I heard about this new event in Miami called The Grind Miami's Burger Battle. It sounded like a great way for local restaurants to come together and show off their burger creations to new potential customers in a fun filled evening of grilling and chilling. Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned. As we entered the building during the VIP hour we were immediately struck by a heat wave and we could already see smoke hovering around, YES SMOKE! They were grilling indoors and the only ventilation was through small windows located near the high ceiling and a few open doorways. Logistically this was not a plausible venue for this type of event.
I walked over to a couple of the burger tables. The restaurants were in good spirits under the circumstances, especially Frita Man who has one of Miami's popular food trucks. There were thirty plus restaurants present, all of which were serving wonderfully creative burgers that would make any city proud. I enjoyed trying Charm City Burger's The PIG MAC with pork belly tater tots. Eating all of these burgers would be almost impossible unless by a very talented eater. So, I made my way towards the judges table since perhaps they would have a better approach to the task.
|JUDGE NBC Miami Anchor Belkys Nerey|
The judges were a panel of some of Miami's most talented chefs, restauranteurs and local celebrities including Norman Van Aken, Steven Haas, Belkys Nery and Miami's own The Burger Beast. The judges where presented with massive full size burgers on there table and managed to chew on red-eyed during the smoke build up. Horrified, I got the hell out! By then, general admission ticket holders had been let in. People in droves were going for the burgers, piling them high on there plates and heading out too. Seems the event had turned into a take-out party.
|Charm City Burger Pig Mac|
Turns out, shortly after I left, the Fire Marshall evacuated the building to allow the smoke to clear. But, given the time it took for that to occur The Grind Burger Battle was terminated with no official winner announced. The Fan Favorite winner was Shake Shack. A couple of days later, event director Tony Albelo made a public apology and blamed technical issues with their main air-conditioner. He said any refunds would be on a case by case basis and promised to give people a 50% discount to attend The Grind Burger Battle next year. -Um... NEXT YEAR?
|Shake Shack Burger|