We citizens of Miami like to think of ourselves as trendsetters. Though that may be true, believe it or not, there is one trend we are way behind on.
"Visiting places like Chicago and New York, I saw the explosion of gastropubs everywhere," said ROK:BRGR owner Marc Falsetto. "Being a South Florida native, I wanted to start popularizing the concept down here."
Gastropubs, or the idea of serving gourmet food in a bar setting, are a fairly new idea to dining. Popularized across the pond during the 1990s, major American cities have quickly embraced the concept. ROK:BRGR opened its first location in Fort Lauderdale 20 months ago, and has already won several awards and become a local favorite. Tuesday's opening of a second ROK:BRGR in South Miami is the first of what Falsetto and his business partner Charles Hazlett are planning. Further locations are being sought in Delray and Orlando.
"Our goal is here is to serve high quality food paired with craft beer and fine drinks in a casual atmosphere," continued Falsetto, who went on to talk about the bacon-infused bourbon they prepare in house. Dishes like lobster corn dogs ($10) and bacon-infused kobe meatloaf ($16) exemplify the selection of classic dishes given a gourmet makeover.
ROK:BRGR was voted the best burger in the New Times 2011 Best Of Miami edition. The prime burger ($18) won the 2010 and 2011 Las Olas burger battle and the maple bacon jam burger ($16) won the 2012 competition. The prime is made using certified Angus beef and four-year old Vermont cheddar, topped with pecan-smoked bacon and caramelized onions with a homemade bourbon barbecue sauce. The maple bacon jam burger is certified Angus beef smeared with a maple bacon jam and topped with brie. To go with the well thought-out dishes are 60 craft beers that start at just $6, 50 different bottles of beer and 30 different kinds of bourbon. If you can't figure it out by now -- these guys aren't playing.
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The new location is about double the size of the one in Fort Lauderdale, the large outside patio area housing 100 of the 140 seats. All produce is acquire locally and the beef and poultry comes from Snake River Farms. For more information on ROK:BRGR and its philosophy visit rokbrgr.com.