Hard Rock Cafe – Downtown Miami, Florida

I remember being in 5th grade and jealous of other kids who had t-shirts proving that they had been to the Hard Rock in New York or in Chicago. In all honesty, I didn’t even know what it was but I knew I needed to own one of those shirts. Then one summer I went to Los Angeles and my aunt mentioned that the Hard Rock located there was not far from her house. I knew that if I didn’t go there before I left I would not have had a complete trip. On that day, it started my trend of trying to get my hands on as much merchandise as possible from different Hard Rock Cafe locations.

Before there was a location in Miami, I used to try to convince anyone I could to drive up with me to the Hard Rock next to Universal Studios in Orlando. And finally, when the Miami location in Bayside finally opened up I, along with a few of my friends waited in line at the grand opening.  Just so we could eat there on its first day (well over 2-hour wait). I’m not necessarily proud of that last fact.

Most of my obsession came from the branding of the place and the logo. Never really the food, which I’ve always thought is second fiddle to their massive marketing machine. Do they always hype how good their burgers are, but are they really? Now Bayside is not a place I frequent. From the looks of the Hard Rock Cafe there, I’m not the only one with that philosophy. There were only 6 other customers in the place at dinner time and we were definitely outnumbered by the staff who I must mention was really cool. I’m sure most people who want to eat at the Hard Rock go to the hipper Hard Rock Seminole in Hollywood. I don’t blame them. This place seems to be dying a slow death, kinda like Chinese Democracy. So onto the food.

Jumbo Combo Appetizer

I figured it would be easier to sample most of their appetizers via the Jumbo Combo: Santa Fe Spring Rolls, Tupelo Chicken Tenders, Hickory Smoked Chicken Wings (served Heavy Metal style), Onion Rings & Potato Skins.

The Sante Fe Spring Rolls were just a run of the mill Southwestern Egg Roll. The Tupelo Chicken Tenders were good and moist but are really no match for the Crunch Chicken from Planet Hollywood.  The Wings, Onion rings and Potato Skins were the usual fare, nothing special.

I ordered the Red, White & Blue Burger: “10 oz. Patty laced and grilled with Spicy Buffalo Sauce and Cajun seasoning, then topped with crumbled Blue Cheese and a Crisp Fried Onion Ring.

Red White & Blue Burger

I had not tried a burger that tasted like this before. In some ways, the flavors almost resemble a Cuban Frita but significantly spicier. It was a nice surprise but I can’t get over the fact this is a frozen burger.

Hard Rock Cafe
401 Biscayne Blvd @ Bayside Marketplace, Miami, Fl 33132

Comments (3):

  1. Ceasetodream

    December 25, 2008 at 12:43 AM

    You know, you hit the nail on the head….I remember wanting a Hard Rock Cafe shirt like fucking hell, but I was confused as to what it was..was it a museum? Was it a bar? All I knew was this; I like Hard Rock + Hard Rock Cafe = I need that damn shirt! Jeez, junior high was retarded.

    For the record though, I’ve never had a good dining experience at ANY hard Rock Cafe. Their food is sub-par.

  2. Edric

    December 26, 2008 at 5:54 AM

    Had to take a shot at poor Axel didn’t you?

  3. Tony

    March 26, 2009 at 7:06 PM

    I went to the Hard Rock Cafe in Bayside last night, with several friends who were visiting from England.

    We had the Jumbo Combo, which was ok, not fantastic, but ok. The Santa Fe Spring Rolls were really good, bit the rest were average.

    We followed up with Fajitas, which were really average. The chicken wasn’t particularly good, the tortillas were very thin and cut in half too, both of which added to the impending doom as it falls apart in your hands. Messy…

    It wasn’t busy, but the staff were very nice which was good. I have been to Bayside loads of times, but this was the first time at the HRC. I usually eat at the Cuban Cafe, which is pretty good and close to the live music.

    I definitely recommend Bayside next time anyone is in Miami. It’s humming…