While the gourmet burger craze has taken over South Beach like a flock of New Yorkers during Art Basel, the lifeblood of Miami is still rich with fritas, especially along Calle Ocho. And so, we decided to head down Miami’s biggest artery to taste our most artery-clogging food, with the all-things-frita-knowing Burger Beast.
Come along on our Magic City Casino bus ride down Calle Ocho with the Beast, Miami Social Marketing’s Liza Gallardo Walton, Pincho Factory’s Nedal Ahmad, and Miatown’s George Hoover as we sample a few of Miami’s most famous fritas. Then do it yourself, and bring a Life Alert.
Stop 1: Luis Galindo’s Latin American 5635 SW 8th St
After boarding our bus at Magic City Casino, we headed West to Red Rd and Calle Ocho to a spot where the Beast's parents eat weekly. And since old Cuban people know fritas almost as well as they know plastic couch covers, we had a feeling the chorizo and beef patty, paprika-filled house seasoning, julienned fried potatoes, American, and ketchup on a house-made Cuban bun was gonna be pretty awesome.
BEAST: "This tastes a lot like the first frita I ever had in Hialeah because they use chorizo and beef, which is probably why whenever I have a meeting I have to hold, I somehow end up at this place.
HOOVER: "This is definitely the beefiest frita I’ve seen; it’s clearly the heavyweight of the Miami fritas. It’s actually a larger patty that you’ll usually see on these.
Stop 2: El Mago de las Fritas 5828 SW 8th St
After our first frita, we were in no shape to walk a whole city block and, instead, took our bus around it to end up at El Mago. Unlike some other wizards who hide behind giant curtains and try to scare little dogs, the Wizard of the Fritas is alllll out in the open, frying up his all-beef patties with house seasoning, raw and cooked onions, potato strings, and ketchup, then plating each one personally on a Cuban bun
BEAST: "I proclaimed this one, from Day 1, to be the best one in the world on national TV.
LIZA: "This is like the frita I know. I like that the patty’s thinner, and it makes a difference that it’s all beef. The amount of paprika isn’t overwhelming, and it’s a perfect flavor profile.
OBAMA: "I love fritas!
Stop 3: El Rey de las Fritas 1821 SW 8th St
The three mile ride down Calle Ocho during rush hour almost gave us enough time to digest before we hit up El Mago's biggest rival: El Rey. Now when it comes to basketball, it doesn’t get much worse than the the Kings vs. the Wizards. When it comes to fritas, however, it’s the best matchup in the game -- El Rey and El Mago both like to claim they have the best frita in the Magic City. At our third stop, our experts realized they needed to hit the gym in the morning, then gave their opinions
BEAST: "Of all the fritas in Miami, El Rey and El Mago are the two most similar. The main difference is that here they’re using a beef and chorizo patty, and they don’t put ketchup on it.
HOOVER: "This is the one I lost my frita virginity on, and, just like with my real virginity, this is the one all others are judged by. I don’t care what anyone says, this one is the best one.
NEDAL: "I really like the higher acidity on this one. The added vinegar gives it a real bite.
Stop 4: Azucar Ice Cream Company 1503 SW 8th St
Fritas at an ice cream shop? Frita flavored ice cream? No, just dessert because we felt like it. And because they have crazy Miami flavors like Willy Cherrino, Sweet Potato Ancho Chile Chocolate Chip, and Abuela Maria with ruby red guava, rich cream cheese, and galletas Maria. So stop judging!!