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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hickory lane – hickory lane burger

My deepest apologies to you loyal readers. 2013 has been nothing but crazy for me schedule-wise. I have no intention on shutting the blog down. I just have to do a better job burgering! If you’re still there, thanks for hanging in there! I’m trying to get back on track!”

Ever since Hickory Lane opened a few months ago, there has been a lot of talk about their burger. I took a mental note, but with most places in Fairmount, I didn’t think I’d make it out there anytime soon. This past weekend, however, I had a burger craving to satisfy and wasn’t feeling lazy about it!

The Hickory Lane Burger is made up of a 12 oz. custom MPZ (initials of Chef Matt Zagorski) meat blend (pork belly, brisket, and deckle), topped with aged cheddar, tomato, and bibb lettuce. It’s sandwiched between a Wild Flour Bakery challah bun.

The meat was cooked to medium-rare and was super juicy and full of flavor. The size was perfect as each bite to the very end had burger in it. The simple toppings of aged cheddar, tomato, and lettuce compliment the already flavorful burger well. The challah held up to the juices and was perfectly airy and buttery. The accompanying house cut fries & garlic aioli were also delicious.

The only downer? The burger started to fall about about 3/4 of the way through.

Hickory Lane
2025 Fairmount Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19130

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shiprock popup at 12 steps down

What is a Navajo Taco? It’s a taco variety with Southwestern Native American origins. The toppings are similar to what you’d put on an American taco, yet the “shell” is completely different. These tacos are served on fry bread, a flat, plate sized piece of fried dough.

A little over a week ago, the team of Marcos Espinoza (Fidel Gastro, Side Project Jerky), Hawk Krall (Illustrator, Serious Eats), and Chef Lucio Palazzo (La Calaca Feliz) held a popup in South Philly at 12 Steps Down known as the Shiprock Popup. Joining these three in the kitchen was none other than Espinoza’s mother, one of the founders of Navajo Hogan, Espinoza’s family owned Navajo Taco restaurant in Salt Lake City.

The evening’s menu consisted of a mutton stew, four different kinds of tacos, and a dessert fry bread. The taco options were Traditional Chili con Carne, Chicken Ropa Vieja, Pork Spare Rib, and Vegetarian Black Bean. All of them were topped with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, scallion, sour cream, and salsa verde.

Being pretty hungry, my dining partner and I ordered three tacos, the Traditional, Chicken Ropa Vieja, and Vegetarian Black Bean. A couple minutes and few bites later, I was totally immersed in Navajo Taco heaven. All three varieties that we ordered were great, but my favorite was the Traditional. It had that perfect American taco flavor profile of beef, beans, spice, and other toppings. That fry bread certainly put it over the top. Imagine the texture of a Taco Bell Chalupa “shell.” Now think of a chalupa “shell” but fresh, homemade, flat, and airy. The fry bread was absolutely insane. It has a tastiness and airiness that no premade Taco Bell chalupa shell could ever come close to. Combined with taco toppings? Pure deliciousness.

To close out our dinner, we split one of the sweet fry breads. This was the same airy fry bread, but topped with homemade honey butter and cinnamon sugar. Move over funnel cake, this sweet fry bread was the best fried dough dessert I’ve ever had.

This post may sound overly enthusiastic but seriously, they were THAT good. I haven’t stopped thinking about them. Marcos, Hawk, and Lucio, if you’re reading this, PLEASE have another popup soon!

You can also purchase some of the awesome prints that Hawk specially made for the popup here!

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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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burgerpalooza 2012

It all started one day on Twitter. I saw Josh from Spot Burgers tweet Charlie from Chewy’s using the hashtag #burgerpalooza. I immediately responded. I needed to know what it was and when it was! Unfortunately, Josh couldn’t tell me much about it yet. In due time though, everything was revealed and it sounded incredible.

It truly was incredible. Enter Burgerpalooza 2012. $30 admission. Four local food trucks serving all you can eat burgers. Two drink tickets for beers at Yards Brewery (where it was held). Fries & cupcakes from two other local food trucks.

First off, I have to clarify. This was not a contest. It was a burger celebration! The four food trucks which served up burgers was Street Food Philly, Spot Burgers, MOO, and Chewy’s.

There were 12 different burgers at the event, but you couldn’t just walk up and get whatever you wanted. Each truck had three rounds and weren’t allowed to serve the following round until ALL the burgers of the previous round were consumed. Unfortunately, I rolled up to Burgerpalooza a little late and was just past the halfway point of Round 2 for most of the trucks. Fortunately, there was still a whole lot of burgers to be eaten!

Here are some of the burgers I got to try:

Patagonia from Spot Burgers – topped w/ avocado, tomato-chimichurri salsa, house made ranch

Sweet Tooth from Chewy’s – topped w/ bacon and cheddar and served on a toasted Krispy Kreme doughnut

Moo Burger from MOO – topped w/ American cheese, lettuce, onion, pickle, and Moo Goo

Yards Burger from Street Food Philly – topped w/ Yards root beer cured bacon, Cooper American cheese, garlic herb aioli, and tomato

Check out the rest of the burger offerings on the burger ballot. Excuse the condition of the ballot, I found it in my jacket pocket!

I had a really great time. Pretty sure I was burger drunk in a food coma. I’m really hoping they do this again!

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