El Rey Takes the Crown at Magic City Casino Frita Showdown

All photos by Zachary Fagenson
The winning frita.
In a shock to attendees, frita fanatics and the Miami Twitterverse El Rey de las Fritas' Cuban hamburger bested the creation of Ortelio Cárdenas, El Mago de las Fritas, at Burger Beast's first ever Frita Showdown at Magic City Casino Wednesday night.

See also: Miami's Top Ten Fritas Cubanas

Judges Alberto Cabrera and Giorgio Rapicavoli hard at work.
El Mago's and El Rey's Frita Cubanas went head to head with those from Cuban Guys, Luis Galindo's Latin American and Sergio's and were judged by Eating House's Giorgio Rapicavoli, Bread + Butter's Alberto Cabrera, Ingrid Hoffman and Randy Fisher, who helps organize the South Beach and New York City Wine and Food Festival's burger bashes.

See also:
Miami's Fritas: El Mago and Beyond

El Mago's frita.
"I'm looking for a well-seasoned patty, crispy potatoes, bread that's crispy outside but soft in the middle," said Cabrera. "and it needs to be seasoned on the griddle."

"My bread is cold," Hoffman said biting into one of the five burgers during the blind tasting.

As with Cuban sandwiches, pan con lechon or pan tostada well-toasted bread was key and difficult for many to pull off.

In the spirit of full transparency I'll admit I enjoyed Sergio's frita (on a soft bun) and Latin American's version (with American cheese), and am clearly a gringo wholly unfit for the responsibility of frita judging.

Location Info


Magic City Casino

450 NW 37th Ave., Miami, FL

Category: General

El Rey De Las Fritas

1821 SW 8th St., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

El Mago De Las Fritas

5828 SW 8th St., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

Cuban Guys

3174 W. 76th St., Hialeah, FL

Category: Restaurant


3252 Coral Way, Coral Gables, FL

Category: Restaurant

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