Only the boldest, hungriest diners dare take on A&G Burger Joint’s Creature Burger—a gigantic tower of meats, toppings, and pickles weighing in at more than four pounds. But if these intrepid eaters can polish off the hefty burger—along with a pound of fries—they are rewarded with a t-shirt, plaque, and $20 gift card.
The Creature Burger is the brainchild of chef Alex Parra, who also extends his culinary expertise to a variety of more diminutive burgers. Deep in his kitchen, the skilled chef showers Angus beef patties with imaginative toppings, such as housemade barbecue sauce, fried egg, and roasted poblano peppers. Alex invites guests to invent their own burgers from a selection of five different buns, patties, cheeses, and sauces, encouraging them to come up with a name, back-story, and favorite Beatles song for their original creations—such as “Mustard-Yellow Submarine”. Out in the retro dining room, glasses of craft brews clink over plates of truffle fries between black-and-white walls speckled with old-fashioned pin-up artwork.
What originally began as a modest shop in the back of a home in Santiago de Cali has morphed into Sandwich Qbano, a sandwich chain with locations across Colombia and Florida. The eatery churns out wraps, salads, and sandwiches such as the italiano, the teriyaki, and the classic cuban.
Smashburger isn't just the name—it's the way chefs, otherwise known as Burger Smashers, cook every burger. First, they form never-frozen, 100% Certified Angus Beef into a giant meatball. Then they season it, place it on a butter-glazed grill, and smash it into a patty. The process caramelizes the beef, locking in flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. Each slab is then sandwiched in an artisan bun and is turned into one of an array of standard burgers or locally inspired specialties unique to each market.
This handcrafting approach typifies everything else the restaurant does, from blending handspun shakes to hand painting Smashburger's logo onto every beverage cup. Letting its food stand for itself and relying mostly on word of mouth for advertising, the Smashburger franchise expanded from one restaurant in 2007 to 220 today, with its swift growth from zero to 100 stores making it one of the nation's fastest-growing restaurant companies. This rapid development even caught the attention of Forbes and Inc. along the way.
Italian dinner hosts never allow their guests to leave the table until buttons are bursting and plates are spinning precariously on rods. This intense passion for food paired with a welcome-to-the-family attitude generates the perfect semolina storm from which today's deal was spun. For $15, you get $35 worth of Italian cuisine and drinks at Kaliapy's in Pinecrest. As casual as it is fine, the family-operated establishment has been inviting hungry guests to dine in a capacious yet cozy setting since 2006. Bring your whole entourage and reap the benefits of combined powers—parties of four or more can use two Groupons.
The chefs at Del Sur Market aren’t trying to come up with new and crazy toppings for their dishes; they’re trying to enhance the dishes’ natural flavors with simple, complementary sauces and sides. The result is a fresh-tasting menu of artisanal dishes, ranging from the nuanced flavors of the cheeses on the house mozzarella bar to the grilled rib eye rubbed with rosemary sea salt and topped with kalamata olives and red potatoes. The chefs aren’t afraid to make unique choices when pursuing a dish’s natural flavor, however, and so they wrap grilled filet mignon in pancetta and serve it over cremini mushroom risotto and incorporate pears and gorgonzola into ravioli nestled in a marsala wine sauce. They can also recommend boutique vintages of wine that pair well with the dishes' natural flavors, creating well-rounded gourmet meals for both lunch and dinner.
The world’s a different place than it was in 1962, when the Beatles were kings, JFK was president, and the internet sounded like the name of some kind of obscure tennis equipment. However, despite a half-century of changes, at least one thing remains consistent: when they want a darn good burger, people still come to the Keg South. The sound of familiar greetings echoes against the wood-paneled walls of the 50-year-old establishment, mingling with the clatter of billiard balls and clink of frosted mugs. Neon beer signs and flat-screen televisions cast a colorful glow on the regular clientele, who munch thick beef burgers, freshly cut fries, and grilled wings. Throughout the year, the pub staff holds special events out in the parking lot, including a Christmas pig roast that was called out in the Miami Herald.