Palomilla Grill, Trust & Co. Big Winners at Croquetapalooza 2016

It was a few minutes before 7 p.m. this past Saturday at Magic City Casino, and Sef "Burger Beast" Gonzalez assessed the crowd. Hundreds of attendees were queued up, waiting for the opportunity to chow down on dozens of croquetas.

Doce Provisions' croquetasEXPAND
Doce Provisions' croquetas
Photo by Laine Doss

Seeing that everything looked in place on the event floor, he opened the doors a few minutes early — but not before asking his hungry guests to shout out the name of their favorite blog. A chorus of "Burger Beast!" filled the hall. That was enough for Gonzalez, and, with a nod of his head, the rope was lowered for the croqueta lovers.

Vicky BakeryEXPAND
Vicky Bakery
Photo by Laine Doss

The crowd wasn't disappointed as they munched away at dozens of versions of the beloved snack. Offering varieties ranging from traditional ham to vegan, Miami's best restaurants explored new ways to savor the cylindrical snack.

In the end, tradition won, and Palomilla Grill took home the judges' choice award for best croqueta. The people's choice award, however, went to Coral Gables' Trust & Co. for its modernized croqueta. 

El Rey de las Fritas retained its title of best frita for an impressive fourth year in a row at the event's Frita Showdown.

Palomilla Grill, Trust & Co. Big Winners at Croquetapalooza 2016
Photo by Amadeus McCaskill

Catching up with Gonzalez was no east feat during the evening, but the blogger and event producer didn't have much in the way of recommendations when it came to which croqueta was best. "I never eat or drink at my events," he said.  

La Fresa FrancesaEXPAND
La Fresa Francesa
Photo by Laine Doss

Gonzalez doesn't have any rest coming in the near future, either. He's in the middle of working on his Burger Beast museum and planning Wiener Bash in November — both at Magic City Casino. 

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