The Burger Beast Interview
The Burger Beast is a South Florida eating machine chewing his way through fried-food-America and blogging his reviews of various establishments at BurgerBeast.com. Most of his posts center on Dade and Broward, but they also cover cities as far as Atlanta, where he recently found himself, and soon Minneapolis, where his compadre the Ayatollah Bromeini will send dispatches from.
According to Beast's blogger profile "The Burger Beast was originally started as an ode to burgers, but has since progressed to include other food establishments. Man can not live by burger alone."
In a recent email interview, the Burger Beast gave us his thoughts on the hater in all of us, steamed hamburgers, and eating roadkill. Here's what he had to say.
"Before I even considered creating a website about my love affair with burgers, my wife always pointed out how, no matter what type of restaurant we went to, I ordered a burger. This is what I remember her telling me that day "The way you eat those burgers, you're a beast." Later on, she also coined the term Burger Beast when the original name I wanted for the site was taken (for the record, I wanted "nowthatsatastyburger.com")
2. Your best independent burger recommendations for Dade and Broward
For Dade I would definitely suggest Keg South (try the location on US1, not the Kendall location, it's seen better days) and Kingdom. For Broward, I'll go with Le Tub and Jack's Old Fashion (although upon my first try I was not too impressed). For something a tad different go to La Moon in Coral Gables and get the Crazymoon Burger. Right now though, I'm obsessed with the Black and Blue Burger at John Martin's in Coral Gables. As long as I'm dropping the names of places I like, check out El Mago De Las Fritas on 8th St. for the best frita (cuban hamburger) in Miami.
3. Fast food sales are skyrocketing, what are your views on the broke economy burger and all the fancypants joints tryin to cash in and are they doin a good job
I honestly do not eat fast food as often as I used to. I think the 99 cent menus at food places do give some good value at times, but the quantity is not there for me.
I had decided to start reviewing at one point burgers at steakhouses but after my experience with Morton's, I changed my mind.
4. Best way to cook a burger: Baked, fried, BBQ coal or wood, some way I didnt mention
I prefer BBQ if it's a thicker burger, or on the griddle if smaller. I've never had a baked burger that I liked. I'd like to try a steamed burger.
5. Worst burger chain....talk about the poll you're running, why it's important and whats it mean
Everytime I read a poll I see something like "What is your favorite cheese?" or "What day of the week is best to eat a burger?". I decided to ask a question I figured would strike more of a nerve. Let's be honest here, who doesn't like to tell someone, hey , what you like sucks (there's a hater in all of us). Well, here's your chance. It's interesting that as I'm writing this, McDonald's is leading with 25% of the vote, yet they're the most popular fast food place in the U.S.(I voted for Checkers). Someone did ask me why I included Five Guys (which I happen to like) in the poll. The answer is I get alot of Five Guys hate mail. Now, just because I like it, doesn't mean it doesn't deserve to be on there.
6. Would you burger beast for a living, what do you eat when you're not eating burgers, why don't you sell merch through your site, how many a nites a week do you go out to eat, have you ever got feedback from places you've featured, are you susceptible to burgerola (the burger version of payola)
Would I Burger Beast for a living? I think I am, burgerbeast.com is a labor of love (I hate when people say that, yet here I am saying it). I look forward to hearing reader's opinion positive or negative. I've never claimed to be "the final word" in burgers. I just go about letting you know what I think and sometimes people agree and sometimes they don't. It's OK with me either way.
When I'm not eating burgers, I'm eating spicy chicken sandwiches. Now if you meant other than eating, I'm a big film and music fan. The Wrestler has been my favorite film this year (been a Mickey Rourke fan since the 80s) and right now I'm looking forward to the new PJ Harvey album.
Merch? We're working on a logo right now. Once that's out of the way, the first wave of merch will be given away via contests on the site.
I eat out anywhere between 3 and 5 times a week, but it almost becomes a task, as I always try to include one or two new places so I can get in a review. This drives Marcela (my wife) crazy.
A couple of places have written and thanked me for their reviews. Burgerola? You need to copyright that term, it's a good one. I have been accused of this on more than one occasion. I'm not susceptible unless the burgers are stuffed with benjamins. Funny story about that. I was contacted by a company (not gonna mention the name) to review their product. I agreed as long as I got some extras to give away on burgerbeast.com. This guy not only tells me that he can not give me some product for giveaways, he feeds me some phrases he wants me to insert in my review with links to products. I write the guy back and ask if he ever considered the fact that I might not like his product. I never heard back from him again. Damn, jerky.com, whoops.
7. How does South Florida rank on your burger meter, what can we do to improve our burger culture
I like the South Florida burger scene just fine. I haven't even reviewed half of all the places that have been suggested to me which means there is a long road ahead of me.
I'd like to see some of the West Coast chains make their way here, specifically In-N-Out.
8. Would you eat non traditional ingredient burgers like dog, horse, lemur, cat, rat, coon, moose, ostrich, goat etc.
I would but I probably wouldn't enjoy it. Although a Roadkill burger has a nice ring to it.
9. Is this a quest, a passion or a hobby and what do your cast of characters think about it
It's probably a mix of the 3. I'm driven to get to as many places as possible. It's always great to find my new favorite burger.
Initially everyone thought I was crazy, but I've never had a problem getting someone to come along with me to a new restaurant. So who's crazy now.
10. I wanna be a burger beast too, what does it take and how do I know when I made it
I don't know if I would wish it on anyone else. If you're driven with the insatiable desire to eat burgers everywhere you go, then you're half way there. You know you've made it when you go online and check your bank statement and every other charge is for a burger.
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