Grilled: Sef Gonzalez of The Burger Beast


Burger-centric interviews with chefs, writers, and other food lovers.

Note: This week we're grilling Sef Gonzalez of Miami-based burger blog The Burger Beast.

20090718-grilled-sef.jpgName: Sef Gonzalez, aka The Burger Beast
Location: Miami, Florida
Occupation: Burger Dominator

How often do you eat burgers? Pretty often, maybe 5 times a week.

Where did you eat your most recent one? A frita, aka the Cuban hamburger at El Mago De Las Fritas on 8th Street in Miami.

Cheese: American, cheddar, other? Cheddar or Swiss, or sometimes both.

Ketchup or mustard? On burgers I prefer neither. Mayo all the way.

Sesame-seed or plain? Plain, fresh and squishy. I don't like the after-effects of sesame-seed.

Grilled, griddled, or broiled? Grilled for thicker patties, griddled for thinner or smaller ones.

And how would you like that done, sir? Medium to medium-well depending on how I feel and whether I trust the place I'm eating at.

Would you do us the favor of describing your perfect burger? Ground sirloin meat cooked medium with minimal seasoning. Served on a Martin's potato roll with thick slices of Swiss and cheddar and a bit of mayo on the bottom bun.

The hamburger is a food item with which most Americans have strong childhood associations. Do you remember your earliest encounter with this delicious dish? My earliest recollection is my mom taking us to Burger King on Saturdays for burgers, but on special occasion we would go to McDonald's. Why? Because it was a farther drive. Go figure.

What's your favorite fast-food burger? Burger King Double Cheeseburger.

What topping or condiment, in your opinion, should never grace a burger? Foie gras, with ketchup in most cases a close second.

What's the most unusual burger you've ever eaten? At Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta with foie gras. Stay away, Big Time!!!

What's the most overrated burger you've tried? Most underrated? The most overrated is definitely the Caribbean burger at Flanigan's (a chain in South Florida). For some reason people love this thing and I find it rather average tasting, which has bothered a few folks. Underrated is In-N-Out—just kidding. For underrated I might have to say the Cheesecake Factory. No one ever talks about how good the burger is there, and it is.

For some crazy reason, you're going vegetarian. Where do you go for your final burger? Is this before or after I commit seppuku? I'd fly to Los Angeles and have a Double-Double at In-N-Out. If flying was out of the question, I'd go with the Doomsday at Kingdom (located in the Miami Design District).