If you are looking for a delicious burger in the Magic City, it isn't too hard to find. From Brickell to Broward, there are hundreds of joints to eat your meat. But when it comes to the original, Miami has a few that have been here since way before the beef craze began. Cheeseburger Baby on South Beach is one those places.
Known to many locals as “CBB,” owner Stephanie Vitori purchased the store back in 2002 from mogul Tommy Pucci and transformed it from a South Beach dive to a must for celebrities and tourists alike. And as of Wednesday, they have taken their establishment on the road with their very first food truck.
So before their first official debut at The Stage in Midtown, we sat down with Vitori to discuss everything from her newest venture to what it's like to have Jay-Z call her restaurant his favorite place in the 305.
NBC Miami: What made you want to take Cheeseburger Baby mobile?
Stephanie Vitori: We hear all the time, “We wish you weren’t on South Beach or we would be there every day.” We know a lot of our customers are all over Miami, so instead of them coming to us, we wanted to come to them.
You will indeed go all over Miami?
Miami and beyond! We can cater parties, lunches, sporting events, and anything else our customers might need. If it's 10 to 1,000 people, we can do it. I mean, we are on the road. Call us and we will be there.
What makes your food truck different?
When we first started creating the concept of our catering truck, we know we had to make it different. There are hundreds of trucks all over Miami-Dade, so we asked ourselves, “What is going to make us stand out?” We think, most importantly, it’s the quality. Our bread is delivered every day from a bakery in Hialeah. From our meats to our vegetables, they also come every day fresh and absolutely never frozen. Our beef is 100 percent-certified Angus Beef, which for me, I won't eat anything else and I don’t expect my customers to either.
Second, our menu is custom. I can’t tell you how many times we changed it to make it the best it can be. If you are looking for a burger, you can have it however you would like. It’s made especially for our customer. And if you are looking for something different, we have everything from wings, chili cheese fries to a lot of items I brought from my hometown of Pittsburgh like pierogies, disco fries and Pittsburgh cheesesteaks.
I see a couple of healthy options, too.
For sure. My girlfriend and business partner, Danielle, is a vegetarian. She wanted vegetarian options that weren’t only meatless but delicious. We probably tried out 10 veggie burgers before we found the right one.
I am also a Weight Watcher. I have been on the program for years and know that eating out can be hard. If you want a burger but no bun, no problem! We have lettuce wraps. The lettuce wraps are also perfect for my customers who have to go gluten-free. Our main goal: keep everyone and anyone satisfied.
What are you most proud of now that your truck has hit the road?
We have been open 11 years. The Cheeseburger Baby store at 1505 Washington is my baby. I have seen it grow, change and been invaded by celebrities. I feel blessed for everything that has happened over the years. Now that we have our food truck, it's truly a goal that I have wanted for years. And not to sound bitter, but Five Guys moved in across the street with the goal to shut us down … they didn’t. Five Guys vs. Two Girls and we won.
I have to know: What was it like to have Jay-Z say your restaurant is his favorite place on South Beach?
The only word I can think of is surreal. I have been such a big fan of his for years and to have him be a fan of mine, I mean, there is nothing like it.