Thanks to the luxurious rides provided by Uber this month’s burger club meeting was like a regular meeting drizzled in chocolate. The cars were as beautiful as they were comfortable and the drivers couldn’t have been more nice. Both my drivers were so flippin courteous. My first driver was telling me about how he was a regular taxi driver and how much nicer it is to work for Uber. Interacting with someone who enjoys their job and feels respected by their employer is something so rare that it must be celebrated. It’s the difference between the Starbucks barista that’s tossing the cups in the air and doing a spin before they catch it while singing along to the music and the one who is dragging their feet schlepping the coffee in your face. It always makes me feel better to do business with people who seem to enjoy their job. I digress.. the cars were so fancy and nice I felt like a million bucks.
So we were dropped off at Catahoula (775 South Front St), which I’ve probably driven by a million times and never noticed. It’s in a nice little area surrounded by a bunch of houses you know you could never afford. I wonder if the fancy-pants that live there were sitting at the tables next to us – I should have brought business cards.
The restaurant is small but nice, with many TVs and more staff members than what might be need on any given night (which I appreciate). A few people got drinks at the bar and we were soon escorted to a bunch of tables on the patio. Gaps between row homes in Philly generally tend to be a jungle of over-grown weeds that erupt from a bed of broken glass and trash. Other times a place like Catahoula will make it into an awesome patio for their restaurant. I prefer the latter. There was lots of space on the patio but with all the tables and big chairs there wasn’t much room to walk around.
I ordered “My Burger” grilled angus burger, lettuce, bbq aioli, fried green tomatoes, smoked bacon, creamy goat cheese (menu can be seen here). This burger was HUGE! They had to hold it together with a big skewer. I thought the meat was delicious and cooked perfectly. When we go to a restaurant for Burger Club it’s hard to get all the different temperatured meat cooked the right way for everyone, but they did a great job. The toppings were creative and original. I don’t know why I had never thought of having goat cheese on a burger but WOW is it good. Somewhere between the warm burger and the cool creamy goat cheese there is an perfect harmony that I’ve never experienced before. I would almost rather cut out everything else and just have goat cheese.. maybe keep the bacon. The aioli was unnoticeable in the chaos of everything, could have completely gone without. The fried green tomato was a nice touch but even that was lost in the shuffle; other than making me nostalgic for the movie, I didn’t need it. The fried green tomato might have been a cool thing to have on the side – is that weird? Overall, the meat had a nice taste to it and the experience was amazing.
The best thing about our time at Catahoula, IMO, was being able to meet the chef. Chef Dave is such a funny and jovial guy. He was telling me about how happy he was we were there and how much fun he had making all our burgers, singing and dancing in the kitchen. He also said that he wished that we could have tried burgers made on the smoker. Record scratch. What? Burgers? On a.. Smoker? Yes! Apparently the meat is placed right on the wood (or very close to it) and is only flipped once. The taste is supposedly incredible. I’ve never had a smoked burger but per Chef Dave’s suggestion I’m going back to Catahoula to try it – and you should too (I’m sure Adam, pictured below, will).
All in all I think our experience at Catahoula was very nice. Great little place with awesome food. I can’t wait to go back and try more of their Creole inspired menu. Till next time!