March Burger Club Meeting at Strangelove’s

slLast month’s burger club meeting was at Strangelove’s (216 S. 11th St). This was my first visit to the new-ish place. After Doc Watson’s closed its door on this location it seemed as though the space had a curse on it. So, so many restaurants (Blue Bear Tavern, The Boilermaker, The Butcher & The Brewer) tried to make something happen in this spot but couldn’t. Hopefully Strangelove’s will change all that. This location may have been quite daunting to an inexperienced restaurateur – but not so for veterans Leigh Maida and husband Brendan Hartranft. Their previous endeavors have been Burger Club favorites for some time – Memphis Taproom, Local 44, and Resurrection Ale House. Strangelove’s did not disappoint.

First of all, they have two bars. TWO. The downstairs section has a bunch of tables on one side with the bar on the other followed by another seating section in the back. Just in front of the kitchen are the stairs to the second level. menuThe bar on the second floor is about the same size as the one downstairs with more seating. This place is really big inside despite the small lot it sits on. There was plenty of room for the Club to stretch out and talk about the burgers we would soon be enjoying. Strangelove’s offers three burgers- “Joe Burger” which has LTO with cheddar, pickles and mayo, “Strangelove’s Burger” has fried tomato with bacon BBQ sauce, goat cheese and esplette aioli, and then the “Veggie burger” made from lentils and beets with cucumber slaw and harissa mayo. With three great choices it was hard to pick just one.


strangeloveburger2I had the Strangelove’s burger because how can I say no to something with goat cheese on it?? It was fantastic. The burger as a whole had an excellent flavor. The creamy goat cheese softened the fried tomato and all the flavors blended perfectly together. The only small complaint was that the bun was a little too big strangeloveburger3and a little too “bready” if you get what I’m saying. The other thing about this place that stinks is that the burger doesn’t come with fries. I had to (HAD TO) order the fries for the side at an additional $3. Making the meal in total $17 – yikes! Someone else at my table ordered a side of the smoked gouda grits and I got to sneak a taste. I would eat those grits in the morning. I would eat those grits at night. I would eat those grits in the afternoon, to make me feel alright. I WOULD EAT THOSE GRITS IN TIME OF PEACE, AND ALSO IN TIMES OF WAR! I would eat those grits, and then I would eat those grits and then I would eat some more. I digress.

Strangelove’s is a truly awesome spot. So awesome that I went back only a few days later. If you haven’t gone yet I would strongly recommend it. The burgers were truly good, albeit a bit pricy. The beer list is incredible and if you’re accustomed to the quality of their other restaurants I’m here to tell you Strangelove’s is the best one yet. Till next time!


March and April burger of the month at Lucky Strike

Written By: Sarah Blatchly

Burger of the MonthWhen thinking of Lucky Strike (1336 Chestnut St) in the past, I’ve always pictured an uber-chic adult playground. Bringing meaning to the seemingly contradictory phrase “upscale bowling”, Lucky Strike boasts a good sized and gorgeous bar area complete with ample seating and cozy booths in addition to the elegant bowling lanes. I’d never heard anything about the food at Lucky Strike, but past experiences with Bowling Alley food have definitely left me wanting (I’m no Ron Swanson in that respect) so I was interested to see what Lucky Strike had to offer.

Upon arrival to the lounge area, my friend Nicole and I were greeted enthusiastically by all members of the staff. They ushered us quickly to a private booth they had reserved and set for our use, complete with a tablecloth and candles to add to the ambiance. BarCory, the General Manager of the Philadelphia Lucky Strike location, quickly came over to greet us and provide us with more information about the March and April Burgers of the month we would be trying. Salivating over the two descriptions of the April and March , Nicole and I tried to guess which of the two would be our favorite; the March Saint Patrick’s Day themed “Lucky burger” or April’s “glazed ham-burger”. The “Burger of the Month” feature is new to Lucky Strike, and is posed as a challenge to all Executive Chefs throughout the chain to come up with innovative ideas for seasonal burgers. April’s burger was dreamed up by Philly’s executive chef, Scott Dobbs.

Lucky BurgerWe were well taken care of in our brief wait for the burgers, getting visits from both a seasoned waiter and another manager of the branch, Joel. Each raved over both burgers, saying one of the best perks of their job was trying the range of food the lounge had to offer (and especially the burgers). Executive chef Scott brought the burgers straight to our table, cooked to perfection and each drool worthy in their own right. The Lucky Burger was perhaps the more daunting of the two, a savory delight boasting an all-beef burger and topped with melted white cheddar and a twist on a traditional Irish dish known as “Colcannon” (mashed potatoes filled with chopped bratwurst cooked in Guinness, green cabbage and sweet onions). If mashed Lucky Burger Cross Sectionpotatoes and bratwurst on a burger weren’t enough, Lucky Strike goes a step further and tops the whole confection with a healthy helping of Guinness Gravy. YES THAT’S RIGHT, Guinness gravy. The burger gods have answered my prayers in the form of this delicious goodness—this was the stuff of dreams. The burger came with a side of chips, and I found myself using both the ends of the brioche bun and the chips to sop up every last bit of gravy I could.

Glazed Ham-BurgerThe glazed ham-burger was adorably topped with a peep in honor of Easter. Comprised of juicy half pound all-beef burger and topped with melted Swiss cheese, the piece de resistance of this burger was the brown sugar & mustard glazed ham steak. Initial fears that this burger would be too sweet were quelled after one bite of this deliciousness. The pretzel bun effortlessly complimented the sweet glazed ham, and the melted Swiss gave the burger an upscale ham and Swiss feeling that struck the perfect balance between savory and sweet.

Glazed Ham-Burger Cross Section

Bowling enthusiasts and burger snobs alike would benefit from giving the Burger of a Month a try at Lucky Strike. The sheer innovation and combination of tastes alone makes each burger stand out from the myriad options in Philly. The comfortable lounge area invites easy conversation and the range of food available caters to all tastes. After my experience at Lucky Strike, my question was not if I should return, but when.

February burger club meeting at St. Stephens Green

logo2Our burger club meeting last month was at St. Stephens Green (1701 Green St). This has been a favorite little place of mine for a while. St. Stephens has the familiarity of a neighborhood bar with pub grub that’s actually a lot more sophisticated than most. A good review for this place requires a nod to a few non-burger items such as the Irish Bacon Grilled Cheese (7 Cheese Blend, Ugly Ripe Tomato, Brioche) and they usually have a killer Gnocchi dish on special that’s hard to pass up. Also let’s not forget to mention their beer list – it always has something awesome and usually some pretty unique items.

We settled into our tables in the front section of the restaurant. St. Stephens has the luxury of being a pretty big building, complete with a semi-private area a few steps behind the bar – great place for a birthday or big family gathering. We ordered our drinks and labored over what toppings to put on our burgers. St. Stephens only has one burger – the 17th St Burger. This is what I call a “choose-your-own-adventure” burger. There are no themes. There is no kitsch. Your choices are: bacon, grilled portobello, caramelized onion, roasted peppers, Gorgonzola, brie, herbed goat cheese, mozzarella or feta and they’ll throw a fried egg on there if you ask VERY nicely.

IMG_20140226_200311I went with THREE toppings (you can do that???) gorgonzola, bacon and caramelized onion. Classic. It was delicious! My only gripe was that the onions weren’t truly caramelized but half-heartedly grilled for a little while – but who’s keeping score? It didn’t detract from the burger as a whole that much. I enjoyed it tremendously. The meat itself was perfectly seasoned and cooked exactly the way I wanted it. Sometimes restaurants have a very hard time managing the cooking temperatures for our large group but St. Stephens did a wonderful job.

IMG_20140226_200304Burger club member Michele got her burger with roasted peppers and mozzarella. She said that the peppers were roasted perfectly; a little crunchy with that char on the outside that makes them sweet. She liked the mozzarella very much, together with the peppers the burger took on a slightly Italian taste. Michele ALSO said that her burger was cooked exactly to her liking and seasoned well. Sounds like their top chef was on the grills that night.

We had a great time at St. Stephens Green for burger club. They were very welcoming to us and overall, things ran seamlessly. If you haven’t had the chance to try this place you should! Parking around the area is pretty bad but it’s only a short walk from the subway. Till next time!

January burger club meeting at Serrano

Serrano menuLast month’s burger club meeting was at Serrano (20 S 2nd St). This place is better known as the first floor of the Tin Angel, the small but wonderful concert venue in old city. I’ve been to Serrano before for a quick drink before seeing a show upstairs once or twice but BOY am I kicking myself now for never ordering their food before! The funky-chic interior is really beautiful and the seating area is a terribly pleasant place to eat. Our meeting just so happened to be on one of those bitter cold days in January (the kind that leaves you numb after only a 1 block walk). That night we took refuge with a toasty fire, warm and welcoming staff and delicious burgers.

Chef Gina Rodriguez greeted our table and told us about the 4 burgers being offered that evening. They don’t keep a regular burger on their menu but Chef said that she usually keeps one rotating on her Specials list – it allows her to keep creative and fresh options available. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur choices for the evening were the Sirloin burger with meat sauce and cheese. This burger was a crazy messy delicious mess. Think of a chicken parm, swap out the chicken for a burger and you have about 20% of what this burger is. I can’t even explain it, you really just have to try it someday. Messy though, very messy. As I was buttoning up my NICE shirt prior to going out that night I thought to myself “I hope I don’t spill anything on my shirt”. Of course I ONLY HAD ONE BITE and spilled this burger’s sauce all over myself, like a 4 year old.. I digress.

Second burger from the evening was the salmon burger. I didn’t try it myself but word on the street is that it was pretty dang good. The word “fresh” was thrown around a lot, which I guess is what Chef Rodriguez is going for. It was topped with LTO and a caper aioli. (pictured below)


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThird option was the meatloaf burger. This was my burger. If there are two food items I truly love in this world it’s meatloaf and burgers. Sometimes I even make my burgers pretty close to how one would make meatloaf (minus the bread crumbs). It was topped with BBQ sauce and fried onions. To be honest this was more of a meatloaf sandwich, but who am I to give a hoot? It was delicious! I ate the whole thing in what seemed like 1 bite (though it was way too huge to have actually done that). The fried onions were perfect and took me back to the kind of meatloaf mama used to make.

The final and most indulgent burger offered to the Club was the Surf ‘n Turf Sirloin Burger with a cranberry chipotle sauce. This baby was topped with grilled shrimp! I am firm believer that the best topping for meat is more meat, so this definitely fits the bill. I didn’t have this one but I was told it was very good. Only weird thing was that the shrimp tails weren’t removed before the burger was served. Despite having to do a little work, this burger was well received. In particular the cranberry chipotle sauce was said to have been absolutely awesome!


We had a truly wonderful experience at Serrano. The staff was incredible; they are truly the definition of “hospitality”. I can’t wait to go back here again with more friends! What a great hidden gem!

December Burger Club at Nick’s Roast Beef

1520598_713375582008028_1696498203_nLast month’s burger club meeting was at Nick’s Roast Beef (16 S 2nd St) in old city. I know what you’re thinking, “I thought this was the BURGER club, not the ROAST BEEF club”. Chill out. They have A LOT more than just Roast Beef. This unassuming old city spot has an awesome pub grub style menu with items such as fried pickles and about a million different sandwiches. If you ever find yourself hungry in Old City and don’t want to deal with a 45 minute wait and/or jerky Old City people make your way over to Nick’s and you will not be disappointed. Our whole group sat comfortably in their back eating section. This place has a lot of room!

532126_713375658674687_1147213963_nNow – on to the burgers! The main thing that brought us to Nick’s was word of their Bacon Burgers. This is much more than just a little bacon thrown on top of a burger. Here at Nick’s they actually use ground bacon in with their beef patties. This bacon / beef blend turns out the juiciest, most flavorful burger that you’ll ever have. After a few inquiries about where the closest defibrillator may be, the Club sank their teeth (and hearts) into these delicious burgers. No one was disappointed. They had a few interesting topping arrangements, some of which being the “Southwestern Burger” with Fried pickles, house-made salsa and jalapeño slices. Also they had a “South Philly burger” that had Sharp provolone, long hots and caramelized onions. Other burger choices include a classic, cowboy, California as well as a build-your-own.

555090_713375632008023_929810620_nI went with the Cowboy burger. It had BBQ, bacon and cheddar. Yes, I put bacon on top of my already baconed burger patty. It was delicious. The patty was perfectly juicy and salty and the toppings were simply delicious. The bacon-on-bacon experience was a little surreal but nevertheless amazing. The bacon burger doesn’t taste all that different than a regular burger, it’s just pumped up in a way. The fat content of the patty is definitely elevated and that means JUICY. Sometimes I get a little worried about eating a burger that isn’t cooked to at least medium (too many medium-rare belly aches) but when a burger is cooked to medium it usually isn’t too juicy. Adding the bacon definitely solves this problem. Bacon is just the solution to everything – a valuable lesson to learn.

1474448_713375732008013_158845432_nAll-in-all this was a very successful meeting! The burgers were delicious! My only complaint would be that the burgers don’t come with fries. Our tables each got a basket (or three) of fries and they were delicious! Now just stick them on a plate with my burger and call it a day. I can’t wait to go back to Nick’s, I hope they keep making these bacon burgers forever!

November burger club meeting at Catahoula

place_14495This month’s burger club meeting was at Catahoula (775 S Front St). We went to Catahoula last year and had an awesome time. When we got word that they were offering a whole bunch of new burgers we knew that we had to go back. I’m so happy that we were able to return to this little Queen Village spot – it’s great! Before I continue any more I have a confession to make. Very infrequently does anyone order anything other than burgers at the burger club meeting – obviously. There was something on Catahoula’s menu that almost no one could pass up. Fried. Mac. And. Cheese. Balls. There, I said it. My table got two orders. I REGRET NOTHING. If that combination of those 5 words speaks to you then I urge you to get over to Catahoula immediately. I’m pretty sure my little world would catastrophically implode upon itself if Catahoula found a magical way to stuff the mac & cheese ball into the middle of a burger. Boom. I digress.

So back to the burgers – there were SO many to choose from! There was the “stuffed burger” with pickles white cheddar and a homemade BBQ sauce. “If you’re a pickle lover, you’re going to love it” said burger club member Michele. They also had a “Houla burger” with pulled pork and yellow cheddar topped with fried pickles. There were 6 other burgers to choose from including the “Black & blue burger”, “Bourbon Peppercorn burger”, “Five pepper burger”, “Your burger”, “my burger” and “our burger” (info can be found on their website) and one very very VERY special burger that they made for The Club and The Club only (be jealous) – the smoked burger.

IMG_20131122_091826I knew from the start that I would be unable to pass up this one time only special burger, so I went with the smoked. When we visited last time Chef Dave told us that he had been working on a special smoked burger and if we were to ever visit again we could try it. He’s a man of his word and I’m here to tell you that this burger is AMAZING. It had the smoky flavor of brisket that had been put on the smoker all day but the tenderness of a loosely packed burger. Topped with LTO and white cheddar I was in heaven. The side of Cajun (read: old bay) spiced French fries were hot and delicious. I would say this was a near perfect meal.


Catahoula is a great restaurant and bar run by honestly good people. The owner and chef made a great effort to come out and talk to us and show us how much they love what they do. Their enthusiasm is palpable and it makes it a really nice place to be. The entire staff was so nice to us, complete with quick and efficient service. You will not be disappointed with a meal from this place!

October burger club meeting at the Urban Saloon

Photos & Story By Sarah Blatchly

October’s Burger Club Meeting kicked off at Urban Saloon, a self described “inventive pub grub” bar at 2120 Fairmount Avenue. Located on the main drag in Fairmount’s prime real estate, the pub sits across the street from the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary, giving Burger Club goers a good taste of night-before-Halloween fun before heading into Urban Saloon’s welcoming interior. The exposed brick walls and dim lighting created a comfortable, warm ambiance that one Burger Clubber declared made for “the most romantic Burger Club ever”. Urban Saloon’s bar boasts a respectable selection of 12 taps and some bangin’ Happy Hour deals that made the wait for our table a little sweeter.

Urban Beene BurgerWhen seated, the club quickly got down to the most important selection of the evening—deciding whether or not we were brave enough to try the “Urban Beene Burger”. Referred to by most as “that weird peanut butter one”, the Urban Beene challenges the senses by adding peanut butter and bacon to give a sweet and salty kick in the pants to the traditional savory burger. Quite a few brave souls gave the burger a try, and most claimed it was earthier than they had anticipated, and pretty delicious overall. I personally was not brave enough to try the strange combination and kept it traditional with the “Steak House Burger”, which was served with Cheddar, Tomato Jalapeno Relish and Crispy Onions on Texas toast. When the burger US2was first delivered, I was missing my top piece of Texas toast. The server, to his credit, quickly went to the kitchen to grab me a slice. However, the piece he returned with was almost entirely charred and half the size of the bottom slice. Undeterred, I got to work on my burger. I had ordered it Medium, and Urban saloon did a great job of cooking to everyone’s desired temperatures—never an easy feat with a large table of hungry burger eaters. The beef didn’t really seem to have a flavor, and the toppings definitely left something to be desired. The tomato jalapeno relish gave absolutely no kick to the burger and was almost indistinguishable in the overall flavor. The crispy onions were certainly crispy, but also flavorless– I ended up taking them off as they didn’t seem to add anything to the flavor. The lettuce and tomato were fresh and good, but didn’t lend much taste. The burger came with fries, however, and they were AMAZING. Urban Saloon hits the french fry holy grail of a hot, crispy exterior giving way to a soft, salty and fluffy interior. These are fries you dream of. Fries you want to come back for.

Urban Saloon hosts a Quizzo night every Wednesday at 8:30, and a large crowd started arriving around the time our group was finishing up. Our server seemed to want to get us up and out, so I asked to split the bill for myself and two friends from the rest of the group so we could pay with our cards and leave. He sighed about it but eventually agreed, coming back with the bill and telling us that, since we’d split off from the rest of the group, we wouldn’t be getting the 20% off of the final bill. We were a bit taken aback, but ended up just paying and leaving, though the experience did leave us with a bad taste in our mouth.

Long story short, Urban Saloon is a great place to grab a quick bite and a Happy Hour beer, but the service left something to be desired and the burger wasn’t one of the best. If you’re in the market for some great fries and a cold craft beer, Urban Saloon is a good choice. If you want a good solid burger however, you might want to look elsewhere. November’s Burger Club has us heading to Catahoula—only time will tell if their Cajun take on burgers will top the charts! Check out our Facebook page for more information.

World Cafe Live Bourbon & Burgers event

The Philadelphia Burger Club visits World Cafe Live’s: Bourbon & Burgers (and other fine spirits)

by Brett Lauter

181437.jpgYou don’t need to twist my arm to convince me that an event combining burgers and bourbon is going to be a good time. My girlfriend and I were more than excited to visit The World Cafe Live in Delaware to attend their Bourbon and Burgers (and other fine spirits) event, on behalf of The Philadelphia Burger Club.

Oddly enough, the night started off on a great foot when I got to park right outside for free. For me, that’s always a sign of good things to come. Walking into The World Cafe Live, we were inundated with the sound of live blues rock by Karmic Repair Company, the band chosen to accompany the event. We were quickly seated and presented with a cocktail to enjoy before the event began. The cocktail was delicious – combining a 10 year-old rye, plum bitters, and sweet vermouth. The night was off to a great start and I was ready to eat. My only complaint, however, was that the band was much too loud for an event such as this. It was clear that it was going to be slightly difficult to discuss the burgers and bourbon over the band.

Before we could finish our drinks, our host informed us that the event was about to begin. We were presented with a tasting glass, which amounted to about a shot, of Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon. The aroma of the bourbon had very strong pepper notes, as well as a slight scent of honey. The taste very closely resembled the aroma, with a lingering pepper flavor that hit the back of my throat and stayed there. I found the Basil Hayden Bourbon slightly harsh, the pepper flavor seemed to mask the other, more delicate flavors of honey.

As soon as I finished my first sip, I was presented with our first burger. It was a ground chuck burger stuffed with bleu cheese and topped with fresh prosciutto and applewood-smoked cheddar on a sourdough roll.

While I was eagerly awaiting for the event to start and browsing the menu, this burger in particular had me the most excited. I instantly loved this burger. The creamy and tangy bleu cheese combined with the salty crunch of the prosciutto was fantastic. In some situations, the flavor of a burger’s other ingredients can be masked by a strong topping like prosciutto. However, in this situation, the limited use of prosciutto complimented the burger with its crunch, contrasting the smooth texture of the bleu cheese. What was overpowering about the bourbon alone was now enjoyable when combined with the burger. The pepper of the bourbon mellowed by the tang of the bleu cheese and prosciutto. This combination was going to be difficult to beat.

Before I could finish my burger, I was already being presented with our next whiskey: Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey. The first thing I noticed about this whiskey was the extremely strong smell of dried fruit, specifically the scent of raisins. This quality was not only present in the whiskey’s aroma, but also in it’s taste. The Dad’s Hat, along with the initial and delicious taste of raisins, had that signature spice of rye whiskey, which I find very enjoyable. The second burger was then quickly brought out to our table.

This burger was described as a slow-braised lamb burger with tobacco onions, goat cheese, and scallion aoli on a black onion roll. The first thing I tasted was the onion soup flavor of the roll, which isn’t the first thing I usually notice when enjoying a burger, and I found it a bit overpowering. However, the onion roll did go nicely with the goat cheese and the tobacco onions. As for the burger its self, I thought it could have been hotter and I think it would have been much better on a different roll. I love lamb and having a roll with such a strong flavor made it difficult to taste the meat. Being that most of the flavor came from the burger’s roll and toppings, that was really the only thing I had to compare the whiskey to, and I thought it well with the dried fruit taste of the whiskey.

I was very excited to try the next whiskey, Booker’s Single Barrel Bourbon. This was a 125 proof single barrel Kentucky bourbon, which at this point, was an alcohol content I was alarmed with. For a bourbon, I found Booker’s to be extremely smooth, similar to a single malt scotch. This smoothness was something I had never before experienced in a bourbon. The taste of the Booker’s wasn’t nearly as unique as the previous whiskey, with subtle notes of vanilla, oak, and charcoal.

Up until this point, I couldn’t say I’d ever had a great chicken burger and frankly, I wasn’t sure such a thing existed. I love chicken, but it’s not the most flavorful meat and definitely not the type of burger I’d choose off of a menu. This third burger, however, converted me. The chicken was combined with rosemary, honey, and apples and was topped with arugula coated in a red wine vinaigrette on a sundried tomato roll. Upon tasting it, the burger had a strong taste of cinnamon and apples, a tried and true combination, and was incredibly juicy. It went excellently with the Booker’s Bourbon’s subtle vanilla flavors. The sweetness of the chicken and apples paired perfectly with the bourbon, making it the best combination of the night. It could have been the music of the Grateful Dead which was playing over the PA now that the band had finished for the night, but I’m going to give the credit to an excellent burger and an even better bourbon.

2256623_origWhile I’m sure many people enjoy the earthy and smoky flavors that come with certain whiskeys, I’ve always found that it overpowered and masked the other flavors. Both the aroma and taste of the High West Campfire Blended Whiskey was so smoky that I found it hard to discern other flavors. I did get a slightly sweet and honey flavor, but beyond that I found it difficult to sense anything else.

Before even tasting either the whiskey or its paired burger, it was obvious why the combination was chosen. The flavors of smoke and bison just seem to go perfectly together. The final burger featured ground bison, sweet onion jam, and swiss cheese on a 5 grain roll. Out of all the burgers, I thought this one in particular focused on the meat the most. The bison was excellently cooked and was not at all overpowered by the normally strong taste of swiss cheese and the sweetness of the onion jam. Usually when I’ve had a burger topped with any kind of jam, I find it enjoyable, but at the same time out of place. I wonder whether or not it could have been replaced with something a bit more subtle. With this particular burger though, I thought it went great, contrasting and cutting the smokiness of the whiskey.

At this point in the night, after five tastings of whiskey and four burgers that were much larger than I anticipated, I was essentially useless. Overall the event was excellent and although there were whiskeys and burgers that I found less enjoyable than others, I could certainly appreciate the thought behind their pairings and the effort that went into creating them. My only overall complaints with the event were the band being unnecessarily loud and the feeling that I was being slightly rushed through the tastings. Barring that, the staff was excellent, the burgers were delicious, and each whiskey was unique and new to me. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and I’d encourage anyone to attend an event like this at The World Cafe Live in Delaware, or in our Burger Club’s home of Philadelphia, if they have the opportunity.

September burger club meeting at Kraftwork


This month’s meeting was at Kraftwork (541 E Girard). This small Fishtown bar has been around since 2010 – which was just when the whole area began its renaissance (for reference, PYT opened in 2009). Sitting just within the enormous shadow cast by the ever so polished yuppie kingdom, the Piazza, Kraftwork is a bar that shouldn’t be overlooked. Exposed brick and scatterings of artistic metalwork frame this small restaurant. There’s a giant U-shaped bar that always seems full and plenty of staff members that never leave a water glass empty. With 25 beers on tap (and a backup on hand for each one) one of the most difficult decisions you may have to make is what to drink. Deciding what to eat won’t be hard, after you read on.

kw2Holy bananas – their burger was out of this world! Their menu is pretty bare-bones when it comes to burger. No fancy styles or themes, just one solid burger with many topping choices – I call this a “choose your own adventure” burger. You really can’t go wrong with the list -Cheddar, Maytag blue, Sharp provolone, Gruyere, Fried Egg, Caramelized onions, Bacon red onion marmalade, Fried long hot peppers and onions, Seasonal wild mushrooms, Bacon. I went for Fried egg (duh), bacon and cheddar. I somewhat regret my decision to not put the Bacon marmalade on it because everyone else who got it WOULDN’T STOP TALKING ABOUT IT – but I stand by my choice.

The burger itself, as I learned from the manager, is a priority blend that they acquire from a local source. The meat has a percentage of dry-aged beef and I’m here to say that it is amazing. The salty dry aged beef is just enough to not be overwhelming and is balanced out by the rest of the perfectly seasoned meat. The burger sits on a bun that’s substantial enough to hold together despite the abundance of juices from the burger, and in my case a very delicious runny egg yolk. The burger was accompanied by garlic-herb fries that were delicious as well.


I was pretty blown away by this burger. It was honestly one of the best I’ve had, certainly within my top 5 Philly burgers. If you missed this month’s meeting I urge you to make your way over to Kraftwork so you can experience this burger. Next month we’re heading over to the Urban Saloon, check out our facebook page for more info!

Second Annual Wilmington Burger Battle

image001On Aug 24, 2013 I had the extreme pleasure of attending the Wilmington Burger Battle. Nestled away in the suburbs of Wilmington is the Twin Lakes Brewery farm, finding the location only took one wrong turn and the spotting of a big burger banner and balloon to set us in the right direction. Just past the rolling hills and sleepy pond is a big barn/building that makes up the brewery. Directly behind the barn was where all the burger action was taking place. After being guided by many staff members (who seemed to be the teenage children of people involved with the event – a family that burgers together, stays together) we finally found a parking spot in a huge open field.

Walking up to the ring of tents and wafting burger smells made me feel a little anxious. Did I eat too big of a breakfast to thoroughly enjoy myself? Am I going to have to wait in huge queues? I’m going to spill all over myself, why did I wear a white shirt? All butterflies floated away with the first bite of the day. One of the first burgers I sampled was one of my favorites – Buckley’s.


buckThe Buckley Tavern burger featured black angus beef, English cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, Boston bib lettuce, Jersey tomato and onion. It might sound a little too simple to be one of the best but you have NO IDEA how good it was! I strongly believe that when all sorts of toppings are added to a burger it’s only to mask the inadequacies of the meat. Buckley’s doesn’t have to dress up their burger too much, it’s good almost all on its own.

Another one of my favorites was from the Redfire grill. Their burger was made with ground chuck sirloin, aged white cheddar, maple pepper bacon and house-made 1000 island dressing. Again – simple. The white cheddar with the simple spice from the maple pepper bacon was just perfect. The sauce was awesome too. The burger was super juicy and well-seasoned. This is one of the samples I had to try twice!

Sometimes you feel like a basic burger, sometimes you don’t. For those that LOVE weird innovative burger things, the World Café Live burger was the one for you. Their sweet bun had bacon ON IT. Whaaaaaaaat? Yes Sir! The bun itself deserved a prize. Also I was a sucker for the kid wearing the t-shirt that said “Vote for my Daddy”. Did I mention that upon arrival each guest was given 3 tickets? We were to cast the tickets as votes towards the people’s choice award.

world cafe live 3

trophyThere were two prizes for the event: People’s Choice and Critic’s choice. There were three judges: Bill Montgomery, executive director of the Delaware Zoological Society, Chef Murray Schulman and Dana Herbert of Desserts by Dana. The people’s choice award went to Union City Grill (who were also the creators/innovators/sponsors of this entire event). The Critic’s Choice award went to Redfire Grill – looks like my vote was only one of many! Congrats to all winners and participants, this event was a total success. Proceeds from the event went to Emmanuel Dining Room, which helps alleviate the immediate needs of Delaware’s hungry by serving nutritious meals to anyone in need, at no cost and with no questions asked.

Can’t wait to be there for the battle next year! Read about last year’s Battle here!