Saturday, April 28, 2012

ROK:BRGR Burger Bar and Gastropub to open in Miami.

 After months of long meetings and scouting trips across South Florida, owner Marc Falsetto finds a cozy spot in South Miami to open his second ROK:BRGR!  It took a year of planning, but ROK:BRGR will bring their high-energy and award winning burgers to Miami after buying the same property that use to be Segafredo on 73rd ST in South Miami. ROK:BRGR took downtown Fort Lauderdale by storm when it opened its doors in November of 2010. With a wide range of gourmet burgers, full liquor bar, Monday Night Football and happy hour specials, this city is in for a real treat. ROK:BRGR Miami will offer pretty much the same menu as the Fort Lauderdale site but a bit larger. With seating for 144 guest and a jazzed up outdoor terrace featuring live music on selective nights. Falsetto and Chef Robyn Martinez are always working on new and delectable creations that will keep you coming back for more. Not to mention a commitment to customer satisfaction that offers a seamless dining experience. For almost two years now, I've been making the 45 minute drive to Fort Lauderdale just to get my burger fix.  Not that I’m complaining but now I know I’ll have a second home in Miami. Be ready to satisfy all your food and drink desires at what will soon be Miami's new hot spot!

For more info visit ROK:BRGR

Monday, April 23, 2012

Burger Battle III

On Friday, May 11th the Riverwalk Trust hosts the third annual Burger Battle™. Join me under the stars at the Huizenga Plaza from 7 to 10pm. This year Burger Battle hosts twenty four of South Florida's top restaurants. They'll go against one another competing for several awards including “Best Burger.” Last year’s event was absolutely amazing and tickets are going fast! Visit and get yours now! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Catch 53

As someone who frequently visits the Florida Keys, I consider myself a little more lucky than some. With restaurants that serve up cuisine reflecting the proximity of the Bahamas and Caribbean, plus incredible sunset views, it’s a slice of heaven just a short ride away. After discussing what we wanted to eat, my friends and I decided on Catch 53.

Catch 53 is located at 13205 Overseas Hwy, behind the Holiday Inn Express (ocean side). The restaurant features a wood burning oven and the Keys' biggest Mahogany tree bar top, which overlooks Tarpon Creek. As we entered we were pleasantly greeted by the hostess and taken to our seat outdoors. The view and ambiance was very nice and we expected a great experience. However, the only part that was great was when we left. Keep this mind - Catch 53's Facebook page claims they “focus on hospitality.”

After being seated it took nearly 10 minutes for our server to acknowledge that we were alive. After placing our drink order, it took exactly 32 minutes to receive our drinks! I say again… 32 minutes. To me that is almost criminal. After quenching our thirst we FINALLY got a chance to order our food. The hilarious part was that she asked, “Ready to order?.” By this point we were so hungry and upset we asked for the appetizer to come out with the main dishes. I guess that was too much to ask for because that didn't even happen. So, after one full hour we received the appetizer, the Short Rib stickers, which were actually pretty good. The discussion came up whether they were really that good or is it just the fact we’re starving? My black & bleu burger arrived at the table 15 minutes after. By that point, the only thing they did right was cook my burger to a perfect medium rare. The fries were nothing to boast about but the roasted garlic mash potato was superb. My friend’s caprese pizza was delicious and sizable. The dough and crust are great but last time I checked, the toppings on a pizza should be generous. At Catch 53 they’re paltry at best. By this point we all felt like we had been sitting for 5 hours, we just wanted our check. Even that was a mission, and 2 hours and 19 minutes later we got the heck out of there!

I was totally disappointed with my visit to Catch 53. It’s unconscionable how bad the service was. Memo to owners Peter and Maria: You learn most from unhappy customers. I suggest that all your employees take a course on hospitality, lower your prices which are unreasonable and hire bartenders that have a idea what’s going on. Consider yourselves fortunate I didn’t raise hell. Your menu is limited but the food is above average. There’s a lot of potential for this place to develop. I may be the only one of my group that feels this way but I do intend in giving Catch 53 a second chance.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Grind

For months I was looking forward to The Grind, I mean who wasn’t? A burger showdown between some of the top restaurants in South Florida, add to that all you can drink and this event had “awesomeness” written all over it… so I thought. The concept was good and so was the set up. They had a DJ playing a good mix of dance and house music and later a live band. Not to mention plenty of beer, soda and bottled water stands. Unfortunately the biggest problem besides the joke of a VIP section, location and bathrooms was the smoke!

Not sure who ever thought 30 grills cooking indoors was a good idea but HELLO, last time I checked unless you're using a Foreman Grill, you grill outdoors. By the time we arrived, it was as one foodie put it, “Hot and smoky.” And boy was it ever! From my understanding the main A/C unit crashed and that’s when the trouble started. That didn't surprise me; I mean the place is a dump! It’s a concrete box (Miami Entertainment Complex) in the middle of a not so pleasant neighborhood. And a few open windows and doors weren't going to stop that crazy amount of smoke. Many of the people I spoke to were very uncomfortable and upset. By the end of the night I was known as “Captain Red Eye.” It was about 8:45pm when I noticed the fire marshal telling people to shut down the grills. At that point I knew it was all said and done. I was only able to sample 6 burgers and Smokey Bones Grill was the best of these.

The Grind's director, Tony Albelo, a few days later gave an explanation and what I thought was a sincere apology for that happened. Also e-mail The Grind at, give them your ticket number, contact info and your concerns to receive 50% off your ticket for next year’s event. Participating restaurant Pincho Factory was nice enough to offer 50% off their delicious Pincho Burger by just showing your Grind ticket. I do plan on attending next years event to see if people really do learn from their mistakes. I think we could all agree that this event has the potential to be great! Till next year...