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Category Archives: pickled

Fit to be Square

Everyone in Philly’s familiar with Rittenhouse Square. It’s pretty much the hub of Center City west of Broad Street. You go there to see and be seen. To dog watch, people watch, read a book, meet your friends, eat some fro-yo, take a nap, etc. But just a few blocks is a different square – Fitler Square. You’ll find the same gorgeous tree and Brownstone lined streets, but a much quieter vibe compared to Rittenhouse’s hustle & bustle. And on a gorgeous, 72 degree day in November, that’s exactly where I decided to head for lunch. Given the weather, I found it appropriate to stop into Fitler Dining Room and try their Endless Summer burger, topped with pepper jack cheese, lettuce, green pickled tomato, goddess mayo. I sat down, stripped off all the layers I’d put on when it was 45 degrees at 7:45 AM, and basked in the glory of open windows and warm sunlight while waiting for my food to arrive.

The burger arrived cooked just slightly over medium to medium-well, yet still had a lot of bloody, juicy runoff. My hostess/server joked when she seated me that the soup of the day – if I were crazy enough to order it given the day’s warmth – was tomato. Instead, the only tomato I was interested in was the pickled green one underneath the large, hand-formed patty, which gave the burger a nice, sweet crunch. The house-made bun was just slightly larger than the burger, but I only found myself with 1-2 meatless bites. The Goddess mayo was light and refreshing with herbaceous undertones that didn’t overpower the burger flavor. Endless Summer was more than just a clever moniker; it really did take me back to those warm, breezy summer days and backyard barbecues with every bite. But don’t let this summer pass you by: the burger is only available on Fitler Dining Room’s lunch & brunch menus, so get over there while the weather is still amazing!

Burger rating: “B”

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Feeling Hollow

This week’s “trek back from the ‘burbs” landed me in Mount Airy once again, this time at Goat Hollow (not to be confused with Goat’s Beard in nearby Manayunk). I’d heard good things about the burgers here so I figured it was worth checking out. They had four specialty burgers which you can get with your choice of beef, chicken or veggie – as well as a lamb burger that is listed under their sandwiches. I opted for the signature Goat Hollow burger, topped with pickled pork belly & provolone – because I love pork belly (even if I have had some hit or miss run-ins with it used as a burger topping in the past).

The burger came out and looked pretty promising. However, once I picked the burger up, the beef looked like it was a frozen, pre-formed patty, which was kind of a let down since I’d heard such good things. When I took it bite, it was definitely not medium as requested and quite overcooked, which confirmed to me that it was probably a frozen patty. The pork belly was overpowered by the pickled flavor and also very overcooked and chewy. The sharpness of the provolone clashed sharply with whatever was used to pickle the pork belly, giving it a harsh, bitter flavor. The bun, a boring brioche. With no other toppings aside from a smear of the same aioli they gave me for my fries, this burger definitely left me feeling hollow. I was disappointed because the atmosphere inside was cozy and they were playing tons of my favorite 80’s songs (The Smiths, A-ha, Men at Work and the Talking Heads twice? Yes please!). Oh well, at least the draft list was decent!

Burger rating: “C-“

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