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Taste Of The Town: Pitmaster Mel Rodriguez Bringing His Smoked Speciality To SOBEWFF Burger Bash

MIAMI LAKES (CBSMiami) -- La Traila Texas Craft Barbecue in Miami Lakes is founded by Austin native and pitmaster Mel Rodriguez, and Miami native and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie.

The two bonded over their love for barbeque and opened a very cool, fast casual spot last year.

Chef Rodriguez says it's all about the smokers.

"I've always cooked, going back to cooking with my dad, using smokers. Because it was the only one in Miami we decided to call it La Traila which for us means the only one," he explained.

Chef Rodriguez has been busy recently getting ready for his big throwdown. He is competing for the first time in the South Beach Wine and Food Festival Burger Bash event hosted by Rachael Ray and José Andrés.

CBS4's Lisa Petrillo asked him what he was bringing to the table for the super popular burger competition.

"My uniqueness, which is that every burger I make is smoked. It is cut from prime beef brisket so again different. Just having a smoked burger, in general, is different from having one that is cooked on a grill, you know what I mean?" he said.

TOTT La Traila
La Traila Texas Craft Barbecue All-American burger. (CBS4)

His contender is The All-American Burger.

"When it comes to a burger it has to be traditional in my opinion, and that's how I like it and that's why we have it on the plate," he explained.

It's smoked prime brisket with pickles, onions, special sauce, and plenty of melted cheese.

TOTT La Traila
La Traila Texas Craft Barbecue All-American burger. (CBS4)

"The meat is so tender and delicious. It's perfectly cooked and then I love the way the cheese is melted just the right way," said Petrillo.

"This is the burger to watch out for at the festival!"

La Traila's menu doesn't stop there.

TOTT La Traila
The Bar-B-Cuban Sandwich. (CBS4)

The Bar-B-Cuban Sandwich, which is brisket and pulled pork, is topped with a housemaid sauce with cheese, pickles, and onions.

The fried chicken sandwich, doused with homemade Alabama White Comeback Sauce, pickles and slaw is described as a "five-napkin sandwich," by Petrillo as she wiped her mouth. "Which is a great thing because it's so juicy."

TOTT La Traila
Fried chicken sandwich. (CBS4)

Petrillo added, "There's also a tenderness and a crunch and so much texture."

La Traila is open six days a week starting at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

It's located at 8030 NW 154th Street in Miami Lakes.

Click here for more information.


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