Miami Lakes Automall Hamburger House Party Featured

Prepare for Hamburger House Party and Go Eat Burgers, We Did

Miami Lakes Automall Hamburger House Party Featured

To prepare for the Hamburger House Party, we sent out one of our writers, Jordan Rodriguez, to a few of the 23 local burger places attending the event to give us the inside scoop and idea of what to expect at this year’s competition. Ready to tempt your tastebuds? Here are his thoughts.

Miami Lakes Automall Hamburger House Party Pincho Factory Pincho Burger

Pincho Factory

The first burger I tried was at the Pincho Factory; at first glance of the logo you wouldn’t guess it, but a direct translation would say “Skewer Factory”. I definitely saw a couple of skewer-eating patrons during my visit, but this is about burgers, people. The Pincho Factory is actually creating a special burger for the Hamburger House Party this month, but it was unavailable at the time – top secret, hush hush. When asked about their most popular, they suggested the Pincho Burger or the Toston. The Toston burger is served using plantains as the bun, and I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about that, so I decided to go with the burger named after the restaurant. I’m glad I did.

The Pincho Burger comes with lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese, potato sticks, and a secret pink sauce; I’m not a fan of onions so I requested mine be sans onion. It all comes on a brioche bun, a welcome change of pace. The potato sticks added a nice salty taste – not overwhelming, but enough to not make me regret passing on an order of fries. Although a little on the thin side, the burger patty was full of flavor that hit me immediately; it’s cooked medium and had a bit of that off-the-grill taste.

All the beef at Pincho Burger is 100% humanely raised, antibiotic/hormone free, and made to order. One can definitely taste the freshness of the ingredients. The pink sauce was a little elusive, and if I had to guess, I’d say they use a little mayo – most sauces light in color have some mayo in the mix. After some water and trying the secret sauce on different parts of my tongue, I’d say the best way to get a taste for it is the umami center of the tongue, or the center and a little towards the back where the bitter taste buds are. I say this because the sauce had a bit of a distinct savory meaty taste separate from the patty.

Overall the portion size is good – not large, and I don’t feel “full”, but I also don’t feel cheated. Definitely no sluggish feeling one usually gets after eating a burger, especially fast food, so that was nice. If the secret burger being prepared for the Hamburger House Party is anything like the Pincho Burger, I’d say definitely swing by the Pincho Factory and try it out.


The Pincho Factory is located at 4950 W 12th Avenue, Hialeah, FL 33012

Miami Lakes Automall Hamburger House Party Bocas Grill La Hamburguesa la Cesar

Bocas Grill

Okay, are you all ready for something a little new? For this burger, I went to a Latin American restaurant; different, right? Despite my heritage, I actually don’t go to Latin places much, but if I knew they made burgers like this, I’d definitely go more often. We’re talking about Bocas Grill, hombre, and this burger completely caught me off guard. In my best broken spanish, “yo no hablo mucho español,” shameful I know, I spoke with the waitress about the Hamburger House Party and asked which burger she thinks they’ll have at the competition. She pointed out “La Hamburguesa la césar”, or the “Caesar Hamburger” for my non-spanish speaking folk.

Let me break this down for you.

A Caesar hamburger is 10 ounces of sirloin 100% made from the rump cap of Wagyu, a Japanese breed of beef cattle known for its quality and organic, natural unsaturated fat. Basically it goes for a high price down in the meat markets of Latin countries. The burger came on an Artisan brioche bun, and had a number of things I had to Google to know what I was eating.

The toppings were as follows:

– Diced tomatoes

– Guasacaca mayonnaise; kinda like a mayo made with avocado and other spices

– Chimichurri; an uncooked green sauce used for grilled meat, and typically made of parsley, garlic, vegetable oil, oregano, and white vinegar

– Criolla, an onion salsa

That last bit surprised me, ‘cause I despise onions, and for someone with a low sense of smell, my taste buds are pretty on point. However, I didn’t even notice it until a sliced onion fell out of the bun. Surprise!

Miami Lakes Automall Hamburger House Party Bocas Grill Caesar Hamburger

Alright, so now that we know what’s in it, here’s my review.

Where has this burger been all my life? I asked for my burger to be cooked medium, and the whole time I was trying to figure out what exactly I was eating. There was a foreign taste that I know I’ve had before, but couldn’t quite put my finger on. Now that I know what kind of meat the patty was, it makes sense why this burger didn’t taste anything like the kind one gets as the grocery store – again, it was Japanese sirloin beef! There was a faint grill taste, almost nonexistent, and if I didn’t read up on chimichurri I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

My order came with fries, and these also threw me for quite the loop. I had to ask the waitress what they were exactly, and they were fries (of course) cooked in truffle oil and sprinkled with white cheddar. I’ve never heard of that before, and for fries cooked in oil they were barely even greasy. I want to say the cheese had a bit of a crumbled texture, but I can’t say for sure.

The portion size, 10 ounces, resulted in a thick burger patty that was quite filling. Again, I’m not overly stuffed, but it hit the spot. I decided to take some of the fries home, so I may have cheated a bit, but here’s what I’ll leave you with. If you’re trying multiple burgers at the Hamburger House Party and want to end your night with something unique, stop by Bocas Grill and see if they have the Caesar Burger. You won’t be disappointed.


Boca’s Grill is located at 3399 NW 72nd Avenue, Suite 128, Miami, FL 33122

Miami Lakes Automall Hamburger House Party Jrs Gourmet Burgers

Jr’s Gourmet Burgers

It was day 3 of of my Hamburger House Party hunt, and I went looking for the elusive Jr’s Gourmet Burgers. Although the term “hole in the wall” can sometimes be negative, this little gem is literally hidden away between two larger establishments. It’s easy to miss, especially when considering whoever was hopefully fired for designing the streets of Miami Springs, because I passed by Jr’s several times before calling them for directions. However, just because it’s hidden in no way means Jr’s isn’t a shining light, guiding burger lovers through its front door.

Now, when people hear the word “gourmet”, it would be wise to raise a brow. Lots of places say their food is “gourmet” today, mainly to trick prospective customers into thinking they’re in for a real treat. Jr’s Gourmet Burgers is not one of those places, and I’ll tell you why.

First off, if the many awards shown don’t tip you off, the food will definitely seal the deal. There were many burgers to choose from on the menu, ten in all, and each sounding as good as the last. Since I couldn’t choose, I went for the sliders, since you get a choice of three burgers from the menu, just smaller. I chose the Big Daddy, the Acosta, and Tex Mex burgers.

Before we go into the review, I’d like to point out that all of Jr’s burgers are made of Angus beef, hand pressed, and cooked just right. They come on toasted honey-oat wheat or a corn-dusted bun. I don’t know if it’s different for sliders, but I’m going to go with the latter. Okay now, let’s line ’em up!

Miami Lakes Automall Hamburger House Party Jrs Gourmet Burgers Sliders

Big Daddy

The Big Daddy comes with Jr’s pink sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles. I don’t like either of the last two ingredients, so I subtracted them from my order. For a burger that’s hand pressed, the Big Daddy actually had a bit of that classic char-grilled taste, with just enough spices.

Needless to say, the flavor hit me with the first bite, and if it wasn’t for this review, I would’ve finished it off in seconds. The sliders are literally smaller than the palm of my hand and could be taken down in two or three bites. Not sure if Jr’s sauce came with the slider, or I just didn’t notice it. All-in-all, the Big Daddy is your basic burger, but with this kind of flavor, it’s anything but basic.

Acosta

The Acosta is topped with black pepper aioli, swiss cheese, and french onions. Just by grabbing it, I knew it was juicier than the Big Daddy, and in all the right ways. They describe this burger as a “foodgasm” on the menu, and they weren’t joking. With my first bite, I honestly had to stifle one of those foodie moans – yeah, you know the one I’m talking about. This burger made sweet love to my taste buds.

The black pepper aioli won me over. It gave the burger a unique flavor that really made it stand out. Again, I’m not an onion guy, but I’ll eat any veggie if it’s fried – I think it was more like a crumbled onion ring they had on there. Either way, the Acosta burger is easily my favorite of the three. I need to go back and get a 1/3 pound patty next time.

Tex Mex Was the Order; BBQ Bacon Cheddar is What Was Delivered

Okay, so Jr’s messed up my order, but it wasn’t a loss. I mean, can anyone really argue with bacon? The BBQ Bacon Cheddar burger came with Jr’s bbq sauce, cheddar, and bacon (duh). I’m actually glad I got this slider instead of the Tex Mex, because it was savory, sweet, spicy, and just a little tangy. My taste buds were tingling after each bite.

At first glance, the burger looks a little overcooked, but don’t be fooled. Any reservations one has vanish in that first bite. It’s cooked the same as the rest and has just as much flavor. Plus, I nearly stuffed this thing into my mouth because I love food that’s sweet and spicy.

The portion size of each burger was just enough to give you a taste of each. All three together made for a great meal, and this time I finished off the fries. I couldn’t help myself.

The Fries

I grabbed some fries again, and since I wasn’t aware of different flavors, when asked if I wanted the regular I just said “yes.” Hah! If these are the regular fries, then I can only imagine how good the others are. I want to say they were made with cayenne pepper, or maybe a light cajun spice. The flavor packed quite the punch, and I had to stop myself from devouring them before moving onto the second burger. They say it’s bad manners to lick your fingers, but whoever “they” are clearly never had these fries, ‘cause they were finger-lickin’ good!

So, I had a brief bit on why I dislike it when a restaurant calls their food “gourmet”, but Jr’s has definitely earned that title. Gourmet burgers indeed.

Oh, and the check came with a peppermint patty, how cute is that?


Jr’s Gourmet Burgers is located at 7 Westward Dr., Miami Springs, FL 33166.

Miami Lakes Automall Hamburger House Party Funky Buddha Roamer Burger

The Funky Buddha

Okay everyone we’re on the last of the burger reviews, and this time I went a little north. Any of you familiar with The Funky Buddha? They were well known for being a bar with its own brewery, but recently they started serving lunch and dinner. Now, usually I don’t think establishments, especially restaurants, should step out of their domain. However, I’ve had amazing sushi at Chinese restaurants and fire chicken wings at pizza eateries, so I’m open to the idea that a brewery can also serve good food.

I ordered the Roamer Burger and Yuca Tots. The Roamer Burger is a bison and pork meat blend, topped with bacon, red onion marmalade, and muenster cheese, served on a challah bun. Yuca is a root plant, like potatoes, and although high in calories, people replace a lot of potato dishes with it. Hence, yuca tater tots, but let’s talk about the burger first.

It was pretty amazing. The first thing I tasted when biting into it was the sweet red onion marmalade. Super savory, but a little over powering. The marmalade was strong and masked the entire burger taste. However, there’s a trick to this. Ever notice how specialty breads, like the ones made with honey oat or multigrain always have what makes them special at the top? That’s how bread works, everything rises – but, the tongue is on the bottom of the mouth and ends up missing out. So, when eating a sub sandwich with a special bread, I tend to flip it over so I can taste the difference. I did the same thing with this burger.

And that completely changed the taste. Instead of first tasting marmalade, I tasted the bison pork blend, and it was intense. I could actually taste the two separate meats as I moved each bite around my mouth. What surprised me the most was the blend had a bit of a zing to it, and I’m thinking it was the bison…or the bacon, or maybe both!

It also tasted a little peppery – basically, it had a very unique taste. Be warned though, the taste quickly grows on you and each bite is as savory as the last. Another burger I had to stop myself from completely devouring.

The yuca tots were hand rolled, made with cotija cheese, citrus salt, cilantro, and came with chipotle garlic aioli. Maybe it’s the fact that they were yuca, but the flavor was kind of weak. There was a faint sweetness to it, but I wish it was cooked with the cheese instead of the cheese being sprinkled on afterwards. I felt like I was missing out on the flavor unless I picked the cheese up and mashed it into the yuca tot. When I did get some on there though, it was definitely more tasty – cotija cheese seems to have a strong, spicy flavor.

What really made the difference was the chipotle garlic aioli. Man, that had a bit of a kick to it. There was heat and a little tang, not too much, but just enough to taste the chipotle and the garlic in the mix. It was also surprisingly sweet, and trust me, I drank water between bites like a pro as to not mistake it for the marmalade.

Out of all the burgers I had during this series, the Roamer Burger is the most filling. Pork is a heavy meat after all, so that full feeling is to be expected. Made me glad I was at a brewery though, because drinking and greasy food always go well together. I just needed a bit of a breather before going back to the bar.

 

The Funky Buddha is located at 1201 NE 38th St., Oakland Park, FL 33334.

That’s it for my reviews. I had some definite favorites, and although not a fan of Miami traffic, I’d suck it up to chow down on any of the above mentioned Miami burgers again. Be sure to look for these establishments at the Hamburger House Party. Remember, it’s on May 26th at the Magic City Casino, from 7-10 pm.

It’s an event you need a ticket for, where you can purchase here. You must be 21 years of age or older to attend, because where there’s greasy food there’s also usually beer. It’s a $40 fee, but the price may rise as we get closer to the date. The ticket, plus a small convenience fee ($3.19) gets you into the party so that you can eat and sample burgers from all 23 competitors at the party, plus desserts and cocktail and beer samples.


Who will be crowned the Hamburger King?!