard Hales Jim Heins Gretchen Schmidt Steve Simon Mrs. Beast That creepy guy with the pencil thin eyebrows

BB: Great question but bad spelling of Kryptonite. It’s obvious whoever wrote this knows me well since the folks were all great choices.

Let’s do this.

  • FatGirl Hedonist (Blogger) – The power of Chonga-ness, weakened by Fine Dining Food Bloggers
  • Michael Schwartz (Chef) – The power to turn everything into gold, weakened when restaurants not named after him
  • Lee Schrager (Founder of SoBe & NYC Wine & Food Festivals) – The power of dynamic event ideas, weakened by the thought of too few people in SoBe White Tented events
  • Nedal Ahmad (Owner of Pincho Factory) – The power of connecting with people, weakened by the thought of A&G Burger Joint’s Nica Burger
  • Mercy Gonzalez (Owner of El Rey de las Fritas) – The power of positivity, weakened by El Rey de las Frita copycats
  • Richard Hales (Owner of BlackBrick & Sakaya Kitchen) – The power of flavor, weakened by twitter battles with other Asians
  • Jim Heins (Owner of Latin Burger & Taco Food Truck) – No lo conozco
  • Gretchen Schmidt (edible South Florida) – The power of spreading the local love, weakened by the thought of a comb
  • Steve Simon (Food Truck Invasion) – the power of spreading food trucks events throughout all the land, weakened by dealing with the food truck owners throughout the land
  • Mrs. Beast (aka my wife Marcela) – Hell no, I’m not answering this one.
  • That creepy guy with the pencil thin eyebrows (That creepy guy with the pencil thin eyebrows) – The power of thinking the Mana lot in Wynwood is made of gold, weakened whenever he hears the truth

Read previous Ask The Beast Columns.

Send in your Question:

You Know What’s Really Good? Duroc Bacon at Miami Smokers in Little Havana

Duroc Bacon

Duroc Bacon

You know what’s real good? The Duroc Bacon at Miami Smokers Urban Smokehouse in Little Havana.

Miami Smokers is all about doing things right. They use Heritage Breed Pigs from Berkwood Farms, & in the case of this Bacon a Duroc. There are no antibiotics or hormones….well you know…..let them tell you:

To create Miami Smokers delicious charcuterie and smoked meats, we source some of the best pork raised in the USA. All of out products are made with Heritage Breed pigs. Raised humanely and feed wholesome diets. Your food can only be as good as the products you start with. Berkwood Farms is a coalition of independent family farmers is the largest American supplier of 100% pure heirloom Berkshire pork and the only farmer-owned company with national distribution. Berkwood Farms producers raise their animals in a healthy, environmentally friendly manner, and have all committed themselves to a strict code of responsible and humane animal husbandry. They follow a firm set of protocols that are practical, humane, and very sustainable.

Miami Smokers Urban Smokehouse - Little Havana, Florida

Miami Smokers Urban Smokehouse

The Duroc Bacon is available in half pound packs or as part of their dynamite BLT Sandwich. There’s also some Bacon snacks like Bacon Jerky, Candied Bacon and some Bacon Rice Crispy Treats called Toasted Krispy Treats. There was a great Spicy Thai Sausage on the menu one of the days I stopped in and I’ve ordered a few slices of Duroc Bacon to snack on before too.

Miami Smokers Bacon can be found at Azucar as part of a few of their Ice Cream creations, Eating House & LoKal Burgers and Beer amongst others. They should also find a permanent home in your kitchen creations if you wanna next level your food, know what I’m sayin?

Miami Smokers Urban Smokehouse - Little Havana, Florida


Miami Smokers Urban Smokehouse - Little Havana, Florida

Slicer from 1919

Miami Smokers Urban Smokehouse - Little Havana, Florida

Cutting Board

James, Smoke Whisperer

James, Smoke Whisperer

Miami Smokers Urban Smokehouse - Little Havana, Florida

Wall Art Concept by Krave Art, Figure by Raymond Gems Adrian

Miami Smokers Urban Smokehouse - Little Havana, Florida

Miami Smokers Urban Garden w/Heirlooms & Cilantro

Bacon Jerky, Candied Bacon & Toasted Crispy Treats

Bacon Jerky, Candied Bacon & Toasted Krispy Treats

Spicy Thai Sausage on a bed of Cucumber, Carrot & Red Onion Slaw Sandwich

Spicy Thai Sausage on a bed of Cucumber, Carrot & Red Onion Slaw Sandwich





Follow The Pig:

Miami Smokers Urban Smokehouse
Facebook: Miami Smokers
306 NW 27 Ave Miami, Florida

Miami Smokers on Urbanspoon

Little Bread – Little Havana, Florida

Little Bread - Little Havana, Florida

Little Bread features Local Food

Chef Alberto Cabrera just opened up Little Bread in Little Havana. This comes just a couple of months shy of Bread + Butter Counter‘s 2 year anniversary, B+B is his other restaurant. Sandwiches are more my speed and that’s what Little Bread is all about.

Little Bread - Little Havana, Florida

Little Bread - Little Havana, Florida

Little Bread - Little Havana, Florida

Little Bread - Little Havana, Florida

Little Bread - Little Havana, Florida

Menu (click to enlarge)

The Sandwiches at Little Bread are serious business, just take the Pulpeta (without a  dissertation, it’s a Cuban-style Meatloaf) for example. The Pulpeta is made of Ham with an Egg center & topped with Mojo Onions, Tomato Marmalade & Provolone Cheese. My first thought was why not Swiss Cheese but it would overpowered what’s going on here.

The Pan con Bistec (which is already legendary in my book) is shaved Roast Beef, Shallot Fondant, Julienne Potatoes, Tomato & a house-made Aioli. Do not ignore the Media Noche Croquetas (not Croquettes as the menu states) which which were carried over from Bread + Butter Counter, they are a must have.

I normally lean towards the *traditionalist side of things which is why I held out on eating the “Classic Cuban” Sandwich which has Salami, a Tampa Cuban Sandwich ingredient. My next visit will include the properly spelled Elena Ruz (Malta Laquered Turkey, Whipped Goat Cheese, Berry Compota, Bacon, Swank Arugula) and the Choripan & Peppers (House Chorizo, Rustic Apple Romesco, Red Mustard Frill).

 Pan con Bistec Sandwich

Pan con Bistec Sandwich

Medianoche Club Sandwich

Medianoche Club Sandwich

Reubencito Sandwich

Reubencito Sandwich

Pulpeta Sandwich

Pulpeta Sandwich

Medianoche Croquetas

Medianoche Croquetas, I ate these at home

There’s a nice selection of sweets from the Guava Pound Cake to the smaller Coquitos (Passion Fruit & Shaved Coconut Macaroons) and the Cremitas de Leche w/Bacon & Sea Salt (not pictured).

Guava Pound Cake

Guava Pound Cake

Guava Pound Cake

Guava Pound Cake



In the next couple of weeks expect Daily Sandwich Specials and a BBQ Sunday Brunch added plus multiple visits from me, lol

Mucho Flavor:

Little Bread
541 SW 12th Ave Miami, FL 33130

Little Bread Cuban Sandwich Co. on Urbanspoon

*If I’m such a traditionalist what am I doing ordering a Media Nocha Club? I didn’t think it would have Lettuce & Tomato and really re-thinking my thought process that was pretty dumb of me to think that.

Ask The Beast Column #4 December 3, 2014

You can catch the Ask The Beast Column here on Burger Beast every Wednesday

Don’t forget to send in your questions using the form below or using the hashtag #askthebeast on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google +.

Question from Mandy Baca through Email: Are there any healthy food trucks in Miami? If not, how come?

BB: In Miami proper there’s Health Nut on Wheels. You can also find Veggie Xpress doing Vegan (my wife Marcela is a big fan) plus there’s a new one that just rolled out recently whose name escape me. I really don’t think folks in Miami attending a Food Truck event are looking for healthy.

Veggie Xpress Wrap

Veggie Xpress Wrap

Question from stuffwithjess through the BB Blog Form: I live in North Miami and work in the grove. One of my biggest morning issues is finding a place to get a simple and easy breakfast to go on my way to work. Something that takes no more than 7 minutes from the moment i get out of my car and get back. Enriquetas is already a regular spot but parking there is often times difficult.

BB: One key factor missing here is the time frame. Proper Sausages (Miami Shores) opens at 10AM and makes a killer breakfast sandwich. I’m a big fan of the Pan con Tortilla (Omelette Sandwich) from Sergio’s (32nd & Coral Way) and that appears to be in your work route too.

Sergio's Pan con Tortilla

Sergio’s Pan con Tortilla

Question from Kim North through the BB Blog Form: Are the food trucks going to be at art basel on Friday?

BB: You can find a bunch of Food trucks in the lot (210 NW 22nd Ln) run by that weird guy with the pencil thin eyebrows. They’re calling it the “Top 21 Trucks” but in reality it’s the first 20 Food Trucks to pay $1100 plus plenty of poor quality food in tents Event.

Question from Bobby Ricigliano through the BB Blog Form: Have you ever won an eating contest?

BB: Bobby…..Bobby Ricigliano? Asshole-ay.

Question from CapitanEh through the BB Blog Form: Will there be any more BBtrips in the future? Those pics from your last one looked heavenly.

BB: Wow! You’re going way back, almost 5 years.It’s kinda funny you ask that cause I’d really like to do another one and have been heavily considering buying a Shuttle Bus. This question might be just what I needed to push me into doing it.

Burger Tour 2010 - Back of T-Shirt

Burger Tour 2010 – Back of T-Shirt

Question from amante de la hedonista through the BB Blog Form: Mr. Beast, I have been trying to meet Fat Girl Hedonist for years now and have been unsuccessful. Can you give me some tips? Where does she hang out? Can you give her my number? Also, do you know if she has webbed toes? I’ve always wanted to be with a woman with webbed toes and if she does, lordy it would make my day!

BB: As is evidenced by all the Fatgirl Hedonist questions I receive, apparently she’s got a bunch of folks obsessed with her. I’m not giving you shit but she does indeed have webbed toes and a black heart. Alright, I changed my mind, here’s her #786-476-8197

Croquetapalooza Host, Croqueta Eating Champion Zavier Grcia & Fatgirl Hedonist (webbed toes not showing)

Croquetapalooza Host, Croqueta Eating Champion Zavier Garcia & Fatgirl Hedonist (webbed toes not showing)

You Know What’s Really Good? The Ave Maria Cookie

Night Owl Cookie Co's Ave Maria Cookie

You know what’s really good? The Ave Maria Cookie from the Night Owl Cookie Co.

Listen to this description: Guava cookie dough mixed in with crunchy Maria Cookies and white chocolate chips. Topped with Maria Cookie crumbles, Guava pieces and finished with a Cream Cheese Frosting drizzle.

It sounds incredible and guess what? It is. I don’t think I’ve had a Cookie that comes even close to the greatness of this Cookie.

For those of you outside of their delivery area who are always whining & crying about it there might be some good news on the horizon for ya. Guess…….go ahead……no really guess… guessed right, Night Owl Cookie Co is opening up a store in beautiful Westchester aka my part of Miami in the next few weeks.

Can’t wait.

Night Owl Cookie Co's Ave Maria Cookie

Ave Maria Cookie Close Up

Here’s my original post about the Night Owl Cookie Co.

Say It:

Night Owl Cookie Co.
Ordering & Delivering Times: Tuesday-Saturday from 7PM – 2AM
Delivery Area: 3 or 4 miles radius around FIU (Westchester)

Burger King’s Yumbo Is Back After 40 Years

Burger King's Yumbo

The Yumbo Hot Ham & Cheese Sandwich is back on Burger King menus starting Tuesday December 2nd. The Yumbo is American Cheese, Black Forest Ham, Lettuce, & Mayo on a toasted hoagie Bun. It does look slightly different than in the 70s when it was served in the regular round Bun they use for Burgers. How do I know? Someone on ebay is selling an old Yumbo sign, check it out:

Yumbo Sign on ebay

Yumbo Sign on ebay

Fat Maggie’s – Lakeland, Florida

Fat Maggie's - Lakeland, Florida

I was pretty sure I had written down the address wrong when I was trying to find Fat Maggie’s. It turns out that they’re around the corner from the main street, partially hidden. The moment I found it I felt as if I had located the back to my long missing TV Remote, a feeling of relief and exhilaration.

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

While my wife Marcela is looking over the menu I ask for the Buffalo Chicken Dip. I had already scoped out the menu online earlier in the day for when the moment of truth would finally come.

She decides to share the starter which is code word for I’m having of some of whatever you’re ordering. There’s a Smokehouse Burger on the menu so it’s a no brainer I’m hitting up this puppy. I go Brioche Bun, Cheddar Cheese, & Candied Bacon with a side of Kitchen Sink Chili.

It’s a great Burger but I made the mistake of adding the Candied Bacon which I think hurt the overall flavor of it. One bite in I remove the Candied Bacon and save it to have as dessert. I’m not a sweet Burger kinda fella.

I’m busy eating and pondering the existence of my Burger life when I look up to find Marcela doing some damage to the Chili. The truth is that as much a love Chili I’d give it up for a bigger portion of Burger but I’m sure I didn’t need to tell you that. The Chili is perfect for the Flour Tortilla Chips from the Buffalo Dip by the way.

Kitchen Sink Chili

Kitchen Sink Chili

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Smokehouse Burger w/Cheddar Cheese & Bacon

Smokehouse Burger w/Cheddar Cheese & Candied Bacon

Fat Maggie's - Lakeland, Florida

Dessert is Marcela’s area of expertise so we order both the Banana Pudding with Whiskey Whipped Cream and Ginny Lou’s Nutella Cheesecake. Both would have made perfect endings to our meal but Ginny Lou’s definitely takes the Cake (nyuk nyuk, yes a Three Stooges laugh).

Banana Pudding with Whiskey Whipped Cream

Banana Pudding with Whiskey Whipped Cream

Ginny Lou's Nutella Cheesecake

Ginny Lou’s Nutella Cheesecake

I missed this photo opportunity somehow when I walked in.

A Classic Shot from The Sandlot

A Classic Shot from The Sandlot

Get Fat At:

Fat Maggie’s
1037 Dixieland Mall Lane Lakeland, FL 33803

Fat Maggie's on Urbanspoon