By the Numbers May 20, 2015

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Miami's Best Burgers - National Burger Month

The origins of America’s quintessential comfort food might still be controversial, but one thing is pretty clear — Americans love burgers. In fact, we devour almost 50 billion burgers each year! Thanks to Miami’s ever-evolving food scene, burgers are receiving more T-L-C than ever before with all sorts of variations to choose from, but what makes a good burger GOOD? Toppings can really kick up the flavors a notch, but some might agree that’s just masking what a burger might be lacking.

During National Burger Month, we’ll reveal our favorites based on the following criteria: the MEAT and the BUN. No toppings are necessary if you can strip down a burger to these two basic components and find yourself reveling in every juicy, flavorsome bite.

Take a look at this first round of top picks with more to follow throughout the remainder of this month:

BLT Prime - The Monster ($18)

21 day aged, 100% 1855 Black Angus beef sourced from Halpern’s farm is grilled to a perfect medium rare and finished with a brush of butter for this monstrosity of a burger, hence the name. Take a bite of this juicy patty, simply seasoned with salt and black pepper and you can taste nothing but classic American goodness held together by a fluffy Brioche bun topped with sesame seeds as you relax with a breathtaking view of Trump National Doral’s golf course.

Bobby’s Burger Palace - Palace Classic ($7.95)

When Bobby Flay is the man behind your burger, you have to believe it’s going to be a great one. The Palace Classic at Bobby’s Burger Palace inside of Dadeland Mall is American simplicity at its finest. 6 ounces of certified Angus beef (delivered daily) is cooked to medium rare on a canola oil based flat top griddle and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Martin’s Big Marty large white rolls with sesame seeds hold this classic together, with a soft, yet stable structure, perfect for catching all the juicy goodness of the patty while maintaining its consistency. Bobby, you’ve done it again.

Burgers & Shakes - The Classic Burger ($7)

100% Prime Angus Beef is simply seasoned and hand-pressed. The bun is fluffy enough to withhold this juicy (not greasy) burger. Unlike many casual burger joints, these flat grill pros will cook your patty to your liking. Bonus: Burgers & Shakes is located at the corner of 74th and Collins with ample parking and public beach access. Listen to classic rock tunes while you take in the oceanfront views.

Devon Seafood + Steak - Creekstone Farms Black Angus Burger ($11)

This 80% lean, 20% fat blend of wood-fire mesquite grilled burger is aged for 20 days, then composed into a sandwich masterpiece by Devon’s executive chef, Rod Chitikov. 8 ounces of organic, free-range grass-fed Angus Beef from Creekstone Farms in Arkansas City, Kansas are cooked to medium rare and lightly seasoned with just salt and pepper. No toppings overpower the taste of this exquisite patty, encompassed by a plain Brioche bun and presented open-face style, in case you feel like adding condiments. In our opinion, no condiments are necessary with the already added sharp cheddar, lettuce, tomato and applewood smoked bacon toppings.

Earl’s Kitchen & Bar - Rodeo Blue Burger ($18)

We decided to spotlight Earl’s Rodeo Burger for one simple reason: the chorizo infused patty. Angus grade ground chuck beef is saturated with fresh jalapeño, onions, fresno peppers, strong blue cheese, garlic and hand pressed on to a flat top griddle. This particular burger is cooked medium well to well done because of the chorizo in the patty. Slightly charred and extremely flavorful, this burger is compiled on to a freshly baked and toasted Brioche bun. Earl’s bakers start each day at 5AM and make these beautiful creations by hand. If that’s not dedication to quality, we don’t know what is! Earl’s Rodeo Blue Burger is only available until June 16th, so make your move soon!

EDGE Steak & Bar - EDGE Burger ($19)

Seasoned with EDGE’s very own house-blend signature steak rub, Executive Sous Chef Jose Gamez sears the Creekstone Farms 70% chuck, 30% steak patty on the grill to release its smoky flavors. The burger’s cooking process is carefully concluded on an infrared grill, reaching temperatures up to 1600 degrees, to seal in the meat’s flavorful juices before being set atop a Brioche bun. European Bread Company in Miami bakes these buns daily, given size specifications from the team at EDGE. The buns are lightly brushed with butter and then quickly seared on the flattop making a delicious vessel for this patty. Bonus toppings include lettuce, tomatoes, homemade pickles, red onion and aged cheddar cheese. We’re at the EDGE of our seats for another.

Five Guys - The Little Hamburger ($4.39)

As simple as it gets. A ground chuck patty that is actually good, fast and cheap! Perhaps not as fabulous as some of our more extravagant favorites, but it certainly dethrones some of those larger chains. Your basic burger on a classic bun. All we can say is, "Dayum! Dayum! Dayum!"

jugofresh - Burgerlacha and Fries ($12.50)

Vegan’s rejoice! Jugofresh reveals their newest dish just in time for National Burger Month and just as you might expect, it is tremendously healthy for you. The Burgerlacha is a combination of beet and quinoa yielding a solid texture with a nice moist center. Red onion, garlic, kelp flake and grey sea salt add a touch of flavor to this vegan alternative which is served with a side of cashew chimichurri and raw ketchup. Of course a burger isn’t complete without a side of fries, Zucchini Fries in this case, which are lightly dusted in Flax Meal.

Kush - Frita Burger ($13)

Seven ounces of twice-ground, 100% hormone-free chuck is hand pressed daily at the ever popular Kush in Wynwood. Cowart Ranch in Sumterville, Florida provides the patties for their decadent, juicy burgers. Lightly coated with their secret burger seasoning blend and grilled to medium rare on a flat top, the Frita’s toppings are held together by a Cusanos Bakery Challah bun. The toppings include melted Gruyere, potato stix, crispy bacon, LoKal sauce and get ready for this… guava jelly. Kitchen Manager, Gabe Esquijarosa starts compiling this masterpiece on the flat top, and the trick to neatly holding all of the toppings is to press the burger (a la Cuban sandwich style) on the flat top. Pressing the Challah calls for crispy on the outside and a delicately soft texture on the inside. Pair this delight with J. Wakefield Brewing’s It’s a Trappe! Belgian Quad Trappe. The subtle cherry notes in the beer pair perfectly with the guava in the burger.

Le Tub - Sirloinburger ($11)

13 ounces of savory ground sirloin goodness served on a Kaiser bun. Service is slow, but this giant flame-broiled burger is worth the wait. The venue is eclectic with silly odds and ends throughout, including actual tubs and toilets filled with plants, but step inside and you’ll discover a gorgeous oasis on the intracoastal waterway.

MC Kitchen - “Half Pound” Harris Ranch Angus Burger ($15)

Conveniently located in Miami’s Design District, MC Kitchen executes one of the top five burgers in Miami. A half pound of 100% Harris Ranch Angus Beef is simply seasoned with sea salt and peppercorn before grilling to your preference. Chef/owner Dena Marino says, “It’s the best quality meat… the trick is to sear it at a really high temperature to give it a nice char and retain all that juicy flavor.” Although this patty can hold its own, MC Kitchen tops it with caramelized onion, melted provolone, and two slices of thick-cut bacon to give it an extra kick before sliding this half-pounder onto a freshly baked brioche bun. (Buns are baked in-house daily) Don’t overlook the other classic toppings served with this dish including pickles that are also made in house with Duke Bourbon along with fresh and locally harvested tomatoes and a crisp, tender leaf of Bibb lettuce.

Meat Market - Meat Market Classic Burger ($17)

A sexier and more glamorous take on the traditional steak house, Meat Market offers a delicious certified Angus Beef Classic Burger. A chuck skirt burger blend, sourced from Buckhead Beef out of Atlanta, is freshly ground and seasoned with Meat Market’s very own steak seasoning (kosher salt, black pepper and Herbes de Provence). Executive Chef Sean Brasel cooks the patty on the char broiler to get that crunchy, charred, steak flavor and sets it atop a Kaiser-style brioche bun. Added bonuses include high-end pecan smoked bacon and gouda cheese toppings.

Michael Mina 74 - Dry Aged Steak Burger ($26)

Did you know the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach houses their very own butcher shop where beef is dry aged? That includes the prime sirloin that is aged for a minimum of 30 days before it's ground into a savorous, meaty patty with wagyu brisket and short rib for Michael Mina 74’s Dry Aged Steak Burger and served on a buttery, brioche baked fresh daily on the hotel's property. It is incredible and worth every dime. Although we’re rating our top burger picks on the bun and meat, we gotta hand it to Chef Thomas Griese for always adding a touch of his ingenious creativity. This decadent burger deserves to be topped with bacon, a secret sauce and heck, why not add some melted gouda cheese?! But we discovered there is a hidden ingredient in that cheese that makes it so gooey and rich - can you guess what it is? Head over, ask the chef and he might just tell you... and while you're there, try one of the special burgers being featured weekly only during the month of May including the Indy 500 available May 22nd - May 31st.

Norman’s Tavern - Chipotle Guac ($11.50)

There have only been a couple of owners since this classic sports bar opened in 1970 and they are serious about their burgers. Our favorite is the Chipotle Guac - an 8 ounce blend of brisket, short rib and ground chuck. Challah! … as in a fresh baked Challah bun to hold this bad boy. Toppings are a bonus here including a tangy chipotle sauce, fresh guacamole and a crispy onion ring. Now add ample wall space covered in flat screens and you’ve got yourself the perfect pairing to a bad ass burger.

Pincho Factory - Pincho Burger ($6.99)

Three guys from Miami decided they were tired of eating burgers that “we have no idea what they are made from.” So, they opened up Pincho Factory. Aside from serving up delicious skewers of chicken, steak or shrimp, the Pincho Burger surpasses many other burgers when it comes to quality. A custom blend of chuck, brisket and short rib is seared on a flat top, creating a chamber where the delicious juice is in captivity until you take a bite. The simple egg-washed brioche bun, sweet and buttery, is soft yet stable enough to sustain the weight and juice of the 80% lean, 20% fat patty.

Shake Shack - ShackBurger (Single $5.19, Double $7.99)

We have to give it up to Shake Shack for their philosophy on portion control. Their single ShackBurger is the perfect size to satisfy any hungry burger-seeker. Made with premium muscle cuts of 100% all-natural Angus beef, their proprietary Shack blend is vegetarian-fed, source verified, humanely raised and ground fresh daily. Held together by a buttery and toasted Martin’s potato roll, which are now non-GMO, this burger is New York’s gift to Florida and various locations throughout the U.S.

Swine Southern Table & Bar - The Swine Burger ($18)

Ahhh! The aromatic scent of smoked meat greets us at the popular Swine Southern Table & Bar in Coral Gables where a mouthwatering burger awaits. The Swine Burger- TWO short rib, brisket and smoked pork blend patties topped with American cheese. Cooked all the way through (pork alert!), this enormous burger is simply seasoned with salt and pepper before seared on a flattop. Cured and smoked pork belly is thickly cut and set on the burger, Swine’s own version of bacon as a topping. Finished with Swine's secret sauce, a buttered and toasted Martin’s potato bun holds this monumental burger together. The necessary accoutrement- lettuce, tomato and pickled red onions- are served on the side for your convenience, as well as Swine-seasoned wedge-cut potato fries. Here’s a fun fact: last month, Swine sold over 1,200 of these burgers; we can taste why.

Vega's Burger Bar - The Fireman ($11)

There are two reasons why this little corner bar in North Miami continues to satisfy regulars and newcomers day after day: delicious burgers and a huge selection of craft beer. That makes it a winner for us. Their best selling burger, The Fireman, is 10 ounces of a special meat blend of chuck and clod from Bush Brothers Meats, a well established provision company in West Palm Beach. Their patties are an 80/20 ratio of lean meat to fat, seasoned with a housemade blend of secret spices and grilled to medium-rare perfection. Set atop a sweet, buttery and fluffy Brioche bun, the burger is neatly held together with added bonus toppings like pepper jack cheese, homemade chipotle BBQ sauce, fresh jalapeño slices and crunchy onion strings.

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