Friday, October 05, 2012

Bobby's Burger Palace, Princeton, NJ

Over the summer, our local mall, The Princeton MarketFair, shut down their food court to bring in more sit-down eateries, and we were a little wary of what would come.  That changed when we found out one of the new places would be Bobby Flay's Burger Palace.

There are only 11 of these currently, all in the Mid-Atlantic region. Ours opened in late August, and we've already gone there 3 times.  It's a good mid-price, slower-than-fast-food, faster-than-sit-down kind of place. The decor is tongue-in-cheek retro-chic with long serpentine bar seating and communal tables with faux wood finish.

The menu is pretty simple - 10 varieties of burger topping combos which you can get on Angus beef, ground turkey, or chicken breast;  two types of grilled cheese;  a regular salad, a chopped salad, or a salad with any of the burger varieties on top; fries, sweet potato fries, or onion rings; and 13 flavors of milkshake (include 3 spiked shakes). 

Redneckhunter was happy to see a Black and White milkshake actually listed on the menu.  A lot of times he has to explain to people what goes into black and white -- vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup or hot fudge.  He had to admit that Bobby made a good one.  One of these times I'm going to have order their dark chocolate shake.

So in our various visits, we've tried a few different things.  Well, I have, at least.  Redneckhunter has stuck with the LA Burger -- avocado relish, watercress, cheddar cheese, and tomato.

I've tried that one, as well as the Napa Valley with fresh goat cheese, watercress, and Meyer lemon honey mustard, and the Dallas as a turkey burger, which was spice crusted, with coleslaw, Monterey Jack, BBQ sauce and pickles. 

The beef burgers have always come out a perfect medium rare, the meat flavorful, the buns soft and fresh.  All in all, a mighty tasty burger.

I liked my turkey burger - I think the spicier Dallas was a good combo for it -- though I still don't think it beats my favorite turkey burger, which is from Big Nick's Burger Joint on the Upper West Side. 

The only two things that have just been so-so are the sweet potato fries (we haven't tried the regular fries or onion rings yet) , and Bobby's sauces (a selection of which are left on the table -- jalapeno, chipotle ketchup, a signature burger sauce -- and a honey mustard horseradish for the fries).  Nothing really was better than just plain old ketchup.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Smorgasburg in DUMBO

My cousins recently moved to DUMBO, and so did Smorgasburg! So on a recent weekend visit, we set off for a Sunday outing to the Smorg. 

First off, what an amazing setting for it, under the span of the Brooklyn Bridge in the old Tobacco Warehouse shell, and the old timey Jane's Carousel nearby. 

Most of the Smorg regulars were there.  Probably fewer prepared food vendors, but plenty of eating options. 

After a walk-through, I was sucked in by the pretzel rolls on which Schnitz served their chicken schnitzel sandwiches. 
Redneckhunter went for a brisket sandwich - he was a bit disappointed that he got mostly burnt ends, and not so much fatty meat. 

I finished things off with not one, but two, frozen treats -- a plum shave ice from People's Pops, and a gourmet lemon slushie from Kelvin Natural Slush Co.

Sundays in DUMBO in Brooklyn Bridge Park
Through November 18

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Kennett Square Mushroom Festival, PA

Earlier in September we were down in Delaware getting our car fixed before a night out in Philly, and decided to take the scenic route up through Kennett Square because it was the weekend of their annual Mushroom Festival. 

Kennett is the mushroom capital of the world, so this is their chance to celebrate all things mushroom.  I had read about Talula's Table, a little market in downtown Kennett where they also do a nightly chef's table booked one year in advance, so when it came to choosing which stand to visit, I figured we'd try it.  We got the mushroom risotto, and mushroom spring rolls.  They also had mushroom mac and cheese.  Risotto was satisfying, but the spring rolls were huge, but not so good.  The filling wasn't much better than your average Chinese takeout, and the spring roll skins weren't crispy.  I was however drawn to trying their homemade pretzels and was very happy with a nice yeasty, chewy, fennel one.

For dessert, I had to try pumpkin mushroom ice cream from Woodside Farm Creamery in Hockessin, DE. This family-run dairy is right across from the Chinese American Community Center - hard to resist anytime I find myself out there.  The ice cream is super rich and creamy and the pumpkin flavor was great - not too much mushroom.
And whenever I"m in Kennett Square, I also have to get a donut from Alondra's Mexican Bakery.  I always feel like a little kid walking in to the smell of a great bakery.