Photo courtesy of Babe's Meat & Counter
Melanie Schoendorfer — the self-proclaimed "sausage queen of Miami" — and her husband, Jason, know their meats. The couple first came on the South Florida food scene in 2013, offering house-made smoked sausages, specialty bacon, and handcrafted artisan sandwiches via pop-ups at the Pinecrest Farmers Market and local breweries. What began as a grassroots side hustle turned into a full-fledged business in 2018, when the duo opened the brick-and-mortar Babe's Meat & Counter in Palmetto Bay, expanding the menu with a curated selection of high-end specialty meats. Today, a butcher counter doubles as a breakfast and lunch spot, offering charcuterie, sausages, and sandwiches built around premium cuts. But the most popular menu item is the burger. Each week, the house meat blend changes slightly, explains Jason. While each five-ounce patty starts with prime chuck and brisket, an assortment of top-quality trimmings — a hint of prime Angus here, a bit of American Wagyu there — makes for a delicious final mixture. In another nod to zero waste, trimmed fat is set aside for frying oil, creating the ultimate beef-fat fries to go with the burgers. It all adds up to Miami's best, with each patty cooked to order on the grill, then topped with American cheese, house-made pickles, and sriracha mayo, and fitted into a fluffy Martin's potato roll.