RSS Feed

Category Archives: La Frieda

Have a Heart

I headed back home recently to celebrate my birthday with my parents. And celebrate I did by eating a burger in the heart of New York City: Times Square. We decided to check out Heartland Brewery’s HB Burger which touts itself as “the only full-service burger-oriented restaurant in the Times Square area”. I opted for their standard HB burger which uses fresh ground Pat LaFreida patties and tops them with aged NY cheddar, bacon, lettuce, tomato, an onion ring (!) and garlic aioli all on a brioche bun.

The burger came out medium as requested (and I should hope so if burgers are your business!). In typical LaFrieda fashion, the meat was juicy and delicious. Bacon was smoky and crisp, pairing nicely with the aged cheddar. My only complaint would be the bun. It’s no secret that brioche buns aren’t my first choice, but when done well they can be excellent. This bun was overly dry which totally threw off the great taste of all the other burger components. Oh sure, it came in handy sopping up all the meat juices, but having to take extra sips of my beer in between bites became tiresome. My mom order the crab cake burger and had the same complaint, eventually giving up on the bun entirely. Some of the other burgers are served on a potato bun, which I would have preferred but obviously wouldn’t have been able to contain all the toppings. In any case, this was still a solid burger that you can enjoy right in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of NYC (without any creepy costumed characters trying to steal your fries).

Burger rating: “B”

 

Advertisements

Room for Improvement

I’ve been spending a lot of time in South Philly lately. Oh, not on the restaurant & shop filled promenade of East Passyunk Ave, but on the opposite side of Broad Street; the seemingly desolate area of the city known as South Philadelphia West. What’s even over there, you might ask? Well, it’s the slow start to what will hopefully be a new foodie paradise with places like the Mexican-Japanese fusion Cafe Con Chocolate, amazing Indonesian spot Sky Cafe and even a Vegan restaurant, Miss Rachel’s Pantry.

Also situated in the area is Taproom on 19th. While the spot was a long time neighborhood institution, the recent introduction of new owners, a new chef and a new look are helping bring craft beer and culinary delights to Girard Estate. I opted to stop by on a Monday night when their namesake Taproom burger is half-price all day: a LaFrieda Blend patty topped with butter lettuce, tomato, pickles, tap sauce and your choice of cheese. On a previous trip, I had split the burger with my dining partner so I couldn’t take a full burger analysis. This time, I had the burger all to myself.

The burger came out with a nice presentation: ample sized patty, lots of pickles, non-brioche bun. Things started to go downhill from here. The bottom bun was hard as a rock. I’m not sure if it was just over-toasted, stale, or toasted to cover up the fact that it might have been stale; it really threw me off, especially since the top bun was fine. The meat was juicy and flavorful, as one can expect from a quality meat like LaFrieda. However, the patty itself seemed to be all over the place. Ordered my usual medium, there were random spots of pink throughout instead of being consistently cooked. And while it started out thick as in the picture above, the back half of the patty seemed slightly smashed & thinned out, and began to fall apart inside the bun.

I was really disappointed since the first burger I had, while only half a patty, was rather enjoyable, well cooked and didn’t fall apart at all like the full burger did. Maybe it was just an off night? I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt because I think the place is a great addition to the still up & coming neighborhood. Hopefully next time I stop in for a burger, I’ll find better consistency.

Burger Rating: “C-“

A little bit of love for Bisou

I very rarely venture out into my own neighborhood, but I decided to keep it close to home and head out the recently revamped Bisou (formerly Gemelli) on Main Street in Manayunk. Switching things up from their previous incarnation, Bisou has gone bistro – and put a burger made with La Frieda meat on it’s menu (the key to my heart!). The burger is also topped with aged cheddar, caramelized onions, and a house special sauce all underneath – surprisingly – NOT a brioche bun! (For which I was most grateful.)

I ordered my burger medium and despite being one of the few diners in the restaurant, my burger was cooked to almost medium well. Thanks to the magical La Frieda meat however, my burger was still nice and juicy – even though I do like it a little more pink. The caramelized onions also gave the burger a nice flavor. (I wish that was a topping choice at more places. I’ve gotten them on a burger at London Grill in the past as well and it was equally delicious.) And the bun was nice and soft and slightly toasted. Paired with a Hell or High Watermelon, this burger was definitely a nice treat on a warm day.

Bisou also has lots of other great menu items, plus jars of macerated fruits hanging out behind the bar to mix into some refreshing margaritas or mojitos. So don’t be scared to head out of the comfort zone of Center City! Manayunk’s just a train ride away.

Burger rating: “C+”

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