Archive for August 21, 2011

Burger Wars: Best burger in DC?

BBP's Sweet Potato Fries, vanilla "spiked" milkshake, and Philly burger

It used to be the case that a burger was just a burger.  It was greasy and cheap.  When did the burger become elevated to a gourmet food?  And when did opening a gourmet burger shop become the new thing to do?  Burgers and milkshakes are the focus of the newest burger joint to hit DC streets: Bobby Flay’s Bobby’s Burger Palace or “BBP” for short.

Recently, I hit the streets, checking out BBP, Shake Shack, and BGR The Burger Joint to see what the fuss was all about.  Which is my favorite? Read on!  The answer isn’t simple.  Each place offers its own variations — some better than others — on the classic burger.

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Rocco DiSpirito’s Now Eat This!


I recently downloaded Rocco DiSpirito’s Now Eat This!  In this cookbook, Rocco takes “150 of America’s favorite comfort foods” and remakes them into dishes that clock in at under 350 calories a piece.  Following each recipe, Rocco provides the calorie and fat content of both the traditional and revamped versions of each dish.  It’s really quite impressive just how many calories and grams of fat he shaves off.  Could it be too good to be true?

I decided to find out.  Also, I was curious to see whether the dishes would actually come out looking like the pictures in the cookbook.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about the five recipes I tested.  On the one hand, I was able to eat a wedge salad with bacon and blue cheese dressing, a healthy portion of jambalaya and a brownie for about 600 calories and 21 g fat.  According to Rocco’s numbers, the traditional version of these dishes would have clocked in at close to 3000 calories and 185 g fat.  That can’t be right.  Could Rocco be inflating some numbers here?  I don’t know and I guess it doesn’t matter.  I felt full and somewhat satisfied after this meal.

On the other hand, everything I made, except for the jambalaya, was not quite right in terms of texture and/or flavor.

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Bobby’s Burger Palace: Who’s been crunchified?


Last week, Bobby Flay’s long-awaited Bobby’s Burger Palace (a/k/a “BBP”) opened its 2121 K St. NW location.  As expected, the lines snaked down K Street as everyone wanted to get “crunchified” right away.  I usually steer clear of new places in the first few weeks after their grand opening because of the mayhem.  I really hate wasting precious minutes of my life waiting in line.  I mean, really.  It’s maddening!

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Adam Express

Bibimbap (Before)

I first read about Adam Express on Prince of Petworth (a/k/a PoP).  It’s one of the reasons I love PoP! It always brings me news about places that I’d usually just walk right past without even giving them a first, much less second, glance.  It’s taken me a while to try Adam Express, but I finally did today. Damn, it’s good.

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Food truck review: The Rolling Ficelle — Another food truck, but not just another sandwich!

Are there any of you out there that still believe that I just *happen* to walk by a food truck?  If so, then let’s say it happened again.  This time, I happened to be walking by the Rolling Ficelle food truck.

The menu features several sandwiches, all of which are served on a “ficelle” from Lyon Bakery.  What’s a ficelle? Well, the picture to the left says it all.  It’s a very long, thin baguette-style bread.

If you’ve read some of my other sandwich-musings (e.g. El Floridano, America Eats Tavern’s lobster roll), you’ll know that I have talked about key metrics for assessing the quality of any sandwich.  First, the bread-to-filling ratio.  No one wants too much of either.  Second, the bread.  Obviously, it needs to be fresh.  It also needs a little texture.  It needs to hold its own against the filling but not fight with you as you try to get to the filling.  Based on my first and only experience with Rolling Ficelle, its sandwiches pull in high scores with respect to both of these metrics.

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