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You may have noticed that since the blog started in June, 2012, never have I written about a hamburger place. With good reason. If I don’t like something, it won’t appear in my blog. Heaven knows I love a good hamburger and try the new places, but have not been impressed, mostly because the meat isn’t beefy and flavorful, not to speak about the bun or the absence of a pickle (yes, that should come with the territory).

Now I’ve found a very good one. It’s in the first Florida outpost of  famed chef Bobby Flay’s expanding empire, Bobby’s Burger Palace (BBP). When I lived in New York I was a regular at his Mesa Grill, known for its Southwestern cuisine. His food was always reliably very good, so I figured one couldn’t miss with his burgers. As it turned out, experience proved right. BBP is on the second floor of the new extension of Dadeland Mall along with other sit down restaurants (as opposed to the food court) including Balan’s, Earl’s, and soon to open Aoki of former Benihana fame.  The fast casual eatery is all about burgers, certified Angus beef and ground turkey, though there is an option of a whole chicken breast.

There are 10 options named for places Bobby has been – from L.A. and Carolina to Vegas and New Mexico. There’s even a “Miami” version inspired by a Cuban sandwich with ham, swiss cheese, pickles, mustard and mayo. I tried the New Mexico option which came with queso sauce – creamy Monterey Jack blend, roasted green chiles, and pickled red onions on a sesame bun (an option is a potato bun).  I ate it all which I seldom do (former New York Times food critic Craig Claiborne, when asked how he kept his weight in check, said he always eats just half of what is served him).  Each option comes with different toppings but all are priced at $7.95.

There’s also a signature “crunchburger” with double American cheese and a layer of potato chips. The layer of chips in the burger is free with any order. The burger was super flavorful, perfectly cooked, absolutely delicious, and came with five different condiments – from jalapeno ketchup and burger sauce (like a steak sauce but sweeter) to chipotle ketchup (my choice) and more.  Sides include crispy house made French fries and sweet potato fries with an addictive honey mustard horseradish sauce they should bottle and sell.

You can order a potato combo so don’t have to anguish over which to order. There are also grilled cheese varieties, a salad, and topless burger – basically one without the roll.  Whatever you do save room for the milkshakes. They’re so good they’re worthy of Fabulous Friday stardom. Forget frappuccinos, mochaccinos, whatever. Give me BBP’s pistachio milkshake with a dollop of real whipped cream. There’s also a selection of beers, wine and other beverages.  The place opened in December and it’s a big hit. Best to go during the week as on weekends I’m told, the line can be very long. Choose indoor or outdoor seating. Can’t wait to go back!

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