I finally made it out to Ela this weekend. Due to the intense social gatherings (parties) that have been going on, there was no way I could stomach any cocktails from their awesome Brand New inspired cocktail list. I was, however, ready for a burger.
Ela’s burger consists of an 8 oz. (I believe) beef patty which is topped with aged cheddar, shiitake mushroom jam, a Chinese black bean sauce (not the dark sauce you find at the Asian grocery, this stuff is made in house), and shredded kale. (Chef Jason Cichonski told me that they normally use watercress.) It’s sandwiched between a housemade black sesame bun.
I was kind of speechless and slightly confused while eating this. I ordered it medium-rare and it was cooked medium-rare, yet looked rather red and rare. I also started to question whether it was beef that was used. The meat was really juicy and very flavorful…so flavorful that I even thought it may have been a huge sausage patty. I asked the waiter about the meat and he said that they fold in some of the Asian sauce when they form the patties. That is incredible. I’ve never had a burger this juicy, and that sure explains why it was abnormally red and overly juicy. I think the flavors of the cheese and mushroom jam were secondary to the flavor of the burger as the meat was just that flavorful. The black sesame seeded bun held up to the juiciness despite its airiness and flakiness. The burger to bun ratio was perfect as no bite was burgerless. Accompanying the burger on the plate are fried gnocchi “tater tots”. These were a great complement to the plate. They had a nice salty, crispy exterior with an airy, pillowy interior.
This burger is definitely one of the most unique ones I’ve had. It’s tasty and worth checking out! I’ll be back to have some Brand New cocktails and other food (other items on the menu look pretty awesome, too).
627 S 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147