Burger News 6/22/2012

If you’ve been following the blog along at home (which I’m sure you are) you’ll know that the Shake Shack (2000 Sansom Street) has been on my mind. Last week I was TORMENTED by the fact that I still hadn’t visited the new establishment. This week everything changed. It wasn’t what I was expecting – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Let’s start from the beginning – what a cool interior. We were greeted by a nice girl who asked us if we had any questions – nice touch. I liked the customer service A LOT. The guy who took my order seemed a bit nervous and new but he was so darn polite. I placed my order (shack burger, cheese fries and a half Rittenhouse concrete) and my food was ready pretty quickly. I thought the fries were great (especially with cheese sauce) and the concrete was very nice but the burger? Maybe it’s my own fault for not specifying the temperature I wanted it cooked, but then again I wasn’t asked (later I found out that unless otherwise specified it will be cooked medium). The burger was good but not what I was expecting from a lafrieda patty. When you’re eating a quarter pounder cooked medium the quality of meat doesn’t seem to matter much. Everything was super fresh and good but it’s not a pub-grub type burger, it’s definitely a “fast food” burger – if you know what I mean. The whole experience is really fun and the milkshakes and concretes are really good. The milkshakes are the reason I’d go back to the Shake Shack, to be honest.
Now see what the discussion about the shake shack on the burger club’s facebook page looked like:

I think that’s a pretty good summary. It’s safe to say that I need to go back. I’ll try the hot dog next time!

I’ve had A LOT of burgers recently. It’s my burgerly duty, afterall. I’ll save my review for another time but I’ll just say I went to the Boilermaker (216 S 11th St) and had the cheeseburger – meh. It was alright, nothing special. The “betty’s burger” at Smokin Betty’s (116 South 11th Street) on the other hand.. AWESOME. I would literally bite the hand that feeds me that burger, not because I’m ungrateful, but because it has the power put me in a manic burger crazy state where everything is so good that I can’t be held responsible for my actions. That burger is SERIOUS business. We’re going to have to have a Club meeting there ASAP.

Our friends Christina and Sameer tried burgers this week, too. Christina went to Sketch burger– 413 E Girard Ave (a burger club favorite) and Sameer visited Local 44 – 4333 Spruce Street (another Club hot spot). First up is Christina’s review,

“After missing the December meeting of Burger Club, I just KNEW I had to get to Sketch ASAP. So, when fellow Burger Clubber Sameer texted me about it last week, I carpe diem-ed the heck out of that bike ride over to Fishtown, even though I wasn’t hungry at all 🙂

I ordered the Cyclops burger and we shared the green chili cheese fries. I picked at the fries because I really wanted to save room for the burger, but they were really good. I LOVE cheese fries, and I thought the quality of the cheese on these guys was quite good—my standard-bearer of all things, Local 44, tends to have oddly textured cheese sauce, so these were a welcome change! The peppers really stood out and God I’m just a sucker for all things fried/spicy/cheesed!

But the burger, because that’s why we’re here. I ordered in medium-rare, a step rarer than I usually do. It. Was. A. Mess. It was the best mess I have ever had in my entire life. There was cheese and egg and meat juice and fat dripping all over the place. I inhaled the damn thing (remember, I wasn’t hungry), and immediately wanted to Rip Van Winkle my way through the next month. I borrowed some of Sameer’s chipotle mayo, which complemented the smokiness of the bacon. I really appreciated that they asked how I wanted my egg cooked (which I assumed just meant runny/not runny…do people put scrambled eggs on burgers??) The texture and flavor of the meat was spot-on, I thought. I’m really beginning to appreciate my meat on the rarer side. Maybe there was a little too much cheese. It was all sort of a blur, it went so fast. So much protein. So many noms”

Well you can’t argue with that. Sketch has so consistantly delivered amazing burgers and fries. The burger club can’t say enough good things about it. Next up is Sameer’s review of the black bean burger from Local 44. If you know anything about me and my history with black bean burgers you’ll know that I LOVE them! It stinks to hear that Sameer didn’t have a good experience,

“Everybody talks about Local 44 as a pub-and-grub Mecca of sorts, because it is for the West Philly foodie scene. I’d been once before for drinks and thought it was cool, if not a tad overrated. I went with a friend on Monday since I didn’t want to go to City Tap House and pay an extra 2 dollars for anything on that menu. Trying to be health conscious that night (since I’d come off a cyclops burger at Sketch with Christina and barely avoided cardiac arrest on that deliciousness) I decided at the last minute to try the black bean burger with pepper jack cheese.

I love bean burgers but, after years of avoiding them in order to build a meat-eating palate leagues away from my Hindu upbringing, forgot how dry they get compared to real burgers. It was very good, but I didn’t get much ketchup on it and it ended up being pretty dry. The fries more than made up for it though – not too soft and definitely not too dry, they stopped me from totally shoveling my beers down to quench my thirst (which beer doesn’t really do anyway). The burn was a little tough, but I really liked it despite that and suspected that I’d love to eat it with just butter. The lettuce and onion topics were typical, nothing to write home about but kept me feeling fuller.

The lesson? I’ll eat real burgers more often :)”

Dang. I HATE to hear that! Black bean burgers, or as I like to call them “Triple B’s” can be SOOOOO GOOD. I’ll make you a good burger, Sameer. Let me know when you are available.

Ok, folks – that’s all we’ve got today. Thanks for checking in. I can’t wait for next week’s meeting at Catahoula!! Let me know if you need any info about it. Also, don’t forget that we’re getting discounted rides home from Uber!

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