I’ve been doing burger pop-ups under the Burger Beast banner since April 2017. While variations of the burger with different condiments and toppings have happened, I wasn’t thrilled with any of them.
At the beginning of 2023, I couldn’t shake the idea of revamping the burger from the ground up. A new burger meant a unique beef blend from a 1950s luncheonette recipe with larger patties at 3.5 ounces, thicker American cheese, and the switch from minced to crispy onions and jalapeños.
The Cruz Diablo burger sauce was unleashed along with a burger bun by Martin’s with an excessive amount of sesame seeds. The bun is not their usual potato but pillowy white bread.
After months of tinkering, I unveiled the Cruz Diablo burger to family and close friends on my April birthday. The entire night was spent watching and asking their thoughts.
The reaction I was hoping for was there; they loved it. And it was also the first time, I was told, I prefer it to the Burger Beast.
I didn’t know how to take that…it hurt my feelings. I wanted the Cruz Diablo to become my signature burger but not at the expense of my original.
I just added the Black Diablo Perro to our menu!
This beauty is a 1/4 lb all-beef grilled dog based on an old Bavarian recipe. It’s topped with crispy onions, crispy jalapeños, and the Cruz Diablo spicy-ish sauce.
Why Cruz Diablo?
Well, the short version is that Cruz Diablo was my grandfather. I never met him; he passed away five years before I was born.
Six months after my dad’s and our family’s arrival in the United States, pancreatic cancer would take his life. He was only 35 years old, still in the prime of his life.
His plan to train my dad so that they could wrestle as a tag team was taken from us. And so his legend of being a top wrestling star in Cuba and Venezuela gradually disappeared until the 1980s.
Cruz Diablo History
While Cruz Diablo is most celebrated for his stint in early 1950s Venezuela on Televicentro, he was born and raised in Cuba.
After wrestling briefly under Black Diablo, he became Cruz Diablo at the Palacio de los Deportes for the rest of his career. His travels would take him all over the Caribbean, where he crafted his rudo/heel persona.
In early 1959, he wrestled in a series of matches unmasked at Coliseo de la Ciudad Deportiva & Havana Madrid in Cuba under his birth name, Serafin Gonzalez. But, unfortunately, the Cuban revolution would end his professional wrestling career.
In the 1980s, I discovered professional wrestling and fell in love with it. Then, my pops sat me down and regaled me with stories of my grandfather, Cruz Diablo.
At first, I thought he was pulling my leg. There was no way that there was wrestling in my blood, but there was.
It became show-and-tell time when my friends came over. My dad showed them pictures and his tights, boots, and masks. If that weren’t enough, they would be overloaded with stories.
When I opened my first business in 2000, Oh The Horror, I bought the website address for Cruz Diablo. After a year, it expired when I couldn’t figure out what to do with it.
Cruz Diablo Donuts
Flash forward to 2014, and I’m six years into being the Burger Beast and just starting to produce themed events. El Main Evento, which revolved around Lucha Libre and Mexican Food, needed a dessert vendor, so an idea popped into my head…Cruz Diablo Donuts.
The donuts would only make one appearance at El Main Evento 2014, but the idea stayed in my head until the pandemic hit. Since events could not happen, all of our income sources dried up.
We (my wife Marcela and I) tried various things to keep Burger Beast afloat financially, but nothing seemed to work. What if I brought back my burger popups from just a year earlier and integrated donuts into them?
It was a great idea, but logistically, it’s freakin’ hot in South Florida, and the idea of dealing with donuts on the verge of melting did not seem like something I wanted to tackle daily.
So donuts are on the back burner and will be back soon if you’re wondering.
Back To Cruz Diablo Burgers
Those who’ve enjoyed my previous burgers continued reiterating that this is a winner. So, after eating one at every one of our burger pop-ups, I must agree.
I’m not one to talk in the third person about how great I am. However, as a burger expert, I will tell you this, this is undoubtedly one of the Best Burgers you’ll ever eat.
The Cruz Diablo is a badass mofo, just like my grandfather. And wait till you try it with pork belly.
The burger baby games are over; come find out what all the fuss is about…Cruz Diablo lives again!