Travel Channel’s George Motz Book Signing at Burger Museum

George Motz

George Motz, America’s foremost Burger expert and star of Travel Channel’s Burger Land will be dropping by the Burger Museum by Burger Beast (450 NW 37th Avenue Miami, FL 33125) on Saturday December 31st (New Year’s Eve) from 12-2PM to sign books (The Great American Burger Book, Hamburger America V1 and V2) and DVDs (Hamburger America: The Film).

There will be limited quantities of the Great American Burger Book and the Hamburger America DVD available for sale but you’re more than welcome to bring your own things for George to sign. Feel free to drop in even if you’d just like to take a picture with him, he’d love to meet you.

If you’d like to also enter the Burger Museum, the entry fee will be 50% off for the day so you can come by and enjoy America’s only Museum dedicated to Burgers and Comfort Food for $5 for Adults and $2.50 for kids.

BLTCE (Thick Cut Slab Bacon, American Cheese, Fried Egg, Ketchup, Mustard & Roasted Garlic Mayo) from Woody’s Burgers

Last but not least, Woodys Burgers Florida Food Truck will be on site in case you get hungry!

The Details:

George Motz appearance at the Burger Museum
Facebook: George Motz at Burger Museum
Address: 450 NW 37th Avenue (Magic City Casino)
Date: Saturday December 31st
Time: 12-2PM
Ages: All ages welcome
Cost: Free to meet George & take pics, discounted admission to Burger Museum of $5 for Adults and $2.50 for children

All American Shake Shop – Naples, Florida

You just can’t drive by an old Dairy Queen building especially when it’s looking so sharp and not stop. It piqued my curiosity and while I expected there to be some good desserts on the menu, it was a nice surprise to find Burgers and Hot Dogs on there too. We order at the window and take a seat on the benches by the side of the building.

All American Shake Shop Menu (click to enlarge)

I had my fingers crossed that when the food arrived the Chili wouldn’t be of the canned variety, and it wasn’t. Surprise…surprise…it was a great Chili Cheese Dog….note to self: will be taking Chili Cheese Fries under consideration for next time.

The Fries were skin on but not fresh cut, nothing that a bunch of ketchup couldn’t fix. Finally we get to the shockingly good charbroiled Cheeseburger. I went straight up American Cheese and loaded it with Ketchup, Mustard and Mayonnaise.

Now that’s something I don’t normally do but I was feeling particularly childlike today. All my Burgers as a kid needed to have the holy trinity of Fast Food condiments or I wasn’t havin’ it.

Chili Cheese Dog

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Food Trucks at Magic City Casino this Saturday December 17th

Wheelin Dealin - Magic City Casino

The Wheelin’ Dealin’ Food Truck Festival is Florida’s longest running Food Truck event (since March 2011). It happens every 3rd Saturday of the month from 5-10PM at Magic City Casino (450 NW 37th Avenue, near the Miami Airport).

This is event is part of a partnership between Magic City Casino and Burger Beast (who curates the event).

DJ Volksmusik is out here every month spinning tunes and cold Beer is also sold at this event.

Parking is FREE & plentiful, all ages are welcome and there is *no admission to attend.

So come on out, the chances are great that you’ll have an amazing time!

All of these Food Trucks will be there (full lineup listing below):

Chinaman’s World Famous CheeseSteak and Sausage & Pepper Egg Rolls

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Bodega on Central – St. Petersburg, Florida

Bodega Central - St. Petersburg, Florida

A few years back, Bodega on Central had just closed their doors as my wife Marcela and I had arrived. We were down the street at an antique shop who suggested we check out their Frita Cubana. It’s been stuck in my mind since then.

Menu Page 1 (click to enlarge)

Menu Page 2 (click to enlarge)

My cousin Chunktronics and bud John are with us so this becomes a full on 5 sandwich ordeal.

Bodega Central - St. Petersburg, Florida

I should preface this Medianoche and Cuban Sandwich discussion with a…..I’m not interested in arguing over who created or makes the best Cuban Sandwich. Yes, I’m from Miami and I’m in the Tampa Bay area but I’m about the food not the drama.

So yeah, let’s start with the Medianoche. We requested Mustard instead of their standard Mayo but other than that, this was a right on and very very good as Chunktronics would say version of the Midnight Sandwich. If you’re not familiar with this beauty, it has the same ingredients as a Cuban Sandwich (Pork, Ham, Swiss Cheese, Pickles). It’s also pressed but the bread is a sweet roll, think something like those addictive Hawaiian Rolls (alright maybe not as sweet).



Again, we request the Mayo to be switched for Mustard on the Cuban Sandwich. I’m normally a Medianoche kinda guy but in this case the Cuban Sandwich stole my heart and it has everything to do with the bread, crusty perfectness.

Cuban Sandwich

Cuban Sandwich

The Pork was the standout protein in the previous two sandwiches so it’s no surprise this Pan con Lechon (Pork, grilled Onions, Mojo marinade) is also a mind blower. I’m pretty sure we had a Mexican standoff trying to figure who was gonna have the last few bites of this one or at least I remember it that way. Remember, always bet on Beast.

Pan con Lechon

Pan con Lechon

We order their Frita and what’s interesting is that it’s not served traditional style like the previous 3 sandwiches. Even stranger was the special they had, it was for a Chicken Frita which was by all accounts a Fried Chicken Sandwich with a house Slaw and a very good one at that. I know John went all out on that one.

Chicken Sandwich

Chicken Sandwich

The Frita at Bodega on Central is Beef/Pork patty topped with spicy Mayo, Tomato, Avocado and Potato Sticks. So is it good? Well yes and no. If I had ordered a Frita in Miami and received this sandwich, there may have been a full on riot. We were on vacation and relaxed so there was no need to break out the blood pressure medication. I’m also not a giant Avocado fan so there’s that. Chunktronics had not problem making it look as if we were served an empty platter.



Chunktronics in Frita Mode

Chunktronics in Frita Mode

It had been a few days since I had my Cuban Coffee fix so I was excited to see it on the menu. I wasn’t as excited to see it was three times what I would pay for one in Miami but hey, that’s life.

Bodega Central - St. Petersburg, Florida





The jet fuel was great and I didn’t share but could you really blame me?

Take A Load Off At:

Bodega on Central
1120 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33705

The Loyalist – Chicago, Illinois by ThankfulMonster

I was in Chicago a couple weeks ago.  As always, the list was long and the time short.  On my list were:  Next, Grace, Oriole, Au Cheval (more on this later), and many others.


One of the places that impressed me the most was The Loyalist. A welcome addition to Chicago’s already robust food scene by Chefs John and Karen Shield. Both come from a long line of very respected Chicago kitchens like Alinea and Charlie Trotter’s. This restaurant is different, it is their own. The food is seasonal, unpretentious, expertly executed but casual. The dress code on the website says “come as you are” and they were playing Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey at the bar. What more could you ask for?


I ordered three things from the menu, the first was suggested by one of our knowledgeable servers. The other two came enthusiastically recommended from Beth Lang, the highly regarded Chicago-based food connoisseur.

We started with –  Heirloom Tomatoes + Currants, Fresh Cheese, and Fried bread

Juicy tomatoes mixed with fresh creamy cheese, accentuated by the slight sourness of currants. This dish brought an instant smile to my hungry face. Having the crispy fried bread to sop up all of the juices took it over the top. Excellent way to start a meal.

Next up –  Broiled Sea Trout, Kasu, and Charred Cucumber  


This trout was perfectly cooked with a flavor that was delicate yet bold, thanks to the kasu (which is a sake-based marinade).  The skin of the fish was crispy,  reminiscent of a chicharron – Who doesn’t love chicharron?. A clear winner, which had my wife and I fighting for every bite.

Now what you’ve all been waiting for (drumroll) – The Loyalist Cheeseburger + Fries


I was just going to leave it at that, but expected you might want some explanation of what makes this burger such a stand out. It starts with the patty, a delicious blend of fresh ground chuck and bacon. Topped with shaved onions, pickled cucumbers, onion-infused mayonnaise, and housemade American cheese. All this goodness comes packaged in a lightly toasted sesame seed bun. The complexity of the flavors make you feel as if you were eating a well thought out course during a high-end tasting menu. A burger that will give many top-ranked burgers a run for their money, not only in Chicago but across the country.

This is a bucket-list burger, which by the way is probably cooler than you. Not only does it have dedicated Twitter and Instagram pages, it has a bad-ass nickname – “The Dirty Burg”. Once you come to terms with this, go try the burger. Maybe, just maybe some of it’s swag will rub off on you.

A big hand to Chefs John and Karen Shields, and to the passionate and dedicated staff they have surrounded themselves with.

Smyth and The Loyalist

77 N Ada St #101, Chicago, IL 60607


Vote Now For the 2017 Burger Beast Burgie Awards

Burgies Voting

  • 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 Monday October 21st, 2016 – Wednesday January 4th, 2017.
  • The winners will be revealed on Saturday February 4th, 2017.

Take Our Survey

Knaus Berry Farm 2016/2017 Season Opens Tuesday October 25th

Knaus Berry Farm

Knaus Berry Farm season is here (Tuesday October 25th) at last! The last 6 months have been pure torture for some of you without Knaus Berry Farm to comfort you with their Cinnamon Rolls. Remember you’ve only got til Mid-April before they disappear into the Homestead for the “Miami Winter” so make your purchases count.


Cinnamon Roll

One Cinnamon Roll To Rule Them All


Knaus Berry Farm
Date: Tuesday October 25th, 2016 through Mid-April 2017
Time: Open 8:00AM – 5:30 PM Monday – Saturday, Closed on Sunday
Address: 15980 Southwest 248th Street Homestead, FL
Phone: 305-247-0668

Coney Island Grill – St. Petersburg, Florida

Coney Island Grill

Coney Island Grill has been open since 1926. Once you step inside you’ll see that much hasn’t changed except for the booths which were recently upgraded, I can imagine the old ones must have seen better days.

We (John & Chunktronics) were just down the street waiting on my wife as she was dissecting an antique shop. I noticed that it was nearing 3:30PM so I rallied the troops to make sure we would make it.

Coney Island Grill is only open 6 hours a day (10AM-4PM) and closed on Sundays. We were heading back home to South Florida the following morning so this would be my only shot at eating here.

We had an awesome conversation when we arrived with an older gentleman who had been eating there for over 50 years.

Coney Island Grill

Coney Island Grill Menu

Before I even discuss the food I’ve got to mention that they don’t serve French Fries. Why? The founder had an issue with the fryer catching fire so he got rid of it and never sold fries again.

The order of a Chili Dog w/Mustard was never in question and I add a CheeseBurger after the older gentleman insisted on it. Plus, he really didn’t really need to twist my arm much.

The Chili on that Dog is legendary and I can see why it’s available for sale via pints. I regret not taking some back home with me.

When the CheeseBurger was placed before me I just looked at in amazement. I could not get over the crust on the outside of the patty, it’s a thing of beauty. And that first bite… just melted in my mouth.

Coney Dog

Coney Dog



I had one of each and left it at that since I knew that it meant I’d be forced to return at some point in the near future.

Since 1926:

Coney Island Grill
250 Doctor M.L.K. Jr St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33705

S’macks Burgers & Shakes – Sarasota, Florida

S'macks Burgers - Sarasota, Florida

Whenever I’m on one of my road trips I find that it’s very important to check out the surrounding cities to your destination. There’s always great gems to be found.

S’macks Burgers & Shakes is in Sarasota which happened to be on my path toward a weekend I was spending in the Tampa Bay area. I’ve also been following them on Instagram and checking out the Burgers they’ve been making. They caught my eye & were already on my radar, what can I tell you.

Menu Page 1 (click to enlarge)

Menu Page 1 (click to enlarge)

Menu Page 1 (click to enlarge)

Menu Page 1 (click to enlarge)

First time here which meant I was going the Original route with only Cheese and S’macks Sauce. Now, before I got to that I also had to sample the Double Cheese Cheese Dog…..yes double. Two Dogs split and grilled on the flattop topped with Chili, Cheese Sauce and  diced Onions.

Look I’m embarrassed to admit this but you know I don’t keep anything from you guys, I knife and forked it. I had to, there was no possible way to eat it without making a giant mess all over my shirt. It was messy good but I’ll stick to a single more manageable Dog next time.

S'macks Burgers - Sarasota, Florida

Double Chili Cheese Dog

The Garlic Herb Parmesan and Beer-Battered Onion Rings were both winners. I should put an asterisk next to the Fries as they were probably the most addictive of all the things I tried at S’macks Burgers & Shakes.

S'macks Burgers - Sarasota, Florida

Garlic Herb Parmesan Fries

S'macks Burgers - Sarasota, Florida

Beer-Battered Onion Rings

As Grilled Cheeses go, the one I had with Cheddar Cheese, Blue Cheese and Bacon was right on point. If you’re a Blue Cheese kinda person then this is the sammy for you.

S'macks Burgers - Sarasota, Florida

Bacon, Cheddar & Blue Grilled Cheese

You’ve gotta keep it simple on your first time somewhere. I know folks who try these crazy toppings then hate on a place. I like to go the basic route and work my way up to some insanity.

The Original Double was a perfect little ditty. The S’macks Sauce is not overpowering and adds the right condiment element to the nice griddled Burger Patties with melted American Cheese. This is a can’t miss Burger.

S'macks Burgers - Sarasota, Florida

The Original Double, Cheese & S’macks Sauce only

The special Frozen Custard was Chocolate Orange. The best way to describe it is if Orange Julius had a Chocolate version then this would be it. If you don’t understand what that means think Slushy Orange meets Chocolate flavor. I can at last use an adjective that I’d never think to with Chocolate…..refreshing.

S'macks Burgers - Sarasota, Florida

Double Scoop of the Chocolate Orange Frozen Custard

S’macks Burgers in Sarasota is a great spot and made for a perfect little break on our way to Tampa. Next time it will be our destination.

Where To:

S’macks Burgers & Shakes
2407 Bee Ridge Rd, Sarasota, FL 34239

Chuck Wagon – Miami, Florida

Chuck Wagon - Miami, Florida

Chuck Wagon is a mini chain (3 locations) of western themed restaurants located in Miami on the outskirts of Westchester (7355 Bird Rd) in Coral Terrace, Kendall (7628 SW 117 Ave) and West Kendall (11230 SW 137 Ave).

*The original location (Kendall) has been in operation since the early 1970’s and the one I ate (Coral Terrace) at has been around since 1979.

Chuck Wagon is known for their homecooked-style comfort food for Breakfast & Lunch. This is the type of place that specializes in Meatloaf, Patty Melts and Home Fries.

I came in at about 10AM and had a hankerin’ (yes, I really did just use that word) for some Hash Browns. There are no HBs at Chuck Wagon but there are Home Fries. Who’s counting calories here? Not me so I added Onions and Cheddar Cheese.

Now that my appetite was fully awakened I saw the Menu Board Special of “Smoke Sausage Skillet”. I didn’t even ask what it was, I pointed at it like Babe Ruth might have back in the day.

How do you want the Eggs? Surprise me.

Home Fries w/Cheddar Cheese & Onions

Home Fries w/Cheddar Cheese & Onions

Toast or Biscuits with that? Biscuits Mam.



And so this beautiful dish arrived that was an amped up version of what I just started with. I’m not complaining as I really loved the loaded Home Fries.

So you take the Cheezy Onion Home Fries then add Green Peppers & chopped up Smoked Sausage pieces with a couple of Eggs on top. Wow, just wow. Loved it.

I used one of the Biscuits to break open the yolk floodgates on those Eggs. The other one was properly buttered up.

Smoke Sausage Skillet

Smoke Sausage Skillet

It has been a long time since I had stopped in at Chuck Wagon but I’m extremely glad I did. Their Patty Melt is calling me so they can expect me back very soon.

Check It:

Chuck Wagon
7355 Bird Rd Miami, FL 33155

*The West Kendall location opened in 1998.