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Rouge
December 21st, 2009 by Joemoney

1 vote, average: 4.00 out of 101 vote, average: 4.00 out of 101 vote, average: 4.00 out of 101 vote, average: 4.00 out of 101 vote, average: 4.00 out of 101 vote, average: 4.00 out of 101 vote, average: 4.00 out of 101 vote, average: 4.00 out of 101 vote, average: 4.00 out of 101 vote, average: 4.00 out of 10
(1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 10)
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Rouge
http://www.rouge98.com
205 South 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103 (map)

To Rouge from Baton Rouge-

GQ does it again. While in Philadelphia I was continuing the search for the best burger in the WORLD and came across Rouge. It was highly touted by many online reviews but the one that made up my mind for me was GQ’s “20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die” in which Rouge was ranked 4th…. 4th! It must be amazing then, right? If you recall, I followed this list’s suggestions when in Seattle, WA and ate at Red Mill Burgers. It was good but only ranked 17th. So, with the recommendations from other burger reviewers and GQ telling me that it was essentially a “life experience” burger I decided that Rouge would be my next Philly Burger Tyme! Fortunately for my wife and I we have some friends that live in Philadelphia who were kind enough to let us stay with them. So as a vote of thanks we treated them to this “one of a kind”, “inspirational” burger experience. On a cool Saturday morning before our adventure to Valley Forge, we made our way to downtown Philly, to enjoy a nice lunch. Philly is a cool city with a lot of really impressive old architecture and deep history. Rouge sits across the street from a nice inner city park and across from that a centuries old cathedral. With this view in site its no wonder that the outside is prime seating at Rouge. Fortunately for us the weather was pretty chilly so there was plenty of outside seating. We took our seats and thus began the fanciest burger experience of Burger Tyme history.

Seeing Rouge Again-

The Rouge Burger. $16. Reading the menu, the Rouge Burger seems like a culinary masterpiece. “Challah Roll, Caramelized Onions, Gruyere Cheese & Pommes Frites”. How could one resist such fine ingredients. While I was not sure what a Challah roll was, we placed our order for four Rouge burgers. While we waited we were treated with a warm roll and salted butter. I’m sure this was traditional for all of the entrees that Rouge serves, but it was a little odd to start off a burger with more bread. In fairness the roll was very good. Rouge was pretty busy at the time we were there which might explain the long-ish wait. After about 20 minutes we were brought our burgers. The first impression based upon how the burger looked was “Wow”. I could hardly wait to try it. It was served open face with the veggies on the side. So after a little assembly I was finally able to dig in. The patty was huge. It had to be 3/4 of a pound of beef and 3 inches thick. It completely overpowered the rest of the burger. Every bite all I could taste was beef. Some liked this as it was high quality beef. I however was looking forward to the mingling of the other flavors such as the caramelized onions and the gruyere cheese. This was not a very well balanced burger. The veggies were also of high quality and the pomme frites, or in English, french fries, were very good as well.

The Wrap it up-

The Rouge Burger. $16. This was the most expensive burger in Burger Tyme history. At $16 and being 4th on the list of “Burgers to eat before you die” I expected this to be the pinnacle of our burger journey so far. I was sadly disappointed. The Rouge burger, while consisting of high quality components, which in and of themselves are great, was a poor assemblage of a gourmet burger concept. I blame the overly thick patty. It was absurdly thick. I would recommend dropping the price a few dollars and shedding a 1/4 pound to allow the other flavors to come out. The balance was just not here. When in downtown Philly would I go to Rouge for a burger? No. I would walk a few more blocks and enjoy the $12 Good Dog Burger.

A second lesson learned here is that GQ and I have very different tastes in what makes a good burger. So far I’ve had number 17 and number 4 only to be disappointed at both when there were much better burger options nearby. Oh well… fortunately there are plenty of resources for the burger tymer to find the best buger in the world. Many of which can be found linked to this site!


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