Cuban Guys in Hialeah

Burger Beast’s “The Grinder” Webshow

The Grinder originally started as a written Q&A with folks who were involved with Burgers. This new version is produced by Chat Chow TV and is part interview, part roast and 100% fun. The 1st episode was filmed in my parent’s garage but now we’re filming in the office at my home. All guests do not know what exactly they are going be asked or be put through. But hey, those are the breaks if you’re gonna be on the Grinder.

“maybe I even thought there was indeed some small possibility of a “good time”–but I surely had reason to know better. I did know better. But I walked straight into the grinder anyway.” – A.B.

Episode 5: 

About Mercy Gonzalez & El Rey de las Fritas:

Approximately 2 years I wrote a story for edible South Florida (Pages 1-2 and 3) about the Frita Cubana. I interviewed Mercy Gonzalez and her husband Gino about El Rey de las Fritas for over 2 hours. We talked a bunch about the history of the Frita Cubana in Miami and how her late Dad had started cooking them originally in Cuba. It really was very fascinating. What really caught my attention was her passion for the business that her father started almost 40 years. She cares about her customers, about the product she sells and about doing everything just like her old man taught her. You possibly won’t meet a more honest and hard working restaurant (s) owner than Mercy Gonzalez. Oh and she’s also got a great sense of humor which is why I asked her to be on The Grinder.

Episode 4: 

About George Motz & Hamburger America:

I found out about George Motz through his documentary & book of the same name, Hamburger America. Hamburger America was and still is my bible when I’m visiting a city and looking for the best spots in town. George was one of the first people I emailed when I started the Burger Beast blog and from there we became friends. I introduced him to the wonderful world of Fritas and he was instantly in love with them. George was in town filming his new series on Travel Channel, Burger Land so he stopped into BB HQ for The Grinder.

Episode 3:

About Chef Richard Hales & Sakaya Kitchen:

I walked into Sakaya Kitchen in late May of 2010 not sure what to expect. It wasn’t until my second visit there that I met Chef Richard Hales. I fell in love with his food in particular the Bulgogi Burger and the Honey Orange Ribs. We talk about his growing empire but the persona behind the food is complex and very opinionated which makes for another great episode of The Grinder.

Episode 2

About Lee Schrager:

Lee Schrager, the director of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and I bonded over our mutual love of Patty Melts while we were having the worst Potato Pancakes of our lives. The next time we met he insisted that I have a Quiche, which I did (and now love). But it’s his love of Fried Chicken that really fascinates me as you’ll find out on this episode of The Grinder.


Episode 1

About Nedal Ahmad & Pincho Factory:

I first ate at Pincho Factory in November of 2010. I also met owner Nedal Ahmad that same day when he offered to put ketchup on my hot dog. Since he introduced himself as originally from Chicago that would be a big no-no in that city. That one comment has caused my never ending torment. The rapport I built with him over the last 2 years resulted in an invitation to be my first guest on The Grinder. Plus, his food is very good. Let’s not forget that.

Original Grinder:

Chef Brett Reichler (Bill’s Bar & Burger in NYC)

Chef Jonathan Eismann

Chef Norman Van Aken

Jamie Deen of the Deen Bros.

Univision’s Ingrid Hoffman

SoBe & NY Wine & Food Festival Director Lee Schrager

Chef George Duran (of Ham on the Street fame)

Chef Michael Schwartz (Michael’s Genuine & Harry’s Pizzeria)

Chef Mike Saperstein (Charm City, Jefe Luchador & Rebel House)

Hamburger America’s George Motz

Grill ‘Em All Truck (Winners of the Great Food Truck Race Season 1)


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  • […] Walking into El Rey de las Fritas you cannot help but smile out loud, a colorful kaleidoscope of busyness, this luncheonette overflows with character. At the time I visited El Rey de las Fritas, I did not know the owners, (and still don’t). Personality, character and individuality of an establishment comes from somewhere; some places buy it and can’t live up to its own hype and others simply exude who and what they are. Case in point, Mercy Gonzalez of El Rey de las Fritas. When I watched a recent episode of The Grinder on, I hadn’t put two and two together that this hilarious and very genuine woman is the guts and the glory behind El Rey. There is something very magical about this woman’s personality, at least that’s how I see it. Watch her six minute tête-à-tête with Burger Beast here. […]

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