Here now, a special report from the Philadelphia Burger Brawl by Pat LaFrieda and Mark Pastore of Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors:
We eat a lot of meat. And a lot of burgers. And one key ingredient – not as important as the meat, of course – is the bun. So we took a little road trip to Philly this weekend for the first-ever Philadelphia Burger Brawl, a great event organized by Rob Wasserman of Rouge to raise money for a local public school. Jen Carroll of 10 Arts won the Celebrity Choice Award and London Broil took home the People's Choice Award.
We have to admit, we ran out of steam and didn't try all the burgers. It didn't help that we had an amazing burger for lunch at The Dandelion right before the event – we can't help ourselves! We didn't try the London Broil, and Jen Carroll's was the last burger we tried at the end of the day, so by no fault of her own, we won't include it in the post-game analysis (it had been sitting around awhile). Although when asked to comment on her buns, Mark said, "She's got no ass! Oh, the burger? I like it." It was the first time Jen met Mark, so she'll get used to his antics eventually.
And now?. the best buns in Philly:
Pat – Gotta say I was looking forward to their Philly Cheese steak pretzel burger, served on a pretzel roll. It looked good, lots of salt on top but I was really disappointed in. Too dry.
Mark – Is PYT a Michael Jackson thing? And how’d they make that knot in the bun? It’s unique, and I like that it’s a pretzel, but the burger is messy.
Breadmaker: Philly pretzel factory.
#4) TABLE 31
Pat – Good, solid brioche bun.
Mark - Where does everyone keep getting the Four Loko? Oh, Chef Mark Levin from Adsum. His tent was the life of the party.
Pat – Agreed.
Breadmaker: Hudson Bread, which, as it turns out is just up the 1/9 in North Bergen, NJ from us.
Pat – They grind their own meat (although not ours) and the chef makes his own buns. Very impressed.
Mark – It’s got that homemade taste. Although we should be grinding their meat.
#2) PUB & KITCHEN
Pat – It was the only burger I finished. Best burger of the day, definitely.
Mark –The mascot on their T-shirt says it all. It’s a “pabbit” - part pig, part rabbit. We were told by chef Palmer Marinelli that it’s their mascot because the kitchen staff fuck like rabbits and eat like pigs. Oh, and their buns are great too.
Breadmaker: Hudson Bread. Again.
#1) BUTCHER & SINGER
Pat – Delicious.
Mark – Best bun of the day. And that pickle was on point too.
Breadmaker: Parc in downtown Philly.