Friday, March 28, 2014

Bobby's Burger Palace Showcases New Menu Items

Brunch Burger

What's New Pussycat?

People often ask me, "What's the best thing about being a food critic?" The answer is simple... Days like today. Bobby's Burger Palace (home to DC Outlook's #2 burger in the area) unveiled a slew of new menu items... four burgers, a couple of shakes, a new sandwich (oops, I knew I forgot something) and the long overdue "Half and Half." If you're keeping score at home, that's Bobby's Burger Palace 100, the Competition zero.

With the exception of one item (and that was only a partial disappointment) BBP knocked the ball out of the park with their new assortment of goodies. Our press preview opened with dessert (my choice) and set the tone for deliciousness. BBP already holds the #2 spot on our list of Top 5 milkshakes; but now they seem to be just showing off. The Mint Chocolate Chip shake doesn't look minty (no green, just brown) but one sip "out-mints" the Girl Scout Cookies' famous Thin Mints. It's absolutely delicious. It's also pretty sweet: I'd recommend passing on the real whipped cream topping.

Carolina Burger

From there, it was on to the burgers; and I wasted no time in choosing my favorite meal of the day... Brunch. The Brunch Burger is bound to become a new favorite for everyone, based on its combination of fried egg (peppered... genius) smoked bacon and BBP's perfectly-cooked & seasoned burgers. If you're looking for an explosion of flavor and messiness (I had to wash my hands twice, during & after) then go no further. The bacon is crunchy (better than crispy) and salty... and the overall burger looks gorgeous. Once that egg pops though, it gets messy; but you simply have to get your hands dirty when having this much fun, right?

New Mexico Burger

Next up, the New Mexico Burger... an update on the (now discontinued) Santa Fe Burger. New beats old handily, as the New Mexico amps up the flavor profile demonstrably... swapping pickled red onions for jalapeƱos, and roasted green chilies for blue corn chips. Queso sauce is still an option, if you like cheese. I'm not a huge fan of crunch anyhow (adios corn chips) and this new southwestern option rivals Bobby's Brunch Burger for most flavor on the entire menu.

From there, it was time to travel cross-country... back East for the Carolina Burger, and our first (and only) protein swap. All BBP burgers are available with certified Angus beef, ground turkey or whole chicken breast; so I opted for the latter with green onion slaw and an addictive mustard BBQ sauce + smoked American cheese (yes, every now & then.) My colleagues and I debated long & hard over which ingredient was most responsible for the collective smiles on our faces. For the record, it was the mustard BBQ sauce... overwhelming, but tremendously tasty. BBP's grill masters make a mean chicken breast... extra juicy, and once again well-cooked & seasoned. Lose the cheese, and they could have the best chicken sandwich in town.

Vegas Burger

Moments later, we were back in the air (so to speak) traveling 2,000 miles to Sin City for the Vegas Burger. Mention Las Vegas, and the words debauchery and indulgence leap to mind. Unfortunately, there's nothing terribly sinful about this burger. BBQ chips? Yawn. Fresno Red Chiles are a nice touch, but this burger needs more heat... some kind of WOW factor. The meat was perfect (no surprise) but was begging for something else. Don't be surprised to see something added in the near future. Bobby Flay likes things perfect, and the current Vegas Burger just isn't.

Half & Half

Four burgers in (and a big stack of sweet potato fries... who can resist?) and I was starting to slow down considerably. Time for a break? Fat chance. Bring on the onion rings, part of BBP's new Half & Half, a combination of any two sides (Beer Battered Onion Rings, French Fries or the aforementioned Sweet Potato Fries with Honey Mustard Horseradish Sauce.) BBP isn't the first to come up with this idea; but it makes perfect sense, although individual orders are so inexpensive you could easily order two without breaking the bank. As for taste, the onion rings are killer good... big, thick slices of onion surrounded by decadent beer batter. What's not to love? Regular fries are great too, especially when teamed with one of Bobby's numerous trademark sauces.

Mint Chocolate Chip Milkshake

It's only fitting to end with dessert (especially since that's how I started this meal) and BBP's other new shake... the Mocha Caramel. I'm not a big fan of mocha, which tends to dominate over the caramel and whipped cream; and this shake comes closer to a fancy coffee, than a traditional milkshake (at least for me.) My table couldn't say enough good things about it however; so I'll defer to my coffee-loving cohorts on this one. To be honest, I was tempted to sneak in an order for the Pistachio, BBP's best (still.) Nobody in town has a better variety of outstanding shakes... Nobody!

Mocha Caramel Milkshake with Real Whipped Cream

Final impressions? Bobby's Burger Palace has managed to improve upon near-perfection. Amazing. And that's not even taking into account the flexibility BBP provides with the menu. Substitutions are encouraged... Crunchify? Why not? Grilled onions on any burger? Just ask. The fries still take two days to make, and the burgers are cooked perfectly every time. All this in a fast casual eatery, where the average bill costs barely more than a tenner. Bravo Bobby!