burger news 7/27/2012

Hello friends!

In just ONE day we’ll be eating BBQ’ed burgers and snacks and treats at our monthly burger club meeting – backyard BBQ edition. Oh it will be such a glorious time! If you haven’t yet decided what you’re bringing to the BBQ take a look at the facebook event. There you will find a list of things we still need as well as a run-down of what everyone else is bringing. It starts at 3pm – don’t be late!

In other news – I, for one, am pretty darn excited for the Brewerytown food truck roundup TONIGHT!!!!!!! I’ll give you ONE guess as to which truck I’m PARTICULARLY interested in..

Bingo. Bango. Spot burger. I’ve heard one or two (and three and four) amazing things about Spot! Apparently they have really fresh meat that is butchered by the truck owners themselves. In this review you’ll notice a comment on the bottom by Josh Kim, one of the truck owners. I think he was a little harsh in his response but I can understand where he’s coming from – more importantly if you read it closely the passion this guy has for his truck and burgers in general is quite palpable, “When meat is resting it is known to still be ‘cooking.’ Most burger joints will use fatty ground beef that hold very little residual heat, thus a med-rare most likely will still be med-rare. With single-cut ground beef, like sirloin, (containing less fat), the meat will still retain residual heat,(especially if wrapped to go).”

On their facebook page they have a mention about why they decided not to participate in the “vendy awards” which is worth a good read if you want to learn about the real BS that food trucks have to go through to be “known”. I personally view the outspoken owner’s words as pure passion. When you have a food truck you’re putting everything on the line. Raining? Damnit. Snow? Uggghhh. There are so many factors going against these guys that I admire their ability to press on and prosper. On a call on the burger club facebook page for info about anyone who has had a burger from a food truck Susan G. had this to say about Spot, “I’ve had a Spot burger before, I went with the Roquefort. It was delicious, the blue cheese and balsamic reduction went sooo well together. It hit the spot for sure. The burger itself was pretty tasty but with the topping combo it was, dare I say, perfect.” You really can’t ask for someone to say something much better than that.

I’m working on an article about food trucks in philly. I think it will be pretty interesting to really uncover secrets of the trade. I’ve already talked to some of the food truck owners and even a guy who MAKES these food trucks. Pretty cool stuff, keep an eye out for the story probably on my Aug 10 post. If you have any info about burgers you’ve had from a food truck send it to burgerclubphl@gmail.com please & thank you!

Too keep along with our regularly-scheduled burger club member reviews Sandrine F. had the burger at Tapestry (700 South 5th Street ) last week, “You choose your toppings (swiss, sauteed mushrooms and crispy shallots for me). The brioche bun was deliciously grilled and buttered, so good I enjoyed it on its own. Burger was cooked a perfect medium rare, pinkish and soft inside. And the fries were very good as well, nice coating and twice fried I think. YUM all around” I’ve walked by Tapestry quite a few times and have been a little turned-off by their high price point but their burger seems pretty reasonable, starting at $10 with toppings for $.50 though I could see it getting pretty expensive with many toppings.

Secondly, I had the great pleasure of going to the Sidecar Bar (2201 Christian St.) with one Miss Christina W. who had this to say about her burger “The burger I had at sidecar had some sort of clever name which I totally can’t remember anymore…it was topped with a “crispy poached egg,” gruyere, and truffle mayo, with some LT and a big, thick slice of red O. I ordered it medium and it came out very well done, so that was a little bit of a let-down, but it was still very good. The person who decided to put gooey eggs on top of a burger was a genius! It definitely helped add moisture to my overdone burger, and the “crispy” edd added an interesting layer of texture. The bun seemed to be of the Portuguese variety, which would have been great if there had been juices to sop up (‘scuse me while I continue to be annoyed about the lack of pink in this burger). In its entirety, the burger was bigger than my mouth could open, which presented a special challenge of getting all the flavors at once. I love Sidecar’s option of half fries/half salad, and I’d definitely like to try their burger again…but a littler rarer this time, please!!” I should probably be sorry about posting this picture of Christina indulging in this GIANT burger, but I’m not. It’s just a picture of a girl and a burger in love.

I wasn’t in the mood for a beef burger (DEAL WITH IT, PEOPLE) so I got the “South of the Boarder bean burger”. It was quite delish! The mixture had a lot of great flavor with the peppers and onions actually IN the burger. I totally “got” the Mexican theme of the burger, the sauce really brought the whole thing together. Like most black bean burgers it kinda fell apart, but I don’t fault them for it. I’m pretty sure it’s IMPOSSIBLE to make a triple-B that holds together. Maybe the burger mixture would stay together if an edible tasteless glue were used – I’ll get working on that patent. All-in-all it was an amazing burger and experience. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you haven’t been to the Sidecar Bar get over there RIGHT NOW.

Alright folks, that’s about it for this week’s post. I can’t wait to see everyone TOMORROW at our big summer BBQ. Hit up the facebook page if you want more info about that. Also please email me any info you may have about burgers from food trucks and as always email me your reviews of any burgers you try! burgerclubphl@gmail.com

burger news 7/13/2012

Happy Friday the 13th!

News news news news not too much news this week. We THOUGHT that the burger club logo was going to be used on a TV show and we all got so excited and had our DVRs set – come to find out that our part got cut from the show. No hard feelings. You can make it up to us by devoting a whole show to our group. We’ll see – wouldn’t that be super cool? Maybe we’ll make a YouTube video about one of our meetings or something.

The only person who told me about a burger they had this week was Joe H. who went to the shake shack (2000 Sansom Street) and said “The shack burger was very tasty. Definitely beats five guys any day. The bun was perfect and the toppings were an added bonus of flavor.”

Also posted in the fb group by Christina was news that a burger chain in California called “Slater’s 50/50” is now making a burger that’s 100% ground bacon. NOW THAT’S LIVIN! God Bless America. When are they going to invent an arterial brush so that we can brush away plaque from our arteries like how we brush away plaque from our teeth? Same thing, right?

In other news Rachel Ray released her cookbook called “The Book of Burger” which is described on Amazon as “The Queen of Burgers has drawn together her tastiest recipes for the ultimate between-the-buns experience. Whether you’re cooking for one or for one hundred in your own backyard burger bash, The Book of Burger has you covered for bringing family and friends together for the love of burgers! Please ’em all—big and small—with everything from burgers to sandwiches, hot dogs, fries, sliders, and sloppies, and so much more.” There’s a lot about that I find questionable but who am I to judge? Maybe she’s got some really awesome stuff in there.

For just a bit of more burger news I came across this video/article about a burglar that stole money AND the burger recipe from this little place in Texas. The audacity.

Alright friends, that’s all I’ve got this week. I’ve started asking people that want to help cook at the Burger Club BBQ this month, if you want to cook shoot me a line! I can’t wait for the BBQ it’s going to be such an awesome time! Till next week! Burger On!

BBQ grilling tips and recipes!

For this week’s blog post I’d like to pay homage to the fourth of July by passing along some ideas for make-at-home burgers. The 4th of July is a time to get together with family and friends, grab some brews and fire up the grill – amirite? Although the holiday has come and gone I’m sure you’ll find another reason to do some grilling this summer, so follow these recipes and tips and you’ll be sure to wow the crowd! Also, if you’re interested in finding a crowd to impress consider being one of the cooks at our Burger Club July BBQ which will be on the 28th starting at 3pm, check in on the facebook page for more details!

First tip comes from Devon – are you aware that she’s a trained chef? She says to add soy sauce or worcestershire sauce to the meat before cooking it to keep the burger juicy. Also she says that adding a packet of onion soup mix or ranch dressing can add a delicious flavor to the meat. Most IMPORTANTLY though, she urges cooks across the land to NOT SQUISH THE BURGERS! She considers it a “rookie mistake” that can take you from hero to zero in just one meal.

Next is a recipe from my favorite cookbook “What can I bring?” from Anne Byrn. Generally if you see me out at a BBQ or party with a dish in hand the recipe has usually come from either the What can I Bring? cookbook or my other favorite Anne Byrn book, The Cake Mix Doctor”. If you don’t have these on your shelf I would HIGHLY recommend them – the recipes are easy to follow and the dishes always come out perfectly.


Turkey burgers on the grill with pesto mayonnaise
Page 232 What Can I Bring? Cookbook Anne Byrn

2 pounds lean ground turkey
½ cup soft bread crumbs
½ cup finely minced onion
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 medium size cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil spray, for misting the grill

For serving:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons pesto sauce
Hamburger buns
Sliced tomatoes
Lettuce leaves
Sliced onions
Mustard and ketchup

1. Place the turkey in a mixing bowl and add the bread crumbs, onion, parsley, garlic, egg whites, salt and pepper. Mix with a wooden spoon or your hands until the ingredients are just incorporated. Form the turkey mixture into 8 patties about 1/3-inch thick, then set them aside.
2. Place the mayonnaise and pesto in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set the pesto mayonnaise aside.
3. Preheat the BBQ grill to medium-high heat. Mist the grate with vegetable oil spray so the burgers won’t stick.
4. Grill the burgers until they are firm to the touch and the juices run clear, 4 to 5 minutes per side, turning once. Transfer the burgers to a platter or buns and serve with the pesto mayonnaise

My last bit of burger-grilling advice is for a product, the “StufZ Ultimate Burger Press” it’s not expensive or terribly revolutionary (I’m pretty sure you can do it without the contraption but who doesn’t like a fun kitchen gadget?). It’s a burger press that allows you to put interesting things INSIDE your burger. My pal John puts macaroni and cheese inside burgers – SERIOUSLY?!?!?! You can’t imagine how great these burgers are. Adam S. started a discussion on the burger club facebook page about risotto on a burger but Adam P. suggested putting the risotto INSIDE the burger! Great idea! With the StufZ burger press the possibilities are endless. This is the kind of thing that people will talk about for a long long time – try it. I think I saw it on sale at Fante’s kitchen shop in the Italian market (but I may be wrong) otherwise they definitely have it on amazon and many others just like it.

Alright folks, I hope I have generated some inspiration to help you with the rest of your summer BBQ’s! Feel free to drop me a line if you do use some of these tips and let me know how it went! As always remember to check in on the facebook page and on twitter! Happy burger days!