butcher & singer – butcher burger

Two weeks ago I was invited to a “meat & greet” at Butcher & Singer with Pat LaFrieda, the man responsible for several delicious burger blends across the country. The event was held to debut B&S’s use of a new blend for the Butcher Burger called the “Blend 5”. I also believe it’s going to be used in other Starr restaurants. I had the pleasure and honor of sitting next to Pat during dinner and we got to talk a lot about burgers and NYC! Pat also told me about Blend 5. I don’t want to tell any secrets though, so I’ll just say the the Blend 5 is awesome!

The Butcher Burger is made up of a 10 oz. LaFrieda “Blend 5” beef patty topped with cheddar, charred Vidalia onions, Iceberg lettuce, Kosher pickles, tomato, and Russian dressing. It’s sandwiched between a toasted Parc-baked brioche bun and served with house cut fries.

This burger was absolutely delicious. Sure, maybe having a LaFrieda burger while sitting next to Pat LaFrieda himself may have elevated tastes, but no. Seriously. This was good. The meat was cooked to medium-rare (we weren’t asked). I thought the flavor of the Russian dressing really complimented the burger. Nothing was overwhelming, as the flavors were all pretty balanced. The toasted brioche bun held up nicely to the juiciness of the burger. The burger was also sized perfectly to fit on the bun. There were no burgerless bites with this one! The house cut fries were also good. If I didn’t have a hockey game later that evening, I would have finished them! Don’t worry, I didn’t waste them. Friend/fellow blogger Ryan Hudak gladly had the rest of my fries.

In addition to the burger, we were able to try some lamb chops, also from LaFrieda Meats. These were delicious as they were cooked and seasoned perfectly.

At the end of the meal, I kept thinking what took me so long to get to B&S and when I’d be able to come back again to have another Butcher Burger. Get out and try one!

Butcher & Singer
1500 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102

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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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red owl tavern – big red owl burger

A few weeks ago, I was invited to check out Red Owl Tavern, a new restaurant at the corner of 5th & Chestnut Sts, catercorner to Independence Hall. Despite all the other awesome sounding menu items, my eyes went straight to the Big Red Owl Burger. The Big Red Owl burger is a beef burger topped with cheddar, bacon, onion marmalade, herb sauce, shredded lettuce, and tomato. It’s also sandwiched between a brioche bun. Accompanying the burger on the plate are pepper jack cheese fries.

The burger is served open faced and is pretty large when held. It was cooked to a high medium-rare (please excuse the crappy iPhone, low light cross section shot above) and the burger to bun ratio was pretty much 1 to 1. My favorite part was the flavor and sweetness from the herb sauce and onion marmalade. That stuff was delicious. The burger was pretty enjoyable, though the $15 price tag is a smidge high.

In addition to the burger, I was able to try some of the Butter Blade Steak and Marrow Bones, which were both tasty. The fried bread pudding dessert sounded really good, but I had absolutely no room in my stomach. The space is awesome and the other items on their heavy protein menu sound great. It’s worth checking out if you’re in the area.

Red Owl Tavern
433 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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chewy’s – blue burger

A while back, a friend posted this photo of buffalo tots from Chewy’s, a Philly food truck. Ever since I saw that, I’ve wanted to go, yet I unfortunately never happened to be lunchless when I was around.

Luckily for me, I was lunchless last week and finally got a chance to come by. Unluckily for me, buffalo tots were no longer on the menu, though I was told that they’re trying to get it back on the menu! This wasn’t the end of the world, as Chewy’s offers seven different burgers! Their burgers are offered in three different proteins: beef, turkey, or veggie. They’re also all served on a toasted Martin’s seeded bun.

I went with the Blue Burger. The beef was topped with crumbled blue, caramelized onions and mushrooms, lettuce, and tomatoes. The burger was cooked to medium-medium-well. All burgers are cooked to the same temperature, yet it was juicy and tasty. The onions and mushrooms were very flavorful. I would have loved more, though that would have been messy. The soft Martin’s bun made for that nostalgic, “backyard burger” feel. The did think there was a smidge too much lettuce, as you can see in the cross section. They’re also reasonably priced at $6!

In addition to the burgers, they have fried chicken…all the best (dark) parts, too. They’re sold at $1.50 a piece. I had $1.50 left in my pocket. I regret not getting a thigh! There’s always next time…buffalo tots & a fried chicken thigh.

(multiple locations) mainly on the south side of Market St. between 34th & 36th Sts.
Philadelphia, PA

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ela – burger

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

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