Breaking news: America’s favorite meal has finally been cooked to perfection. Who knew it would be accomplished inside the four wheels of a Gainesville food truck? DJ’s Cast Iron Burgers rocked my world, and I’m sure if you visit, you’ll leave singing its praises too. 

Baano Golawala

I am a cheeseburger enthusiast on a constant quest to find the ultimate burger and today, I truly believe I have found it. While their menu is small, it allows them to focus on what they do best.

That, however, does not mean they are limited. Not a burger fan? No problem. They also make the hottest hot dogs in town. Top it off with a side of crispy, seasoned fries, or if you’re feeling ambitious you can try their "dirty" fries, which are my personal favorite. 

Baano Golawala

Ordering the Burger

When I first got there, I ordered a single patty cheeseburger. The owner stepped in and told me that for newcomers he always recommends a double patty because the burger is "smash style." I had no idea what that meant, but I went along with it and boy am I glad I did. The double patty to bread ratio was perfect and not overly filling. When you visit, make sure to double it, and remember: double the patty, double the delicious!

What's a Smash Burger Anyway?

Smash burgers are pressed (or smashed) into a thin patty as soon as they hit the grill. This sears the outside of the meat, locking in that distinct DJ’s juicy flavor goodness. If you haven’t tried this style of burger, it will change your life. As promised, my burger was juicier than I could have imagined and melted in my mouth. True story: I consumed the whole thing in under five minutes. These perfectly flattened patties are complimented with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and the most mouth-watering bread and butter pickles. The acidity of the pickle contrasts the richness of the patty, creating the ultimate burger. 

Down And "Dirty"

One of DJ's most accurately named menu items, the "Dirty" Fries, will leave your hands a mess, but your tastebuds celebrating. Coated in melted cheese, DJ's special chili and signature sauce, and topped off with some bacon, these potatoes are like none you've tried before. 

Baano Golawala

What Does DJ Have to Say?

I spoke to co-founders Miguel Cardona and Jose Nieves on the juicy details of how DJ Cast Iron Burgers came to be the heart of Gainesville local cuisine. 

Why did they start DJ's?

DJ’s was originally conceptualized by Jose and Dan, Culinary School friends and roommates after graduating. Although the concept did not make it out of the recipe book, the idea to start a fast-casual burger and fry joint cooked on cast irons remained in the back of their minds. Years later, Jose and Miguel started DJ’s as a fundraiser to their previous business, Brio! Cold Brew Coffee.

"We were distributing our bottled cold brew to all of Florida Whole Foods. During Covid, our product saw a spike in demand and as a small bootstrapping start up, we struggled keeping up. Fundraising was a challenge due to Covid, so we started popping up with DJ’s every weekend to help our cashflow challenges. The pop-ups continued and our community of 'burger lovers' continued to grow. Eventually our pop-ups were shut down by the city, expediting our evolution into our food truck."

What are the benefits of having a restaurant on wheels?

"Having a food truck is a great way to invest in the growth of your food business. The truck belongs to us so we are not having to spend money improving leased space. This reduces the risk as we continue to improve our craft. We also have the ability to follow the crowds, test locations, and expand new markets by moving around!"

What makes customers come back?

"Tasty, consistent food and friendly service!"

I can attest to this. They provided the friendliest service I've experienced, which truly elevated my trip to DJ's.  

Favorite thing about working at DJ's?

"We’ve got the best customers in the world! We love interacting and fostering relationships with them. A lot of them have been with us since the tent days and we cherish each and every one of them."

How To Support

I encourage people to put DJ's on their "must-try" list and follow them on social media to keep up with their mission to "create the best burger and fry experience in the universe!" 

@djscastironburgers (FB & IG)