It’s surprising that more of Miami’s best barbecue joints haven’t figured out what Mel Rodriguez has: Take the scraps of your slow-smoked meats, grind them up, and put them in a burger patty to end up with something pretty spectacular. La Traila’s burgers are like eating a perfectly-formed prime brisket platter, which is then cleverly topped with pulled pork, swiss, and pickles for the Bar-b-Cuban. Or kept deliciously simple with provolone and onions.
How to book: Stop in for first-come, first-served service or order online
The basics: Austin pitmaster Mel Rodriguez brings classic Texas-style brisket, turkey, and pulled pork to South Florida, teaming up with Bills wideout McKenzie for some celebrity cache. While the meats are the headline-grabbers, the half-pound Pit-smoked Burger incorporates brisket scraps, creating some of the more unique flavors you’ll find squished between a bun. Even with his mastery of Texas technique, Rodriguez also nods to local cuisine with Brisket and Queso Empanadas and a standout Tres Leches for dessert—that is, assuming you’ve still got room.
What the pitmaster says: “I like what they’re doing with brisket, how they’re keeping it true to that real, Texas market-style,” says Society’s Hales. “Though I think you can have some fusion in barbecue, I love that they stick with that.”
Most people know Buffalo Bills wideout Isaiah McKenzie for his clutch catches and high-speed kick returns. But in Miami Lakes, they know him better for his Texas-style brisket, which he’s brought to the masses through this collaboration with Austin pitmaster Mel Rodriguez. Miami-native McKenzie created a cult hit with La Traila’s food truck through frequent appearances at Unbranded and other breweries. But the brick and mortar joint has gained just as big a following with its Brisket Sundae—mac and cheese topped with layers of beans, creamed corn, and smoked brisket. What’s not to love?
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order takeout and delivery online.