By Elizabeth Stewart
The goods: Since the day a fire took down Arnold’s Royal Castle, Miamians have been waiting (and salivating) for the burger staple to re-open its doors. The 50 year-old locals’ spot, now back in business after its three–year sabbatical, hasn’t lost an ounce of its authenticity or flavor. Once inside, you are surrounded with a cloud of grill smoke that fills the small space just reminding you why you’ve waited so patiently. A few bright orange booths and tables fill the room, but the best spot is at the bar where you will find yourself in the center of the action. With fiery personalities behind and around the counter, Royal Castle’s energy makes solo dining enjoyable – possibly even preferred.
The grub: The 24-hour joint is known mostly for its original 99-cent Castleburger topped with sautéed chopped onions, but offers much more than juicy burgers at a price that rivals a Micky D’s value meal. A castelburger combo, including three burgers, fries and a large soda is $5. And for those that want to skip the sides and go straight for the meat, purchase six Castleburgers for a measly $5. The menu is also full of diner-items like chicken fingers, fish filets, and even has an extensive breakfast menu complete with eggs, cheese grits, pancakes, and French toast. Not a beef eater? Royal Castle also makes a mean veggie burger.
The verdict: The original “sliders” creator, this infamous spot keeps it simple. Their patties may not be trendy like the Kobe Beef version, but the delectable bite-sized burgers pack a lot of bang, for only a buck.
Arnold’s Royal Castle, 12490 NW 7th Ave, 305.681.5346
The original Castle Burgers and fries. Photo: Patrick Farrell