Holy Burgers Batman!
For quite awhile people have been on my ass to get on over to Sketch, a burger joint on Girard Avenue here in Philly. I once even ventured out with my friend MellieFlo and we we were way off on location and drove by it like 9 times. I finally got on over there with my cousin Megan for a nice lunch!
Holy burger awesomeness, Batman!
Let’s rewind a minute. The place is decorated in bright happy colors, and is actually kind of small inside. Just a few old booths and some tables with lawnchairs. You walk in and walk to the back to order. Then, grab a drink and have a seat.
We split some fries. Let’s talk about the fries. Everyone seems to be into the Belgium/france way of serving fries: in a cone. Sketch is no different. They even have paper mimicing newspaper, which is cute, because in Europe, that’s what they wrap fries (and in the UK also fried fish) in.
These fries were tossed in a little old bay type seasoning, but just a little bit. Sometimes people get a little slap happy with the old bay and you can barely taste the potato and have to drink 9 gallons of water afterwards. These fries were perfect. Perfect diameter (thick but not treetrunks), perfectly cooked (fluffy and delicious on the inside, crispy on the outside but not oily or overcooked) perfectly seasoned and just right on perfectly delicious. If someone had told me that I couldn’t have my burger and I only had the fries, I would be almost ok with that. That’s how good they were. They came with a dipping sauce too (a smooth harissa aioli, which was equally as great, but frankly, I didn’t need it.). There was much stink eye being given between me and Megs as we got down to the bottom of the cone of fries. Oh yes.
So let’s get down to brass tacks. The burgers. I ordered the Kobe burger with avocado, bacon and a fried egg. Megan got a burger with cheese and bacon. Let’s talk about her’s first. Let me just first say that Megan normally doesn’t take food home. She either finishes it or doesn’t and that’s it. She ate half and took the other half home. There was little chatting whilst chewing.
My burger was a monstrosity. It was a burger that my cardiologist has on his wall with a big circle and linethrough it. But people, I implore you, if you have never had a burger with an egg on it, DO IT! RIGHT NOW! You are seriously cheating yourself. This is America! Make the choice for fried egg on a burger! What did I love? That when I ordered an egg, I was given 5 different ways in which that would cook my egg! These people ARE NOT MESSING AROUND!
Anyway, besides the egg, there was also avocado, and Sketch is not skimpy with it! Look at all the avocado-y goodness! The bacon was fantastic as well, thick cut, not that cheap ass thin stuff that disappears once you take a bite (*poof!*). This bacon is setting up camp in your living room and staying for awhile.
Since the burger was Kobe beef, I figured I would order it the same way I order everything: medium. In case you were wondering, medium is the way to go. Well done is dry and nasty. Rare is too chewy. Medium is juuust right. Unfortunately, the cook was a little zealous and my burger came out a little more done they I would have liked, but that was the worst thing that happened all day, so it was alright with me. No one’s perfect. The meat itself was slightly seasoned but they get it…let the meat speak for itself, don’t over season and cook it evenly.
The burgers come out in a rectangular paper boat (as in the above picture), which normally would have pissed me off, I hate eating out of boats. But there was something so right about it. They serve it up McDLT style, half and half, so you can observe the deliciousness and then put it together yourself. As you can see, it was a messy burger but ooozing with burger-osity. Yes, that’s right.
Even the bun was perfect, from LeBus, and just right. There are few things that make me more mad then a bun that doesn’t work: a kaiser bun, or a giant bun where you have a mouthful of bread and no burger, or the worst….a stale bun. This was so perfect, it almost brought a tear to the eye.
I apologize to the fine folks at Sketch for not coming in before. I applaud thier eye for detail, and I can’t wait to go back and eat my way thru the menu.
Finally, The walls of Sketch are wallpapered with crayon drawings by little (and im sure big) kids. This one was right next to our table and I laughed pretty hard. Do yourself a favor, get to Sketch, eat an amazing burger and laugh. It’s worth your time, your money and your tastebuds!
Eating The Sights At Bobby’s Burger Palace
A while back, my friend Hot Mess Jess and I decided to take the plunge and check out celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s new burger chain called, surprisingly enough, “Bobby’s Burger Palace“. If you have been living under a rock, Bobby Flay is a very big celebrity chef, and if you aren’t into food, he is also married to Stephanie March, who played ADA Alex Cabot in L&O: SVU. Either way, you’ve seen him on tv somewhere. The name is a funny throwback to places in the 50’s and the place itself is pretty retro but still very modern. There is a lot of green and orange colors, and the place in and of itself looks very happy and inviting.
You can sit at the counter and watch the cooks do their thing in the kitchen or you can sit at the long family style type tables. At first, they reminded me of lunchroom tables and I didn’t think I’d like sitting there, but it was actually kind of fun!
Maybe it might be because we were there kinda of late but I have to remark about the cleanliness of the place. That’s always a sticking point with me: I like my bars dirty and my restaurants clean. It’s not much to ask for and it hit the mark. The tables could have been sticky or gross and they just weren’t. Two thumbs up for the staff!
The tables are littered with popup napkin dispensers (can I sing a song of love for popup napkin dispensers? I am a sloppy eater, especially with something like a burger, where I look like a toddler versus a bowl of spaghetti!). I also love that they had a bunch of caddies with different sauces for the burgers. I like choices and only one was kinda gross (one bbq sauce was a little too…smokey for me.).That’s pretty awesome. What can I say, I’m easily impressed (Also impressive? The spotless bathrooms. Oh yeah.). Even the chairs that are attached to the tables are fun. I don’t know how fun it would be if it were completely packed in there, but it was half packed and it was still fun.
Whatever. BBP doesn’t lose sight of the most important thing: the burgers!
The burgers themselves are a decent size: not giant and not teeny. I’d say they are about 7 ounces. The burger meat is flavored simply, with no crazy ridiculousness: just a little salt and pepper. Absolutely delicious. Another thing I have to love about these burgers: for the sort of place this is (a hyped up burger place owned by a celebrity), the prices aren’t bad. Sure, you can get a burger that is bigger at Burger King or McDonald’s, but most people are there for the name and something different.
So what did we have? Oh! Where to start?!
Ok, let’s start at the beginning! After checking out the giant menu on the wall, you order at the counter, they give you a big number and you go sit until someone brings you your food. Oh, yeah, go get your own soda (I will always love that!).
What did we order? The question is more “what DIDN’T we order?”. What we do for you people! *buuurp*!
First up! The LA Burger! It’s a burger with Avocado Relish, Watercress, Cheddar Cheese & Tomato. Not skimpy on the avocado, and the whole top is covered with cheese. Not a whole lot to complain about: it’s a burger with taste without too much messiness (some people, like my friend Steve, do not like messy food. This would be a good burger for you if you are like Steve, even if you don’t have a strap beard!). The seeded bun gives it a nice pop as well!
As you can see in the inside of this burger, there isn’t a lot of filler and they cooked it just the way I like it (medium well). Like I said above, the burger isn’t huge but you get a nice sized patty. A nice side note is the pickle that comes with the burger. It could have been a simple thing to just throw on some neon green pickles and call it a day, but the pickle is kickass: crisp and zesty!
Next up? The Dallas Burger. I hate the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones with a mad passion, but this burger is kinda neat. It’s a spice crusted patty with Coleslaw, Monterey Jack, BBQ Sauce and Pickles. I’m not exactly sure how this related to Dallas, but I’d have it again. The coleslaw is a little sweet but plays right against the BBQ Sauce. I guess the burger is supposed to be a play on Texas BBQ, but when I think of BBQ, I don’t really think of Dallas, I think of Austin or other cities. Maybe I’m nitpicking, but either way, not bad!
Something I really dig, and that you might have noticed is the cheese wrap on these burgers. Cheese lovers, rejoice!
I was worried for a little bit that the coleslaw might not be enough to work with (or taste) but it’s just enough. And you can tell they are cutting that cabbage there, not defrosting it or just using a mix. I gotta say, Flay and his team put a lot of thought into these burgers. And yet again, they hit the heat point correctly for me, this was another winner!
A little tip if you go to BBP: go with a friend and get a few burgers and split them, they are the perfect size for sharing!
Whew! We aren’t done yet! Next up? The Miami Burger! Let’s face it, the best thing about Miami is the Cuban Sandwich. They are always so delicious, and they brought it to the one pressed burger on the menu. This thing has Ham (and they are NOT skimpy on the Ham! Yay, Ham!!), Swiss Cheese, Pickles, Mustard and Mayo, and then they press it to melt the whole thing together. Hungry yet?
And the burger train marches on….
Next up! The Crunchburger. Oh, Bobby Flay, you love the simple things. You really do. Growing up as a kid in Philly, putting chips or Doritos on your sandwich was something you just always did if you could. I still do it sometimes. It’s all about texture and what they call “mouth feel”. Mouth Feel is exactly how it sounds: it’s the way food feels in your mouth. Ever smell some food and it smells good but you chew it and it just feels weird? Gross, right? Or you eat a chocolate covered pretzel and the silkiness of the chocolate and the crunchy of the pretzel kind of dance around your mouth? Yeah, there ya go. So, putting chips on a burger mixes
a juicy burger and then the salty, crispy chip to create a superpower of awesome in your mouth. The way it’s presented would make a kid of any age clap their hands. Did I? Only Jess knows (and there isn’t enough Captain out there for her to squeal! I think…). The chips are very Original Herr’s like, and when you smash them down to take a bite, they crunch and crumble just right. It’s a silly thing, but it’s a lot of fun to eat! Honestly, half the fun is smashing it down!
A side we got was Sweet Potato Fries with Honey Mustard Horseradish Sauce. I normally don’t particularly care for Sweet Potato Fries but these fries were, and I am not even kidding, amazing. They were salted but only a little bit to balance the sweetness of the sweet potato and they were cut so that you got a good bite and they didn’t get soggy. For 3 bucks they give you a giant vat of them with a nice side of sauce. Did we stab each other over the last few pieces? Use your imagination.
Now, let’s say the gang wants to go out and get some burgers, but you don’t eat meat? No sweat, BBP offered a Griddled cheese (American & Swiss Cheese) and a Griddled Cheese Deluxe (Brie, Goat, Cheeses/Tomato/Bacon).
Going without carbs? Get the Topless Burger (Any burger on baby greens with balsamic). They even have a kickass sounding salad for those of you out there who like to…eat…salads…in burger joints? Got kids? Get a kids meal (basically just a smaller burger, smaller fries and a smaller soda for about a buck and a half less). I hear the milkshakes are awesome, but after our burgerfest, who had room? We sat on the bench outside for awhile before we rolled ourselves back out to the car to drive home. I was cursing myself for not remembering to wear my stretchy pants.
So what was the final decision? Pretty great burgers for a decent price. I have to say, I have seen smaller burgers offered for more, so hey, check it out! The BBP we went to was in the Cherry Hill Mall in New Jersey, but there is also one in West Philly and they are also all over the country. If you go, try to go at an off time so you can enjoy yourself (they tend to get pretty crowded). Oh, and apparently you can get any burger “crunchified”, so if you wanna go for it…go for it! Me? I’m gonna go take a nap…