El Mago de las Fritas
5828 SW 8th St.
West Miami, FL 33144
We have tried a lot of burger joints in our day, and while we were more than happy that a Shake Shack finally opened in our neck of the woods, it is rare we try a burger place that is totally NEW. Well, Miami, you’ve done it for us again by introducing us to the unique and delicious Cuban burger, the frita. There are a couple of places that claim to have the best fritas in Miami, and we decided to make our first frita experience at one of the fan favorites, Mago “Magician” de las Fritas (another rival across town is Rey “King” de los Fritas).
We arrived on Saturday afternoon, and the place was pretty crowded. The Mago himself was even helping man the grill. The restaurant is small and set up like a diner, with a big flattop grill, booths on one side and blue swivel chairs at the counter. There are a number of items available on the menu, including hot dogs, chicken, and steak sandwiches, but rest assured that most people are here for the frita. There are few options for the frita, including a single, double and even one with egg on top (a Caballo). We settled in for our single fritas with a banana shake (mango, guanabana, and others were also available). Now, our only knock on the place is that it took us 30 minutes to get a burger. Sure, we don’t mind to wait a little bit, but it’s a burger…. Despite this setback, the staff was very kind and apologetic throughout.
When we finally received our frita, we dug right in. The thin, crispy burger patty was made out of beef and chorizo, and had a spicy, rich flavor. It was also topped by raw and cooked onions, and shoestring potatoes, a Cuban staple, on an egg carton shaped roll. The mix of textures was really delicious, and the chorizo added a whole new dimension. As always, we loved the crunch that the shoestring potatoes added. We are definitely converts to the frita burger, and El Mago de las Fritas was a fun place to try a frita for the first time. Just go when you have time to spare.