August 16, 2013

The Best Frita in Miami

A frita, a.k.a. The Cuban Hamburger is a seasoned ground beef patty (sometimes mixed with chorizo), topped with shoestring potatoes, diced raw onions and ketchup, it is cooked on a flattop served on a Cuban bread bun.

Frita from El Rey de las Fritas Miami

“The Frita is mostly found in South Florida but its origins are from 1930s Cuba where it was street food. Carts with propane fueled stoves lined the street selling Fritas to customers.” – excerpted from

In my book, the Food Lovers’ Guide to Miami & Fort Lauderdale I talk about the dueling fritas of Miami, El Mago and El Rey. El Rey de las Fritas translated means “the King of the Fritas.” This King of Fritas does a good job packing flavor and heat into this fried wonder.

El Rey de las Fritas

Aesthetically, El Rey de las Fritas is bursting with personality, with its vibrant red splashes of color and photos of menu items displayed proudly on the walls.

El Rey de las Fritas

Walking into El Rey de las Fritas you cannot help but smile out loud, a colorful kaleidoscope of busyness, this luncheonette overflows with character. At the time I visited El Rey de las Fritas, I did not know the owners, (and still don’t). Personality, character and individuality of an establishment comes from somewhere; some places buy it and can’t live up to its own hype and others simply exude who and what they are. Case in point, Mercy Gonzalez of El Rey de las Fritas. When I watched a recent episode of The Grinder on, I hadn’t put two and two together that this hilarious and very genuine woman is the guts and the glory behind El Rey. There is something very magical about this woman’s personality, at least that’s how I see it. Watch her six minute tête-à-tête with Burger Beast here.

El Rey de las Fritas is a blog about comfort food as well as an event producer. This past Tuesday, Burger Beast and company organized and pulled off the first Frita Showdown. It was a competition to crown the Best Frita in South Florida. The competitors were, Cuban Guys, El Mago De Las Fritas, El Rey De Las Fritas, Luis Galindo’s Latin American and Sergio’s, all in Miami. The winner of the competition, Best Frita in South Florida went to El Rey De Las Fritas.

I was not able to attend the Frita Showdown, but I followed each bite of each Frita closely on Instagram. When the winner was announced, the emotional outpouring of love and gratitude from El Rey de las Fritas was overwhelming to say the least; you could feel their/her joy coming through. At this point I still had not realized that it was Mercy Gonzalez behind the very poignant Instagram posts. To go back now and read them you may not feel the same expressiveness as when they were being posted live the night of the win, but still very much worth a look, El Rey de las Fritas on Instagram.

El Rey de las Fritas

Photo Credit: El Rey de las Fritas Facebook Page

After speaking with Mrs. Burger Beast, who connected the dots for me, Mercy Gonzalez is El Rey de las Fritas. El Rey de las Fritas is Mercy Gonzalez. And to quote Burger Beast, “You possibly won’t meet a more honest and hard working restaurant (s) owner than Mercy Gonzalez” and to add to that quote, a more passionate one either.

Congratulations Mercy, Gino and the entire El Rey de las Fritas team for proudly putting it all on the line, and being the Best in the World!

Oh and Funfamily_4, I just found out who you are too! thanks for all the Instagram likes and comments.

El Rey de las Fritas on Facbook



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