On a recent trip to Miami for the Justin Timberlake/Jay Z Legends of the Summer Tour (awesome!!), Mario and I got a chance to try out the much-hyped Umami Burger. Consider it California’s response to NY’s Shake Shack phenomenon. Both gourmet burger bars are slowly spreading across the country, and Miami’s Umami Burger outpost was actually its first on the East Coast (though there is now one open in NY).
Umami Burger is of course about infusing the savory fifth flavor into everything…so you’ll find lots of truffle, mushrooms, and rich cheeses on the menu, and even infused into their condiments:
We decided to try the standards for our first Umami experience. I went with The Original (parmesean crisp, shiitake mushroom, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, house ketchup) + truffle fries (truffle cheese, truffle salt), and Mario had the Truffle Burger (roasted garlic aioli, truffle cheese, truffle glaze) + sweet potato fries.
In hindsight, we probably should have split an order of fries. Both variants were delicious, though I found myself wishing the truffle cheese on the regular fries had been shredded instead of what seemed to be a melted slice (or thick sauce?)–once it started to cool, the fries all clumped together. These were not at all greasy and great for dipping into those aforementioned house condiments. The sweet potato fries were dusted with salt and sugar and had that pleasing crunchy outside/fluffy inside texture.
Now, the burgers. Umami Burger grinds all their specialty burger blend in-house, and we found it had a slightly lean, steak-like flavor. Basically, yum. The soft “Portuguese-style” bun provided the perfect meat-to-bun ratio and didn’t get soggy beneath the toppings. I finagled two bites of Mario’s savory truffle burger and found myself wishing I had ordered it instead of The Original. I’m a sucker for truffle and garlic! Not that my Original was bad by any stretch of the imagination. I particularly loved the mushrooms and parmesean crisp, but would have been happy with either one or the other of the roasted tomato or house ketchup. With both, the burger came off too tomato-y for me.
This was easily one of the best burger-based meals I’ve had in a while. I have a feeling Umami Burger will end up on my list of places to visit anytime I’m in a city with one of their locations.