I have to admit. I have never eaten at Johnny Brenda’s. I’ve been here several times, whether it’s to see a show upstairs, grab a drink downstairs, or enjoy a brew while sitting along Girard Ave. but not one of my visits included food. There is no reason except for “I don’t know.” This was not due to a lack of interest, though.
Lots of people have told me good things about the food here, more particularly, their burger. Another friend, who’s burger opinions I take seriously, told me that the burger here was one of her favorites. Not too long ago, the stars aligned and I happened to be hungry when I was enjoying a beer at the bar.
The burger at JB’s is made up of beef (the source could not be found by the staff at the time) which sits on top of lettuce and pickles. It’s then topped with melted cheddar and chopped caramelized onions. I also got a taste of a secret sauce of some sort. The burger is sandwiched between a regular bun. I ordered the burger medium-rare and it came out perfectly medium-rare. There was no lack of juiciness, as I savored each bite. The flavors all came together and made for one tasty burger. The accompanying well-seasoned, tasty hand-cut fries complimented an already great burger.
Only not so great parts? The bun fell apart slightly during consumption (but I can get over that). The portion of fries seemed a bit small. I actually was wanting more once the burger was done. Not that I’m truly complaining…having a large weekly portion of fried potatoes isn’t exactly the greatest habit…
I’m glad I finally tried it. I’m even more glad that I know how good of a burger it is now.
Tagged: burger, fishtown, johnny brenda's, philly
1201 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Not even 6 months old and just down the street is Lloyd, a whiskey bar along Girard Avenue in Fishtown. I’ve only been once or twice for drinks, but have been meaning to come in ever since I found out they have a burger. Having said that, even though they’re known as Lloyd Whiskey Bar, they have a couple taps, a cocktail list, and a moderately sized menu.
The Lloyd Burger is made up of a custom beef blend from nearby Kissin Fresh Meats topped with Muenster cheese, pickled red onion, lettuce, tomato, and bread & butter pickles. All of that is placed between a toasted Metropolitan Bakery brioche bun. You have the option of accompanying fries or greens and the addition of bacon for an extra buck.
It was cooked perfectly to medium-rare. The pickled red onion added a pleasant tangy and sweet taste. The toasted brioche was fresh and held up to the juicy, flavorful burger. The burger was fairly simple, with the pickled red onion being the “fanciest” ingredient, however, it was done well. The only non-positive thing I can say is that the burger is just a bit small for the bun. There were one, maybe two small bites of bun without burger at the end. Really, it was so small that it’s not something to pick at. I enjoyed it quite a bit. The generous portion of accompanying fries were also seasoned well and tasted great.
My friend and I also tried the bacon chicken liver mousse appetizer which also tasted great. Will definitely be coming back to eat here.
Tagged: burger, fishtown, lloyd, lloyd burger, philly
529 E Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125
A few weeks ago, friends chose to go to Perch Pub for pre-theater drinks and eats. I wasn’t quite in the mood for a burger (seriously), but when half the party decided they were getting a burger, I couldn’t resist.
Perch Pub offers four different burger combinations in addition to a build your own. All the burgers are served with an 8 oz. beef patty on a toasted sesame seed bun alongside a green salad with housemade bread and butter pickles. Fries could be added for an additional $1.50. I decided to go with the California Cobb, a burger topped with avocado, arugula, pecan-smoked bacon, tomato, and Point Reyes blue cheese dressing.
Let’s talk about the upsetting parts first. Where was the sesame seed bun? The bun used was a toasted brioche bun. Where was the housemade pickles? I was really looking forward to trying these! I was too hungry to ask where the pickles were and why the bun was different. Has their menu changed without being updated? Do they still have housemade pickles and serve the burgers on sesame seeded buns?
Now on to the good. The burger was large and looked like it had been put together with care. The dressing wasn’t just dressing. Several times that I’ve had blue cheese dressing on a burger haven’t been good. The cheese gets lost in the amount of dressing that is used. This was not the case at Perch Pub, as the crumbles of blue cheese are definitely apparent and give the burger it’s complimentary tanginess. I ordered it medium-rare and it was close, if not spot on. The size of the burger was perfect. There were no burgerless bites as it was just slightly over the edges of the bun on all sides.
Perch Pub is a great option if you’re looking for a good burger close to the theater.
Tagged: bar, burger, center city, philly
1345 Locust St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Even though a previous burger experience here wasn’t the greatest, when you need a burger and you happen to be at the same place, you sometimes want to give it another shot. This past weekend I found myself at City Tap House once again, wanting a burger, however, I went with the Lamb Burger.
The Lamb Burger is topped with feta yogurt, smoked paprika aioli, kalamata olives, and a fennel salad. It is served on a toasted seeded wheat bun. Like the Tap House Burger, the burger to bun ratio was perfect and it was very neatly prepared. It also had some good flavors. Since I thought about my last experience here with an overcooked burger which was ordered medium-rare, I ordered this lamb burger rare. After a couple bites, I noticed my burger was cooked to a perfect medium-rare! It was much juicier this time due to its lower cooked temperature. Sure, you shouldn’t have to order a rare burger in order to receive a medium-rare burger, but I had a hunch this decision would work out in my favor this time around. The only other downside in addition to anticipating an overcooked burger was the wheat bun. It felt a bit too wholesome. I’d like try the Tap House Burger next time, ordered rare!
City Tap House
Tagged: bar, burger, city tap house, lamb burger, philly, university city, west philly
3925 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
It took me long enough to try Prohibition’s burger. I’ve been here several times for drinks and food, but never tried the burger. I caught up with a friend last Sunday who comes here quite often and after being told several times that I’ve gotta try it, I finally did.
The Pub Burger is made up of an 8 oz. chuck patty that’s topped with lettuce, roasted cowboy onions, tomato, and your choice of cheese (jack, cheddar, blue, or brie). You also get to choose whether you want the burger served on a white or ciabatta bun. I ordered it on ciabatta and with blue.
This burger was delicious. The meat was cooked to medium-rare and was very juicy and tasty. I was skeptical about a ciabatta bun at first, but I soon realized I made a good decision. The fresh bun had a somewhat delicate, airy inside while maintaining a harder exterior. It held up against the burger juices yet wasn’t hard enough that all the ingredients slid off during every bite. The Pub Burger is served with a few pickle slices and some house cut fries. As the seasons change, I heard they substitute tomato jam for the tomato. I’m really looking forward to that!
Also, Sundays are BYOV (bring your own vinyl). They play a couple tracks from the vinyl you bring AND you get 20% off your check. It’s pretty awesome.
Don’t skip over this burger next time you’re at Prohibition. It’s quite good.
Tagged: burger, philly, prohibition taproom
501 N 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123