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Category Archives: caramelized

Need A Lift?

Over the holiday break, I finally got to try Cafe Lift for the first time, hitting it up mid-week to avoid the weekend brunch crowds. While I had my heart set on a delicious frittata that day, a burger special on their board caught my eye and I knew that I’d immediately have to come back to try it (especially since I really enjoyed the burger at their neighbor/sibling restaurant across the street, Prohibition Taproom). So I did! Their burger consists of two smashed & stacked Kensington Quarters grass-fed beef burgers topped with a fried egg, caramelized onions, provolone and a whole grain mustard aioli.

The burger came paired with a healthy, mixed green salad (I know you guys love your fries, but this is a mostly breakfast place, after all). The fried egg covered almost the entire burger, so I only managed to get this peek-a-boo picture. The runny egg yolk tasted delicious and created a beautiful mess all over my plate – and myself. The shiny, buttery brioche helped soak up all the yellow runoff. The caramelized onions & provolone pairing were great. The provolone wasn’t too sharp or overpowering, and the mustard aioli gave it a little extra kick. The burger patties themselves were cooked to well (and continued to cook while I was eating so that they were slightly too dry when I reached the last few bites) but you could taste the freshness in the grass-fed beef. I get the whole “smash” style, but they could have come off the grill a little sooner and been a little bit juicier – and then this burger would have been amazing!

If you’re going to come in and check it out (ain’t no shame in eating a burger at 10 AM), don’t forget your piggy banks – Cafe Lift is CASH ONLY! (and BYOB, so bring your flask, too).

Burger rating: “B”

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Mon Petit Burger

I’m feeling a little French this week as I just checked out Bardot Cafe, a sexy new bar in Northern Liberties named after French film femme fatale, Brigitte Bardot. But don’t let the name of this post dissuade you: the burger here was not “petit” by any means. This massive, thick patty, topped with caramelized onions, lettuce, and mahon cheese underneath a sexy, seeded bun will have you saying, “Oui, Oui!”

The burger came out cooked perfectly medium as requested. It was delicious and juicy, the caramelized onions and cheese pairing nicely with the flavor of the meat (And if you guys didn’t already know, caramelized onions are one of my favorite burger toppings). The piece of lettuce underneath the burger acted as a diaper of sorts to avoid that dreaded soggy bun. The only problem that I had was the burger to bun ratio: Oh sure, from the picture above, everything looks pretty proportional. But once you start chowing down, you start to run out of bun pretty quickly since the burger patty itself is so sizable. I tried to compensate as much as I could but still found myself with a few bites of just meat at the end.

Oh, and if you’ve still got room for dessert after all that burger, the Cocoa Banana Bread is très bien!

 

Burger Rating: “B+”

 

When Life Gives You Lemons…

I had originally tried to go to Lemon Hill a few weeks ago, only to show up to locked doors and then sadly remembered it was Monday, a day when many restaurants in Philly are closed. Instead of being discouraged, I told myself I would come back after my vacation, as I had been dying to get in to try the burger there for over a year now (I know that seems ridiculous, but Fairmount is just one of those neighborhoods that I just never find myself in regularly)! After ordering a cup of Rival Bros Coffee – which the bartender said they just got in & she’d already had numerous cups of – I also ordered the burger and added avocado on top ($2 extra).

The burger comes topped with Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (one of my favorite cheeses!), bibb lettuce, red onion, and malt vinegar-shallot aioli on a toasted ciabatta roll. I was surprised and excited to find the onions were slightly caramelized since normally if an onion is listed as one of the toppings, it’s usually raw. This added a little extra sweetness to the burger that I really enjoyed since the flavor of the aioli was kind of lost (a small smear of it was coated on the top bun). The cheese was gooey and almost curd-like, which was great because I could take a bite, slap on a little bit of cheese and repeat. The burger itself was nice and juicy, although cooked a little more on the medium-well side. My bartender suggested eating the burger over the fries so that they would soak up all the fat and be extra delicious. I already had a lot of drippings on my plate, so I just pushed the fries into them; still a good suggestion! I love adding avocado to a burger – especially on a warm day – as it gives everything a little bit of freshness and adds to the summery vibe.

When Lemon Hill first opened a few years ago, there was a patty melt on the menu that I found rather disappointing, so I was really excited to come back and try an actual burger when they updated their menu. It was definitely worth the wait for a return visit and a well-rounded burger. [Editor’s Note: Sadly, Lemon Hill announced yesterday that they have closed their doors for good, but I’m glad I was able to get in a final visit.]

Burger Rating: “B+”

Burger, Reborn

I’d been meaning to check out Resurrection Ale House for quite some time. (And ironically, while completely unplanned and without Religious affiliation, I found myself venturing in just a few days after Easter.) Resurrection Ale House is tucked into the elbow of Philadelphia known as Grey’s Ferry and is brought to you by the same lovely folks who run Strangelove’s & Memphis Taproom. This burger however varies slightly from their previously sampled siblings, coming topped with cheddar, caramelized onions and bibb lettuce all tucked under a challah bun. You can add bacon for a $1, but as I had bacon on both the Strangelove’s & Memphis burgers, I figured I’d keep it simple this time.

While other places that I’ve ordered similar burgers from haven’t appeared to take their time when it comes to caramelizing onions, these were spot-on: dark brown and gooey, like a good caramelized onion should be. The burger was cooked perfectly medium, and the meat was juicy and flavorful. The challah bun gave it a soft, buttery balance and the bibb lettuce literally became like a bib, holding back the meat drippings. The patty was big and thick and had a good burger-to-bun ratio; I only had about one final bite at the end where I had run out of meat. I was definitely pleased that this burger carried the same “genes” as its burger brethren. Being able to find consistency at three separate locations in three different areas of the city is quite a feat! I can’t wait to try the burger at their fourth location in West Philly – Local 44 – and see if it matches the rest, or if it’s the black sheep of the family.

Burger rating: “B+”

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