Ever since this article came out a few years back citing the Black Angus Burger at Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink as one of the Top 25 Burgers in the country, I just HAD to check them out. Unfortunately, such a venture is not particularly cheap, even during the more cost-effective lunch hours. Michael’s Genuine has earned quite the reputation in South Florida since their debut in 2007. Helmed by star chef Michael Schwartz, this restaurant is dedicated to producing quality food with local, seasonal ingredients. As such, the menu changes daily.
I was surprised to see that the place was not very big. In fact, a lot of the tables and booths were situated close together. We were lucky to have an easygoing couple sitting next to us. I’m sure the experience would have been much different if I would have had to sit in close proximity to difficult or smelly customers.
Notice how the salt is loose in a small condiment dish. I’m worried about whether they reuse this salt at each table, considering some people would probably reach in there with their hands to sprinkle it on their food. I hope everyone washes their hands.
While I showed up to Michael’s Genuine with the intent to order their famed burger, the short rib and fontina cheese panini caught my eye. My guests and I agreed to each order one of the two, then split them. So, I went with the panini. It came with a side of fries and roasted tomato jam. The sandwich itself had arugula and caramelized onions, in addition to the beef and cheese.
Take a good look, folks. It has been a long, long time since I had a short rib that was that tender and juicy. The creamy fontina cheese and the zing of arugula came together like magic. I am normally not a fan of toasted sandwiches, since I like my bread soft and chewy. However, feeling that initial crunch, then sinking your teeth into the tender burst of flavor in the middle was really the way to go. Plus, you really needed a sturdy crust of bread to hold the sandwich together. I was already almost done with my half of sandwich when I realized I hadn’t even touched the tomato jam. It didn’t even need it.
And, here is the reason that I ventured off into white collar territory to begin with. The famous Black Angus Burger (which we asked them to cut in half for us to split). As far as burgers go, it was excellent. It had flavorful, juicy meat. The bacon was the right combination of salty and chewy, and the cheese was a solid white cheddar. For me, the slice of tomato was too thick to produce a favorable meat:topping ratio. And, while this was a great burger, I wouldn’t say it was one of the best that I have ever had. It wouldn’t stop me from ordering it again, though.
For two sandwiches, a beverage (for me) and a cocktail (for my guests), the total bill ran about $50-$60. So, if you’re on a budget, I would recommend hitting Michael’s Genuine for lunch. It is definitely worth the splurge at least once. Just make sure you shower first, in case you have to get cozy with your neighbors.
For more information on Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink, visit their web site at http://michaelsgenuine.com/miami/