When looking for a no-frills type of place in Downtown Miami, there are fewer choices better than The Filling Station. Open since before the oversaturation of burger concepts in the country, The Filling Station is one of the more underrated restaurants in the area. Ask the Food Network, as they were participants at this past year’s Burger Bash. Still, The Filling Station doesn’t rest its laurels on the fact that they were invited to this event, and instead let the food speak for itself.
While The Filling Station went to Burger Bash, there are other menu items that are competition worthy as well. Their takes on items such as your standard Philly, Grilled and Fried Chicken sandwiches, or Pulled Pork sandwiches would be enough to open a restaurant based on each ingredient. Instead, the Filling Station offers these meals with an all-star cast of burgers. Every burger is served with what may be some of the better tater tots in the area. The servings are copious and usually leave you overstuffed, but instead of this feeling coming with the standard side of regret, you do not feel apologetic whatsoever.
On this particular visit I went with Party in Your Mouth Wings, Steve’s Respect Burger, and the Rodeo Pig. The wings were doused in a sauce similar to Sports Grill’s “Dale” wings, with a thick crimson color that only hints at how hot it actually is. Somehow, the extreme heat actually manages to produce an appealing flavor–something that pleasantly surprised me. The Steve’s Respect Burger comes topped with pulled pork, cheddar, and jerk BBQ sauce. The pulled pork is smoky enough, providing some extra girth to the burger. The star of the ingredients is the BBQ sauce, with a spicy sweet flavor that added moisture to the pork that severely needed it. I would not order this again but do not regret tasting it once. The Rodeo Pig is a Pulled Pork sandwich with cheese sauce, peppered bacon, onion rings and Big Easy bbq. The toppings intrigued me, but I preferred them on a burger than the aforementioned swine. Thankfully, the kitchen was extremely accommodating and did not bat an eye with my request. I was surprised when the food came to the table, since what I thought was going to be an incredibly tall burger was actually giant in size. Instead of your typical topping of one onion ring, there was a massive onion ring tower atop of my burger patty. It was then doused in pungent and satisfying cheese sauce and sprinkled in bacon. In other words, this was perfection in excess.
A better than decent beer selection rounds out the diverse and ambitious menu. In a part of town that desperately needs restaurants like these, The Filling Station is a breath of fresh air.
The Filling Station
95 SE 2nd St, Miami, FL 33131
By food blogger, Santiago Cardona