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 1980s, one of 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.
The restaurants known to have the “Best” Frita in Miami are El Mago De Las Fritas, El Rey De Las Fritas, Fritas Domino, La Palma & Morro Castle.
FRITA CUBANA CRAWL WITH GEORGE MOTZ
A few weeks after introducing George Motz to his first Frita Cubana we decided to do a Frita Crawl to El Rey de las Frita, Morro Castle and El Mago de las Fritas.
The Frita Showdown was an annual event to celebrate the Frita Cubana from 2013-2017.
On Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 Burger Beast’s first Frita Showdown was held and El Rey de las Fritas was crowned the winner by a panel of judges.
Below are the Frita Showdown 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
Make sure to check out my Top Fritas in the U.S. list!