Flip Burger Bar owner Emilio Vega didn’t just wake up one day and decide to change the name of his almost 3 year old establishment to Vega’s Burger Bar. Late last year he received a cease & desist letter from Top Chef Alum and Winner Richard Blais’ Flip Burger Boutiquefor use of the name “Flip Burger” with claims that they are planning a Miami location. The only real good news out of this entire deal is that Vega’s Burger Bar did not end up shutting down. I’ll still be able to come by and have a Burger with quite possibly the Best Mac n’ Cheese and Chili Cheese Dog in South Florida.
Support Your Local Joint:
Vega’s Burger Bar Facebook: Vega’s Burger Bar 1699 NE 123 Street North Miami, Fl 33181 305-891-0055
8 oz. Burger Bar’s Burger of the Month is the “Peruvian Saltado Burger”: 6oz Niman Ranch House Blend, Fried Potatoes, Tomato, Onion, Cilantro Saute & Amarillo Aioli. It’s their take on the popular Peruvian dish Lomo Saltado. The Peruvian Saltado Burger is only available through the end of the month so time is a tickin’.
Vatos will have a home in early 2013 when Jefe’s Original Fish Taco & Burgers Food Truck opens up ”Jefe’s Original Soul Shack” in North Miami. The Soul Shack will include an extended menu of the food found on the truck plus some of the specials you’ve come to love, like the Patty Melt.
Jefe’s Patty Melt
I’m hoping for the return of the Chocolate Wipeout Cake.
This was written when Vegas Burgers & Beer was known as Flip Burger Bar. Same owners and same great food:
Last time I was at Flip Burger Bar there were different owners. Since then a couple of brothers who were fans of the joint decided to buy it up once it was put up for sale. They’ve changed a few things on the menu but the food is still great and in the case of the mac n’ cheese, better than I remembered it.
I started with the hot wings. You can of course go the mild or medium route but I opted for hot on this particular occasion. Their homemade hot sauce, made with 3 different peppers can be brutal to non chili heads but if you’re looking for some heat and flavor this is definitely it. Took a good look at the wing in the picture and you can see the pieces of the diced peppers.
It’s been almost 3 years since the first time I stepped foot into Bulldog Barbecue. I was aware that Bulldog Burger was right next door but not that they’re essentially the same restaurant, there is one menu after all. Enough of that talk, let’s get on to the food.
We have to start with the cornbread. They are definitely shaped differently from the last time. Good bye cast iron skillet slice and hello corn bread cork shape. The duders were still served room temp and still good, no change here.
I received an email from Caio informing me that he was serving a Picanha (pee-can-ya) Burger at the Brazilian Restaurant Boteco on Sunday afternoons. In the email he also mentioned that our paths had crossed twice. The first being when his dog Super Lance came in out in the Miami Herald on the same day the Herald did a piece on me. I responded to the email and asked when the second time was (since he didn’t mention it). The second time he claimed would be when I show up to Boteco to try his burger and fall in love with it. So I fell for his trick. I showed up at Boteco at 2pm when he begins to serve the burgers. The first thing he showed me was the menu.
Caio’s Extensive Burger Menu
The burger is $7.50. You can add a slice of Cheddar, Mozzarella or Swiss Cheese for an extra $1. Bacon will cost you another $1 but Lettuce, Tomato and Red Onion are on the house. He has a full time job on Monday through Friday but devotes his entire day Sunday to his burger, Caio’s Burger.
Caio wakes up early and grinds Picanha (which is part of the top Sirloin, actually here’s a cool chart with the explanation of different cuts of the cow and their names in their respective countries). The bun he has specially made at a bakery in Miami Beach. He chose this particular bun because the bottom bun was able to withstand the juices and weight of the burger.
I ask for my burger Medium and watch as Caio places the burger on the grill but not before brushing some oil on it and adding some Kosher salt to the patty. He warms the bun on the top level of the grill just prior to removing the patty and then adds the Cheddar Cheese and Bacon to the burger for the melting to begin. Once completed, he puts the Caio Burger together on a station near the BBQ Grill he has been using.
Caio’s Burger w/Bacon and Cheddar Cheese
Caio Burger Halves
The only thing I found odd was that he sliced the burger in half. I suggested that he not do that because #1 He would anger the burger gods and #2 He would anger some customers who don’t want all the juices seeping out (only into their mouths of course). The burger is served with his mayo.
Mayo Based Sauce for Caio Burger
Caio asked that I don’t repeat the ingredients so I won’t. While the sauce was good, it would work better as a dipping sauce for fries than on the burger.
Caio and his Baby
Caio put a lot of thought into making this burger and the high quality of ingredients came through in the taste. The burger was crispy on the outside and very juicy. I loved the taste and Caio may have been right about falling in love with his burger. Although right now I’m at a strong like which is so high school of me.
Caio’s Burger at Boteco Available only on Sunday after 2PM 916 N.E. 79th Street, Miami, FL 305-757-7735
Everyone is always telling me how amazing Steve’s Pizza is. Jarce (my bud) visited Steve’s on his ill-fated attempt at a column, Late Night with Jarce on this blog. My wife Marcela and I decided to drive up to Steve’s and see what this hype was all about. There’s graffiti everywhere as if this pizza parlor was from the movie the Warriors.
Tag it up!
It adds some character to the place. They serve individual slices but I felt we should order a full pie to to make sure we weren’t getting some reheated Pizza with toppings thrown on it. I ordered half Cheese and half Pepperoni/Ground Beef. It was actually supposed to be half Pepperoni and half Pepperoni/ground Beef but I messed up so Marcela got no pep (it didn’t stop her from stealing some from my side). I ordered half a dozen Garlic Rolls and a Meatball sub.
They shout my name and the rolls are ready. The rolls were definitely the best thing we had. We housed those. Next up to bat was the Meatball Sub.
It was the same type of Meatball Sub you get at pretty much every pizza place but at least it’s better than Subway’s.
Luckily, they weren’t shy with the toppings on the Pizza. It was good but in no way was it amazing. The Pepperoni(s) had a strong taste which was nice. Semi fluffy crust not crispy for those with inquiring minds. I was expecting it to be better after everything I had heard but you know as “they” say, it is what it is.
Yo! You Met My Boy:
Steve’s Pizza 12101 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami, FL< 305-891-0202
Woody’s Famous Steak Sandwich has been around since 1954. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that it means I’m expecting good things. We walk in on a Saturday night and there’s no one in the place. While my wife Marcela is trying to decide what to order, I make some small talk with the guy at the register (I’m gonna say he’s either the manager or owner). I tell him that someone had highly recommended Woody’s Famous Steak Sandwich (True) and I ask if they have a website (The answer is no and I already knew the answer to that). Why did I ask something I already knew? I was trying to get him to open up to me and talk about Woody’s. He tells me I can find out about Woody’s on Yelp (already done my research) and how great their Steak Sandwiches are. He is very friendly as was the dude who cooks our food.
Menu (late 2009) – click to enlarge
Marcela finally settles on the Philly Steak with Onion and Cheese and a side of Curly fries (my least favorite of the Fry family although Tater Tots are catching up). I order the Deluxe Woody Cheeseburger Ground Sirloin and a Chili Cheese Dog. There’s a little condiment area for your Hot Dogs and/or I guess also for your Steak Sandwiches and Hamburgers.
Chili Cheese Dog
We attempted to get a picture of it but no one matter what we did it came out blurry. It had Onions, Jalapeños, you know the usual suspects. The guy who’s cooking is right on the other side of this condiment area making our grub on the flat top. Everything is cooked to order. We receive our food and take a seat. Marcela takes one bite of the Philly and I know that face. It means “Let me try your food” .
Woody Burger w/Fries
She tries my Woody Burger which she instantly falls for. Before I give up all custody rights to my Woody Burger I had 2 bites. The Woody Burger tasted alright but it was nothing out of this world, maybe a little bit above average at best.
Philly Steak Sandwich
I found the Philly Steak Sandwich to be good but also not worth the hype surrounding it. The weird thing is, it almost seemed as if it was pressed like a Cuban Sandwich. Check out Andiamo’s PhillyDogma’s Philly, it blows it out of the water. The hot dog was Sabrett which I love with Cheese Sauce and Chili. The Chili was a little better than what you might find at most joints. Did I mention I severely dislike Curly Fries ? I think I might have. Overall, this just seems like a good lunch place with some pretty good prices.
If you watched season 3 of Top Chef which took place in Miami, then you know who Howie Kleinberg is . If you don’t watch then all you need to know is Bulldog Barbecue is his baby. My cousin Fred and I decide to check out the place and Howie happens to be there (we never bothered him, he seemed busy). The place seats 40 and has a very cool vibe to it. The silverware as well as some sauces and napkins are hanging tidily on the wall next to our table.
Sauces & Napkin
We are brought this little metal canister with 2 pieces of cornbread, served cold. Interesting never had it cold before, it was good but it would have been better warm.
The wings had an indescribable flavor, in a very good way (served with a really good Buttermilk blue cheese dressing) . We agreed, probably some of the best wings we’ve ever had. As an added bonus, here is Fred showing you his technique for eating wings (You may want to turn down your speakers, it’s a little loud)
The BBQ Chicken Flatbread had some good flavors but honestly I can’t get those wings out of my head (Fred at first said he liked the BBQ Chicken Flatbread better then recants his story and agrees with me about the wings).
We went all out on this one, so this is what else we ordered:
-Big Daddy Dog (kosher frank with cheddar, sour kraut & grain mustard)
-Mac and Cheese
I told you we were out of control. All sandwiches were served on potato rolls, with Chipotle or Sweet Fries and Slaw (I don’t like Coleslaw but Fred loved it enough to eat two portions). We both agreed that of the sandwiches or Biscuits as defined on Bulldog Barbecue’s menu we liked the Portobello Burger best. Plenty of flavor and the caramelized onions were a nice touch. I’m not a giant fan of sweet fries but Fred seemed to dig ‘em.
The Black Angus Burger was pretty good but what I really liked was the Chipotle Mayo. I think Fred said he liked it so much he wanted to smear it all over himself (a thought that hurts my brain plus we all know only men smear).
I liked the Big Daddy Dog , but I’m not a fan of sour kraut. The grain mustard was pretty amazing though. Fred liked the dog the least of all the dishes and then proceeds to admit to me later on that he isn’t a big fan of hot dogs. That’s odd because I have witnessed him down dog after dog in a hot dog eating contest. Hmmmm..
Sack o’ Sliders
Very close second for both of us was the Sack o’ Sliders, in order of preference:
This is a definite must order item if you come here. Another definite must order is their side of Mac and Cheese. We both loved it. Just a heads up, there does a appear to be some blue cheese in it, which is probably why we liked it so much.
Mac n Cheese
At this point, we figured we might as well order a couple of desserts and finish ourselves off. Fred gets the Hot Chocolate Puddin’ Cake and I order the Apple Turnover.
Both are outstanding. The Hot Chocolate Puddin’ Cake is a molten chocolate cake with two banana slivers (good choice) on top and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The Apple Turnover was delicious and flaky. When I couldn’t finish my dessert, Fred gladly helped me out. That’s what friends are for.
I started writing the Burger Beast food blog to tell folks about those little forgotten gems in South Florida. Over the course of the last 4 years or so I've added News, Opinions, & Tips on a variety of Food related subjects. My first love will always be Burgers but Comfort Food is where it's at. At the end of the day I’m a regular dude who writes about a bunch of things I think you should know about.