smashburger – radnor

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Last week, I was lucky enough to get an invite to the media preview of Smashburger’s first Pennsylvania location, opening in Radnor, just west of Philadelphia. I’ve always seen and heard of Smashburger from friends in NYC and North Jersey so I was pretty stoked to finally get a chance to try it down here. Smashburger founder, Tom Ryan, was present to guide us through the tasting of several burgers, sandwiches, sides, and desserts.

All the burgers are made of 100% Angus beef and are “smashed” on the grill. The burgers and other sandwiches are served on butter toasted egg, multi-grain, spicy chipotle, or pretzel buns. You could get it on lettuce if you really wanted to go carb-less. There are also two different sizes for the burgers, Smash, giving you 4.5 oz. of meat, and a Big Smash, giving you 6.5 oz. of meat.

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What I found pretty awesome about Smashburger is their regional menu items. For the Philly area (there was one in Glassboro, NJ prior to this one opening), the items are the Philly Burger and the Philly Dog. Both of these are topped with grilled onions, Whiz, and Gulden’s Mustard. The burger is then served on a pretzel bun, creating a burger combination of two iconic Philly foods.

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Aside from the Philly Burger, which was great, everything else was as well. The BBQ, Bacon & Cheddar Burger had flavors that the Burger King Rodeo Burger couldn’t even compare to. This burger has BBQ sauce, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar, and haystack onions on an egg bun.

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They offer a large selection of sides, too. They offer Smashfries, fries tossed in rosemary, garlic, and olive oil. Sweet potato fries, haystack onions (think fried onion threads), and veggie frites are other side options. The veggie frites were a tasty alternative to the deep fried potatoes as they were seasoned well and tasted great.

Smashburger was pretty good. If you find yourself out on the Main Line, stop by!

Smashburger
550 E Lancaster Ave
Radnor, PA 19087

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cedar point bar & kitchen – burger

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My days as a Fishtown resident are unfortunately coming to an end. Fortunately, I was able to stop into Cedar Point one last time (hopefully not) before I move out.

I ordered the burger, despite all temptations to order the fried chicken & waffles. The burger is made from grass fed beef and then topped with pimiento aioli, Herdsman cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, and tomato. It’s served on a perfectly sized brioche bun from Baker Street in Chestnut Hill. The burger was perfectly cooked to medium-rare with a nicely charred exterior. It was very juicy and tasted great. Accompanying the burger was a generous portion of housecut regular and sweet potato fries. These were seasoned perfectly and had some crispy sweet potato fries (some places’ sweet potato fries don’t crisp too well).

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As my days wind down here, I’m going to have to come back again for another burger while I sit on the deck with a beer in my favorite Philly neighborhood.

ps. The lady ended up getting the lobster mac and cheese on special, which was incredible. If that’s on special again, get it!

Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen
2370 E Norris St.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
215.423.5400

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local 44 – the 44 cheeseburger

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I’ve only been to Local 44 a few times and have always told myself I need to go more. Being a Fishtown resident, I rarely get myself to venture out to West Philly for a lot of things. Fortunately, prior to a show at the Mann Center, Local 44 was the perfect location for pre-show brews and bites.

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The 44 Cheeseburger is made up of ground sirloin and topped with housemade American cheese, pickles, ketchup, and mustard. It’s sandwiched between a fresh baked, toasted Metropolitan Bakery bun. It was just cooked right to medium-rare and the simple ingredients/toppings tasted great together. The bun, although perfectly sized and tough enough to hold up to the juices of the burger, was not my favorite. The crusty outside was a little too tough for me. That aside, it didn’t take much away from the already well made and tasty burger. Accompanying the burger was a good portion of awesome housecut fries. For only $10, this is a great burger for a lower than Philly-average price.

Local 44
4333 Spruce St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215.222.2337

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triumph brewing company: princeton – triumph burger

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Truth. I’ve never been to Triumph Brewing Company in Old City, Philadelphia. I love beer and I honestly have no answer why I’ve never gone. My new job has put me up in Princeton, where Triumph’s original brewpub is located. Last week, I finally made it out for some brews and dinner.

Their burger, named the Triumph Burger, sounded good. It’s made up of a Pineland Farms grass-fed beef patty topped with romaine lettuce, tomato, and red onion. I paid $0.75 for the addition of cheddar.

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It was cooked medium rare and was the perfect size for the fresh bun, which held together through consumption. There were no bites without a good balance of burger and bread. The burger wasn’t super juicy, but it had a great charcoal grilled taste. Accompanying the burger are fries (not house-cut), pickles, a side of ketchup, and a side of a special sauce/aioli. My friend ordered the pastrami sandwich and his didn’t come with the aioli, so I assumed it may be used to accompany the burger. I put some on the burger and definitely took the flavor up a notch.

Triumph Princeton has a pretty relaxed atmosphere in downtown Princeton. The burger was good as well as the beers. I’ll definitely be returning here after work sometime.

Triumph Brewing Company: Princeton
138 Nassau St.
Princeton, NJ 08542
609.924.7855

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2013 philadelphia vendy awards

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This year’s Philly Vendy Awards was held at Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown. Compared to the previous two years, West Philly and The Piazza, I think this was the perfect venue. The weather was perfect and Penn Treaty Park offered lots of space to lay on the grass, a more spread out truck setup, and beautiful views of the Delaware River and Ben Franklin Bridge.

Defending Vendy Cup champion Blake Feldman of The Smoke Truck.

Defending Vendy Cup champion Blake Feldman of The Smoke Truck.


Trucks this year were competing for four different awards: The Vendy Cup, People’s Choice, Best Dessert, and Tide sponsored Messy Yet Tasty. The judging panel consisted of Chef Andrew Gerson (Brooklyn Brewery), Emilio Mignucci (DiBruno Bros.), Chef Paul Kimport (Johnny Brenda’s/Standard Tap), and Lauren Purcell (Every Day with Rachael Ray) and the emcee was Beth Beverly (Diamond Tooth Taxidermy). There were a bunch of repeat Vendy attendees from years past, though there were a good amount of newcomers as well. Poi Dog, Christis’s Falafel Truck, KAMI, and The Cow and the Curd were just some of the newcomers.

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All the trucks served great food though Poi Dog and Sugar Philly offered some of my favorites. They were serving three items: Pork Belly Adobo Taco, Spam Musubi, and Tofu Poke. I am finding myself craving spam musubi on a daily basis now. Sugar Philly offered special macarons which were inspired by cocktails found at 4 Philly establishments: Moriarty’s, Distrito, Zahav, and Lemon Hill.

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The winner of Tide’s Messy Yet Tasty Award went to The Cow and the Curd. For the second year in a row, Lil’ Pop Shop won Best Dessert. The Cow and the Curd also ran home with the People’s Choice award! Last but not least, the King of Falafel took home the Vendy Cup.

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I think this year’s Philly Vendy Awards have been the best yet! Can’t wait till next year.

Check out a few other photos from the event:

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