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2013 Burger Brawl

I was so upset that I had to miss the Burger Brawl last year that I made sure that I did not miss it again this year! As soon as I found out, I got my tickets and waited (impatiently), plotting all the delicious burgers I was going to enjoy. In case you’re not familiar, the Burger Brawl was started in 2011 by Restauranteur Rob Wasserman of Rouge/500 Degrees fame (who I got the pleasure of meeting by accident while taking a much needed burger time-out), and the proceeds go to support local Philadelphia-area schools by constructing new technology labs. Past winners include London Grill and Bobby Flay (which just so happen to be two of my favs).

I’d already tried a handful of the competitors that were participating this year and my strategy was to cover the burger bases that I hadn’t touched on yet like Misconduct Tavern and Percy Street BBQ (whose burger topped with ham and a cured egg yolk just happened to be my favorite of the bunch).

Percy St BBQ’s burger entry

There were all kinds of burgers on display in the competition, in many different shapes and sizes. Some decided to go the “slider” (or “mini burger”, if you want to get technical) route like Rouge and 10 Arts.

Rouge “slider”

Others were grilling up full sized patties and then slicing them into halves (like Table 31) or quarters (like The Industry); a slightly better strategy and easier to get out to the masses.

Table 31’s Burger Entry

The Industry Burger

There were burgers with crazy toppings like South Philly Tap Room’s Ham-Hamburger with Scott Schroeder’s Super Ham Salad, and Silk City’s Banh Mi Burger, which on top of the Vietnamese influences, contained a layer of liver pate! (Plus they both had awesome, detailed burger illustrations!)

I made it about halfway through the burgers before I eventually gave up and decided to take a timeout for about an hour. But unfortunately by the time I was ready for Round 2, most of the burger stations left were all out of meat! Luckily, I didn’t miss too many that I hadn’t already had like Alla Spina, The Dandelion and London Grill. The one I was most disappointed about missing was George Sabatino’s burger (his station was near the entrance when I came in, but his grill wasn’t set up yet). Luckily, Morgan’s Pier re-opens this Thursday, so I’ll have all summer long to try out this crazy burger that is supposed to be dipped in liquid nitrogen and deep fried!

So who were the big winners? The People’s Choice award went to Lucky’s Last Chance of Manayunk for their Peanut Butter, Bacon & Jelly burger! (Nice to get some neighborhood pride going!) I know that combination of things on a burger sounds kind of scary, but it was actually really good – and I don’t even like jelly!

Lucky’s Last Chance

And the Judge’s Choice went to Fat Jack’s BBQ for their “Ultimate Memphis Mauler Burger” topped with… Well, just read the description below; it’s certainly a mouthful:

Ultimate Memphis Mauler Burger

My indigestion considered, the Burger Brawl was an amazing event with an even more amazing turn out. I definitely can’t wait to check it out again next year – Hopefully it will be even bigger and better! And while you’re waiting for next year’s Burger Brawl, check out the rest of this year’s awesome burger action on our new Facebook page (Don’t forget to “LIKE” us while you’re there!): Facebook.com/ASideOfKetchup

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Reunited, and it feels so good

It’s been about a year since I first had the London burger at London Grill, so I figured I was due for an update. Currently in 2nd place for my most favorite burger in Philadelphia (previously first; dethroned by Sketch Burger), the London burger is a thing of beauty. It’s totally customizable and it comes on an ENGLISH MUFFIN, of all things. Which is awesome because I used to eat them like that when I was a kid, so it’s like biting into a bit of nostalgia. Last time they forgot the fried egg on top and this time, I made sure that wasn’t going to happen. I also added Boursin because, duh, if Boursin is a cheese option, you fucking get Boursin on your burger.

Side of mayo, awesome pickles and fries – I’m glad I finally got a picture of this BBB (big beautiful burger)

It’s like the yolk is the burger’s tongue & it’s sticking it out at you! teehee!

It was every bit as good as I remembered it being (and I was sober this time!).  Plus the egg yolk blended really nicely with the creaminess of the cheese. So yes, the London Burger is still #2 in my book.

Philly’s Best Burger? Part 4: London Grill

There’s nothing quite like the meal you eat after a night out of drinking. Your alcohol induced state brings your taste buds to certain a level of “OMG” when anything edible touches your lips that you could probably eat a deep fried shoe and it would taste like a filet mignon. This past weekend was no exception. After a Halloween party, I was craving something fried and delicious, preferably from a diner with bad lighting and waitresses with thick Philadelphia accents and white Easy Spirit shoes. Instead, my friend suggested going to London Grill in the Fairmount section of the city. He was talking up this amazing burger on an English muffin with….. a fried egg on top. Well, that fucking sold me!


So we headed on over to London Grill, which just won best burger in Philly in the first-ever city wide ‘Burger Brawl’. I was worried and excited at the same time. Would it be able to measure up to my standards? Would this be it? Would I finally find the best burger in Philly?

The answer is both yes and no.

Yes, the burger was fucking amazing. I got mine topped with avocado, fried onions and boursin cheese. Cooked perfectly medium: Juicy, moist and delicious – everything I could ever ask for! The toasted English muffin reminded me of a home-grilled burger; no pretentious brioche buns here! (They forgot the fried egg, sadly, but I couldn’t complain.) And with crispy, handcut fries on the side, the London Burger was a steal at $11.

But I still have a long way to go on my Philly burger quest. I can’t just crown the winner right now when I’ve only hit the tip of the ice-burger! So for now, London Grill will hold the title and we’ll see if it can be defeated.

My rating?: “A+”
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