First Bites

Burgerlove in Brickell Key: For the Love of Honest Food

There is no such thing as too many burgers, except maybe when you're trying to make up your mind on which one to order at Burgerlove, the newest addition to Brickell Key.

Burgerlove opened this past Tuesday and is the brainchild of Vanessa Diaz, who also owns the Juicery Bar next door. Diaz wanted to bring something to the island that was healthy but indulgent. "There's lot of kids and families here," she says. "Burgers seemed like a natural fit."

See also: Choices Kitchen Hosting Free Cooking Class Featuring Field Roast Grain Meats

In order for Diaz to win the space, she had to pitch her concept to the owners of the building and beat out a hoard of other proposals. What better than a nondescript burger shack that boasts the tagline: "For the love of honest food"?

Diaz makes an effort to source everything locally. This explains why she doesn't and will never have a tuna burger on the menu. Instead, locally caught fish is brought over from the Miami River restaurant Casablanca and changes depending on the catch of of the day.

As for the meat, Diaz sources beef from Ocala and grinds it in-house daily. If you want a patty with a kick, opt for the chipotle beef. There's also pasture-raised chicken and turkey (although seasonal), a housemade quinoa lentil patty, and a garlic yucca patty for vegans. You can create your own for $10 and add toppings as you deem necessary ($1.50 per), or pick a protein, bun, and already thought-out burger.

A sucker for anything hot, I ordered the Hot Mama ($13) with grass-fed chipotle beef and a brioche bun. The Hot Mama is topped with pico de gallo, grilled jalapeño, avocado, and jalapeño aioli. All burgers are served with a side of veggie chips, and while they were out of brioche bun on my visit, wheat, gluten-free ($2) and bunless greens ($1) were alternate options. Other burgers that look particularly interesting are the Que Pasa Miami (baked sweet plantains, bacon, and pickled red onion) and the que, que (toasted coconut, guava, cheddar, and fried egg). Prices on the specialty burgers range from $10-$14.

For the kiddies, little love burgers and cheeseburgers are available for $5 and $5.50, as well as AB&J (almond butter and jelly) or grilled cheese. And because no burger place would be complete without a sundae of some sort, BurgerLove has made ample effort to take theirs to the next level by adding warm sweet plantains served with scoops of Nutella, salted caramel, and coconut ice cream covered in toasted coconut flakes and dulce de leche.

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Carla Torres found her inner gourmand voice while writing for Miami New Times in 2012. She has also worked with Travel & Leisure and Ocean Drive. She balances passions for wine, sweets, yoga, and kayaking.

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