Wapo Taco Coral Gables

Escuche el nombre por primera ves cuando unos familiares me recomendaron el restaurant de Hollywood, Fl. Me entusiasmo mucho cuando escuche que abrirían en Coral Gables tan solo unas semanas mas tarde. Luego de varios intentos fallidos por ir, la primera vez cerrado aunque el website decía abierto y la segunda vez por estar full a la hora de almuerzo; pase un viernes con mi hija a eso de las 7pm

Al entrar decía en un papel impreso por computadora que esperemos para ser sentados. Note que habían dos grupos antes que nosotros y a los 5 minutos apareció una persona muy gentil a decirme que debemos esperar entre 10 a 15 minutos. Hacia calor, no había donde sentarse y el lugar es muy ruidoso, ya que todas las paredes son de baldosas de colores; pero decidí esperar.

Efectivamente pasaron unos 15 minutos, pero no sin notar un poco de falta de preparación y logística de parte del personal; a mi opinion mesas vacías por 3 a 5 minutos cuando tienes gente esperando da una mala imagen.

Una vez sentado fui atendido muy rápido y gentilmente por una mesonera que nos dio les menus y nos pregunto que deseamos beber. A pocos minutos trajeron nuestras bebidas al igual que unos chips, 4 salsas, pico de gallo y cebollas rosadas (seguro tienen otro nombre). Ordenamos una orden de guacamole, 1 ración de quesadillas (3) y unos tacos al pastor (2). Los tacos y el guacamole llegaron muy rápido, menos de 5 minutos y las quesadillas (que son fritas, como una empanada) tardaron unos minutos mas.

En general la comida estaba buena, pero no excelente. Las tortillas (que según lei allí las hacen en el local) estaban un poco duras, el guacamole estaba sabroso pero nada del otro mundo. Nada de lo que probe me dejo con ganas de volver; Sumado a esto creo lo peor de todo es el local en si, es uno de los peores restaurantes que he visto en cuanto a distribución. En el centro hay una barra rectangular que creo es toda o parte de la cocina, esta ocupa 50 % (o mas) del local, dejando muy poco espacio en la parte delantera (solo dos mesas para 2 personas y 6 sillas en la barra), algo de espacio en la parte derecha (varias mesas) y un pasillo en la parte izquierda, creo detrás hay unas pocas mesas mas. Las mesas en si son plásticas y de baja calidad; Todas las paredes son da baldosas de colores (mis hijos dicen que son pixeles) y esto hace el lugar demasiado ruidoso.

Mientras comía llego mas gente, al menos 15 personas mas. A estos les ofrecieron creo flautas para que la espera se hiciese mas agradable, pero escuche al menos a 2 grupos diciendo lo mismo de lo mal distribuido del lugar. Al finalizar espere por lo menos 10 minutos en que me trajeran la cuenta y me fui.

Lo Bueno:

– Auténticos tacos

Lo Malo:

– Ruidoso
– Caluroso

Comida: 7 de 10

Experiencia: 7 de 10

Website: http://elwapotaco.com

Did Apple really deliver with the iPhone 4s?

I have to admit that I was impress (as always) with the well executed iPhone 4s introduction, the folks at Apple have learned from the master itself in making small, expected and some time irrelevant things make sound like they are huge and important.

They make us all believe that you need this phone now, and people follow and buy a lot of phones!

Now, for the second time this year the initial emotion of having in my hand a brand new apple product lasted only 5 minutes tops (iPad 2 was the first)

In the case of the iPhone 4s the disappointment was bigger than with the iPad 2, the reason is because 2 days earlier I was already using iOS 5 on my still cool, fast and equally alike iPhone 4

The specs difference does not justify the price for my early upgrade fee of $450, so what else is new ? Siri ? Well although promising it is a beta software, there is no logical reason why Siri could not run on the iPhone 4 or the iPad 2; however Apple probably use this to make it a unique feature of the 4s to sell more phones. Siri is not perfect, does not like loud places and to me it is slow, making it only interesting when you are driving, well and my Latin accent only make things worst

Don’t get me wrong, I still like Apple products, DNA, culture etc, I cry when SJ passed away last week, but we need to analyze our needs instead of doing what they told us to buy.

In technology, tomorrow’s gadget is always going to be faster, smaller and lighter than today’s, so I will never expect a apple product introduction saying the contrary

My advice:

If you have an iPhone 4, wait for the 5!

If after iOS 5 your 3Gs is still fast, keep it, if not get the new one

If you have an older iPhone get the new one!

Do not get an iPhone bigger than 16GB , you don’t need the extra space

Top 10 Burgers in South Florida – The Joint Bar and Grill

Finally I went to the last one on the list, this time The Joint Bar and Grill in South Miami / Pinecrest. I was hungry on a week day and ask a friend to join me for dinner, so I drove south and arrive to the restaurant at around 9 pm, I think it was a Tuesday and the restaurant was pretty empty. This is a sports bar, with lots of TVs, a full bar and lots of tables and booths to seat, maybe the feeling of the place is completely different on a night of a NBA Game, who knows.

The waitress provided Us with the menus and even though they offer a lot of option to eat I went for the burgers, this is their offerings:

I went for the BBQ Bacon Cheddar Burger and a Soda, after the average 7 minutes this is what they bring to the table:

The Good:

– Clean, Spacious, comfortable
– A lot of options to eat (besides burgers)
– TVs to watch sports

The Bad:

– A little bit noise

The Burger:

The burger was Ok, nice size, nice patty, good cheese, a little to much of Onion “Tangles”, however I think the bacon was the problem, it was not crispy and felt like it was setting there for a while. Flavor wise was good, and the fries average. At the end it was an Ok burger, nothing to make me want to drive south just for this.

Overall Experience: 8 out of 10

Food: 6 out of 10

Tip – Burger King

This is actually not a review, it is a tip, probably all of my readers have already eat at Burger King at some point on their life, well, next time you have to ( and I’m not saying you will ) order your Burger “Off The Broiler”.

Burger King claims they flame broiled their burgers, and it is true, however they will store the cooked patties on some weird drawers and depending on the occasion even microwave them before serving it to you.

How to avoid this ? When ordering your Burger say to the cashier to make it “Off The Broiler” and they will cook and serve it directly from the broiler, you may check your receipt because it is supposed to be written there.

Believe me, this make the Burger a lot better than reheated.

Enjoy

imitation is the best form of flattery ? – Microsoft retail stores

I was recently in Denver, Colorado walking in a shopping mall when I found this:

I knew about this, but for some reason they are not popular in South Florida (and looking for the amount of people inside, neither in Denver) so I’ve never visited one.

Is Microsoft expanding this? aside from the xBox stuff this is a retail store to sell somebody else products? or maybe people are at home thinking mmm I need a copy of Windows 7 Service Pack 42.

Good luck to them.

Top 10 Burgers in South Florida – Pincho Factory

After taking a break from this burger mania of mine, I went for the last 2 places on the list, so on a saturday afternoon I drove west to Pincho Factory. The restaurant is located on a busy strip mall, their logo sign is clearly outside welcoming you to the place, after parking I went inside and I was the only one there, only one lady taking orders and one cook on the back.

Looked at the menu and noticed that they only have 2 types of burgers, the Pincho One and a Single (or Double burger), as the name implies this is a Pincho place, not a burger place so my expectations started to fade away. I order one Pincho Burger and one Single Burger with ketchup & mustard, tomatoes and raw onions thinking they where small enough for me to eat 2 of them, no fries and a soda.

After 5 ~ 7 minutes my meal was ready and I went to pick up my tray, I noticed fries on the tray and mention to the employee (not the original lady ) that I did not order fries, he said if I want the fries I can keep them so free fries for me. This is how it looked:

After opening and eating my first Single burger I went for the second one hopping to taste the Pincho Burger, to my surprise it was another Single Burger with ketchup and mustard … I was so impress that being the only person in the restaurant they got my order wrong, come on guys, it is not that difficult!.

The Good:

– Clean, comfortable
– Good prices

The Bad:

– Didn’t take my order correctly

The Burger:

The burger was below average, maybe the signature one is the really good one, but I honestly doubt it because the meat was not great, it didn’t have that good fresh flavor, I’m not a chef neither a cook, but feels to me that this where frozen patties taken from the freezer after my order. The fries where average too.

Overall Experience: 7 out of 10

Food: 5 out of 10

Top 10 Burgers in South Florida – Jr’s Gourmet Burgers

The list was down to 3 restaurants so I decided to try one of them, I drove to Miami Spring and arrived to Jr’s Gourmet Burgers at 3.20 pm on a Tuesday. Even tough I had my iPhone GPS with me I did not find the place easily, so I parked my car and decide to walk around, to my surprise I parked in front of the restaurant, the logo is small and difficult to read, but hey, maybe I need glasses.

I was the only one at the restaurant this particular day, so it felt lonely; The restaurant is small, maybe 10 to 12 small tables with a small bar and maybe 4 to 5 stools, some decoration but definitely this is not where this place shines. the waitress approach me and provide me with the menu

I went for a 1/2 pound BBQ Bacon Cheddar, a soda and some garlic fries, after a few minutes they bring me a bottle of coke, and approximately after 5 to 7 minutes the owner brings the Burger, this is how it looked:

Almost at the end of my meal the owner ask me how was the burger and we start talking, he told me they are in business since October of 2010, works with his wife and have 3 daughters, He is the chef / manager and loves to try different things, you can see a lot more on their website, Jr is a nice guy and I wish him luck, probably a better location could make his business even better, although he says that weekends are their busiest days.

The Good:

– Family Own Business
– Clean, comfortable
– Friendly Chef / Owner involved in the day to day.

The Bad:

– Paper rolls as napkins
– Decoration can lift the whole restaurant appearance
– The restaurant needs more advertising from the outside.

The Burger:

The burger was good, cooked to perfection (medium that is), perfect size and really tasty, the bacon could be crispier, but overall this was a really good burger, the fries where also really good, and to make it even better they offer me a flan for desert that was also really good.

Overall Experience: 8 out of 10

Food: 9 out of 10

Top 10 Burgers in South Florida – ONE Burger

Going down on the list, I ended up in ONE Burger @ Coral Gables on a monday afternoon, around 3:15 pm the restaurant felt empty but still people where coming in / out, the setting is not fancy at all, cheap tables, cheap stools and a white formica register counter. For some reason it felt like the place is new, but the cashier / waitress told me they have been around for almost 4 years, maybe they remodeled recently, who knows.

I ordered the BBQ Burger, plus some spicy fries and a soda combo, it came up to $10.92. Went for the Soda machine and seat down, some pics below:


After 5 minutes the cashier / waitress arrived with my burger and this is how it looked:

The Good:

– Fast
– Clean
– Good Service

The Bad:

– Feels a little cheap inside
– To many thing distracting customers from the menu.
– Menu is difficult to read, small fonts.

The Burger:

The burger was in general good, My only complain was that it was over cooked for my personal taste, actually the waitress ask me about the burger and I mention this to him, he told me that usually they are medium unless somebody ask different, however this is not a medium burger:

I think cashiers should ask and not assume, this made all the difference for me. The “spicy” fries where really good, although not spicy at all they have a really good flavor, the portions where ok for the price, maybe a little smaller than the other places I had visited during the last weeks.

Overall Experience: 7 out of 10

Food: 7 out of 10

Top Burgers in South Florida – Elevation Burger

A friend of mine told me about this place that open just 2 weeks ago “near” where I work, So I decided to research a little bit before going there. From their website they claim it is a organic beef, green restaurant which I gravitate towards to, they do not publish their nutrition fact online neither provide them on their restaurant.

Arrived around noon, some people where waiting in line and some for their food on the tables, after looking at the menu I noticed they copied Five Guys approach for small vs large burgers, just add a patty and problem solved, personally I don’t like this approach so that is why I prefer to eat 2 smaller burgers than one big one.

They have shakes, fries, 2 types of salads, cookies and around 8 types of burgers, interesting enough the only thing they promote as organic is the beef, what about organic tomatoes and ketchup ? organic milk / ice cream for the shakes ? organic potatoes ? if “Ingredients really matter” as they claim, where is the organic lettuce ? Their slogan is all over the place, also the facts about organic USDA certified organic beef, I can not think of a good reason why they do not promote their other ingredients as organic, so the only answer would be they are not …

If you think about the economics of making a $4 burger with all organic ingredients the numbers are not there, but then their whole concept is absurd, it is like driving a Prius to work and a Hummer during weekends.

The Good:

– Clean, comfortable, good looking for a “fast food” restaurant

The Bad:

– Slow, the line, the food was slow
– I think not all of their ingredients are organic, just the beef.

The Burger:

I ordered 2 cheese burgers with tomatoes and raw onions, ketchup and mustard, the shake was delivered 2 or 3 minutes after we paid, the burgers arrived 3 or 4 minutes after that with the meals of all my friends in a aluminum tray, I did not order fries for myself but had the chance to try them, they are supposed to be fried on olive oil, I’m guessing trying to make them healthier on paper.

The price is consistent with an upscale fast food place, around $10 ~ $12 per person

Overall Experience: 7 out of 10

Food: 7 out of 10

Top 10 Burgers in South Florida – The missing list ?

I personally think it is difficult to summarize great burgers on a list from 1 to 10, but hey! this is the topic I’m blogging about anyway so lets create a “missing from ABCs 10 list” list of Burgers that you should definitely eat so my readers can say they have try everything South Florida has to offer, In NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

La Moon

Houston’s or is it Hillstone ?

Mortons

Elevation Burgers

8 Ounce Burger Bar

Fuddruckers

Burger & Beer Joint

Flanigan’s

Burger King … yes Burger King

I may update this list or eventually or create my own personal list of burger places, in the meantime I still need to visit the remaining places from the original ABC list.

Keep eating / reading :)

A little bit of everything.