Friday, January 24, 2014

Freddy's Steakburgers (and Frozen Custards)

2084 Sproul Road
Broomall, PA ‎19008
(610) 325-6725

Attention Shake Shack & In-N-Out – you have been put on notice. Freddy's is my favorite fast food burger spot.

I didn't expect too much, given the "steakburgers" slogan, but I heard from some reputable (at least food-wise) sources that it was worth it. They were right.

It's a pretty basic format, you order at the counter, and they call your number when it's ready.

The one secret weapon that will make me a believer every time is a place that throws down some fry sauce. I spent half a decade in the Mountain West, and that stuff is everywhere, and delicious.

Another thing to add is that they crush both the East and West Coast burger-cult chains with their fries. In-N-Outs fries just aren't that good. They are always kind of limp. Shake Shack's fries are a damn joke. Frozen crinkle cut? Get out of the middle school cafeteria. These are thin, especially crispy shoe strings, and they come with house seasoning AND fry sauce. For the win.

Perhaps the best part, however, is that the burger at Freddy's is a thing of gluttonous beauty. The patties are fresh pressed so thin that the edges are basically a generous drape of crispy, fatty ground beef bits. Every time. It's unbelievable. I went back and checked quite a few more times to make sure I was reporting accurately. These burgers are the truth. And the long, crispy Claussen-like slices of pickles? Amazing.

The Chicago dog is a pretty decent offering, but it is missing some key ingredients, namely neon relish and a poppy seed bun. The casing on the dog has a beautiful snap to it, the side effect of a roll on the flat top.

Above all, get a burger and fries. They are delightful. Both the burger and fries are better than anything else in the area, in my never humble, expert opinion.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mahony's Po Boy Shop

3454 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 899-3374

In a place overflowing with cheesesteaks po'boys, it's hard to stand out among the crowd. One way to do so is to offer a twist on the traditional. Mahony's is one of those places.

Located on the hip and affluent Magazine Street, on the southwest side of town, this place packs a blue collar charm mixed with some interesting variations on tradition.

Part bar, part restaurant, you will find a no-frills interior, with well positioned TV's to watch the game. Whatever game that may be.

The three standouts here are the "peacemaker," the fried chicken livers and slaw, and the root beer glazed Chisesi's ham and cheese. The peacemaker was so named because blues musicians, being men after my own heart, used to be out until all hours of the morning. So they would bring home one of these to appease their significant other. A splendid idea.

Oh, and the super thin onion rings. Hot damn these were addictive.

The beef and cheese fries didn't hurt either. My God I am fat.

We had a couple of people eating together, so they graciously brought out a sampler.

The "peacemaker" contained fried oysters, bacon, and cheddar cheese. Indulgent and delicious.

The fried chicken livers and slaw had . . . chicken livers and slaw.

However the grand champion of them all was undoubtedly the root beer ham. My lord. The glaze on the ham was sweet and deep, and the ham thinly sliced, tender, with just the right amount of salt.

This was such a unique combo, and would be my #1 go-to order for my next trip to Mahony's. Which should be in a couple months. I can't wait.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Corner Foodery

1710 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 567-1500

It's about time the well known bottle shop broke into the real Center City market. I mean, what have the business men and women been doing for their lunchtime six packs to-go all these years?

This place is a collaboration between The Foodery (we all know what that is, right?) and The Corner restaurant (one of the few establishments not owned by Val and Marcie) on 13th. In case the name didn't already make that part obvious.

They have a long wall lined with the usual range of high-end, expensive bottle shop selections, as well as a rotating selection of draught beers on tap.

Their website is terrible.

The interior has got a really great vibe, it's dark but open, modern and classic, and really quite comfortable. There are a few seats at the 'deli' counter, in case you want to do a quick in-and-out. Their interior was the highlight of my experience.

They use Carangi rolls.

The to-go boxes look nice, but they're not at all suited for hoagies of any type. They should be wrapped tightly, swaddled and protected, like a baby. I do like a good bag of UTZ though.

I ordered the "Godfather," which boasted coppa, prosciutto, pepperoni and prov with LTO. A basic twist on an Italian, fine. I'll take it. Did I want oil or vinegar? Both, plus a little mayo, of course. I was not asked if I preferred seeded or unseeded, I mean, obviously a sesame-seed roll is mandatory here. Right?

Wrong. And sometimes red onions just don't cut it on an Italian. Especially this one. There was little-to-no meat for a $10 sandwich and the roll was so thick in comparison to the fillings. It was a jaw strainer for sure. It was some sort of heavy-handed sourdough roll.

Not to mention the mealy canal of dough where they overdid the vinegar. Meh. But hey, let's look at the bright side, I ate the whole thing anyway and the pickle was delicious!

Considering I'm never getting take out beer during the work day, I don't think The Corner Foodery will ever see my beautiful, hoagie inhaling face again.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Central Grocery

923 Decatur Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 523-1620

Central Grocery is the Sarcone's of muffuletta. This place has been around forever, and they are definitely a touristy type of place. But I have to say, their sandwich is pretty damn spectacular.

I had literally just come from lunch, so I couldn't tackle a whole (I had already eaten dinner AND had my late night foray into snacking planned); instead, I got the half. These beautiful creations sit inside the meat and cheese shop (much like Claudio's in the Italian Market), pre-made and just waiting for a new home. The room-temperature-wait lets the olive oil and olive salad just start to soften the bread, but this is in NO WAY soggy. It's just perfect.

One difference between this muff. and many of its competitors is that they use a hearty amount of provolone, instead of a weak-ass single slice. This lends a nutty, umami-rich flavor to this perfect snack. The bread is phenomenal, sporting a barely crunchy, sesame exterior with a hearty-yet-not-overly-malty, chewy middle.

The olive salad is another story. Why doesn't everyone put this on their hoagies. Well, I guess there are some versions of it up here, but the chunky olives, peppers, carrots, cauliflower, parsley and added love makes this stuff addicting.

I could eat this briny, salty, crunchy salad everyday. The muffuletta is another shining example of why New Orleans is one of the best places to eat anywhere. Easy, no-frills, and unpretentious, it's much like the city itself. Perfect.