A Cuban frita sounds simple in theory. It is, after all, just a hamburger. But ask any Miamian which restaurant makes the best frita in town. Observe as a debate unfolds: Morro Castle? El Rey? El Mago! At El Mago de las Fritas, the polemic Cuban hamburger is made up of a patty mixed with fresh-ground spiced sausage, layered with thin fried potatoes, and all plunked between two slabs of soft white bread. At $3.50, the hamburger is remarkably affordable. It is also delicious. Make it a double for $5.50. Make it "al caballo" with a fried egg for an extra buck. Or double it up with a fried egg ($6.50). Take a bite outta that sandwich and consider whether El Mago makes a helluva frita. Yes, it does. It's also one of the most affordable bites around.
Maoz Vegetarian is a chain restaurant with locations around the world. But its global identity does not lessen the quality of its falafel, which is offered either in sandwich ($5.95) or salad ($7.95) form. Prices include unlimited fresh toppings from a salad bar: red cabbage, tabouli, roasted cauliflower, and more. The fare is entirely vegetarian and Kosher. Much of it is also vegan and gluten-free. The falafel joint is located on Washington Avenue, just a few steps from Lincoln Road -- and a short walk from many overpriced spots. Maoz Vegetarian is healthful, good falafel. It's among the greatest deals on the Beach.
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