Clearly someone has been paying attention to the Shake Shack in New York City. Steven Starr decided to follow suit and cater the privately operated Franklin Square in Philadelphia. For now, the digs are temporary and amount to a tent enclosing some fridges and a small griddle. The menu is exceedingly simple, just burgers and dogs are available from the grill at the moment.
Four of us went for a cheeseburger. The woman waiting on us and cooking our burgers was exceedingly friendly. She let us know that our burgers would be cooked fresh and might take a while. We were hoping that was the case and were happy to wait in the park during a nice sunny spring day.
I got a single cheeseburger with everything. Everything included lettuce, tomato, raw onions, ketchup, mustard, and relish. As I bit in, the burger tasted how I remembered the one at the Shake Shack, a nice loosely packed thin patty, very juicy, and well-seasoned, perhaps a tad on the salty side if I was very picky. A very excellent burger, for sure, and expertly cooked. It was all perched on a thick, slighlty sweet potato bun that was toasted slightly on the griddle to give it a bit of a crunch.
I liked this burger a lot. It was a good size, but not so big as to fill me up. A double probably would have done that. I decided to go back and order another. I also added on a “Philly Dog” which was a kosher beef dog wrapped in Salami (which, I believe, violates its kosher-ness by adding pork). I talked the woman at the counter into grilling some of the onions for the burger. The Philly Dog comes with hot peppers and I decided to add these on the burger, as well.
I was a fan of the grilled diced onions on the burger, but the hot peppers were a little on the overwhelming side. Not bad, but probably better without. The burger itself was as excellent as the first, the woman clearly knows how to make a good burger on the griddle. The Philly Dog wasn’t bad. The salami was overwhelmed by the beefy, salty dog taste and added just a hint of spice in the background.
This may secretly be the best burger in Philadelphia. I’m definitely going to be back. In July, the stand will move into a permanent building and will have a more extensive menu. I’d like to see a tangy “secret” sauce, similar to the Shack Sauce at the Shake Shack. Of course, it would also be awesome to have some quality freshly blended shakes, as well. We’ll see where this ends up, but the story is great this far.