Bobby’s Burger Palace is palate-pleasing

Posted February 27, 2014


Celebrity chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay brings a neo-retro feel to Miami’s Dadeland Mall with his gourmet burger shop, Bobby’s Burger Palace. Featuring a “Miami burger” on its menu, it also happens to be the only location in Florida.

Flay, who has hosted 13 cooking shows, penned 12 books and won two Emmys, paid tribute to the burger shops he’d frequent in his childhood in the best way he knows how: in 2008, he opened the first burger palace in New York.

In December 2013, Miami’s own Bobby’s Burger Palace was born. Flay has 18 total burger palaces to date, with locations in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

The restaurant has a contemporary, coffee shop feel and its overall décor was interesting: a lot of subdued, warm colors, from sunset yellow overhead lights to moss green bar stools, to brown tiled floors, walls and glossy tables.

It also has quirky paintings of burger ingredients, like onions or tomatoes, spread all throughout. The music was alternative and smooth and set to a pleasant volume.

Also appealing was the wide rectangular window, which allows customers to see the kitchen and its line cooks. It has both an indoor and outdoor dining area, with the larger tables inside accommodating more than 10 people per table. The outdoor tables are more personal, with two to four seats per table.

Because there are cashiers at the front, it became clear there was no table service and was self-seating. Once you place your order, an employee will bring it to you when it’s ready.

The large menu, its size taking up most of the wall, hangs near the cashier. Although it is placed high enough for anyone to see, on a busy, crowded day it may pose a problem for everyone to get a good look. For convenience, it would be a good idea to have a rack with paper menus at the door for customers to take.

The benefit of the menu is that its items are simple: 10 burgers to choose from, with your choice of protein – certified Angus beef, ground turkey or chicken breast. Side dishes, like fries, are extra.

Surprisingly, there was neither a vegetarian burger option, nor any catering to the food-allergy market. For those who are more health-conscious, the menu offers a topless burger salad ($8.50). A kid’s meal, called the Kid’s BBP Burger Deal, offers the choice with or without American cheese, French fries and a kid’s soda ($6.50).

The usual fountain drinks are available – soda, iced tea, lemonade and more – but if you’d like a creamy treat, milkshakes of typical to unusual flavors are available, such as vanilla bean or pistachio. Milkshakes ($5) could also substitute for dessert, as the menu does not list any. Beer and wine are offered, but oddly, the choices are not listed on the menu.

The “Napa Valley Burger” ($7.75) beat the other choices with its toppings of goat cheese, watercress and Meyer lemon honey mustard. Also ordered was the “L.A. Burger,” which comes with an avocado relish, watercress, cheddar cheese and tomato. Along with that, two sides of sweet potato fries, a Boylan brand crème soda and one blueberry-pomegranate milkshake.

The cashier suggested the burgers be cooked medium-well for the best taste. It was a nice touch that you are given a fork and knife before receiving your meal, for those who may not be as enthusiastic as getting their fingers covered in sauce.

What was the most surprising of the food service was how quickly everything came out. The milkshake and soda were brought out in two minutes, and the two burgers with both orders of fries came out in five.

The burgers were presented nicely and looked delectable, however, the temperature felt lukewarm at best. Also noticed was that two line cooks had very long facial hair, while another did not wear a hat, both of which are considered sanitary violations. However, all did wear aprons and gloves.

Taste-wise, the Angus burgers ($6.75–$7.75) were juicy and seasoned well, with the ingredients evidently fresh, most notably the goat cheese.

The size of the burger was rather unimpressive, and accompanied with its good taste, left much to be desired. The sweet potato fries ($3) were delicious, and for its price, you get a substantial portion of them placed in a silver tin, served with a honey mustard horseradish sauce that was the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. The blueberry-pomegranate milkshake was served in an estimated 12-ounce glass, and was sinfully sweet, though the fruity notes were perhaps too subtle in the shake.

The price for the meal was fair. The total meal was $30.50, with tax included. It’s not expensive dining, so it’s ideal for anyone willing to spend roughly $15 for a meal that includes a burger, soda and fries.

The verdict: If it’s a royally delicious burger you’re looking for at Bobby’s Burger Palace, it’ll leave much to be desired. Perhaps the leftover hunger will urge you to come back for more. I see what you’re doing, Bobby Flay.

  •  Bobby’s Burger Palace
  • 7535 N. Kendall Dr., Miami, Fla., 33156
  • 305-667-4617. No reservations.
  • Open Mondays to Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Open Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • American cuisine; about $15 per person. No dress code.
  • Credit/debit cards and cash accepted.
  • Rating: three out of four stars – decent food; better value; average service; great décor.