It took two years of planning, designing, building, and tasting for Frank Amedia and his family to open up Knucklehead Burgers in Davie - their first restaurant venture.
After many other successful non-food business ventures, Amedia took to the fast-casual concept for his first time with Knucklehead Burgers. The term "knucklehead," he says, is actually not an insult.
"It's not a fighting word, it's a term of endearment," he says. "It seemed right to call the restaurant 'knucklehead' since I say it all the time."
What's also endearing is the restaurant décor. The 1500 sq. ft. location opened in August and is full of bright blue and green-clad walls surrounded by squares of cartoon eyes, part of the restaurant's branding.
Three TVs show football games on Sundays to the visiting patrons. Amedia hopes to expand the seating with outside options in the coming months.
The 6-oz burgers are a certified Angus beef blend of filet mignon, brisket and chuck.
"We tasted mixtures six months before we asked about filet," Amedia says. "The quality mixed with the brisket and Angus chuck gave all the flavor without all of the fat."
It's the burgers that the knuckleheads stop by for, including the Rise & Shiner: a hand-formed patty with a fried egg, sharp cheddar and smoked pecan bacon ($8).
Or try the Tastie-Toastie Swishroom Burger - sautéed mushrooms and melted Swiss cheese ($7.59). For the non-meat eaters, there's even a Chipotle Black Bean Burger ($6.59).
Even the sandwiches get a twist. There's the Mahoney's Baloney, thick bologna slices, a fried egg and American cheese on Texas toast ($6). Amedia says the sandwich is his home state of Ohio.
You can even skip the fries and opt for the basket of homemade chips, topped with bleu cheese crumbles and bacon ($4.59). Amedia says they're the most popular side choice.
To wash it all down, grab one of the dozen different craft beer options. Amedia's son-in-law changes the beer menu constantly, even bringing in a variety requested by the customers.
"Serious burger people are also serious beer people," he says.
Amedia plans to open a second location in Fort Lauderdale early next year, along with spots in California and Pittsburgh.
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