May is National Burger Month and Miami.com’s guest writer, the Burger Beast, is your guide this month to all things burger related.
Miami is known worldwide for being a melting pot of cultures. It only makes sense that we’d have a variety of burgers that embrace the diversity here.
Some of these “Miami burgers” did not originate in South Florida but found their way here through its people. Others were created by taking a flavor profile that was popular in Miami and merging it with the good ol’ American hamburger. Neither one is better than the other, but they all represent us — and it’s important during National Burger Month that you know them.
Originally sold as street food in 1930s Cuba, the frita cubana made its way to South Florida in 1961 when Fritas Domino opened in Little Havana. The seasoned beef and sometimes pork and/or chorizo patty leans heavy on Spanish smoked paprika. It’s cooked on a flat top and covered in julienned potatoes (or potato sticks), onions and ketchup. The frita was Americanized by Ortelio Cardenas (El Mago de las Fritas) when he added American cheese to it the early 1980s. At the time, Ortelio was working for his brother-in-law Benito Gonzalez better known as El Rey de las Fritas. Order it with cheese and risk having old school Cubans look at you with the evil eye, though.