Neighborhood Joints

Video: Best Frita on Calle Ocho? Ask The Burger Beast

A few months back when the Food Network's Bobby Flay named the 50 best burger joints in America, Little Havana's own El Rey De Las Fritas was awarded best burger in Florida. But Sef Gonzalez, the dude behind, says he knows better and recently suggested a Calle Ocho frita crawl to prove it. A frita is a Cuban hamburger. Recipes and techniques vary, but generally it consists of a beef and or chorizo patty griddle fried with chopped onions and paprika, topped with shoestring fries, and served on a plancha flattened (sandwich pressed) Cuban bread hamburger bun.

The gang of four who piled into Beast's mom's minivan included myself,

first amendment blogger Carlos Miller, and Burger Beast cohort Nelson.

We visited three Calle Ocho landmarks:

  • La Palma (6091 SW 8th Street) - the 24 hour since 1979 place we gave Best Croquetas to this year.
  • El Mago De Las Fritas (5828 SW 8th Street) - Celebrating its 25th anniversary at the same location with the same phone number this September, El Mago is literally the lesser known cousin (if not by blood then by virtue of the fact that he helped open the original til an unnamed fallout with the owner) of El Rey.
  • El Rey De Las Fritas (1821 SW 8th Street) - A clean, well-lighted place to enjoy a frita in the heart of Little Havana.
It is Short Order's contention that the best fritas were served at El Mago. So confident were we of this assertion that we doubled up our order there and skipped out on El Rey. Root for the underdog. Check out Burger Beast's blog about the day here.

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Jacob Katel
Contact: Jacob Katel