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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Flying South

When the weather gets cold, the birds migrate south to warmer weather. So on one of the chilliest days yet this Fall, I decided to head south to the cozy shelter of South Philly Tap Room for brunch. I’d been meaning to get down here for quite some time to check out their breakfast burger: a 100% grass fed beef burger topped with thick strips of bacon & a fried egg.

The burger is accompanied by a bowl of hollandaise sauce, homemade ketchup, and a small pickle salad (hidden behind the bun). I ordered the burger medium as usual, and found it to be slightly more on the medium-well side, but with a nicely charred exterior; the sign of a great grill-master. Between the char and the use of 100% grass fed beef, it gave the burger a great overall flavor. The homemade ketchup was delicious (despite my preference for high fructose corn syrup enriched Heinz). The hollandaise sauce left a little to be desired. It was starting to congeal slightly & I just thought, presentation wise, it was awkward to be in such a big bowl. It was pretty tasty though once I put it on the burger and I even dipped my fries in it. The ciabatta bun was soft and thick, perfect to soak up all the juices from the beef and the runny yolk of the egg without getting soggy. And the bacon was the best! Nice, crispy, thick slabs – not some whimpy Oscar Mayer bullshit! All in all, a fairly solid bar burger.

Burger rating: B

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The “Hunger Games”

I’m probably the last person on Earth who hadn’t been to Sabrina’s cafe for brunch – until this past weekend. And it’s a good thing that I did because their ever changing & always fun themed brunch specials were in honor of the upcoming release of the Hunger Games sequel: Catching Fire (In theaters everywhere November 22nd!) I opted for ‘Enobaria’s Big Bite Burger”:  a grilled Angus burger served on brioche with shredded Napa cabbage, carrots, caramelized leeks, papaya-sriracha aioli, fried panko-encrusted Japanese eggplant, and a fried wonton (it was also topped with shitake mushrooms, but I ordered it without them because, ew mushrooms).

The burger came out & it was massive! Much like Katniss, I would have to use my smarts and skills to work my way through this. I gripped the burger with both hands and took careful bites to make sure all the toppings stacked on top didn’t spill out on to the plate. But halfway through, I noticed I was starting to run out of bottom bun! I had to make some maneuvers, but I was able to successfully finish each bite without running out of bun too soon. The burger was cooked perfectly medium. The papaya-sriracha aioli had a great flavor (my friend even ordered a side of it to dip his fries in). There were too many leeks on the burger for my liking & I did eventually have to pick some of them off. And even though I was skeptical about the slice of fried eggplant, I thought it worked really well with the burger. In the end, I defeated this beast of a burger and emerged victorious!

Burger rating: “B-“

Working out the Kinks

As most good burger adventures of mine also involve great beer, I optimized my latest burger eating experience by partaking in the biannual Philly beer event known as the Craft Beer Express.  I had been trying to get around to The Sidecar bar for quite some time, and it just so happened that this fun beer crawl aimed to land me there right in time for dinner (as well as for some much needed alcohol absorption). Scoping out the menu beforehand, I knew I wanted to try the “Kinky” burger as it came topped with a crispy poached egg, gruyere and truffle mayo.

The burger was cooked to well done, despite being requested medium (they were pretty slammed with all the beer bussers, so I’ll give them a pass). The bun was a ciabatta roll, which was good for containing the egg yolk drippings, but sadly, the patty was much too small and I had a pretty good bit of bun leftover. (Luckily, there was truffle mayo and egg yolk to dip my excess bun in!)

Overall, I thought the components of the burger worked pretty well together. I love truffle mayo and I love unique buns. And it was so cool how they had the crispy outside on the poached egg; it had my drunk little brain working overtime to figure out how they make it! I’d love to try this burger again at the right temperature.

Oh, and in case you were wondering: I paired the burger with the Game of Thrones Take the Black Stout from Ommegang Brewery! (Because Jon Snow is fine as hell, ya’ll)

Burger rating: “B”

(Still Not So) Good Dog:The Revisit

Since I gave 500 Degrees the benefit of a revisit a while back, as they were one of my first posts without pictures, I decided to do the same for Good Dog (especially since I did not have a “good” experience there the first time around). Last time I visited around lunchtime on a Friday, so this time I picked happy hour on a Thursday. Despite the draw of their namesake “Good Dog” burger (stuffed with Roquefort cheese and enjoyed by a certain mayor of Flavortown), I again opted for a regular burger topped with cheddar – as a proper revisit should have you referencing your original source material. The patty is 1/2 lb ground sirloin and it’s topped with lettuce & tomato on a brioche bun.

The burger came out much faster this time and with a touch of pink in the center. As you can see from the picture, the patty didn’t entirely fill up the bun, but I didn’t find myself with a lot of excess bun left over, so that was good. Now here was problem: even though the burger was dripping with bloody, juicy goodness onto my plate, the meat itself tasted pretty dry and flavorless (probably attributed to a 90/10 lean-fat ratio). Did it suck? No, but it still left a lot to be desired at the end of the day. But hey, maybe I’m just doing this wrong! Maybe I have to get the Good Dog burger for my chance at burger enjoyment here. (They say third time’s a charm, right?)

Burger Rating: “D+”

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