I've been a little lax, what with the cooking and all. It's been one of those weeks where meals are planned and food is in the fridge, but I don't get home until far too late, and food doesn't get cooked. So I stumble in the door from wherever I've been and there's Sous Chef Brian, holding the take-out menus. So this week we had veggie samiches from Fuel, I don't even remember what, but I know it was awesome, from Plenty, and burgers from Royal Tavern.
Let's discuss the burger, shall we? I don't really make burgers. The deal is that in general, I think I can make a lot of foods better (specific to our tastes) and somewhat healthier (using the 53 different criteria on which "healthy" can be judged) than the places around here, which is argument #32 for eating at home. Not burgers. There are some special burgers in this town. Sure, once last year I mixed beef and kale in a patty, and that was good (the kale keeps it moist, too), and bison might be slightly better for you than beef, and I did that a few months ago, but we're bad at grilling, and I do have this all-or-nothing perspective on home cookin', like, if I'm not going to make the hamburger roll (and really, I'm not likely to have thought of this hours in advance, nor am I likely to have homemade rolls in the freezer at any given point), why bother eating at home. If I have to run out and get buns that aren't made of food, let's take it a step further and have someone else bring us dinner.
And Sous Chef Brian loves burgers.
We live in a big burger town too. We have burgers, and we have BYOs. Google "best burger Philadelphia" and you'll get a lot of lists, with a good bit of overlap. There are some known "bests." One of those is the Royal Tavern Angus Burger.
It's good meat, with spectacular cheese (I'm a sucker for gouda) and pickled long hots that do not play around. It's spicy. It means business. Caramelized onions? Yes. Chile mayo? Sure, let's keep going. And to appease me a bit, you can get veggies on the side. No upcharge, just, "hey, rather than those fries, toss me some veg," and they're all, "hell yeah." Not some boring steamed broccoli either, or some buttered-up canned veg. We got grilled asparagus, and it was spectacular.
Again, something I love about the food in this town. Even in a bar, you can usually get some great veg on the side. I wrote about my love for the Brussels sprouts at South Philly Tap Room months ago, and with one exception* I can think of, the places we frequent - even the bars - have side veg that are notable on their own.
It's a new week, and I'll get to cooking for real this time, promise. Until then, burger porn.
*the food is great (though I'm not adventurous enough to eat most of whats on the menu) and you can get a veggie burger, but there's no veg side. It's meat and potatoes. Still, we're in here a lot, and brought my parents in this weekend.