Recently I spent my first official Labor Day weekend spent in Philadelphia since moving here three years ago. It was also the first weekend all summer that I’ve felt like I hadn’t had to be somewhere, doing something at a particular time, and I decided to maximize it by taking my favorite person to dinner Friday night: Myself. Originally I had planned on checking out Hickory Lane in Fairmount since they are no longer BYOB, but thanks to the Made in America festival re-rerouting everything in a 5 mile radius I wound up at The Dandelion instead. Their burger was just voted one of the top 10 hottest burgers in town by Zagat, so I figured I’d check it out.
Being a Stephen Starr joint, I had my reservations about its quality (and its $16 price tag). It arrived on a cool, round butcher’s block/Lazy Susan contraption with a size of hefty, hand-cut chips which are fried in beef fat. (Not fries; this is supposed to be an English pub, after all.)
After having a bunch of recent misses when ordering my burger medium and getting nearly well done, this burger was cooked perfectly to medium and the aged beef blend & buttery brioche bun kept me wanting to savor every bite. It’s also topped with some thin sliced brined pickles, bacon and sharp cheddar – plus a secret “Churchill sauce”. Usually I’ll slap a little ketchup on a burger if I think it’s too dry or flavorless; that was certainly not the case here. I could see why it was in the top 10 and now it is in my own personal top 5 burgers in Philly.
I also sampled their Cask beer flight, which at only $8 for 5 oz of three beers, you can’t go wrong. I was given a Marston’s Pedigree (an EPA), a Weyerbacher Last Chance (an IPA) and a Wychwood Hobgoblin (an ESB). I especially liked the IPA and I’m not usually a big IPA fan. All of the beers perfectly complimented my meal, as well as each other. For a nice (albeit humid) evening, it was a great way to wind down the summer.