Bacon Cheeseburger With Fried Egg – Local 44 – Philadelphia, PAMay 7, 2011 • By Rodney
Local 44 is a small craft beer bar on the West side of Philadelphia, PA. Although they hate the term “gastropub”, they do have a full lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch menu with items such as Breakfast Wings with sweet bacon maple glaze and whitefish salad.
I had occasion to visit Local 44 on the last day of a trade show I was attending in Atlantic City. I got a tip from Stuart of Vacord Screen Printing that there was a good burger at the bar near his shop. Although I was flying out later that afternoon, I decided to squeeze another burger in before I headed back to California.
As I checked out of my hotel in Atlantic City, I punched in Local 44’s address into the navigation system and got an ETA of 1 hour and 30 minutes. I sent a text to Stuart to let him know I was headed his way and he said he had just eaten but he’d still grab a burger with me. I figured the burger must be good if he was willing to double lunch it!
The burger at Local 44 doesn’t come with a fancy, quirky name like other restaurants. On the menu it’s just listed as “Burger” (also available in a black bean variety for vegans or vegetarians). They do offer a “Fixin’ Bar” of toppings that you can have added to your burger. Since bacon, pepperjack cheese and fried egg were fixin’ options I had to go with those, since bacon cheeseburgers with fried eggs are my weakness. I also added a horseradish cream sauce just to make sure the burger had enough kick.
My “medium” cooked burger came out just the way I ordered in almost no time at all. My first impression was that the hamburger patty seemed massive! It didn’t list the size on the menu, but it had to be a good half pounder at least. It was thick and bursting at the seam with juiciness. After showing superhuman restraint by snapping a few photos, I jumped into the burger, teeth first.
The juice dripping off the burger didn’t take anything away from the internal moisture of the patty. The first bite was cartwheel of pure, juicy, high quality beef flavor. They didn’t mention the source of their beef or the blend they used for the burger but it gets two thumbs up from me. Impressive flavor throughout the meal. The fried egg and bacon added a nice texture to the sandwich and although I generally prefer red onions over white on my burgers, the white white onions delivered the perfect sweetness to blend with the horseradish sauce I added to the hamburger. The bun was soft, simple and sturdy; no fancy flavors, but enough girth to keep the sandwich together and do its bun duty.
I’m not sure why I was surprised by how good this burger was. Every now and then I get leery about trying new recommendations. The outside of the bar was unassuming and just “to the point”, so I was thinking this might be a low 30 point burger at best. Thinking back though, I didn’t even stop eating to take a “cross section” picture of the burger. Even though I almost missed my plane back to California, this burger was well worth the pre-flight trip.