Of all the Los Verdes locations in South Florida, we ended up at the one in Miami Lakes next to a head shop. Walking into Los Verdes, the Miami-based chain specializing in fast food with a Colombian flair, we instantly felt like we were in a dorm room equipped with IKEA tables, plastic poufs, large booths, and flat-screen TV sets. We weren't sure if we were in the right place -- it could have easily been the Smoke N Toke next door.
As we began digging into the menu, it also read like it could be a tokers' dream. We settled on the carne hamburger ($8.49), topped with mozzarella, bacon, smashed potato chips, coleslaw, and a variety of sauces (including pink, pineapple, and other special Los Verdes salsas) and served with fries. To add even more variety to these delicious toppings, we ordered three quail eggs for $2 extra.
When our burger came, we knew we had just been served something special: a truly deconstructed picnic. In lieu of a red and white picnic blanket, a checkered green and white sheet of paper held our meal. The sauces went beyond those in simple red and yellow squeeze bottles. We lifted the bun and applied a combination of pineapple, pink (thousand island), and spicy green sauce. We then re-covered our burger and got ready for our first bite. Whoa, there was a lot going on.
All of a sudden, all the ingredients became one. The coleslaw played beef patty cake with the strips of bacon, and the thick layer of partially melted cheese and the crumbled potato chips added all kinds of textual dimensions. The sauces were a real standout for our squirting pleasure, and within seconds we were able to make our burger tropical, spicy, and wet. The burger had it all in the way that a college student, smoker, or drunkard could really crave. A few bites in, and our burger began to give in to the topping pressure. With the patty itself being the least impressive in the dish, we let some of it go and held on to the slaw, bacon, and pineapple sauce on the sesame-seed bun.
The crinkle-cut fries were a bit of a disappointment, but numerous sauces came to the rescue. We went straight to code pink sauce and ketchup. However, the quail eggs were a highlight. Once we toothpicked out the eggs from the pink sauce, it was yet another dish deconstructed. We had reverse deviled eggs, where the mayo sauce was on the outside and the hardboiled egg remained intact. Cream on the outside and cream on the inside, with the egg yolk still soft.
Head to Los Verdes for a burger that is all that and a bag of crushed potato chips. With this burger, there is no need to pack the slaw, the pineapple fruit cup, the deviled eggs, or the chips for lunch.
Follow Carina on Twitter @CarinaOst
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.