If you have a keen eye, you may have noticed that the large, pastel-colored, food truck-shaped building on Ventnor Avenue in Margate appears to have a new name, yet is run by the same owner. And if you have both a keen eye and a sharp memory you may also have noted that this is not the first time this business has reinvented itself.
“Originally when we opened in 2015 the name was Margate Burger, then we changed it to Margate Food Truck, then it was Margate Food Truck & Ice Cream and now we’ve decided to go with Miami Burger,” says Juan Herrera owner of the newly monikered Miami Burger.
Though it took him a while to decide on what to call his restaurant, the name Miami Burger fits well with Herrera’s background. “I was born in Columbia, but I grew up in Miami,” he says. Herrera officially moved to New Jersey in 2000, and spent more than 10 years working a variety of back of the house positions at Tropicana and various local restaurants, where he honed his skills in the kitchen.
Though he has been in the Garden State for nearly two decades, the Latin-flavored culture of Miami has clearly been a big influence on the menu at Miami Burger. Though Hererra insists he kept much of it unchanged from its previous incarnation, he did bring in some Latin flavors to spice things up.
“We added a couple things like the plantain sandwiches and stuff, but 95% of the menu is the same as before,” he notes.
The plantain sandwiches he references are known as Patacon sandwiches, a unique South American treat that swaps out the bread for fried plantains. Herrera has devoted an entire portion of his menu to them, with options such as pork belly, shredded chicken, ground beef and even a veggie version, all of which come topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and a secret house sauce.
“Different countries do them in different ways, but I learned about them in Columbia,” Herrera notes.
The Patacon sandwiches are just one of a variety of Latin-inspired menu items, as Miami Burger offers well known south-of-the-border classics like quesadillas, tacos, fajitas and sopes, all of which can be found on the “Spanish menu” — a subsection of Miami Burger’s menu.
Of course the main stars of the show at Miami Burger are the burgers. Herrera notes that he enjoys spending time tinkering with recipes till they are just right and it’s easy to tell when you bite into one of his creations such as The Ringer — an all-beef patty on a brioche bun topped with barbecue sauce, American cheese, bacon, onion rings and a fried egg; or The Hot Mama, which comes with jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, guacamole and their own hot mama sauce.
A turkey burger and a homemade black bean veggie burger are both available as well for those of you looking to avoid red meat (or meat in general).
Other non-burger-based sandwiches include the Grilled Chicken BLT, which takes a marinated grilled chicken breast and tops it with honey peppercorn bacon, chipotle ranch sauce, lettuce tomato and onion; or the outstanding Grilled Mahi Fish Sandwich which piles its brioche with grilled mahi, a ring of sliced pineapple, lettuce, tomato and a house-made spicy sauce.
Side dishes include classics like French fries and onion rings, as well as beef empanadas, tostones and more.
With a plentiful mix of American classics and unique Latin specialties, Miami Burger seems to be a perfect name for this spot. Of course next year they may have an even newer sign out front. Who knows? But for now this casual eatery with its bright picnic benches still offers up some seriously tasty grub.