I’m a giant fan of the Frita Cubana (pronounced free-tah), known to some as the Cuban Hamburger.
It’s a mix of ground beef (sometimes chorizo or pork is added), spices, julienne cut potatoes or potato sticks, diced raw onions and ketchup (rumored to be tomato paste not ketchup in Cuba) on a roll of some sort.
The Frita Cubana is a griddled burger, not a chargrilled one.
FRITA CUBANA HISTORY
The Frita Cubana dates back to 1920s Cuba where it was street food. Carts with propane-fueled stoves lined the street selling Fritas to customers.
At least one of the Rey De Las Fritas in Miami has a picture of a Frita cart in Cuba.
Dagoberto Estevil is believed to have brought the Frita to Miami in 1961 when he opened up in Little Havana (8th Street & 12th). He named his restaurant Fritas Domino.
The original location is no longer open. In the late 1980’s, one Estevil’s children opened a Fritas Domino on 8th Street and 67th Avenue in Miami.
Fritas can be found in most Cuban cafeterias in South Florida but the good ones are harder to find.
El Rey De Las Fritas is a mini-chain of Frita restaurants in South Florida. The original location in Little Havana burned down a few years but has since re-opened.
FRITA CUBANA CRAWL WITH GEORGE MOTZ
On Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 Burger Beast’s Frita Showdown was held and El Rey de las Fritas was crowned the winner by a panel of judges.
Below are the winners:
|Frita Showdown 2013 Judge’s Winner||El Rey de las Fritas|
|Frita Showdown 2014 Judge’s Winner||El Mago de las Fritas|
|Frita Showdown 2015 Judge’s Winner||El Rey de las Fritas|
|Frita Showdown 2016 People’s Winner||El Rey de las Fritas|
|Frita Showdown 2017 People’s Winner||El Rey de las Fritas|
Want to make a Frita Cubana? Go and check out Burger Beast’s Hijo de la Gran Frita Recipe!
GREAT STORIES ABOUT FRITAS
There is a much larger and thorough history of the Frita Cubana in my book All About the Burger.
Los Puestos de Frita – mariaargeliavizcaino.com
The Miami Frita An Amazing Burger Experience – Hamburger America
When it Comes to Fritas (Cuban Hamburgers), El Mago is Best – Miami Beach 411