A burger between fried plantain buns is a thing of glory, and you can find them at the new Pincho Factory in Pembroke Pines.
Finally, Broward County residents can get a taste of this Miami import, a locally inspired fast-casual chain that's made its mark in recent years by creating fare like the toston burger (as well as a pastelito and arepa burger) in addition to its signature frita-style Pincho burger.
Now five locations strong, Pincho Factory began as a humble, family-run eatery in 2010. At the time, brothers Nedal and Nizar Ahmad had decided to partner with their cousin, Otto Othman, delivering their backyard barbecue recipes in a fast-casual format of burgers and kebabs representative of their Middle Eastern heritage (with a Latin flare).
The burger and pincho place has been on somewhat of a tear over the past several years. There are now four restaurants, including the original location in Westchester, one near FIU, one in Coral Gables, and the newest corporate store that opened last week in Hialeah. There's also the three-week-old Pembroke Pines restaurant, what stands as the company's first franchise location, with more on the way.
Pincho Factory has not only grown in terms of locations but also a number of new burgers, many of which have received national recognition (a spot on the Today Show, for one). But not many people know the boys' most crazy concoctions were — at one time —chalkboard specials. A few of them were so well-received they turned to permanent menu items.
One of the most popular specials, now a Pincho favorite, is the toston burger.
Conceptualized by co-owner Nedal's Venezuelan wife, the toston burger is a fast-food translation for pabellón criollo, the traditional Venezuelan dish is made up of shredded beef, black beans, rice, and fried plantains. At Pincho Factory, it's a five-ounce all-beef patty fitted between two golden yellow discs of fried plantain as buns and topped with melted white American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and Nedal's cilantro and roasted garlic sauces.
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Some words of advice: Order the Pincho Factory toston burger with a side of the eatery's now-famous sweet potato tots, nuggets of creamy-sweet potato encased in a thin-fried shell that arrive with a side of homemade apple butter dipping sauce; close your eyes after a quick dip in the cinnamon- and brown-sugar-laced sauce and you'll swear your eating a slice of Thanksgiving pie — but better.
It all goes down way too easy with a pint or two of the Pincho 627, a snappy and refreshing saison brewed with lime and coriander exclusively for Pincho Factory by Miami's Wynwood Brewing.
Pincho Factory is located at 155 N. Hiatus Road, Pembroke Pines. Call 754-888-9746, or visit pinchofactory.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.