With champagne budgets rare these days, it seems perfect timing for South Beach’s new The Burger & Beer Joint? Owners Buzzy Sklar (Automatic Slim’s, Ego Trip) and Ron Garcia (Sushi Samba, Wolfgang Puck’s, Acqua at Bellagio) have created an overnight sensation that is drawing crowds like a Guns N Roses reunion concert. The fun menu that’s drawing raves, and with good reason. “We don’t just consider ourselves a burger place; we consider ourselves a gourmet burger place,” says Sklar.
Ambiance: The Burger & Beer Joint has the feel of an old neighborhood pub, with chalky red salvaged-brick walls, high-backed wooden booths and copper ceilings. The look is so authentic you’d swear you were in Boston or New York, not a South Beach condo-hood.
- A bucket of outrageously tasty and tender tempura-ed “octane wings” (braised organic chicken doused with homemade hot sauce)
- “Basket o’ bacon” featuring thick-sliced, hickory-smoked Duroc pork belly and maple syrup for dipping
- Addictive fried rounds of pickles with blue cheese sauce
- Pencil-thin fries
- Carb-phobic “Buck Naked” burger, prime Angus beef wrapped in lettuce with tomato, grilled red onion and pickle
- “Stairway to Heaven” burger, American Kobe-style (Wagyu) beef, Hudson Valley foie gras and black truffle demi-glace on a brioche bun
- Vegetarian “Dear Prudence” with a portobello mushroom loaded with arugula, charred red peppers and walnut pesto
- “Fly Like an Eagle” sandwich featuring moist homemade stuffing, brown gravy and cranberry sauces stuffed between two turkey patties
- “Turning Japanese” burger, a ruby red, nearly raw slab of yellowfin tuna covered in garlicky mayo with cucumber and jalapeno salsa and pickled ginger on a fine onion bun
- Outrageously good onion rings on the side
- A rocking root beer float with sweet, foamy bubbles we craved
What Didn’t Work
- A more gimmicky than gourmet 10-pound Mother Burger billed as “a ginormous beast the size of a manhole cover and sandwiched in a bun the size of a couch cushion!”
- A banana split with more air and ice than preferred