It would seem that Miami is really into buns and beef, because the second annual burger brawl, thought up by local burger connoisseur and blogger Burger Beast, sold out.
A thousand and then some carnivores congregated Friday night at Magic City Casino for limitless bites and burgers from 20 local contenders and one from Orlando going grill-to-grill for the ultimate prize: a steer trophy and bragging rights, of course. A change from last years inaugural event, this year was held indoors just as Croquetapalooza, which returns October 11.
But back to Burger Brawl, everyone brought the beef (literally and figuratively), which was provided by sponsor Schweld & Sons who provided all the chuck, brisket, beef, and any other meaty protein were on site wrapping cases of burgers to go, with proceeds going to local charity Common Threads. But enough about charity, let's get to the burgers...
Pincho Factory's street cred comes from being untraditional, so of course it wasn't about to serve a typical burger. It opted for a quesadilla burger with chuck, brisket, and a short rib patty topped with fresh pico, homemade guac, queso fresco, and crema cuddled between two cheesy quesadillas.
Ever had ROK:BRGR's drunkin' "bacon" pretzel bun? Do yourself a favor and go there. Like today, because this baby stacks aged Vermont cheddar, smoked pepper bacon, house-made beer mustard, fried onion rings, and Schweld & Sons patty between an artisan pretzel bun.
My vote went to GastroPod for the classic yet sensational mo' metta burger — a short rib, brisket, and sirloin patty blend with pickles, American cheese and gPod sauce.
Chefs on the Run ran with the all American American. Just how American is that? A blend burger patty is topped with American cheese, sweet and smoky barbecue, grilled onions, lime ranch, house potato chips, and — wait for it — smoked brisket. So, pretty American.
Buns & Buns put out their knife and fork burger of Angus topped with confit onions, special truffle sauce, and cheddar cheese on a house-made brioche bun.
A favorite of the night by both Josh Marcus of Josh's Deli and Danny Serfer of Mignonette was Jersey Dawg's classic Jersey-style beef slider cooked on a bed of steamed onions, topped with American cheese and served on a potato roll. It's a Jewish thing.
OTC kept it simple with the tried and true burger (American cheese, house-made pickles, caramelized onions, and special sauce).
Burger Beast was particularly excited about Pig Floyd's who traveled all the way from Orlando to bring "the pig" to the Magic City. In it: cheddar cheese, Pig Floyd's house-smoked pulled pork, slaw, and homemade sweet barbecue sauce.
The always cheesy Ms. Cheezious gave everyone a taste of the patty melt: a prime chuck and brisket patty with house-made chorizo pimento cheese ad house-cured bacon on sourdough bread.
Last year's defending champion, Latin House, brought back last year's burger mad love with a twist and added a fried egg. Sadly, putting an egg on it was not enough to wow the crowd two years in a row.
The Local Craft & Drink brought the heat with their Miami Smoker's bacon smear, barbecue spice, comeback sauce, pickled red onion relish, and a house-made American cheese croquette on a burger patty.
It was underdog Jr's Gourmet Burgers who made everyone wildest burger dreams comes true and subsequently walked away with the steer trophy for its Lady Guava: a tempura battered Schweld & Sons special blend burger patty stuffed with cream cheese and bacon the drizzled with guava ketchup. Maybe you should re-read that one more time.
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The return of Velvet Creme donuts is no joke. Exhibit A: the very last hole in one, which we snagged about halfway through the event.