Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tiers of a Burger - Best Burgers South Florida (10.13)*Cmdv1HBnZwz7DvF6V6YRXlSndYto78CZexRwA16KeCMRDF3/ronald.jpg

I've enjoyed several outstanding burgers recently so it was time to update my Best Burgers of South Florida Rankings. 

The last time I did my rankings I decided to limit the tiers to my top ten. But the burger scene in South Florida continues to improve and limiting my rankings to ten again would eliminate some great burgers that deserve recognition.  Thus, I am extending this list to my Top Twenty and ties.

It should be noted that my burger rankings are all about the burger.  Unlike my "Tiers of Excellence" restaurant rankings, service, wine lists, ambiance and value do not play a role.  This is all about the blend, the bun, the seasonings, the toppings and the overall execution. 

I highly recommend every burger ranked.

THESE are the twenty best burgers in the tri-county area. 

TIER ONE- The best of the best. Run don't walk to try these.


Shake Shack - I love Shake Shack Burgers and always order a single ShackBurger which is a cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and shacksauce. Burgers are 100% all natural angus beef, ground daily and cooked medium.  The single is the perfect burger in every way and I will leave it at that.

The Cypress Room (Miami Design District) Michael Schwartz's outstanding fairly new upscale restaurant serves a dynamite burger.  The beefy patty contains trimmings from the rib cap and is topped with a delicious Jasper Hill Landaff and onion marmalade. The combination is perfect and the housemade bun seals the deal. This is a special burger.    


Bourbon Steak - (Aventura) I've enjoyed numerous all-beef, dry aged burgers topped with melted farmhouse cheddar, shredded lettuce, balsamic onions and secret sauce at Bourbon Steak over the years.  It is still one of my favorites in town and it's always excellent.  The duck fat fries are not to be missed.


db Bistro Moderne- (Miami) The Original db Burger.  I always wrestle with where to rank this one. A case could be made that it is easily the best burger in town.  This monster burger consists of a sirloin burger filled with wine braised short rib, foie gras, preserved black truffle on a parmesan bun.  The foie, black truffle and short rib all work together making this an outstanding treat.  

TIER TWO- Excellent Burgers you must try.

Blue Collar (Miami UPE) Chef Serfer is a huge burger fan like me and it shows.  He sources great products and his "Real Juicy Cheeseburger" is no exception.  It's a  prime dry aged NY Strip that is always seasoned properly and cooked perfectly.  And it's served on a delicious Portuguese muffin. His fresh hand cut fries are up there with the best in town.

Michy's (Miami UPE) Wait, Michy's serves a burger? Yes as part of their new Sunday brunch menu and it rocks. Michy's burger is topped with a poached egg, hollandaise, Jamon Serrano and melting Gruyere.A truly perfect combination.

Umami Burger - (South Beach) I've only been to Umami on one occasion but the overall combination was outstanding and easily top ten in town. I opted for the "Umami Burger" which is topped with a shiitake mushroom, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, parmesan crisp and umami ketchup. The medium rare patty cooked on a flat top griddle was wonderful on its own.  The flavors of the toppings, the texture of the crisp and the perfectly sized bun really enhanced the experience. I was legitimately craving more hours later.

Wolfgang's Steakhouse- (Miami) Yes another newcomer to town, making their debut in the rankings. 
Wolfgang Zweiner was a waiter at the legendary Brooklyn steakhouse, Peter Luger's for forty years and he clearly took some good notes during his tenure. His burger was hand packed lightly and seasoned perfectly.  It was cooked to a proper medium rare and was full of great beefy flavor.  The bun supported the patty nicely and had a proper bun to patty ratio.  

This is a burger for traditional burger fans and I highly recommend paying them a visit for it alone. It should be noted that the burger is only available during lunch. *Only had this burger one time*


 Houston's- (Aventura +) Houston's? The chain?? Yes! Houston's. Get the Cheeseburger with fresh ground chuck, cheddar, lettuce, tomato and onion on a toasted egg bun.  This is a legit burger.

Pincho Factory The Pincho burger is deliciously comprised of chuck, brisket and short rib and paired with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, potato sticks and secret sauce.  This is a very nice blend with proper seasoning, nice texture and a nice sauce.  All around winner.

Boxpark (Miami) This new addition is available during lunch only.  It is grass-fed and topped with thomasville tomme, arugula, pickled onions, tomato and served on a nice housemade onion bun.

Burger Fi - (Aventura +) Yes, BurgerFi is a complete ripoff of Shake Shack in every facet of the operation.  But they did a great job at it and they are much closer to home.  Side by side, I go to Shake Shack every time.  That being said, BurgerFi is putting out great burgers and deserve credit for it. My go to is a single BurgerFi Burger, all natural, grass fed angus burger, lettuce, tomato and secret sauce. Pictured above is the ultimate cheeseburger- double natural prime brisket burger, Swiss cheese, blue cheese, tomato, pickles & BurgerFi sauce. 

TIER THREE- Great burgers all burger fans will love.

The Dutch (South Beach) The Dutch keeps it simple yet delicious.  They serve a dry aged prime burger with cheddar, secret sauce on a sesame bun.

Best Burgers in the U.S.: Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink (Miami Design District) The Genuine burger is a house ground Harris Ranch black angus burger topped with a choice of cheese on a brioche bun. House smoked bacon is also an option.

Edge Steak & Bar (Miami)  The Edge burger is available during lunch and featured Creekstone Farms ground beef and paired with Vermont cheddar and pickles.       

Edge Burger, Creekstone Farms, Ground Beef, Vermont Cheddar, Chef's Pickles
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Edge Burger, Creekstone Farms, Ground Beef, Vermont Cheddar, Chef's Pickles
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Edge Burger, Creekstone Farms, Ground Beef, Vermont Cheddar, Chef's Pickles
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Edge Burger, Creekstone Farms, Ground Beef, Vermont Cheddar, Chef's Pickles
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Preservation (Sunny Isles)  Another new entrant to the rankings.  Chef Ryan's Preservation Burger is paired with Berkshire bacon, sharp cheddar, onion compote and hickory island dressing.

Tongue and Cheek- (South Beach) Another newcomer making their debut in the rankings.  Tongue is operated by chef Jamie DeRosa formerly of Tudor House.  As you may recall, his Tudor Burger always ranked highly here.  His new version, a tender and flavorful beef cheek burger paired with cheddar pimento cheese, sweet onions and  housemade brioche may be even better.

J&G Grill- (Bal Harbour) Pastry Chef extraordinaire Antonio "nitro coco" Bachour insisted that I try their burger during a lunch visit and it was almost as good as his desserts.  The delicious J&G Cheeseburger is paired with black truffle dressing, brie and served on a terrific housemade bun that hung with the burger until the last bite.

Food Pictures

LoKal- (Coconut Grove) Unfortunately, I don't get down to the Grove much and have only been to Lokal on one occasion.  But one burger no one bite was all it took to know that this was a quality burger and tier worthy.  I went with the The Classic, Florida grass fed burger with thinly sliced white onions, tomato, shredded lettuce, dill pickles, sharp Wisconsin cheddar, mayo and mustard. The grass fed beef flavor shines through here.  I suspect that this one may be a tad underrated here.

World Famous Le Tub Burger
Le Tub (Hollywood)- I've been a Le Tub fan well before the nation found their delicious burgers. I always loved popping into this quirky spot and slinging back a cold beer some gumbo and of course their big old grilled burger.  Their sirloin burger features 13 oz. ground top sirloin, seasoned, charbroiled, served on a bun with lettuce, tomato, onion.  I always add cheese to it.

HiWay Burger (Delray Beach) I've never been to In-n-Out burger but know that this is a copy cat.  It's good and that's all I care about.  Pictured above is a cheeseburger Animal Style with extra "spread" pickles and grilled onions.  This burger may be under ranked here because I don't get up there enough.

Charm City Burger Company (Deerfield Beach) 1/3 pound proprietary steak blend served with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and charm sauce on an artisan baked sesame bun.

 TO DO LISTSwine Southern and  PB Steak


The Broken Shaker (Miami Beach) My favorite bar is now serving food. Their burger is great and will move up into the tiers next ranking if they continue to serve it. It's a short rib, brisket and chuck blend from Creekstone cooked sous vide and paired with charred scallion,whipped goat cheese and tomato/herb salad. It pairs perfectly with an old fashioned.


Char-Hut (Davie)  At one point, Char-Hut was one of my favorite burgers.  Always fresh and grilled right in front of you.  Always tasty and always hits the burger spot.  But as you can see, there has been a huge improvement to the local burger scene causing The Hut to fall out of the top twenty.

A TIER of THEIR OWN (great non-traditional burgers/food trucks that deserve their own tier)

gastroPod-Mo Better Burger, short rib, brisket and sirloin topped with poached egg, slaw and gPod sauce

Meat Market- American kobe slider duo- bacon/white cheddar foie gras.

Sakaya Kitchen- Angus beef bulgogi sliders with spicy goat cheese, pickles, roasted pork & kimchi

Sugarcane Raw Bar- Kobe sliders with tonkatsu sauce and fried quail egg.


Jonas said...

Tobacco Road?

Unknown said...

wow, this is a lot of burger images, very tempting.. Hope to try one. Anyways, try our very own Torino's pizza in Oviedo too, you'll sure gonna love the pizza.

Brian Cartenuto said...

Tucker Duke's Lunchbox, get the Tucker duke burger (no changes allowed) or the Fido which is there take on a classic cheese burger. Located in Deerfield Beach new comber is killing it :)

The Chowfather said...

Brian, thanks for the tip. The burgers sounds great. I will try to get up there before I update my rankings.