We won the 2015 Best Non Traditional Burger in Miami
We won the 2015 Best Non Traditional Burger in Miami
Owner and General Manager at OTC Restaurants. Five years ago, with a degree in business administration, Sullivan was bussing tables in New York. Through a series of front-of-house posts, he would help out in the kitchens on his days off, unpaid, to learn the ropes. The gastropub concept, just emerging at the time, intrigued him and he decided to bring it home. In an area of Brickell best known for Latin and Mediterranean fare, he’s serving American comfort food with an emphasis on burgers and craft beer. His training prepared him for the hard work of owning a restaurant, but not for the sense of satisfaction he gets from it.
OTC, short for Over the Counter, fulfilled one of Brickell’s howling needs when it opened in 2012: a local place with reliably good food, a fun atmosphere, and good drinks. It’s become the neighborhood’s best craft beer bar. In 2013, OTC brought in Jacob Anaya, formerly of Azul, who has since revamped the menu into a gastropub-meets-fine-dining mashup…
OTC had bomb chicken and waffles when it began serving brunch two years ago. But ever since chef Jacob Anaya stepped in and revamped the menu, it’s only gotten better. The chicken is worldly, as in marinated in Korean red miso and kimchee paste before being cooked sous vide and then fried. To counter the kick, there’s a pickled carrot slaw, miso aioli, and maple syrup. We suggest mixing everything together…
MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It’s not just about big juicy burgers and beers at OTC Brickell, although both are delicious. It’s about all the great dishes, affordable pricing, the neighborhood and pride in the product based on what Chef Jacob and owner Michael Sullivan call a scratch kitchen.
“Pretty much our Chef Jacob makes everything here from scratch from our mayo to hand cut fries, to everything here is from scratch,” explained Sullivan. “That’s really our biggest push in the kitchen is that we use the highest quality ingredients and do everything from scratch.”
Let’s not forget those craft beers. There are 26 in total, 12 of them on draft.
“What makes our draft list special is we rotate all of our drafts. You’ll see something this week that you won’t see again in a couple months down the road so it gives our customers a chance to experience new beers and grow with the breweries,” said Sullivan proudly…
It’s a damn good time to be a brewer in Miami. With the opening and budding successes of Funky Buddha Brewery and Wynwood Brewing Company, South Florida’s thirst for local craft beer continues to be quenched. To meet public demand, local bars have been quick to distribute the products of the young microbreweries. Now that they’ve tapped into the beer scene, both Funky Buddha and Wynwood are eager to expand their facilities and triple their pint production—a promising forecast for other up-and-coming breweries. As beer drinkers becoming increasingly knowledgeable and forgo the once-famed case of beer, Miami’s craft beer scene is quickly solidifying…
This Brickell hotspot is known for its craft beer and cheap eats. On a nightly basis, OTC is packed with the neighborhood’s yuppies eagerly chowing down on the tasty grub. Sample small plates, appetizers, and burgers, all at an attractive price point. The fish ‘n’ chips is an affordable $8, the grilled octopus is a steal for $12, the Philly beef sliders are just $12, and tuna poke comes in at $14.
Here are the 5 Burgers available on the menu Friday for the celebration. I did want to make note of the Green Chili Cheeseburger being up for the Best Non-Traditional Burgie Award so keep your eye on that fella:
OTC Signature Burger: grilled chuck/brisket blend topped with tomato jam, tempura beef cheek, fontina cheese, dijonnaise
Green Chili Cheeseburger: grilled chuck/brisket blend topped with poblano peppers, white cheddar, candied bacon, cilantro aioli
Truffle Monster: grilled chuck/brisket blend topped with black truffle cheese, truffle mayo
Pork Belly Hawaiian: grilled chuck/brisket blend topped with fried pork belly, mushroom gravy, fried egg…
It’s hard to believe that in just two days, OTC will celebrate its second anniversary. I remember stumbling into the Brickell eatery and devouring a plate of chicken ‘n’ waffles like it was yesterday.
The comfort-food-and-craft-beer spot started as an over-the-counter joint proffering short ribs, Brie grilled cheese, and foie gras mousse from a Tap 42 sous-chef. Now it’s a full-service gourmet neighborhood joint serving 63-degree eggs and tuna poke by former Azul executive chef Jacob Anaya.
If there’s something that hasn’t changed, it’s that OTC is still a place to get a good burger and cold craft beer you likely won’t get elsewhere (Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, anyone?). Which is why owner Michael Sullivan is celebrating OTC’s second birthday by offering $5 burgers all day and free growlers with your choice of craft beer, which include some special-release taps.
See also: Ten Best Chicken & Waffles in Miami
“We’re super-fired up about it and hoping to see a lot of people we haven’t seen in a while, Sullivan says.
OTC recently launched eight burgers (five beef, one chicken, one fish, and one veggie), six of which will be featured as part of Friday’s $5 celebration. “Customers told us they loved those the most, and that’s what were going with.”
These include the OTC burger (tempura beef cheeks, fontina, curry-tomato jam, and Dijonnaise), the green chili ‘n’ bacon (poblano peppers, bacon, cheddar cheese, and cilantro mayo), the Truffle Monster (black truffle cheese and truffle mayo), the pork belly Hawaiian (fried pork belly, mushrooms, and fried egg), the classic burger (Gruyère, bacon, pickles, and special sauce), and the veggie burger (corn, zucchini, sweet potato, farro, and eggplant).
The casual affair will serve everything red-and-white-checked picnic style, maybe to make up for the profits they’ll be missing out on. “Rather than trying to get a lot of people in here and make a lot of money, the day is a thank-you to the neighborhood and community for all the amazing support throughout the past two years. Beers and burgers are our backbone, so that’s what we’re promoting.”
As a bonus, the first ten customers will get their very own growler, which can be filled with one of the celebratory brews. “The beer list for Friday is honestly the best beer list we’ve ever had at OTC.” The stellar local lineup includes Cigar City’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Jose Marti, Dark Woods, and Jai Alai; Funky Buddha’s Banana Split, No Crusts (peanut butter and jelly), Neapolitan, Floridian, and Sweet Potato Casserole; Wynwood Brewing Company’s La Rubia and Arroz con Leche; Goose Island Matilda and IPA; and Lagunitas Couch Trippin Fusion. “Funky Buddha makes only five kegs of the Neapolitan, and I’ll be the last one to tap it.”
Some of these are probably beers OTC will never get again, such as WBC’s Arroz con Leche, which Sullivan had once before and blew out in an hour.
The celebration will continue till supplies run out, because there will be a limited amount of beer tapped (and probably a limited number of patties). If you don’t want buns, a limited menu with shareables includes Thai chicken wings, OTC mac ‘n’ cheese, tuna poke, fish ‘n’ chips, and a selection of fries (poutine, truffle, hand-cut, loaded, and sweet potato).
“We’re still learning from our customers every day. We did a lot of experimenting in the first two years, figuring out who we are and who the neighborhood wants us to be, and I’m confident we figured that out.”