Awards season is here, and while staying in with a pint of ice cream and tweeting your thoughts on the winners is fun for the Golden Globes and Academy bonanzas, you'll want get out of those sweatpants and head to the sixth annual Burgies for a night of local camaraderie and food.
The man behind the local meat fest is none other than Sef Gonzalez, better known as Burger Beast. In 2009, he felt that no one was honoring the little guys who were pedaling forward South Florida's food community, so he decided to take matters into his own hands. It worked. He got a record total of 4,000 voters for this year's awards, which are being held in Hialeah for the first time this Saturday, January 31.
"I've done events in Hialeah but never the Burgies," says Gonzalez. "I'm actually very excited because readership of the blog has always been people from Hialeah, so I'm happy to finally be able to bring a burger event to their city."
For the past two months, readers have had the chance to vote for their favorite of everything in a bun and then some. Categories include best Miami-Dade burger, Broward burger, food truck burger, non-traditional burger, hot dog, dessert, food blog, Miami & Broward food truck, taco food truck, restaurant, sandwich, local food chain, wings, and 24-hour eats.
Didn't get to vote? You can still join in on Saturday's gratis festivities at Milander Park from 5 to 10 p.m. Twenty-five of the city's top food trucks (Burger Beast-approved, of course) will be present, and you can vote for the the best dish of the day.
Food trucks include Babe Froman Fine Sausages, Illegal Bakery, Miami Roasted Corn, Novae Gourmet Beef Jerky, Pincho Factory & Yayi's Desserts plus South Florida's Finest Food Trucks: 2 Jive Turkeys, Arepas Las Gorditas, BC Tacos, Boba Station, Curbside Gourmet, Daddy's Grill, Dim Ssam a Gogo, Don Mofongo, El Rey De Las Fritas, FOAR, Food Junkies, HipPops Handcrafted Gelato Bars, Jefe's Original Fish Taco & Burgers, Jersey Dawg, King of Racks BBQ, Liquid N2 Ice Cream, Ms. Cheezious, Paradise Cups, Poblanos Mexican Fusion, Rolling Oven, The Rolling Stove, and Sugar Yummy Mama & Woody's Burgers, as well as the return of the iconic Velvet Crème Doughnuts on wheels.
"The first couple of years weren't truck-based but in restaurants," says Gonzalez. "When the truck scene expanded, it made sense to work food trucks into it, and then trying to get restaurants involved." Gonzalez says this is only the beginning, and that he hopes to turn the Burgie's into a full-on festival, but it's "something that has to happen organically."
But the Burgie Awards isn't all about food, there's also live entertainment (Volksmusik will be DJing and Cuban Pete & the Hialeah Hooligans, Miller & the Revolvers, and the Osceola Brothers will be performing) and booze (Funky Buddha will be tapping a keg of maple bacon porter coffee).
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Burgie Award winners will be announced throughout the evening, and, of course, receive their Burger Beast-approved plaque. Past winners include GastroPod, Latin House, and Sakaya Kitchen.
The sixth annual Burgie Awards are Saturday, January 31, from 5 to 10 p.m. at Milander Park (4700 Palm Ave., Hialeah). Admission is free. For more information, visit theburgies.com.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha