south philadelphia tap room – cheeseburger

Name: Cheeseburger
Location: South Philadelphia Tap Room, 1509 Mifflin St., Philadelphia, PA 19145
Protein: Rineer Family Farms Grass Fed Beef
Bun: Baker Street Snowflake Bun
Toppings: Smoked cheddar, lettuce, beer-braised Country Time bacon, red onion, secret sauce
Burger to Bun Ratio: Perfect
Accompaniments: Fries, pickled vegetables, housemade ketchup
Price: $13.00

Notes, etc.: This burger has been on my list to try for some time now. Fellow blogger Albert Yee (Messy & Picky) told me that SPTR makes his favorite burger and when I finally get to try it, to order it rare. To be honest, I was a little hesitant to order a burger rare, especially since many places can’t even sear a medium-rare burger properly enough and it just falls apart. Trusting Albert’s recommendation and having had Chef Scott Schroeder’s food before, I figured it was in my best interest to order it rare.

Talk about a flavor punch… this thing was incredible. From the moment the plate hits your table you can smell the smoke of the bacon. The cheddar was super melty and managed to make it onto every bite. The bacon was some SERIOUSLY thick cut bacon, but yet it was easy enough to bite off without a fight and packed a ton of flavor. The burger itself was very juicy and cooked right. That cross section is sure messy, but the Baker Street bun held together well to all the juices and weight.

I am now a believer in rare burger eating. This was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had.

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hop angel brauhaus – burgermeister meisterburger

I’ve been spending a lot of my time in the Fox Chase area of Philadelphia lately and more particularly really close to Hop Angel Brauhaus. When I first saw it in the vicinity, I remembered that they had this wild looking burger on their menu. This past weekend for Sunday brunch, I had the Burgermeister Meisterburger.

This burger definitely looks deserving of its meister title. It’s huge. The 10 oz. patty is made from next door neighbor, Reiker’s Prime Meats‘s ground beef. It’s served on top of HAB sauce and a bed of crispy fried onions then topped with shredded smoked gouda, ham, and a fried egg. All of this is then sandwiched between a Holmesburg Bakery bun. The Meisterburger is accompanied by a healthy serving of tasty housecut fries and a side of ketchup.

There were some good and some not so good things. The burger looked awesome when it came to the table. I couldn’t wait to dig in. It’s huge and this burger certainly won’t leave you hungry. As I started to eat the burger, I noticed my medium-rare burger was overcooked to medium-well. There was very little pink and a slight lack of juiciness. I felt the toppings were great additions to the burger. The HAB sauce was similar to a thousand island and the fried egg was perfectly runny. The ham was something I haven’t quite experienced on a burger before but it seemed to work. I loved the texture and taste the crispy onions added. Unfortunately, the tasty locally baked bun was too fragile to hold up to the large burger, as the last quarter of the burger fell apart in my hands onto the plate. Fortunately, the burger to bun ratio was perfect. Every bite had a good amount of burger in it!

I’m sure I’ll be back again as I enjoyed my experience. Their menu offers other great sounding sandwiches, German food, and beer!

I should also mention, if you live in Center City and are looking to check this place out, it’s only a block from the Fox Chase train station!

Update 10/2013: I’ve been back to try this burger ever since I moved to the neighborhood and I must say it was delicious. The burger was cooked to medium-rare and was very juicy. The accompanying fries are perfectly seasoned and crispy.

Hop Angel Brauhaus
7980 Oxford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19111

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perch pub – california cobb

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.

Perch Pub
1345 Locust St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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city tap house – lamb burger

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
3925 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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slow bar – slowburger

The next burger on the Portland itinerary was the Slowburger from Slow Bar in Southeast Portland. The Slowburger consists of a 1/2 lb. Painted Hills beef patty, gruyere, onion rings, butter lettuce, and pickle relish. It’s served on a toasted, soft, sesame-seeded bun alongside handcut fries.

This experience wasn’t the greatest, but I could see its potential to be an awesome burger. All the ingredients made for a really tasty burger. I enjoyed the tanginess from the relish and the crunchiness of the onion rings. The handcut fries were also very good. What killed it was the meat which was just cooked to well when I asked medium-rare.

By no means is this burger bad. It just has some temperature issues. If I lived out West, I’d definitely like to give the Slowburger another shot.

Slow Bar
533 SE Grand Ave.
Portland, OR 97214

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