prohibition taproom – pub burger

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.

Prohibition Taproom
501 N 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123

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alla spina – the burgamo

Alla Spina, Marc Vetri’s Italian gastropub, has been open since late February but didn’t have a burger until recently. That burger has been named The Burgamo, a double cheeseburger made with LaFrieda beef, cheddar, lettuce, onion, pickles, and special sauce. To make things more special, it’s served on a housemade sesame seeded potato bun alongside your choice of housemade salt & vinegar or BBQ chips.

It’s huge. You’re going to have to unhook your jaw as you take bites! The meat is thin enough that you don’t request a temperature. In my case, it was cooked just under well done. The housemade potato bun was really, really tasty. It had a lightness to the inside, with a crusty exterior which held up well during consumption. The downside of that crusty exterior, however, is that every bite that had to break through the crusty exterior resulted in a shifting of all the ingredients away from the bite area. I had to strategically start taking bites around to keep the ingredients centered on the bun. Since there were two patties, each separated by the intermediate slice of bun, I was hoping there would be melted cheddar on both. It was only placed on the upper burger.

Despite it not living up to my self created hype, The Burgamo is a tasty burger. I think it has a lot of potential and would definitely like to try it again sometime down the line.

Alla Spina
1410 Mt. Vernon St.
Philadelphia, PA 19130

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lucky’s last chance – my boy bleu

With the juice cleanse the following day, we decided to enjoy our “last supper” with none other than one of our favorite foods, burgers. There has been talk about going to Lucky’s Last Chance for a while but the trigger hasn’t been pulled because, well, it’s in Manayunk. I’m not the biggest fan of Manayunk and I don’t have much reason to go there. However, this past dinner is slowly changing my mind.

Lucky’s burgers are made up of hand made, quarter pound patties. Most of the burgers are available in both a junior (single patty) and standard (double patty). They don’t ask you how you want it cooked as they’re all made to the same temperature.

I went with My Boy Bleu, The quarter pound patties were topped with bleu cheese, homemade onion strings, and a tomato. It’s sandwiched between a buttered & toasted Liscio’s roll. The meat was cooked to medium well and had a slight toughness to it (not the appalling well done toughness though; it didn’t fall apart). Aside from the temperature, this was one tasty burger. The crispy onions added a nice texture. I believe this was a Liscio’s kaiser roll and it tasted great. If other restaurants that served burgers on a kaiser roll had rolls this fresh, perhaps I wouldn’t have such a negative impression of them.

My dining partner went with the Bacon Egg N Cheese burger. As the name implies, it comes topped with American cheese, bacon, and a fried egg. I wasn’t lucky enough to try a bite, but by the look on her face, I can imagine it was pretty damn good.

The burgers here don’t come with fries, but you have the option of adding them for a couple bucks. I added the fries with Cajun seasoning. The other option was adding the homemade onion strips (it’s about a dollar or two more than the fries). I’m not huge on crinkle cut fries but the ones here are pretty tasty. They certainly didn’t compare to the onion strings though, those are really good!

Despite the medium-well burgers, the meal was delicious and they have a bunch of other burgers I’d like to try, as well as a whole hot dog menu! Till we meet again, Lucky’s!

Lucky’s Last Chance
4421 Main St.
Philadelphia, PA 19127

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o’neals – o’neals burger

When it comes to Irish pub/sports bar food, my expectations are generally pretty low. The food I’ve had at these establishments have been great…when intoxicated. When sober on the other hand, just okay. Last week I figured, hey, I might just have surprisingly good food from an Irish pub.

O’Neals serves a burger called the O’Neals Burger. It’s made from Angus beef and comes topped with Cajun spice, cheddar, bacon, BBQ sauce, fried onions, mixed greens, and tomato. All that is placed on a kaiser roll.

After the first couple bites, I thought it wasn’t so bad. The meat was about medium and there was some flavor. The more and more I ate, however, the flaws became more apparent. I’m not crazy about the use of a kaiser roll. I’ve had a couple kaiser roll burgers in the past and I don’t remember enjoying any of them. The roll just seemed to be too dry and overwhelming. By the time I got to the middle of the burger, the meat had shifted to the edges of the bun. After a couple more bites, it was pretty much all on the plate. Lastly, the burger was kind of dry and tasted rather, meatball-ish. You know, that taste where it seems like maybe bread crumbs had made it in to the ground mix? Not saying that happened, but it tasted like it.

There was something good about it. You have the option of getting tater tots as your side!

611 S 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147

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2012 philadelphia vendy awards

Last Saturday was the 2nd annual Philadelphia Vendy Awards. This year, the awards were held at the Lot in University City at the corner of 39th & Market Sts. Like last year, these awards are brought to you by The Street Vendor Project, a NYC based organization that supports and helps street vendors, and The Food Trust, a Philadelphia non-profit working to bring local and healthy food to the area.

There were twelve vendors competing for the Vendy Cup, People’s Choice, and Best Dessert. The twelve vendors were:

The Smoke Truck – Southern BBQ
Tacos Don Memo – Mexican
Lil Dan’s Gourmet – Italian & American
Delicias – Venezuelan
Vernalicious – Eclectic Comfort Food
King of Falafel – Middle Eastern
Foo Truck – Asian inspired Sandwiches
Yumtown – Southern, Mexican, and Asian influenced, locally sourced, seasonal food
Lil’ Pop Shop – Popsicles
Sugar Philly – French Macarons
Little Baby’s Ice Cream – Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts
Sweet Box – Cupcakes

This year’s awards were emcee’d by Anna Goldfarb (Shmitten Kitten). The judging panel this year consisted of Collin Flatt (Eater Philly), Tony Luke, Jr. (Tony Luke’s), Joy Manning (Philadelphia Magazine), Lari Robling (Philadelphia Daily News), and Marcie Turney (Barbuzzo, Jamonera).

pops from lil’ pop shop (CL from left: goat cheese w/ wine soaked figs, vietnamese iced coffee, sweet & salty summer corn)

It sure was hotter than last year’s awards. Attendance seemed to be a lot less and there was a heavy downpour at some point, but it was still a lot of fun. All the trucks put out some great food, though my favorites of the awards were the pops from Lil’ Pop Shop, especially the Goat Cheese w/ Wine Soaked Figs and Vietnamese Iced Coffee, the pulled pork & mac and cheese from The Smoke Truck, and the pulled pork grilled cheese from Vernalicious. Sugar Philly is also serving ice cream as a filling on their macarons! They served a caramel ice cream that was delicious. Little Baby’s Ice Cream had a red velvet Spodee chocolate swirl flavor that was great as well!

winners of the 2011 philly vendys, gigi and big r

The winners of the 2012 Philadelphia Vendy Awards were:

The Smoke Truck – Vendy Cup
Vernalicious – People’s Choice
Lil’ Pop Shop – Best Dessert

Check out more photos after the jump:

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