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A Full-On Monet.

“What’s a Monet?”

“It’s like a painting, see? From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess.”


That’s kind of how I felt about the Betty Burger at Smokin’ Betty’s. But it was kind of a big, delicious mess.

The September meeting of Burger Club Philly took place here recently and I was admittedly swayed by the promising description of the Betty burger: 1/2 lb sirloin, confit pork belly, avocado, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, garlic aioli AND a sunny side egg? This was like my burger soul mate.

Seriously, everything that I have ever wanted on a burger was on this bad boy (or girl, as the case may be). So I ordered and waited with anticipation and then…

The wrong burger was placed in front of me.

So I waited some more and then finally, she arrived. With a giant steak knife through the center, she was a thing of beauty.

Or was she…?

As soon as I pulled out the knife, all hell broke loose. There were just too many elements contained under one brioche bun. But I knew I could do this. So I got my bearings, gripped hold of that bun tight, and tucked in. There were run away avocados, there was leaky egg yolk, but I didn’t care. I just kept on trucking through it and I finished before everyone else at my table. /wipe sweat from brow.

Was it the best burger I’d ever had? Sadly no. I had just been temporarily blinded by all its amazing qualities up front, kind of like when you first start dating someone and you think they’re ‘the one’ even though they have completely differing opinions & do little things that irritate you that you try to overlook but can’t. But it wasn’t terrible! I just think I got a little over zealous trying to find my meaty life partner. Sometimes you don’t have to put all your eggs (and avocados and pork belly) under one bun.

Overall rating: “B-“


BYOB – Burger You’ll Obviously Bite

(I know, that headline was silly, but bear with me.)

Have you ever wished for a burger so big that you thought you might have to detach your jaw in order to even get it in your mouth? Well then stop by Hickory Lane in Fairmount! What’s that? You haven’t heard of it? Its ok, it’s probably just because they used to be a BYOB, but they’ve just built a brand, spanking new bar and are currently featuring Oktoberfest & fall beers, with a plan to transition to winter warmers, barley wines & stouts in the coming months. They’re also offering no corkage fee on all wines until the end of this month. Holler! Because I’m not trying to pay $15 to uncap my bottle of Two-buck Chuck.

So this burger monstrosity (which is an exclusive blend created by Chef Matt Zagorski of filet mignon, short ribs, and brisket) comes on a soft, challah bun and is topped with a thick slice of aged cheddar, bibb lettuce, tomato and garlic aioli. On the side is the biggest, thickest dill spear pickle I’ve ever had (Hey now, leave your dirty thoughts out of this!), plus a hefty amount of some awesome hand cut fries and MORE garlic aioli for dippin’.

I asked for medium and it was probably maybe a little on the medium rare side, but still bloody and tasty-delicious. The only problem is this then led to bottom bun soggery (a very serious condition in the burger world). If you like your burgers well done GTFO. No seriously, you’ll have to GTFO because this bad boy is so thick, it’s going to take at least 30 minutes for them to cook it all the way through. It took me a while to work through it, but I was determined! And the victory of an empty plate tasted so sweet.

Check that baby out! It’s HUGE!

Like I said earlier, they just got a new bar installed – so new in fact that the bartender told me that I was the very first person to sit at it! As a result of this privilege, I got to try 2 super-secret, up & coming punches that are going to be featured on the bar menu that Hickory Lane is rolling out soon; a watermelon-rum-mint and a cucumber-gin-honey. The cucumber was super fresh and hopefully they’ll be a couple of warm days left yet that you can try this. The same goes for the watermelon mint, which I kind of wish I’d been able to put rum in the watermelon mint juice I drank on my juice cleanse; it would have been a great improvement.

The only problem with the bar was that there’s no flap to get in and out from behind the bar so the bartender and bus boy kept kind of playing this awkward limbo game to slide underneath it; it seemed a little awkward to me. I know it’s a work in progress, so maybe they’re factoring that in? Same goes for shelving space if they’re going to be operating a full bar back there. Otherwise, it’s a great compliment to the space and I can’t wait to come back when it’s in full swing!

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