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Category Archives: American cheese

No Kid Hungry

This summer sure has been a hot one! Feeling like I’m walking on the surface of the sun every time I leave the house has limited my usual burger-eating enjoyment, as well as impeded my backyard BBQing (Who wants to stand in front of a grill when it feels like 105 degrees out?). Luckily the weather cooled down this week just in time for Shake Shack to team up with No Kid Hungry and Al Roker for a special burger. The Roker Burger is a 100% all-natural Angus burger topped with Niman Ranch BBQ pulled pork, double American cheese, red-eye mayo and pickles. And every $1 from the burger sales will go to helping No Kid Hungry in its efforts to end childhood hunger in America. I’m always down to eat burgers for a good cause, so I headed over to my local Shake Shack to check it out.

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I thought the burger was great. I loved the sweetness of the BBQ sauce and the pulled pork was juicy and tender. I also loved the crispy sweetness of the pickles (my usual go-to burger at Shake Shack is the Smoke Shack, so I’d been missing my pickle fix). And a burger topped with BBQ pork is the perfect way to combine your summer favorites!

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If you wanna try it, you better hurry – it’s only available in Shacks nationwide from now until Friday, August 26th (So run like you’re in the White House about to poop your pants… just try not to in the process).

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Summer Beer Garden Series: Morgan’s Pier

Ok, so technically Morgan’s Pier isn’t a beer garden per se (and technically, I’ve already been there before), but it is outdoors and they do serve beer, so it totally counts! Not to mention, they’ve been changing up the chef lineup every year since it opened in 2012 (this year it’s being helmed by Nick Elmi of Top Chef fame), so it’s a whole new menu to try out. So how does it compare to my last visit? I started with their signature Watermelon Ricky – a 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon poured over lemon juice & watermelon puree. It’s the perfect refreshment for a hot day.

For eats, I went with the backyard burger – topped with lettuce, pickles, sharp American cheese and house sauce. You can add on coleslaw, fries or beans for an extra $3 so I said why not? The burger was only $7 (seems I’m on a bit of a downward sliding scale from my previous beer garden trips thus far).

I wasn’t asked how I wanted the burger cooked, but it came out perfectly medium; bright pink inside and perfectly juicy. It was a simple backyard burger on a potato bun – tasty and no frills. I’ll definitely have to come back with a bigger appetite to try the double stacked Pier burger that comes topped with local bacon made by 1732 meats. I would skip the fries, though. Compared to my last trip where I got a mountain of hand-cut seasoned fries for $3, these were clearly straight from a bag frozen fries (my gut totally said coleslaw, too, which proves that you should always go with your gut).

Morgan’s Pier is open 7 days a week and there’s plenty of room around the pier to hang out with your friends or fly solo and sit by the water watching the boats come in. Plus there’s Quizzo on Tuesdays, brunch on the weekends & live music pretty much every other night of the week. Even better: come on a night when the Camden Riversharks have post-game fireworks and you’ve got an amazing view!

Burger rating: “B-“

Hunger No Longer

There’s been a big movement to eat ethically lately, with people are quickly growing conscious of the dangers of growth hormones and GMOs, opting for organic or local products, as well as ensuring that those who are growing and harvesting their foods aren’t being exploited. It’s not just about feeling good physically when going shopping or going out to eat; it’s about feeling good mentally as well. And at Hunger Burger (located in the famous Reading Terminal Market), they’re doing just that. In addition to using only the freshest ingredients and 100% hormone & antibiotic free all natural Black Angus beef, with every burger that is sold, they will donate a burger to feed a child in need – supporting local charities like Philabundance & No Kid Hungry. On my visit, I opted for the Philbert Burger (named for Filbert Street, which is adjacent to the market): topped with American cheese, green leaf lettuce, tomato, smoked bacon and their specialty HB sauce.

The burgers are smashed & griddled in a fashion similar to Smashburger, leaving a bit of a crispy char on the outside of the patty. They’re served on a soft potato bun and are on the smaller side (but don’t worry – you can order the burger as a double if you’re famished!) It was simply seasoned and really tasty. The menu said to ask if you want it topped with pickles, but the cashier asked me if I wanted a pickle and of course I said yes! It was a little bit on the pricey side (about the same range as Burgerfi across the street or Shake Shack), but worth it knowing that my money would be going to benefit someone in need. They serve crinkle cut fries just like Shake Shack as well, but with a lot more crunch! There’s even a variety of dipping sauces you can order for an additional fee ($1.50 – also a little pricey) if you choose. So next time you’re in Reading Terminal, think before you eat and let that tummy rumbling guide you over to Hunger Burger!

Heisen-burger

I’ll admit I’ve never seen “Breaking Bad“, but it’s on my list of resolutions for the year. In the meantime, I ate the Breaking Bad burger at Keg & Kitchen in Collingswood which comes topped with 2 patties, bacon, onion, jalapeño (which I picked off because I’m a wimp), tomato, iceberg lettuce, BBQ sauce, mayo, and yellow american cheese on a seeded bun.

I wasn’t asked how I wanted my burger cooked (probably because of the size of the double patties), but they were cooked to well; still juicy but with no pink inside. All the flavors were really great, with a slight, char-broiled taste that reminded me of a fancy whopper (although it certainly doesn’t compare to this whopper wannabe). The patties were on the small side, causing me to have to over compensate by eating more bun than burger so that I could maintain a good burger to bun ratio.

The only downside overall was the price point – $13, which I thought was rather high for a burger so simple. If you want to save a few bucks, they offer the burger for $10 on Mondays. Or balance it out by taking advantage of their Friday happy hour when all craft drafts are $4.

Burger rating: “B”

Paradise By The Neon Light

“Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night…”

Nestled just a few blocks off East Passyunk’s main strip lies a storefront with twin neon signs like glowing beacons enticing you to come inside. That place is Fountain Porter, home of the $5 burger. That’s right, folks. Five bucks. One Abe Lincoln. There are no frills and no gimmicks. If you want a burger, you come here (and hopefully you do, because other than some bar snacks, that’s the only item on the menu).

The burger comes on a soft potato roll topped with lettuce, tomato and American cheese (pickles on the side, ribbed for your snacking pleasure). Standard. Simple. Perfect char on the outside, delicious and juicy on the inside, just the way a good bar burger should be. Pair this bad boy with a side of crispy, hand-cut fries and you’re “gonna go all the way tonight“.

Burger rating: “B”

Beast Of A Burger

Last week I talked about how the “death” of Tria in University City gave birth to The Fat Ham. In the same vein, another of my previously reviewed spots that has since closed, Bisou Bistro, has given birth to this week’s burger at Beast & Ale in Manayunk. Beast & Ale is operated by the same wonderful crew that owns the Feliz trio of restaurants (Cantina Feliz in Fort Washington (Montgomery County), La Calaca Feliz in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood, & Taqueria Feliz, also in Manayunk). Venturing away from the Mexican food realm, Beast & Ale serves up more pub-style, “greasy spoon” fare including a double decker “Beast Burger”: two quarter-pound patties topped with dijonnaise, American cheese, red onion, lettuce and pickles underneath a brioche bun. If you’re not feeling so beastly, you can get a single patty “Baby Beast” version of the burger, and there’s even a special section of “fixin’s” you can add on for an additional charge. While the burger comes paired with a mixed greens salad, you can substitute fries for $1 – and let’s face it, you’ll want to substitute fries!

I ordered the basic version of the Beast Burger. I wasn’t asked how I wanted my burger cooked, but that was to be expected since the patties are pretty thin. They came out cooked at around medium, and were still nice and juicy considering their size. The bun was a little bit too large for the width of the individual patties, but considering they were double stacked, I only found myself with one or two bun-only bites at the end. And with all the gooey cheese on each patty and meat juices, the bun certainly stood up to the challenge. I didn’t start to notice the dijonaisse flavor until my last few bites of the burger, but it didn’t really add or take away from the overall flavor of the burger itself. This burger was definitely a tastier treat then the spot’s predecessor and a fine addition to Main Street Manayunk.

Burger rating: “B”

Zin-fully Delicious

While making a weekend trip to South Jersey – for Wegman’s, obviously – we decided to pop into Zinburger, which happened to be in the same shopping center as the Wegman’s in Cherry Hill. Zinburger is a casual wine & burger bar, specializing in novelty burgers made of 100% certified Angus beef and American Kobe beef, which they grind in house three times a day. I didn’t want to go too crazy, so I ordered the Samburger – topped with Nueske’s Applewood smoked bacon, American cheese and 1000 island dressing.

Then I checked out photos on Yelp and immediately changed my order to the Breakfast Burger: topped with a Fried egg, smoked bacon, American cheese, avocado & mayo (I know, I know. That burger should have been my first choice since those are all my favorite things). Just like at Bobby’s Burger Palace, when your server asks how you would like your burger cooked, they confirm back to you with the color & temperature of your order; in my case, Medium, warm pink center and warm throughout.

The burger came out and looked amazing. The house grind meat had a great flavor and the patty was perfectly proportional to the bun. I made sure to keep the giant toothpick thing in the bun to hold everything together for a while so that the toppings didn’t spill out everywhere. The burger was slightly more on the medium-well side – I would have liked to see more pink inside – but it was very juicy. Normally I would ask for ketchup, but I didn’t even need any! I also wish the fried egg had been slightly runny instead of being cooked all the way. I was surprised how delicious it was for a “suburban chain”, considering my last South Jersey burger experience wasn’t so great. I’m definitely glad that I changed my order at the last minute. I would totally have regretted not getting this! The one downside would probably be that the burger doesn’t come with fries, but they have an assortment of onion rings & various fries that are the perfect size to split with another person – if you’re into that kind of thing.

Let’s face it – no one likes food shopping on an empty stomach – so fuel up beforehand at Zinburger. They also have an all day Happy Hour on Sundays where you can get their simple burger for only five bucks!

Burger rating: “B+”

 

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