For some stupid reason, back when I was still in high school, Penn was my dream school. Hell if I can remember why. Sure everyone shits on Cornell and Brown for being the crappy Ivies, but at least people know they're part of the Ivy League. I mean... no one confuses any of them with Penn State ~sigh. Yes, I realize how much of a pretentious asshole I sound like right now, and yes, I have since learned that choosing schools based on prestige is dumb (you realize I'm Asian right?). The point is, I really wanted to come to Penn, and I really wanted to live in Philadelphia. In hindsight, 17 year old me was a dipshit, because, let's be honest... Philadelphia kind of sucks. Everything basically shuts down at 10 pm if you're not an alcoholic, everyone is a hipster, the subway system smells constantly like a blend of hand soap and urine, the homeless people here are meaner/scarier (than the ones in NYC), and you produced M. Night Shyamalan.* Damn son... Avatar was pure crap and everyone knows it. Way to suck.
Well I guess that's not fair. Philadelphia isn't entirely worthless. Home to some seriously dope-ass cheesesteaks (and sandwiches in general), Philadelphia is the place where they signed the declaration of independence, where the finest pitching rotation since the mid-90's Braves is assembled, where the mythical "gobbler" is available year round, and most importantly... where some of my favorite burgers can be found. Like the "Burger 15" at Ladder 15.
I already wrote about this burger on AHT (it is my last post... gooooo read it), so I won't rehash the details... but here's the breakdown. The Burger 15 is $15 (how clever ಠ_ಠ) worth of brioche, a prime sirloin patty, caramelized onions, mushrooms, truffle sauce, shredded beef short rib, and... my oh my... fatty-ass bone marrow. It sounds expensive and it is expensive, but is it worth it? Yeah man. Just like I said on Serious Eats, "like eating the freshest cow available."
Look how overcooked that shit is. Not one fuck was given that day. As an aside, I'm pretty okay with not doing burger posts anymore. Not that it wasn't fun and all not having to pay for burgers, but cutting them in half was sapping a lot of the enjoyment out of my meals. But yeah, I'm usually pretty anal about medium-rare. I feel like cooking the meat properly should probably be of more importance than sourcing the finest produce available from domestic farmers (or crap like that in general). The Burger 15 apparently isn't like other girls on the block. I like it no matter how overdone it is. Despite the fact that it looks like it was prepared by a line cook at Chili's, the burger remains fantastically juicy (undoubtedly aided by a layer of marrow fat). Combined with the caramelized onions and the brioche, there exists an aftertaste of sweetness that makes this burger straddle the line between meal and dessert.
Truffle fries... truffle aioli mayo. Absolute perfection. I'm not even going to add context to that statement, because apparently it's all the rage lately to make stupid ass statements without backing it up. If you don't agree with my opinion about these fries, well you're just wrong. That's what perfect means. All joking aside, these things are pretty much the tits when it comes to fries that I've had. Structurally they possess the combination of a crisp shell with a fluffy homogeneous center. Flavor-wise, they're properly salted and drizzled with a phenomenally even coating of truffle oil. The slight sweetness of the potato vs. the herbal goodness of seasoning makes for a terrific handful of fries. Oh and that mayo? Creamed myself in excitement.
Oh yeah, so back to the main point of this whole post. Goodbye Philadelphia. I'm pretty excited about leaving you (even though I've been here less than a year). For the most part I won't miss anything since the number of good friends I've made here I can probably count on one hand. I'll admit that I will miss your ability to construct magical sandwiches out of ground beef and bread. You might be pretty shitty at almost everything that doesn't involve beer, but my god are you good at making burgers.
*please don't take me seriously for hating on Philadelphia, it's just an opinion. As for M. Night Shyamalan movies sucking major ass? That part is fact.