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Category Archives: Bella Vista

Heart of the Matter

About a year ago I dined at Local 44, which at the time was one of four bar/restaurants owned by the awesome team that also owns Memphis Taproom, Strangelove’s & Resurrection Ale House. Well, technically it’s still one of four bar/restaurants owned by that same awesome team, except Resurrection Ale House has since closed and another venture, Clarkville, is still in the works. Replacing Resurrection in the current rotation – but certainly not in our hearts – is Coeur (which coincidentally, is the French word for heart), located in the Bella Vista neighborhood. Keeping with the theme of its bar brethren, the focus is on craft beer and quality food. However, they’re also adding a touch of French-Canadian influence to the menu. Case in point: the Poutine burger, consisting of two patties topped with brown gravy, cheese curds, fried potato skins and tomato confit on a brioche bun.

The menu didn’t explicitly state that the burger was a double patty, so my eyes got real wide when I saw how big it was! Would I be able to tackle this monster? (Don’t worry! The patties are actually fairly thin, similar to The Good King Tavern, and they were cooked perfectly to medium even though I didn’t specify). Since I wasn’t super hungry, I was also worried that the gravy would be very heavy (thoughts of grandma’s thick gravy being slowly poured on Thanksgiving dinner danced through my head), weighing down the already hefty-sized burger. Thankfully, the gravy was light and tasty. The fried potato skins on top got a little soggy, but aren’t soggy carbs the best part of real poutine? There’s also some pickled onions and pickles underneath the bottom patty (also not mentioned on the menu), which give the burger a nice crunch to combat the sogginess. There was no way to beat the dreaded bottom bun sog here, but at least in this case it was expected. And since the patties are double stacked, the burger to bun ratio leaves you with more bun than meat – but that just gives you another vessel to soak up all the leftover gravy! This bad boy was definitely a two-hander for sure. Make sure to keep your napkin close by – it’s going to get messy (But what a delicious mess it was!)

Burger rating: “B+”

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Like A Phoenix

Hawthornes Cafe is a Philly brunch & beer mainstay. Unfortunately about a year and a half ago, a devastating fire put them out of commission and left the Bella Vista neighborhood without one of their favorite bottle shops for almost a year. But like a phoenix, Hawthornes rose from the ashes and reopened better then ever this past spring – even becoming one of the first places in town to launch beer delivery! I stopped in on an unseasonably cold fall evening to warm up with a dark beer and one of their burgers. They have two options: the House burger, which is just your standard Angus beef patty topped with three-year aged Gouda and LTO, and the Hawthornes burger, topped with crumbled danish blue cheese, over easy egg, avocado & chipotle aioli. A fried egg AND avocado? Um yeah, I wanted that one!

The burger came out topped with a jiggly egg yolk just waiting to be cracked open. I smeared a little ketchup on the top of my brioche bun, pressed down and POP! Out oozed all that delicious yellow yolk. The patty was cooked perfectly to medium, the avocado was bright green and fresh, the chipotle aioli creamy with a kick, and the blue cheese crumbles gave the burger a nice, salty flavor without being overpowering like some blue cheese topped burgers I’ve had in the past. I used the bulk of the burger to sop up all the delicious yolk with every bite. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a burger that was so good I wanted to eat it again immediately afterwards. Everything about this burger was just perfection; a great treat on a chilly evening.

I’m glad to see that Hawthornes is back and thriving. You should check it out for yourself on Saturday, November 7th when they host their annual Fall Block Party. It’s a free event with fire pits, hay bales and of course – Beer! But make sure you hit the ATM beforehand as the event is cash only! Hope to see you guys there!

Burger rating: “A+”

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