Cuban croquetas are the star at Croquetapalooza

Friday's Croquetapalooza will highlight the humble croqueta. (Roberto Koltun/The Miami Herald)Roberto Koltun

Croquetapalooza is more than what you call every Cuban birthday party.

In Miami, you call it an event.

The humble Cuban finger food steps into the spotlight Aug. 25 at the annual Burger Beast contest to see who makes the most delicious version. The event, limited to those 21 and older because alcohol is served, will be held at the Magic City Casino, home of the Burger Museum by Burger Beast.

More than 15 different restaurants and croqueta makers — some coming from as far as Texas — will riff on the croqueta to try to win over the judges. The event culminates in a croqueta-eating contest, which once crowned the former Miami Springs mayor as champion.

READ MORE: This man loves hamburgers so much he built a museum to them

The croqueta competitors include some of Miami’s favorite plus restaurants known for putting a spin on traditional Latin fare. They range from the inventive, such as Asian-Cuban-Peruvian fusion Finka Table & Tap and Sakaya Kitchen, to traditionalists Pinecrest Bakery and last year’s winner, Palomilla Grill. In between, there are newcomers such as Breadman bakery (the Hialeah standby with a new location in Westchester) and Croquette, a Dallas farmers market food stand founded by a pair of one-time Miamians.

A frita showdown — a contest for who makes the best version of the Cuban hamburger — will be served as a side dish.

Tickets, which cost $50 a piece and include drinks from Tito’s Handmade and Concrete Beach Brewery beer, are available online at Croquetapalooza.com.

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