“I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and French fried potatoes, big kosher pickle, and a cold draft beer. Well, good God almighty, which way do I steer?”

Admit it. You sing it loud and proud when you hear this Keys anthem.

Visitors come to the Keys to live out the paradise getaway they envision before ever arriving, said Amara Cay General Manager Miguel Waldo. They want to experience the warm sun, sand between their toes, and hopefully catch the next Jimmy Buffett serenading a lively tiki bar.

Amara Cay
Kitchen Supervisor Cory Forbes holds out arguably the best burger spread in Islamorada. GABRIEL SANCHEZ/Keys Weekly

The same inspiration went into conceiving Reel Burger, said Waldo. The staff caters to your burger needs inside or outside; that way anyone can channel their inner Buffett and be “just a cheeseburger in paradise.”

Burgers are an art form. They require attention, love and the best beef you can find.

Executive Chef Eduardo Rodrigues said what sets Reel Burger’s patties apart is the specially made blend of beef the restaurant uses. The mixture of prime grade beef and brisket is made and delivered weekly from Florida’s west coast, and makes for a more flavorful burger.

In all, Reel Burger has seven signature burgers each with its own personality. It’s all in the name.

The Attitude is coated with smoked cheddar, tomato jam, slices of Applewood bacon, fresh greens and is squeezed between toasted brioche buns.

The Black N’ Blue is topped with caramelized onions, lettuce, Applewood bacon and bleu cheese. The hint of sweet Applewood plays well with the mildly pungent and creamy bleu cheese.

Not in the mood for beef? Try the local favorite, “Hot Chick,” which marinates in cilantro lime before getting a hearty slice of avocado, provolone, sriracha mayo, tomatoes, onions and fresh greens.

“The flavor profiles are great. You get the boldness of the provolone followed by a zing of the sriracha mayo,” said Food and Beverage Manager Mike Miller.

All burgers come with a pickle and choice of kettle chips, the house slaw, or crispy fries. If you feel like going bun-less, try one of four big salad burger bowls.

We all know the Big Mac song, (I won’t bother singing it … I usually charge) but if Amara Cay Resort’s Reel Burger had a jingle it would mostly be silent with the occasional “Mmm” and heavy breathing. Reel Burger is located inside Amara Cay Resort on the first floor. The resort is located at MM 80, Oceanside. Call 305-664-0073. Restaurant hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.


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