The event saw seven of South Florida's most delicious fritas go head to head in a fierce competition for bragging rights of best frita in Miami. Bongos Cuban Café, Daddy's Grill, El Mago de las Fritas, El Rey de las Fritas, Pincho Factory, Frita's in Key West, and Josh's Deli all brought out their best versions of Cuba's take on the American hamburger.
Take a closer look at the coffee cans that served as centerpieces.
Good friends of Burger Beast, chef Robyn Almodovar, Cheeseburger Baby's Gabrie and Stephanie, and Fireman Derek Kaplan were there to have a nosh and a laugh.
Restaurants served both classic versions, like these beauties from Frita's in Key West, letting the well-seasoned blend of beef and chorizo and crunch of potatoes speak for itself. Other restaurants, like Josh's Deli, made interesting interpretations of the tried and true frita.
The competition was voted on two ways, with a fan favorite being named by attendees, and a judged competition, where NBC6’s Kelly Blanco, Mayor of Miami Springs Zavier Garcia, Tongue & Cheek’s Jamie DeRosa, and the Miami Herald’s Evan Benn all taste-tested the fritas in the name of science. Mayor Garcia was especially critical of the fritas, taking the time to analyze the sandwiches for appearance, as well as taste.
In the end, the people and the judges were divided in their conclusions. El Mago de las Fritas won the People's Choice for their frita confundida (confused frita), topped with Cuban-style pulled pork, sangria-cured ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, papitas, and mustard on a medianoche garlic-buttered bun.
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El Rey de las Fritas was declared the judges' favorite for their original frita Cubana, a specially seasoned patty topped with julienne potatoes, onions, and special sauce on a Cuban roll.
Which, by the way, was Burger Beast Sef Gonzalez's favorite frita of the night? Surprisingly, the burger professional and blogger didn't sample any of the delicious offerings. "I never eat at my events. I'm too busy watching that everything is going fine." There you have it, folks, the Burger Beast does without to ensure his guests have a great time. Gonzalez must be doing something right because the true winners were the people who filled their bellies on fritas and Botran rum cocktails.