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Aug 20, 2009 07:46 AM

Burger and Beer Joint Review

So last night my girlfriend and I made a second trip down in one day (lunch at Casale); and we were VERY impressed.

We started with "Diesel" chicken wings - the hottest sauce. Flavor was excellent, and the wings are braised before being fried, so the meat is very very tender, almost fall off the bone. The only downside to this process is it tends to make the skin less than crispy, but they were still good. They were served in a metal bucket, with a paper liner, ala Big Pink, and a side of really good, home made ranch dressing. Biggest complaint? They stick the celery in the bucket with the wings, which made the celery warm, bordering on hot. Kind of gross. Overall, really good wings, and there were 10 of them (8 drums, 2 flats) for $8. Not bad for South Beach.

My girlfriend had a Hefeweizen, to her delight, since she can't seem to find it anywhere in SFL. I ordered a Murphy's Irish Red, which they were unfortunately out of, however my second choice, Woodchuck Amber Cider, which I haven't had since culinary school in VT, was fantastic, if very over priced. On a side note, they have $3 cans of PBR, which is awesome. Woodchuck: $6, 16oz Hefeweizen: $8.

On to the burgers:

We both got the Thunder Road, which is the 10oz Kobe Burger (kobe beef in burgers is retarded IMO, but whatever), american cheese, a generous amount of bacon, house made BBQ sauce, LTO (the tomato was ripe, and looked great, even though I didn't eat it, or the lettuce), and a fantastic pickle on the side.

The burger is advertised as served medium rare, and we requested medium, as the texture of medium rare ground meat usually bothers me. The burgers came to the table steaming hot, and smelling fantastic. Since they are so large, my girlfriend felt compelled to cut hers in half, and discovered a textbook perfect medium-rare, not as ordered. She decided to eat it anyway, and since I didn't cut mine, I didn't discover the perfect medium rare in mine until I took a bite. My first bite was an amazing experience. There was a PERFECT sear on the burger, crispy, salty, black peppery, plus the sweetness of the bacon, and the onion I put on it with the BBQ sauce really all worked together. The sesame seed brioche bun was great, nicely browned in butter, with a nice chewy outer crust and a dense enough crumb to hold up to the juices from the burger, and not fall apart, while still being light and squishy.

The fries were shoestring, with a "batter" on them reminiscent of BK fries. They were crispy, perfectly salted, and great.

For dessert we shared a fried twinkie, with vanilla ice cream. I don't really need to describe this any further. It was good.

Total bill? Just over $64 with tax and tip. Not bad for a satisfying dinner in south beach, and you could easily spend that with similar items at a not so good place.

I recommend anyone who loves burgers to give it a try!

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  1. Couldnt agree more about the use of kobe in burgers. 99% of the time I think the restaurant uses regular ground sirloin and just calls it kobe to charge more. That burger sounds awesome. I need to get there this wknd.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Blind Mind

      BM-Ground Kobe makes a great burger, actually. As does American Kobe or Wagyu-extremely rare. However, I agree it is unlikely there is any Kobe beef on the premises. By the way, are they grinding their own beef? And with all the hoopla surrounding burgers, what is the makeup of their burgers? 80/20? What cuts? What USDA Grade? I'm just curious, is all. In NYC, burger joints tout their cuts, percentage of fat, and even supplier. Maybe it's overkill, but I'm just curious.

      1. re: Miami Danny

        Here in Miami they tout the number of "concepts" they have under one roof.

        1. re: Frodnesor

          Frod-Does each flat screen count as a different concept?

          1. re: Miami Danny

            Maybe if they're each showing a different game.

        2. re: Miami Danny

          In the end, who really cares, if it tastes good?

          1. re: rockysobe

            I don't care if it's kobe, waygu or just plain ol chuck ground. I went last night and it was outstanding. Something this beach has lacked for, well, ever. Sorry to say it , but 8 0z is like a school cafeteria compared to this place. The vibe is fantastic, there's a great, casual, local buzz and the ambience is terrific. The ice cream counter right next to the bar may be a bit odd, but when it comes to the food, it's top notch. I had a make your own burger---8 oz with jalapeno jack cheese and jalapenos, which turned out to be grilled poblanos, but frankly I could have eaten the burger plain it was so good. The standard medium rare temperature was perfect. The skinny fries in the can't stop. Perfectly salted and divine. Hubby had a Thunder Road Burger , too, (see above) and it was outstanding. We also had the Octane wings, which were not hot enough to my taste, although the manager told us they were working on perfecting the sauce. I didnt love the wings because they were braised and kept falling off the bone. Hubby was hooked. Loved, loved, loved 'em. The sauce was savory and delicious. We also had some mini corn dogs which were also uber tasty and make for a great beer snack. There is so much on the menu I need to go back and try. For my husband and me---I had two beers (there were 99 choices and I stuck with good ol Miller Lite because I am not a beer connossieur although I'd love to have tried all of them hailing from everywhere from Africa to Turkey and in between), hubby had three (Stella), we had wings, my burger and a side of fries and his speciality burger which came with fries and it was $75 (including tip). Meanwhile elsewhere in the "joint" is a sports bar with chalkboard walls and TVs where food is also served and an upstairs lounge where it's all about the booze. What a fun place with excellent food. And they opened on time. Impressive. Check it out before the lines are out the door. It was pretty packed last night already.

            1. re: HabaneroJane

              I agree on the ambiance, despite being packed, you could still hold a conversation without straining. They did a great job on this.

              I like it better than 8 oz too.

          2. re: Miami Danny

            To make a worthwhile Kobe or Wagyu burger it would have to be served raw, with a hard sear, otherwise all that precious fat would just melt out. The issue here is that even if served raw, with a hard sear, you are not going to get a "kobe experience" because the act of grinding the meat redistributes all the unsaturated fat into miniscule bits, plus about 25% of the fat will most likely end up on the grinder blades, tube, worm, and die, since those parts will heat up during grinding.

            Since they claim to use kobe, of course they are not advertising a percentage of beef/fat. USDA grades do not apply to kobe/wagyu as even the lowest quality true wagyu is off the charts of USDA Prime.

            Regardless of the beef issue and if they are telling the truth, it's a good burger. Sometimes we get too caught up in the subtle little details like the supplier, fat percentage, etc. While that stuff makes a difference (after-all, I AM a chef), sometimes I just like to sit down and eat a damn good burger!

            1. re: brandon_w

              Agreed, I am not even close to being a chef but I think we are all guilty of overrationalizing why something is good or not.

              1. re: tpigeon

                As I said-kobe or wagyu make excellent burgers if served extremely rare-I have had both. Obviously they are not using Japanese Kobe, and I'm sure they don't claim to be.
                Additionally, the USDA grades all beef that is consumed in this country. And true Japanese Kobe is graded by the Japanese, as well. Kobe can be ground by hand and if done properly, it makes a perfectly amazing burger.
                I like to sit down to a good burger too, but if the menu says something (free-range chicken, organic Brussels sprouts, or whatever) it better be on the plate.

                1. re: Miami Danny

                  I'm so over the whole kobe thing..just give me regular old fashioned hamburger meat...

                  1. re: HabaneroJane

                    Yea! If that's what you've been getting anyway, just paying more for it!

                  2. re: Miami Danny

                    "Additionally, the USDA grades all beef that is consumed in this country."

                    Not quite true. The USDA inspects all meat for wholesomeness, however beef grading (i.e., "prime", "choice", etc.) is voluntary on the part of the producer.


                    And I am likewise tired of the inacccurate and potentially misleading use of "Kobe beef." Kobe is a place in Japan. If the beef doesn't come from Kobe, it shouldn't be called Kobe beef. "Wagyu" is arguably more appropriate as it describes a breed (breeds actually I suppose) of cattle which are raised throughout the world now.

                    Does it make a better burger? Maybe a taste test is in order.

                    1. re: Frodnesor

                      Frodo-You are correct-I meant to say that the USDA INSPECTS all beef consumed in this country.
                      American Kobe is a cattlemen's trademark and Wagyu is another variable term-how much of the wagyu breed must there be for the meat to be called wagyu? Essentially, you are at the mercy of the supplier/restaurant. Caveat emptor 'sall I was saying. When I used to buy my wagyu patties and steaks from Norman Bros. I put my trust in them. At a restaurant? I'd have to see the invoice to believe it

          3. How is the beer selection? Heavy emphasis on the craft brews? Any rarer or more unusual products from those breweries?

            4 Replies
            1. re: mikek


              The B&B website is not running but South Florida Beer Blog did a nice write up here:


              We hung out at B&B bar and they are aiming for "99 bottles of Beer on the Wall" and also have Brooklyn on the tap line up (love Brooklyn!)

              Big shout out to the burger beast who eats too much so you don't have to!


              Te Amo Beast! Woof!


                1. re: advisor_Girl

                  Love Brooklyn Brewery. Do you remember which of their brews are offered?

                  Brooklyn's Brewmaster Series beers are absolutely fantastic (has the beer for 3 months and then it is permanently retired). I am actually in the midst of their brewmaster, Garrett Oliver's, book The Brewmaster's Table right now. Anyone into beer and food pairings should pick this book up yesterday.

                2. re: mikek

                  Beer selection is excellent, broken down my country (like a wine list). As a side note, I returned on Friday night with my co-worker, and the food wasn't as good; along with several screw ups on the service side. Obviously, they have some kinks to work out, but even with the slightly over-cooked burgers, being out of the buns we wanted, and forgetting toppings, it was STILL better than 8oz.

                  We compared the wagyu/kobe burger against the regular on Friday. No discernible difference.

                  As a delicious bit of extra review, we ordered a fried egg on one of them, and it was fried in butter, which was a nice surprise.

                3. Finally made it over. The chicken wings were fantastic, really enjoyed them. Great music selection too. The burger with guac/fried egg/sour cream was great, only complaint being the bottom half of the bun got too soggy, but the flavors were spot on. We also got the fly like an eagle (2 5 oz turkey patties, stuffing and cranberry sauce) on a bun, which was fantastic. Love thanksgiving flavors, especially on a sandwich (had to get a bun separate). The sweet potato fries were ok, a little soggy. The steak fries were delicious and the truffle mac n cheese was excellent too.

                  Only two complaints. One, $1.50 for both ranch and blue cheese dressing for the wings seemed a bit unnecessary, but no big deal (both were delicious by the way).

                  My other complain deals with the beer program at this place. 99 bottles of beer is great, but in this case, I think is entirely misfocused. A burger is a staple of American food. I do not want a Chinese or Bahamian beer to wash it down. They do have Anchor Steam, Abita and a couple of others, but there is nothing from Stone, Avery, Bells, Great Divide, no Brooklyn other than the lager. The beer program should be built on American micro/craft brews to go with the quintessential American food, not random beers from random countries that in many cases are just not very good beers.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: mikek

                    mikek, thanks for your info....I have yet to venture to B&B but hope to soon....I think it is a bit trivial arguing about the type of ground beef used, it's a burger not steak tartar (as to other posts)...You are spot on with your observation about the beers offered. I grew up in the Pacific NW and it's all about the micro brews up there. I like to see beers of quality and depth..Michael's Genuine has a smaller selection, but one that fits the bill. One reason perhaps has to do with the number of distributers here in SOFLO. In order to get certain products one must be willing to buy in larger quantities, which in turn would mean a larger inventory. Offering so many beers at once management would likely have to compromise the supply they have to offer. I could be wrong, but I think this is the case.

                    1. re: mikek

                      Thanks for the info mikek. Im often disappointed that burger joints dont recognize that a burger needs a bun with a good density on the bottom of it so it doesnt get all soggy. Usually, I turn the burger over onto its top when I place it down to avoid the sog.

                      Also agree 100% on the types of beer offered. Burgers and Beer is as American as it gets. They should have more American microbrews in there. I intend to give this place a try sometime soon.

                      1. re: Blind Mind

                        They should bring in the manager of Abraxas for a little help in refocusing their beer menu.

                      2. re: mikek

                        Made my first visit on Sunday also, had no wait for a table although the placed was packed. Food was excellent as was the service.

                        We started with the wings and bucket of bacon. The wings were pretty good and I enjoyed them but i prefer the outside a little crispy or charred. The bacon was a generous portion of thick sliced duroc bacon, cooked well, chewy not crispy. Drenched in some of the maple glaze they are served with, this was the best heart attack you could ever eat. I managed to take some home for breakfast the next am.

                        For the burgers, my gf went with the Hotel California (salsa, avocado, grilled onion, cheddar, cilantro, sour cream, fried egg!) while I went Thunder Road (bacon, american cheese, bourbon bbq sauce). Both came with skinny fries (so addictive) although I swapped for the onion rings (likewise delicious). For some reason unknown, our burgers took a LONG time to come out. We were not even stressing it, enjoying out apps and drinks, but our waiter Tommy was the man. He brought us each a drink on the house, and upsized my rings to a full order (served with a cheddar sauce with chopped jalapeno). He also accommodated our six year old who kept asking for a milkshake (the kids meal comes with an ice cream cone) and brought that out instead. Also managed to get an "adult milkshake" to go, haha. I asked for the banana/rocky road one but I guess I wasn't too clear about it since I was brought the vanilla one. Even though I tasted it inside it didn't hit me that it was the wrong one until half way home. Either way, gimme one of these any time.

                        Wholeheartedly agree with MikeK's disappointment at the beer list. For a list with 99 choices, the sloppy international focus makes no sense to me. Why do they have Tsingtao and not Terrapin? Was also looking for more on tap (although that Brooklyn lager did taste mighty fine). Is the beer list online the same as from your visit?

                        All in all, great visit at a great new spot. Not sure it needs to be said, but RIP 8 OZ...

                      3. just ate at burger and beer and was impressed with the product ,service,and most important, the management.I ate at the restaurant bar with casey and alexis? as bartenders and was served ice tea promptly and a menu provided with suggestions as to what are the strongest dishes to order.Casey even suggested substituting the duck fries for the skinny fries with my thunder road burger.Thick cut potato strips.As soon as my burger arrived the director of operations came to me thinking there may have been a mistake as i ordered medium rare and she felt it was too overcooked for my liking .I told her i like my burgers medium,but i order medium rare as a defence mechanism because its south beach and sometimes the staff down here are not known for promptness and things lay under a heat lamp too long.I broke open the burger to show that it was medium which is how i really like it.A general manager came by to ask how my experience eating there was and buzzie sklar ,the owner, also asked how things were.This hands on mangement and ownership is sorely lacking in many south beach restaurants.The restaurant has a section called the "sports bar" with about 6 t.v.s ,maybe 10 chairs around the bar,and cigarette smoke which had me scampering back to the front of the restaurant .The staff is friendly and highly energetic.My compliments to one of the few restaurants to open in south beach recently with a clue about service without the attitude.

                        1. Went back last night. The tuna burger there rocks! It is a ground sushi tuna patty with a charred outside and perfectly rare inside. The jalapeno salsa and garlic mayo worked very well with the dish too. The onion rings there are pretty damn serious and come with the burger.

                          The chocolate burger was a good play on the house signature item, and even made a molten chocolate cake a bit interesting, with the brioche french toast bun.

                          Going back to the beer issue. It is actually a bit better than I thought. They have 4 dogfish heads (including my favorite at the moment, the Indian Brown Ale), two or three Stone beers and a few others. There is something good to delve into, it is just lacking some of the depth that they could explore by cutting down on the generic international brands.