RSS Feed

Category Archives: bbq

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.

0d47701e-93c9-484e-b2ef-3930fae05b44_zpsz0zf7m50

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!

46e75deb-322f-4c7d-a5aa-48da4a087405_zpsjzdykpdq

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).

Goodness Gracious

Ever since Shake Shack touched down in Philly two years ago, a lot of other fast-casual burger chains have come to the area trying make an imprint on the burger scene (Smashburger, BurgerFi, Burger21, to name a few). So when Spike Mendelsohn of Top Chef fame announced he would be opening a branch of his DC based burger joint, Good Stuff Eatery, I was anxious to see how it would turn out. And then I became increasingly more anxious as the projected opening date being reported by local food blogs kept getting pushed back again and again. Finally, just in time for July 4th weekend – aka Philadelphia’s time to shine – the doors opened and the burger angels sang their siren song.

They have an assortment of burgers with specialty toppings on potato buns, as well as hand-cut fries and shakes. Sounded awfully familiar to me, so what would set Good Stuff’s burgers apart? First off, their burgers are a blend of short rib, chuck and brisket and a whopping 5-6 ounces. As far as the fries go, instead of using classic Idaho potatoes like some places, Good Stuff uses red bliss potatoes that are aged and then hand cut and double fried. And for your dipping delight,  they’ve got a “mayo bar”, featuring Chipotle, Mango, Sriracha and Old Bay (a DC & Philly favorite). If you remember from my recent post about my trip to BurgerFi, I wasn’t pleased with them charging $13 for a burger, fries & a drink when you can easily get the same combo at Shake Shack or Five Guys for less. Good Stuff’s lunch special (running Monday-Friday from 11:30 AM-2:30 PM) features their Farmhouse Cheeseburger (topped with tomatoes, lettuce, onion, pickles and “Good Stuff Sauce”), fries and a drink for only $12! That sounded like a great deal to me and so, that’s what I opted to get.

So, the first thing I noticed was that I was not given the Farmhouse Cheeseburger. I’m not sure if this was an oversight or if maybe the lunch special burger changes daily; either way, I wasn’t complaining. Checking the menu again, it appears I was given the Coletti’s Smokehouse burger: topped with Applewood Bacon, sharp Vermont cheddar, fried Vidalia onion rings & chipotle BBQ sauce. The second thing I noticed was how big the patty was. This thing was no joke! Five Guys gives you two patties off the bat and Shake Shack will let you add a patty and both of those barely come close to this bad boy (and honestly, I feel like less of a pig if I have one big patty instead of getting two). Thirdly, while I was not asked how I wanted my burger cooked, when I bit inside, it was a perfectly pink medium. Already this burger was leaps and bounds over its competitors!

The cheddar was nice and gooey. The bacon, crispy. The BBQ sauce, tangy. The onion rings had a good crunch to them and weren’t too stringy. The bun, soft and proportional. Good Stuff Eatery was good stuff, indeed. I can’t wait to get back and check their burger out in its “pure” form.

Burger Rating: “A”

Don’t Pass On This Pub

I’ve been to Khyber Pass Pub countless times. They’ve got an amazing craft beer selection, a Nawlins-style weekend brunch, mac & cheese that I have dreams about, and the most delicious Po’ Boys this side of the Mason-Dixon line (including an awesome Vegan “fried chicken” one!). But the one thing I hadn’t tried before was their burger – until now! The Khyber Burger consists of an Angus beef patty topped with bacon, barbeque onions, smoked cheddar & creole mustard. They also let you choose from any of their Southern-style sides. I went with onion rings since 1) a lot of places don’t usually have onion rings as an option & 2) onion rings are the best!

I apologize for the poor lighting on the photo, but it was a little dark where I was sitting & a giant Happy Hour group was blocking my outside light. The onion rings had a nice, flaky batter on them so I added a few to the top of my burger before diving in. In addition to the barbequed onions already on the burger, the onion rings added some extra sweetness and texture (this is the go-to move!). The bun was a big, shiny brioche, much like the kind used at their sister restaurant, Royal Tavern. The bacon was crispy and the Creole mustard gave the burger a nice little tang. The patty was given a perfect bar char, but unfortunately was overcooked to medium-well/almost well done. The first few bites were juicy, but it was clear the meat was holding in too much heat; I found myself needing more ketchup to cover up the dried-out taste as I continued on. The burger to bun ratio was excellent, and I never once feared it would fall apart or that I would run out of meat before bun (or vice versa).

I was a little disappointed since everything else I’ve ever eaten here has been outstanding. Maybe because they have so many other great Southern sandwiches their burger just isn’t a main focus? Or maybe it’s my own fault that I didn’t just order a Fried Mac & Cheese Po’ Boy instead! Either way, Khyber Pass Pub is worth checking out – even if you don’t try the burger.

Burger Rating: “C+”

 

South in yo’ Mouth

Last night I was invited to the Four Roses Whiskey Tasting at Percy Street Barbeque, which also doubled as an unveiling of their delicious new menu items. While the menu had been primarily focused on Texas style BBQ, a lot of other competition in the BBQ arena has started to pop up around Philly (Most notably Stephen Starr’s Fette Sau). Looking to stay ahead of the curve, Chef Erin O’Shea has spiced up a bunch of Southern favorites while still keeping your tummy happy with delicious smoked meats.

First up were a variety of appetizers:

Poached shrimp with spicy pickled vegetables, beer vinegar, saltines. Just think of it as a Hillbilly shrimp cocktail!
 
Lamb ribs with braised sauerkraut and apples; so tender & falling off the bone.
Pork Belly with house made potato bread, cured egg yolk, maple syrup; I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Fried Virginia oysters with sausage and grits; The oyster was so light and moist considering it was fried. This was probably my favorite of the starter dishes.

Meanwhile, we were busy blind sampling five different bourbons from Four Roses’ lineup. We learned that Four Roses uses 5 proprietary yeast strains with two separate mashbills to produce 10 different bourbon blends, each with their own unique character, spiciness, and rich fruity flavors. Each of these bourbons are aged in different distilleries throughout Kentucky, and depending on temperature, evaporation and other environmental factors , each bourbon has a different taste. We were asked to rate each of the 5 samples from 1 (being our least favorite) to 5 (most favorite), and at the end our results were tallied and that would determine which barrel Percy Street will be using this upcoming season.

I’ve been spending a lot of time with the Philadelphia Whiskey Society, so I’ve gotten used to tasting different whiskeys and adapting my palate.  We were first asked to take a drop from each whiskey and rub it in our palms to heat it up, and then smell our palms to detect the different fragrances in the whiskey. Then, nose the whiskey with your mouth slightly open to pick up more of the aromas (kind of the way snakes use their tongues to smell, right?). Finally, the sipping! With your tongue pressed slightly behind the back of your bottom teeth, letting the liquid slide into the middle of your tongue to get a good “mouth feel”; determining the burn or smoothness, texture, floral or woody-ness, etc. and letting it coat your tongue thoroughly as it works its way though all your flavor receptors. After sampling a bit of each whiskey, I then added a few drops of water to see how it would open the bourbons up. Some of them improved slightly, but for others, not even water could change my mind. I went with the whiskey in the Green dotted glass, which turned out to be the overall winner. I twas just very smooth and sweet and there wasn’t a lot of burn afterward (Percy Street will be revealing the exact name of the bourbon and its distillery location this week, with the barrel arrive in 4-6weeks).

Just when I thought everything was said and done, each of our tables was delivered Percy Street’s epic meat tray; The Lockhart – several slabs of brisket, half a chicken and a handful of ribs, along with five sides. Holy cow (and pig)!
Baked beans, sauerkraut, housemade coleslaw, German potato salad and collard greens: yum!

After all those amazing appetizers, I wasn’t even sure if I had room to eat any of it, but I took a chicken leg, a small rib, some brisket, all the sides and went to town. There were six people at our table and we received three Lockhart trays between us. We were a table full of ladies and could easily have probably just shared one or two between the group; there was so much food left over! (Although I did look around at the Men’s tables and their plates were pretty much licked clean, lol) I’m pretty sure I left in a meat coma and woke up this morning smelling like BBQ, but it was so damn delicious. I definitely can’t wait to get back over there to try more of the pork belly, grits and of course, our specially selected Four Roses bourbon. Keep your eyes on their Twitter feed for the whiskey name and its arrival at the restaurant!

Queue for BBQ

If you work in a fairly large city, you probably already know that if you don’t bring your lunch with you that you’re destined to spend a good portion of your lunch hour fighting the other throngs of lunch-less office dwellers in the quest to eat. (And you find yourself spending more time waiting to actually get your food then you do eating it.) Oh sure, you could try to time it so you beat the rush. Or maybe  you go a little bit later once things have settled down. But there’s at least a dozen other people all using your same trial & error method.

I work in Center City Philadelphia and my main option down the block from my office is the Market at the Comcast Center, which provides of a plethora of options from Mexican to Chinese to Sushi to Jewish deli sandwiches to a DiBruno Bros outpost. But one of my favorite places – and a pretty recent addition to the market – is Percy Street BBQ. If you’ve ever been to the Percy Street location on South St, then you already know how amazing their food is. I mean, why get a McRib when you can get the Percy Street boneless pork sandwich for just a few bucks more? (Which is HUGE and you could probably save half of it for dinner, but I’m a fat kid so I ate the whole thing in one sitting.)

Heaven on a Hoagie Roll

They’ve changed up their menu items since they first opened this past winter (sadly, that delicious beast above is no longer featured), but the quality is unbeatable. And even with a side and a drink, you’re still coming out just around $10. So if you’re in the Comcast Center area and looking for a lunch that won’t break the bank, definitely pop by Percy Street!

Real & Delicious Pulled Pork for only $7!? It’s true!

The Vulgar Chef

#EATLIKESHIT

Life is Short. Eat hard!

Our Endless Search for Fantastic Food!

Food, Sweat, and Beers

That's what this girl's made of...

The Burgervore

- relishing life one burger at a time -

In Search of Beer

Finding all the best beer events in Philadelphia.

22nd & Philly

One Hungry Woman

bridges, burgers & beer

a gastronomical and culinary adventure in the life of a bridge engineer