Summertime means Burger Time

Jul 14, 2010

By Patty-Pat Kozlowski

With our sincere apologies to the ultimate Parrothead Jimmy Buffet:

“I like mine with lettuce and tomato
Heinz 57 and french fried potatoes
Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer”

giant-burgerThere is something about the summertime that makes you wanna hit the backyard and grill a burger in your Speedo (hey champ, the thong goes in the back!) flip flops and top off your beefcake masterpiece with all the fixings in your fridge. But sometimes, you gotta get out for a beer and a burger and these local places are grillmasters when you’re looking for that two handed, five napkin burger.

It’s summertime and the grillin’ is easy with Celebrity and Iron Chef Bobby Flay opening Bobby’s Burger Palace at 3925 Walnut Street in West Philadelphia. Just in time for summer’s heat wave, the Mulberry Burger is the July Burger of the Month, topped with arugula, basil ketchup, parmesan and mozzarella chesses.

This ain’t your fast food burger thrown together and wrapped up within 60 seconds of ordering. Flay’s beefery is splashed in retro oranges, limes and kitchy-spacey décor and serves above the board burgers of certified angus beef, ground turkey or chicken breast. He accompanies them with sweet potato fries, beer battered onion rings and ten milkshake flavors with an option to spike the thick malty frozen treats with bourbon, rum or vodka. Paradise indeed.

But it might be hard to sing a song about ingredients on Flay’s burger menu with the likes of Queso sauce, avocado relish, watercress, pickled jalapenos and blue corn chips being just some of his choice toppings. And it also might be a tad bit frustrating to warble a tune when your mouth is full.

Bobby’s Burger Palace, 3925 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 215-387-0378

Good Dog! Good Burger!

At 15th and Locust, you’ll definitely come, sit and stay for the Good Dog Bar’s infamous burgers.

With the décor of framed pics of man and woman’s best friend, chances are you will not be taking a doggie bag home when the Good Dog Burger comes to your table. It’s ½ lb of house ground sirloin, stuffed with Roquefort cheese, topped with carmelized onions and served on a toasted brioche bun for only $11.

All burgers are served with their signature mix of hand-cut shoestring potatoes and the addictive homemade aioli dipping sauce. The applewood smoked bacon is as thick as a belt and ordering medium rare is the epitome of what a burger should be.

For those of you who are like salty Quint, the crusty captain from “Jaws” (remember his best drinking shots line-“Here’s to swimming with bow legged women!”) there is a Salmon Burger grounded with eggs, panko, horseradish, dill, scallions, onions and mustard served with lettuce, tomato and malt vinegar mayo on a seeded challah roll that is worthy for landlubbers too.

Good Dog staff and bartenders know their craft and brews and the menu as well, so don’t be afraid to ask them what’s good or what they like. Awesome appetizers as well as daily pizzas and quiches round out this bar in Center City.

Good Dog Bar, 224 S.15th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, 215-985-9600

Up in the Great Northeast

Where’s the Beef? At The Burger Bar, the newest addition to Gallo’s Seafood Restaurant on Roosevelt Boulevard.

For $11.95 you can get something called the “5 Napkin Burger” that is double the beef, double the cheese, lots of bacon and topped with a fried egg. In about an hour or so, you’ll call this the “5 Rolls of Toilet Tissue Burger” but its worth it.

For those of you not competing for a slot at the next competitive eaters event, the regular burgers of fresh ground certified angus chuck with lettuce, tomato and pickle go for $5.95. Try the Burger Bar Special for $7.95 and you’ll get roasted baby bella mushrooms, carmelized onions and gruyee cheese or the Smokehouse Burger with smoked bacon, crispy onion straws, house BBQ sauce topped with cheddar.

With Caesar and chopped salads as well as wings and fries.onion rings, there is plenty of choices on this menu. Even giving a nod to Gallo’s bread and butter of under the sea dishes, The Burger Barn has Flash Fried Calamari and Lump Crab Cake Sandwiches. Did I mention a full beer bar and cocktails? And a spiked milkshake called the Knight Rider of chocolate ice cream, kahula chocolate liquer and crushed Oreo cookies. Yep, somewhere, David Hasselhoff lost his pants and can’t find the keys to the KITT car………

The Burger Bar, 8101 Roosevelt Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19152 (215) 333-0484

The Epitome of a Beer and a Burger

Memphis Tap Room makes their $9 cheeseburger very simple. The menu states: Pick your cheese, lettuce, tomato.

What comes out to your table is one of the best bar burgers in the city with juices dripping out of the center and cheese melting into the palm of your hand. Go ahead, lick your fingers.

Chef Jesse Kimball is known for the menu items like fried pickles, crawdad doughnuts, pilsner brined wings and the chicken fried chicken but his burgers are one of the best kept secrets around. Biting into the burger, your mouth is treated to ground beef so tender and flavorful, you might wonder if you’re eating filet mignon. Hand formed and not packed so dense that you get the hockey puck effect, Memphis Tap Room wait staff will perfectly pair up your burger with the right brew to wash it down. Can’t decide? The  beer sampler is always a winner and assists you in knowing what tastes you like and favor.

Memphis Tap Room, 2331 E. Cumberland Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125,

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