Our burger expedition continues with one of the newest establishments that opened its doors this summer. Bobby's Burger Palace (BBP) decided to try its luck in establishing itself as a titan in this competitive burger market. Founded by culinary genius and recent actor Bobby Flay whose restaurants I have enjoyed in the past will try to win over the burger enthusiasts in the District.
Located in Foggy Bottom BBP provides its customers an assortment of hand crafted burgers as well as a vibrant atmosphere which is a blend between a sit down restaurant and a fast food chain. The unique color scheme and vibrant furniture provide a glimpse into the evolution of fast food dining which is a notch above our current perception and slightly below semi-casual dining.
My first visit came during their grand opening when I joined a group of friends who share the same appreciation for burgers. I initially planed to visit during my lunch break but was thwarted by a line of fellow burger lovers that ruptured through the door and out into the sidewalk. Arriving later that day I was greeted by a fairly similar convergence but was lucky to line jump with my friends who arrived a bit earlier.
Mesmerized by the list of burgers each of which looked equally as good I took the entire wait in line until I decided on my order. I ended up choosing the Napa Valley which consists of fresh goat cheese and watercress which is topped with Meyer lemon honey mustard. Unlike most of the burger establishments in the area BBP asks you how you want your burger cooked and even offers a simple diagram which illustrates the differences. I ordered my medium and also got a side of fries since they are not included with the burger.
(Image provided by Yelp)
Once my order was placed I took a number and joined my companions who were already seated. My burger was promptly delivered to me and I attacked it as God did in Ezekiel 25: 17 (with great vengeance and furious anger for those who don't get the Pulp Fiction reference, and no I am not religious).
All kidding aside I did actually take my time to appreciate the lovely presentation which is the best I have seen in this city to date. I ate each bite slowly to garner a better appreciation for the flavor combination that ensued during each mouthful.
I thought there was a bit too much goat cheese which is not a great idea since it is a very powerful ingredient but that did not take away from the harmony between it and the honey mustard. The burger itself was beautifully seasoned and cooked just as I liked it.
(Napa Valley Burger with French Fries)
I then shared and sampled the burgers that my companions ordered. I tried the Buffalo Style, Philadelphia and the Bobby Blue burger all of which I enjoyed. The fries on the other hand were mediocre and were accompanied by equally mediocre sauces. The fry sauce that was accompanied with the fries were the best of the three that are offered. I also sampled my friends strawberry and blueberry pomegranate milkshakes both of which were very tasty.
The overall success of my first visit prompted my next two visits. On those visits I sampled the burger of the month which at the time was the Cayenne burger which came with barbecue sauce, bacon and fried onion rings and the Bobby Blue Burger which you see below.
(Bobby Blue Burger Crunchified)
I ordered this burger crunchified which you can do with any burger you order. This entails placing a generous portion of plain potato chips on top to add an extra component of texture and flavor. I'm a bit disappointed that they don't incorporate different flavored chips for each burger, this would definitely add an extra enhance the burger. The blue burger had to be my favorite so far, the bacon was fantastic and the blue cheese put it all together.
All in all I believe Bobby's Burger Palace has earned a degree of respectability in the town of burgers. Each burger that I ordered or sampled was well seasoned and cooked properly. The prices are on par with other establishments and the wait times have died down. Overall I would recommend this to any burger lover and it's one of the few chains that I enjoy. We will have to wait and see if it cracks my burger rankings which I plan to release later this year.