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Burger Blogger Celebrates Anniversary with Awards to Local Restaurants

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It was just over a year ago that Miami native Sef Gonzalez decided to launch a blog about hamburgers.

It was just as well considering he eats burgers about five times a week.

But the man who became known as the Burger Beast did something most bloggers are unable to do. He not only developed a loyal readership, he was able to persuade local businesses to sponsor his events.

The man clearly has a knack for self-promotion.

This week, the Burger Beast hosted The Burgies Awards where he handed out awards for best burgers, best appetizers, best hot dogs, best chicken wings, best Cuban sandwich, best croqueta and best frita, which is a Cuban hamburger.

More than 175 people attended the event at John Martin’s Irish Pub in Coral Gables, which is one of the most renowned Irish pubs in Miami-Dade County.

All the tables were full. The bar was full. And there was barely standing room.

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Above: A fan of Charm City Burgers celebrates after hearing they won an award.

And even though John Martin’s, which sells some damn good burgers, didn’t win. Well they still won because they banked that night. They even extended last call from the usual midnight until 2 a.m.

And that’s on a Monday night, usually the slowest night of the week.

Two days prior to the Burgies, the Burger Beast attended the 25th anniversary of El Mago de Las Fritas in an event he helped organize and promote.

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Above: A lady dances in celebration during the 25th anniversary of El Mago de las Fritas, an event organized and promoted by the Burger Beast.

It turned out be the busiest night in their 25 year history. But it was much deserved because they did earn the award for Best Frita in Miami.

But we already told you they had the best fritas in Miami back in July. The Burgie Award just gave them something to hang on their wall to confirm it (other than my article which is posted in English and in Spanish on their wall).

If there is anything to learn from the Burger Beast, it is one must invest in himself in order for others to invest in you.

Gonzalez spent hundreds of dollars on pins, t-shirts, caps, stickers and awards, all which contain his logo.

“I am one of these guys who likes to buy a shirt if I go to a concert or if I go to the Hard Rock Café, so I figure other might be the same,” he said.

And he’s right. The shirts he has given away are worn to his events by his supporters.

His goals for the upcoming year is to nationalize his blog by reviewing burgers all up and down the East Coast because he gets a significant readership from New York all the way down to Miami.

“And I will eventually like to travel out west to expand it out there as well,” he said.

Like most bloggers, he’s not making a dime off his blog. In fact, it’s costing him a lot of time, money and effort.

“But that’s how I am. I push myself to the limit. I am constantly coming up with ideas.”

And in the mean time, the local restaurants are realizing that his words come with credibility, so they are constantly asking him to review their restaurants.

And if they get so lucky to earn a Burgie, well those are bragging rights.

This year’s bragging rights go to the following restaurants:

Best Cuban Sandwich

Luis Galindo’s Latin America
898 SW 57th Ave.
Miami, FL
305-267-9995

Best Side/Appetizer
Mac N Cheese
Bulldog Barbecue
15400 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, Fl
(305) 940-9655

Best Frita (Cuban hamburger)
El Mago De Las Fritas
5828 SW 8th Street
Miami, Fl
(305) 266-8486

Best Croqueta
Islas Canarias
285 N.W. 27th Avenue
Miami, Fl.
(305) 649-0440

Best Chicken Wings

Sports Grill
10005 Sunset Dr
Miami, FL
(305) 598-2227

Best Pizza
Andiamo
5600 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, Fl.
(305) 762-5751

Best Hot Dog
Dogma Grill
7030 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL
(305) 759-3433

Best Burger

Reader’s Choice
Charm City Burger Company
1136 E. Hillsboro Blvd.
Deerfield Beach, FL
(954) 531-0300

Best Burger

Kingdom
6708 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL
(305) 757-0074

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Above: Thanks to the Burger Beast, El Mago de las Fritas experienced their busiest night in its 25 year anniversary.

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Above: The Miami Beach 411 article on El Mago de las Fritas was translated into Spanish and hung up on the wall. It was also posted in English.

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Above: Ortelio Cardenas (right), who owns El Mago de Las Fritas, won the Burgies for best frita. A frita is a Cuban Hamburger. Here he stands with his son and daughter.

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Above: Paul McCade of Charm City Burgers after winning the reader’s choice Burgie for best burgers.

Related Categories: Dining Miami: Local News, Miami: Food & Restaurant News,

Carlos Miller is a featured writer at Miami Beach 411. He also operates Photography is Not a Crime, a blog about photographer rights, New Media and First Amendment issues.

See more articles by Carlos Miller.

See more articles by Carlos Miller

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1 Comments on

"Burger Blogger Celebrates Anniversary with Awards to Local Restaurants"

Maria de los Angeles says:

Awesome article, Carlos!  It really was a fun event, including the marriage proposal.  Kudos to Sef!

Posted on 09/18/2009 at 4:22 PM

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