local 44 – the 44 cheeseburger

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.

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

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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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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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spot – spot burger

I’ve been hearing a lot about this new food cart in the city, Spot. The people I follow on Twitter who have had their burgers have said great things. The only thing that stopped me from trying them is the distance to their usual spot in University City at 33rd St. & Arch St. Work brought me close to the area yesterday and I finally had my opportunity to try em. Their menu consists of burgers, cheesesteaks, roast pork, and fries. Under the burgers, you can choose from one of their gourmet burgers or choose to customize your own.

I decided on the Spot Burger, a 1/3 lb sirloin burger topped with bacon, cheddar, cole slaw, dill pickle chips, and SPOT sauce. It comes on a Conshohocken Bakery soft bun. The burger was pretty big. I certainly had to squeeze the burger and unhook my jaw a bit to take some bites. The burger was cooked to a medium/medium-well. They are generous with the amount of toppings and the burger tasted really good. The crunch from the bacon and pickles added a pleasant contrast in texture. The slaw and sauce added some great flavors as well. The ($6) price is good, too! Looking forward to my next burger from Spot. I have my eyes set on the Roquefort one!

33rd St. & Arch St. (most of the time. check their Twitter for special locations.)
Philadelphia, PA

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city tap house – tap house burger

I was in a pretty great mood a few Sundays ago. The weather was beautiful and I was hanging out with friends at a quizzo tournament on the deck at City Tap House. What was left to complete the happy picture? A burger.

City Tap House offers the Tap House Burger, a burger made from farm raised black Angus beef. It comes on a brioche bun and is served with your choice of two toppings from a list. You can add more from the list for an additional price (lettuce, tomato, and red onion are free). I ordered mine medium-rare with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and onion. Just realized now, I could have added one more topping! It could have been bacon!

The burger was one of the most aesthetically pleasing burgers I’ve had in a while. It looked beautiful. Perfect burger/bun size. Ingredients neatly piled on top of each other with a knife to hold it all together. It came with some fries, a pickle, and a side of ketchup. It was definitely overcooked to medium well. Luckily, the meat was seasoned well and it was still tasty. I would have enjoyed the extra juiciness from a medium-rare burger but at least this wasn’t horrible. The bun held together well, too. The fries weren’t too bad either.

Some of my friends who were with me told me they overcooked their burgers in the past. It seems like they still do. City Tap House would have a pretty solid burger if they can get the cooking temperatures down. Their menu also has a lamb burger, a wild boar burger, and a BBQ veggie burger. Has anyone ever tried those?

City Tap House
3925 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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