Perch Pub: April Meeting Recap

After March’s meeting (at Grace Tavern) sponsored by Google Philly, it was a nice surprise to have another semi-sponsored event at Perch Pub.  Located above the long-standing Italian-focused Varalli, we’ve never really considered Perch as a place to grab some eats- we’re glad we’ve been properly introduced now!  For the meeting, they graciously offered all members a $5 discount on any of their burgers, AND allowed members who couldn’t make it to the Wednesday meet-up the same discount any other day that week (thanks, Perch!).

We were greeted by the hostess and led to the space reserved for the Club– a few tables located in the same general vicinity.  Unlike at Grace, the set up didn’t encourage as much conversation and  interaction between the entire group, but we made it work.  The restaurant is perfectly situated for great views of Broad Street, and is displaced a bit from the busy bar at the other end of the room, giving us plenty of breathing space.

The waitress serving us was a little spacy, and while others commented on the great service they received from other servers, I thought she could have stepped it up a notch.  Too much time elapsed between drink orders/bringing drinks/taking food orders– and considering we were all there for a burger, we really didn’t need much time to ponder the menu.

Their burger selection, in our opinion, is great– lots of interesting toppings as well as a rotating special.  Four everyday options include the French (Gruyere/onions/arugula), the Wake and Bacon (fried egg/cheddar/bacon jam), the California Cobb (avocado/blue cheese/bacon), and the Vino (pesto/onions/goat cheese, all prepared in wine).  The special of the day was topped wtih roasted red peppers and pancetta, again representing a creative mix of gourmet options.  You can also construct your own with any of the above toppings of your choice.

A LOT of members chose the Wake and Bacon ($11)- probably the most popular choice.  However, there were definitely mixed opinions on it.  It should be noted that all of their burgers are generously portioned, with 8 ounces of quality beef (Steph noted that it was a LaFrieda mix) stacked high with toppings and served on a soft, fluffy sesame-studded brioche LeBus bun- making both of the most important components just right.

Thus, the burger experience came down to the toppings.  The Wake and Bacon was a mess to eat, which was completely expected and actually kind of enjoyable.  Put a fried egg on anything and you’ve pretty much got us sold- the rich egg yolk soaked into the meat and the bun was our favorite part.  Unfortunately, the apple-smoked bacon jam, which sounds great in theory, was extremely salty and in my opinion, also too sweet, overwhelming the other flavors.  There was also a layer of wilted lettuce at the bottom of the burger, which I thought for sure was an error in the kitchen, but apparently it’s not!

Many of the others who tried this burger had differing opinions– the lettuce didn’t weird them out, and the bacon jam wasn’t overwhelming.  We wouldn’t say no if offered the chance to try it again!

Two things common to all of the burgers stood out to us– the bun and the side salad.  The bun was perfect- brioche and beef are really meant for each other.  For our second burger, the bun wasn’t quite big enough to contain all of the toppings, but many of the other burgers around us seemed better proportioned.  The salad is a nice little mix of greens, carrots, tomatoes, and onions, which acts as a light balance to the burger.  A little cup of sweet-and-sour pickle chips was also a fun addition, although the bread-and-butter variety is personally my least favorite.

Our second burger choice was the California Cobb ($12), which as mentioned was overflowing from its bun.  My first ever burger ordered rare (eek!) came out perfectly cooked– plenty of pink (the waitress also stopped by to ensure each of our burgers was cooked to our preference).  The meat is well-packed and obviously of good quality, but was a bit underseasoned.  The combination of flavors and textures on the Cobb were superb- a blue cheese dressing, pecan-smoked bacon (so fancy!), spicy arugula, a thick slice of fresh tomato, and the best part, huge chunks of soft avocado.  Again, put avocado on anything and I will eat it– Perch Pub certainly knows how to reel you in with all your favorite comfort foods… on a burger.

For those who weren’t enamored with the side of greens, you can upgrade to a side of fries or onion rings (which are a favorite of reviewers on Yelp) for an extra $1.50.  We didn’t try these bad boys but we did get a good look.  Some commented that the breading to onion ratio was a bit low- a thinner cut on the onion would have been better- but enjoyable none the less.

Overall, we’d return to Perch just for the burgers, let alone the nice views and prime location.  Some commented that the prices were a little high (the special of the day topped out the price list at $13), but we felt the quality and quantity made the price point reasonable.  Certainly, the $5 discount didn’t hurt.  Our second Burger Club meeting definitely has us even more excited to finally be a part of such a great group!
 
1345 Locust Street

Don’t forget to follow along with us on our blog two eat philly

Burger News 4/27/2012

Oh wow! What a week! Wednesday was the day of our big burger club meeting. Prior to our meeting Jim and I went on 88.5 WXPN to do a live burger tasting! Walking into the studio was so surreal. We were quite honored to be there! I hope some of you were able to listen! Did we sound dumb? It was such a cool experience to know that our voices were being heard by so many ears! I hope that this is just the beginning of a long friendship between the burger club and XPN. I’d like to extend a big, HUGE “Thank you” to Dan Reed for inviting us on! Next time I’ll try to prepare some good burger jokes or something “why did the burger cross the road…” type things.

The meeting at Perch Pub went off without a hitch (if you ask me). Expect the review of our meeting from the ladies of two eat philly early next week sometime. Until then please read Sameer’s review of his experience,

photo courtesy of Sarah Sherman

“I ordered the French burger and substituted their side salad and “bread and butter” pickles (which actually look awesome, supposedly they’re like pickle chips) with fries, since I was feeling a little cocky. The French burger is topped with gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, arugula, and garlic aioli. I had it cooked medium well since all that oil might’ve made the burger fall apart otherwise.

 It was obviously messy, but did not disappoint. Gruyere actually worked really well here, was cheesy and soft without having any real overbearing flavor. The aioli and arugula were the best part of the whole deal, offering appropriate crunchiness and garlic flavoring at the exact right moments. The burger itself was awesome, 8 oz of well-textured beef that wasn’t tough yet didn’t have a 100% give. I think I’ll be getting medium-well from now on at every place I go. The fries were also great, not too thick or thin and not too well-done. I didn’t end up finishing them and took them home to reheat in a pan with olive oil, and they were still awesome.

Service here was definitely better than at other places I went to. Maybe it’s because of the formality of the place (though if I get a burger in Fishtown or Old City, I should probably expect to get treated like crap since that’s sort of their thing there), but the waiter was super cool and kept calling me sir. I never get called sir anywhere.

The price is definitely a deterrent for someone on my budget, and so the $5 discount was perfect. Still, I’d come back for the right occasion, and would definitely enjoy myself!”

I think everyone had a really great time! I thought the burgers were really great, myself. I was interested to hear that the meat was from Pat LaFrieda and the bun was from Le Bus. I feel like I’m getting to a point in my burger-career where when I hear names like “LaFrieda” I immediately connect the dots to other places that use their meat like Supper and Pub & Kitchen. “Le Bus” makes me think Sketch – who also use their burger bun. We should compile a list of all the places and where their meat & bun come from – that would be interesting.

Anyhoo.. in other news – I’m happy to announce the venue for our next burger club meeting!! This May (5/30) we will be meeting at Frankford Hall! I am VERY excited to have a meeting at this place! Let’s try to make it our BIGGEST MEETING YET! The venue holds something like 500 people. Fill it up!

burger news 4/20/2012

I’m not going to waste your time (or mine) on pleasantries – I have some EXCITING AWESOME GREAT news to share! I can’t believe I haven’t let the cat out of the bag yet because I have been giddy as hell about it. Jim (burger club’s most favorite CTO) and I have been invited to be special guests on 88.5 WXPN next Wednesday (that’s right, BURGER CLUB MEETING DAY) to do a little preview of the Perch Pub burger with Dan Reed! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! Dan, Jim, me and local musician Scot Sax will do an on-air burger tasting and review of the awesome burgers Perch Pub have to offer. Dan said that we’ll be featured sometime between 4 and 4:30 that day (April 25) so TUNE IN and listen to our big radio debut!

Oh gosh, now that I have that off my chest let’s proceed directly to burger club member’s reviews. Last week I went to the Drake Tavern with some co-workers. I want to preface this review by saying that the writer, Caroline, is one of those people that I need to constantly ask to be on her “best behavior” – you know the kind. After cleaning up her review a bit (yes, believe it or not I did EDIT this) here’s what she had to say about her burger,

“Marketing goes a long way to sell a burger, because, let’s face it, ground beef is only marginally exciting on its own. So, the ‘branding of the bun’ set before me at the Drake Tavern in Jenkintown immediately created feelings in me similar to cheesy pictures of babies dressed like zoo animals. With a slightly toasted bun and a Drake Tavern branding iron, the burger magic began.

The burger meat was very juicy. There was a nice fat-to-meat ratio, which gave it a succulent mouth feel, unlike the models in Vogue magazine. It was actually cooked medium-well, according to my request, which rarely happens. Only a highly skilled grill master, or slightly drunk man, can cook a perfectly medium-well done burger. Then there was the ‘gristle factor.’ As the single most important burger rating criteria, one bite of gristly meat can plunge a burger rating from ten to zero, and plunge burger meat from my mouth to the napkin or floor (depending on how classy the establishment is). The Drake burger was gristle-less, which is more than I can say for my thighs. The meat was well seasoned and flavorful. I’m fairly certain there was added flavor burst from a dollop of butter in the meat, though that may have been leftover butter on my tongue from breakfast.

While the basic burger components were above average, it was not without flaws. First, there was broccoli rabe on it, which ruins most food. It’s bitter, stemmy (yes, I made that up), and my husband likes it (which makes me hate it more). It has no place on any burger, even if the burger does have an Italian name. Limoncello is Italian. Dunk my burger in that instead, and give me the leftovers in a jigger on the side. Once removing the broccoli rabe, every last bite was devoured. Unfortunately, much like the man for which it was named, my Mussolini burger soon waged war on my digestive tract, resulting in a giant burp on the car ride home that smelled of fascist death. The gastric explosions continued throughout the afternoon and well into the evening, leaving me alone on the couch with my Tums. Like so many of my relationships, I have to wonder if it was worth it. But in the end, I would indulge in those few moments of blissful pleasure again, especially since the burger only gives me gas, not more babies.”

I couldn’t help but “LOL” at her review. Thank you Caroline for quite possibly the funniest review we’ve had (so far). I hope we get many, many more reviews from her. If I trusted her even a little bit I would ask her to be a regular contributor.

The next review comes from Katie who enjoyed a burger at Frankford hall with me in celebration of my beloved birthday! I need to start off by saying Frankford Hall is an AMAZING venue. I heard that on weekends it gets packed with bros but on a weekday night, it’s is the perfect place to go for a chill time. Huge open spaces, ping pong tables, board games, awesome food and drink.. did I mention the fire pit and s’mores kits for $1?

“It was, in short, amazingly delicious. Without a doubt one if the top 5 burgers I’ve ever had. The meat in particular had a lot of flavor – the menu said it was dry aged beef and you could definitely taste it, but without the burger being dry at all. The very flavorful patty was complimented perfectly with the melted, gooey gruyere, crispy-but-not-too-crispy bacon, and the caramelized onions. Now I love caramelized onions, and adding balsamic vinegar and cooking it with big chunks of garlic and sticking it on an already fantastic burger? I couldn’t have been happier. Overall, I was very impressed. Usually when I see a lot of toppings – especially toppings outside the usual bacon, american/cheddar cheese, etc. – I expect regular, not particularly interesting meat and then the fancy toppings – nothing to write home about. But this burger really hit the combination out of the park!”

Dang, I can’t wait to try one of those for myself! Well thank you to our reviewers this week – they were really great! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the burger club members will come up with next. Please forward your reviews of burgers to our email (burgerclubphl@gmail.com) or share them on the facebook page (facebook.com/groups/burgerclubphl).

I’ll see you all at our group meeting next Wednesday (4/25) at Perch Pub and/or enjoy your time at our first ever burger week (4/22 – 4/28). Details on our facebook page!

Best,
Steph

Burger Month @ Iron Hill Brewery!

Great News! The Burger Club has been invited to be a GUEST BLOGGER for Iron Hill Brewery’s Burger Month! More details are sure to come as to how we will be involved but I wanted to pass along their press release about it!

 

BURGER MONTH IS BACK AT IRON HILL BREWERY & RESTAURANT, WITH A DIFFERENT BURGER EVERY DAY THROUGH THE MONTH OF MAY

Iron Hill Burger – photo credit Steve Legato

The East Coast’s fastest growing collection of brewpubs, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, is thrilled to announce their annual Burger Month Menu, featuring a different burger every day in May to celebrate National Hamburger Month. The delicious burgers will be available at all nine Iron Hill locations. For guests who really love burgers, Iron Hill is offering diners “Five for $15,” eat five of the 31 burgers throughout the month, and they’ll receive at $15 gift card.

“National Burger Month is one of our favorite times of year – after all, what is better than a burger and a beer on a beautiful spring day?” says founding partner Kevin Finn. “We love trying to top the previous year’s combinations, and I think our 2012 Burger Month Menu is the best yet, with a few old favorites and plenty of interesting and delicious new options.”

The tasty burgers will include:
May 1: Napa Valley Burger with balsamic glazed onions, black pepper chevre, tomato and arugula
May 2: Au Poivre Burger with gorgonzola cheese, caramelized onions and mushroom spread
May 3: Black and Blue Burger, blackened with gorgonzola cheese, caramelized onions, tomato and bacon
May 4: South of the Border Burger with sautéed onions and poblano peppers, bacon, guacamole, jack cheese and spicy chipotle ketchup
May 5: Smokehouse Burger with applewood-smoked bacon, smoked gouda cheese and barbequed onions
May 6: Brewmaster’s Burger with beer-braised onions, bacon, Swiss and cheddar cheeses and roasted garlic aioli
May 7: Hickory Burger, topped with house-smoked pulled pork, sharp cheddar cheese and barbeque sauce
May 8: South Philly Burger with garlicky broccoli rabe, roasted long hots and provolone and asiago cheeses
May 9: The Bumble Burger with pastrami, bacon, gruyere cheese, caramelized onions and Larry’s secret sauce
May 10: The PittsBurger with tomato, coleslaw, cheddar cheese and house cut fries piled high on a soft bun
May 11: Saltimbocca Burger with prosciutto, provolone cheese, sautéed spinach and caramelized onions
May 12: Bistro Burger with boursin cheese and herb-roasted exotic mushrooms
May 13: Mom’s Burger with exotic mushrooms, brie cheese and vine-ripened tomato
May 14: Pizza Burger with pepperoni, mozzarella and asiago cheeses and tomato sauce
May 15: Portobella Burger with fontina cheese, arugula, marinated tomatoes and horseradish sauce
May 16: Hell Fire Burger with fried green chiles, onions, pepper jack cheese and chipotle ketchup
May 17: Jammin’ Marley Burger with pineapple chutney, bacon, cheddar cheese and Jamaican barbecue sauce
May 18: Alpine Burger with fried onion rings, bacon, Swiss cheese and horseradish sauce
May 19: The Ode to Jerry Garcia Burger with “shrooms,” jack cheese, caramelized onions and roasted garlic aioli
May 20: French Onion Burger with gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, bacon and french onion dip
May 21: Yogi Bear Picnic Burger with onion rings, bacon, barbecue sauce, potato salad and American cheese
May 22: Big Haas Burger with avocado, jack cheese, red onions and roasted garlic mayonnaise
May 23: The Paris Burger with brie cheese, apples, rosemary onions, bacon and spinach
May 24: London Pub Burger, a double-decker with caramelized onions, mushrooms, cheddar cheese and brown gravy
May 25: Fresno Burger with Haas avocado, applewood-smoked bacon, gorgonzola cheese and green chile aioli
May 26: The Catalonia Burger with romesco sauce, chorizo, caramelized onions and provolone cheese
May 27: Caprese Burger with fresh mozzarella cheese, vine-ripened tomato, balsamic glaze and basil pesto
May 28: Vermont Burger with white sharp cheddar cheese, applewood-smoked bacon and maple glaze
May 29: Mediterranean Burger with Genoa salami, tomato-roasted pepper relish, pickled hot cherry peppers, feta aioli and provolone cheese
May 30: Red, White and Blue Burger with tomato jam, grilled onions, gorgonzola cheese and roasted garlic mayonnaise
May 31: Sonoma Burger with red onion jam, baby arugula and goat cheese-artichoke spread

Founded by home brewers Finn and Mark Edelson and restaurateur Kevin Davies in Newark, DE in 1996, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant has blossomed from one restaurant and brewery to nine locations across the mid-Atlantic. Each is dedicated to producing and serving top-quality hand-crafted beers and cuisine in a warm and hospitable setting, and all are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

For more information about Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, or to make a reservation at any of their locations, please visit www.ironhillbrewery.com, follow them on Twitter @ironhillbrewery and like them on Facebook (Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant).

burger news 4/13/2012

Hello! Happy Friday the 13th!!

I’m pretty excited to say that we have official burger club buttons! I think I’m going to sell them for $1 (it’s a little fundraiser for the club – we need a petty cash fund) BUT to make things a little more interesting I’ll give a FREE button to anyone that arrives to this month’s burger club meeting before me on 4/25 (limit 5). So get there EARLY and you’ll be the proud owner of one of these sweet little puppies.

I’m a little embarrassed to say that I tried TWO burgers since I posted last. Last Thursday I went to the south philly tap room. It was awesome! I just had their regular cheeseburger. The meat was delicious and flavorful and the toppings were really fresh. The bun was really fantastic – you could tell it wasn’t your run-of-the-mill bun. I asked the waitress where it came from and she said that it was from baker street bread company (chestnut hill). I would rate the bun a “5” for sure. The waitress also said that the meat is from local grass-fed beef and all the toppings and such were locally grown/farmed. She said they try to buy everything as local as possible. I’m totally into the idea of supporting local business. While eating I just kept thinking to myself “why don’t I come here more often?” and also “when can we have our burger club meeting here?”.

The second burger I had was from Eulogy. Zomg. Drop whatever you’re doing and go to this place and ask for a burger. Right now. I’ll wait…. I had my burger with blue cheese and bacon (my all-time fave combo). The meat was very juicy but thankfully the bun effortlessly soaked it all up. The fries were more like potato wedges or steak fries – just perfect. I would HIGHLY recommend this burger. The beer selection was the icing on the cake to this burgerventure. I consider any place that has kasteel rouge to be top-notch – needless to say they had it.

Well I certainly had a lot to say, but many of our burger club members had a lot to say this week too! Stuart (@vacord) went to Rouge last week and said the burger was “pretty amazing” and went on to say

“Rouge burger was a very huge burger with gruyere cheese and caramelized onions on a challah bun. A very large thick burger, got it medium rare and it was pretty excellent. I asked for an aoili and got a spicy one, which I added to it. Upgraded my fries to truffle fries. Not cheap, that all added up to about $18, but it was a birthday dinner so whatever. Very filling, but then I got seduced by a chocolate chip bread pudding a la mode and we were both in a food coma by the time we were half way home in the taxi.”

I have to admit that I’ve never been to Rouge but Stuart’s report has convinced me that it needs to be the next burger I try.

Brendan went to Sketch this week (a burger club favorite). Really, in my opinion, if you haven’t been to sketch yet you really need to go. Sketch is this little place that is very unassuming. I’m pretty sure that they don’t even give themselves enough credit for how great their burgers are. I appreciate that they’re modestly priced and come from (sorry I don’t want to say it but…) a hole in the wall kinda storefront but this is the type of burger someone would pay $18 for at the Ritz. No kidding. Anyway – Brendan talked about his experience,

“Medium rare, great flavor meat. Little too much truffle, so a little too rich and hard to finish. Mushrooms were good. Bun was nice. Fluffy but didn’t fall apart.”

And last (but never ever ever least) Devon had the burger at the Baggataway Tavern. She wants to get the word out that on Tuesdays their burgers are BOGO (buy one get one free). You know where I’ll be next Tuesday? Eating two burgers 🙂 haha anyway, Devon said

“It’s a great all american burger with great toppings. I like Bacon and Blue cheese , that patty fits the whole bun and is about a half inch think. It’s a pretty big patty. Also the fries have that crispy potato flour coating. Yum”

Yum indeed!

Alright burger buddies. Thanks for reading! Keep on eating and please don’t forget to report about it on the facebook page. Stay tuned for next week’s post where Jim and I will share a kewl little announcement!

PS: Big HUGE Thank you to Quynh from Jay Social (www.jaysocial.com) for helping us out with our new logo!

Burger News week of 4/6/2012

Well How-De-Do burgerteers!

So much has happened since my last post! We had our March burger club meeting which you can read about here — which brings me to other BIG NEWS.. We have new contributors to our blog! The ladies from two eat philly (twitter @twoeatphilly) have graciously accepted the invitation to join us here on the burger blog! If you get a chance please please read their blog – it won’t take you long to realize why I asked them to join us. They do an amazing job of capturing their dining experience. We are very lucky to have them!

In other news, we have announced the venue for our April burger club meeting – Perch Pub! We’re doing something totally different with a BURGER WEEK! For a whole week (4/22 through 4/28) you can go to Perch and enjoy a burger on your own (and PLEASE post your review of the burger on our site) OR feel free to join us at our regularly scheduled group meeting the last Wednesday of the month, 4/25. With these two options you can’t go wrong. Our goal is to get MAXIMUM PARTICIPATION!!! So many people have said they can’t meet the last Wednesday of the month, now you have the option to go all week! Feel free to coordinate on the facebook page if a few of you want to make an unofficial meeting time on a day other than Wednesday! If you want to join in on the fun please join our facebook group for the details about the event!! YOU MUST RSVP ON THE FACEBOOK EVENT AND GET AN EVENTBRITE TICKET TO GO! Also it is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED that you make a reservation when visiting throughout the week! Very excited about this one!

Alright, with all that biznasss out of the way let’s talk about where burger club members have been in the past few weeks:

Sameer wins the gold-star this week for sampling TWO burgers! The first is from the wishing well (one of my personal all-time faves)

I had the Bacon Bleu Burger (I think I’m getting the name right?), had bacon, bleu cheese bits, and caramelized onion. Got that with a side of fries. The burger was delicious (you can’t see it on their online menu so hopefully I’m not forgetting any toppings), a half-pound of great-quality beef with thick and chewy bacon on top and onions so well-caramelized that I didn’t even need condiments. I had the burger cooked medium, which for my taste was a little bit of a mistake because it started to fall apart in my hands. In retrospect, I should’ve gotten medium-well. The fries were great too, none of them were exceptionally long and they’re a bit skinny but they tasted awesome.

I personally love the shame burger from the wishing well, but I can NO LONGER be blinded by my love. Time to open my eyes, I vow to try the blue cheese burger next time.

Sameer’s second review is from the Khyber pass pub. This old-city joint has been going through quite a renaissance since re-opening in the winter of 2011 (has it really been that long??). The folks that own the Khyber also own the Royal Tavern (right now our highest rated buger) so it’s no surprise Sameer liked it! They really kicked up their food offerings, evident of Sameer’s experience,

I forget the name of the burger but it’s the only one on their menu. Solid beef, with deliciously caramelized BBQ onions, awesome but not appropriately tough bacon, and mustard with the best kick I’ve ever felt – not too much of a nasal burn, but it didn’t kill my throat either. Just a nice kick, I think it was creole mustard. Bun was solid, wish it was a little bigger but I also liked not feeling uncomfortably full.

Another thing that’s cool about Khyber pass is that you choose between tons of sides with any sandwich. I chose collard greens since I hadn’t had them in a while, and they were awesome. Spicy, hot, greasy and amazing. Wish the portions were bigger but it’s old city and I can’t complain too much.

The restart of this once seminal music venue as a restaurant is slightly unfortunate, but this burger comes close to making up for that. A little.

Another burger club faithful, Madhuri recently tried the highly-anticipated new burger from Supper. We went to Supper for a burger club meeting and everyone was really impressed. I think Supper has the reputation of being a little high-brow and high-cost. DO NOT OVERLOOK THIS PLACE – they have some amazing burgers,

I’ve heard a lot about the La Frieda burger in the last few months, especially with the upcoming arrival of the Shake Shack in Philly. They are very selective about who they work with and compose a unique blend of meat tailored to each individual chef. Composing the perfect blend involves a complex back-and-forth between Pat LaFrieda and a restaurant that can take a few months. So needless to say i was excited about trying the Supper burger! The Supper Burger is now made up of a 10 oz. dry aged custom blend burger, crisp country ham, cheddar, overnight tomatoes, and caramelized onions on a brioche bun. If i had to use one word to describe it, it would be unique. I’ve never tasted meat like this before. On the surface the patty looks dry and has a funky smell. The funkiness is apparently a result of the dry-aging process. However, do not be fooled by the aged looks of the meat for the insides were buttery delicious! The meat was incredibly juicy, like dripping down my arm juicy! The patty held together very well and the toppings were an excellent addition, although i would have eaten that burger without any toppings whatsoever if I had to. For anyone who is into burgers this is an experience to be had. You will not taste meat like this anywhere else!

I’ve been meaning to try this new burger and Madhuri’s report makes me want it even more. CURSE YOU MADHURI – Next time make sure your email came with a sampling. Rude.

Anyway I guess that’s all for now. Thanks for reading and as always please check in on the facebook page to keep in touch!

L8tr,
Steph

Support Google Philly!

Hey all,

While I was writing an email to Cheldin and the Google team for supporting our March meeting I remembered that I needed to pass along some info! If you were one of the people fortunate enough to receive a piece of the Google generosity please see that as a STRONG incentive to first of all follow them on twitter (@googlephilly) and take a look at the message below about their Zagat survey:

“Our Philadelphia community would love our help. Check out the link below to vote in our Zagat survey. There is no limit to the number of reviews one person can do. So feel free to vote away and have fun! 

Start Voting on Your Favorite Philadelphia Restaurants and contribute to the 2013 Philadelphia Restaurants Survey

Thanks again to Cheldin and Google for supporting our March meeting. I look forward to working with them in the future!

~Steph

March Meeting at Grace Tavern

Hi guys! Steph has invited us (my sister and myself) to start recapping the Club’s monthly meetings– a good excuse for us to eat some burgers and get to know all of you!  We just attended our first meeting (last week at Grace Tavern), and posted our thoughts on our blog, Two Eat Philly.  We’ve been blogging there for over two years now, documenting lots of meals out, as well as a few attempts at our own recipes.  Food blogging is just a hobby for us, but one of our favorites– it helps us rationalize lots of eating (and lots of $$$).  Plus, it’s the perfect way to get to know Philly- and although we’ve lived here for 7+ years, there is always lots to learn.  Our monthly recaps will be a place to showcase the burgers at each meeting, as well as some member feedback.  We hope both those who were able to make it, as well as those who missed out, will benefit from these posts!  Enjoy!

– A + J

We’ve been hearing about the Burger Club for a LONG time, and have always been intrigued.  What could be better than a group of friends who get together once a month-ish and eat burgers?  (I’m sure you all agree!)  Even though burgers aren’t on the top of my list of favorite foods, I do appreciate a good one.  Even better, the March meeting was the first sponsored event in the history of the Club, with Google Philly footing the bill, giving us the extra impetus we needed to check it out.  I still can’t tell you what, exactly, Google Philly is, but I’m perfectly comfortable with their continuing domination of the world.

This month’s “meeting” was at Grace Tavern, a Graduate Hospital neighborhood bar and restaurant at the weird intersection of 23rd and South (technically on Gray’s Ferry).  We’ve been thinking about eating here off and on for awhile, so we were glad to finally have an excuse (even though we didn’t get a chance to try their famous green bean fries).

(Photo by Foobooz)
The problem with Grace is that it’s really not conducive to large groups– and even though the meeting was on a Wednesday evening AND we were granted the entire back dining room, it was crowded by the time we arrived.  Members arriving after us had no chance at a seat.  However, we made it work, although we both sat at separate tables (better for meeting lots of new people!).  The head of the Club, Steph, was super nice (as I’m sure all of you know!) and greeted everyone who came in- including lots of newbies like us, enticed by the word “free.”

Our view: appears falsely spacious (Click for Source)
Grace sells several different burgers, most of which have two toppings.  You can also order your own combination of toppings, although it’s not stated so on the menu.  I love mushrooms, so I ordered the “Kennett Square,” complete with sauteed mushrooms and melted cheddar cheese.  The waitress asked my temperature preference, and as always, I requested medium-rare– although 95% of the time I do this, the burger comes cooked medium or worse.

Even though our table was last to be served, we didn’t wait long- they have an efficient kitchen.  The burger looks enormous, but the bun to patty ratio is pretty large.  The bun had a shiny, almost plastic-y outer surface, but the innards were fluffy.  Light grill marks alluded to a short toasting session, which I appreciated.

The Kennett
Many Burger Club members commented on two factors: 1) small patty, and on a related note, 2) heavy char.  I think I avoided these problems by ordering my burger lightly cooked– which they actually did surprisingly well.  The patty was loosely packed, with a definite char flavor but very little crusty edge, at least in this case.  The flavor of the meat was my favorite part, shining through in each bite, and well complemented by the mushrooms and cheese.

J ordered the classic Grace Burger, which comes with the same patty, but topped with Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion.  This rendition reminded us of a classic backyard barbecue burger- simple toppings, with a smoky char.  The Swiss could have been left off for all that it added to the flavors, and we definitely could have done with way less onion- even a thin slice of the red variety was a bit too sharp.

We both also liked the fries– not a huge portion, thankfully, and well cooked if not a bit stubby (longer fries are better for dipping!).  Although ketchup is an option, each burger is served with a Belgian-style mayo dip (perhaps identical to the one at Monk’s?), which is a must.

At the end of the evening, Steph reminded us to log onto the Club site and vote– categories include the bun, the toppings, the meat, and the atmosphere, as well as an overall score.  FYI, so far in all of the Club’s outings, Royal Tavern maintains the top scores.

We’re echoing the sentiments of many of the other members when we say the burger was good, but not great.  There was absolutely nothing bad about it, but in a city of greats, it certainly doesn’t shine.  However, the fact that we walked out without opening our wallets and gained a few new friends in the process made the whole experience a positive one.  We’re already looking forward to the next meeting of the Club– and hope to meet many of you there!

Grace Tavern  2229 Gray’s Ferry Ave