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Bobby's Burger Palace, Downtown and College Park - Americans Eat Too Many Hamburgers


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I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned...or was the combination of burgers and celebrity chef too trite to discussed wink.gif

According to Thrillist, Bobby Flay's newest location of Bobby's Burger Palace will be opening a week from today (8/16). The menu (and prices) look comparable to other burger spots in the area. Spiked milkshakes and frozen cactus pear margaritas, along with the option to 'crunchify'* your burger, are the notable differences in my look through the menu.

* top your burger with crisp potato chips at no additional cost.

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It's limited distribution - Genesee is not a large capacity place.

maybe it was BREWED in 1998. I have visions of some huge warehouse somewhere with half a million kegs of Dundee Honey Brown, getting liquidated a half barrel at a time, as suckers open their taps to "craft beer".

-Hey, distributor guy, what's a reasonably priced one of them micro brew thingies?

-Well we got this Dundee Honey Brown, lots of folks like it, only $83 a keg with your volume discount. That ain't much more than Coors Light and you can sell it for four fidy a pint! This micro brew's the next big thing!

-What the hey, we'll try one. You got some tin-tackers, maybe a neon? Coasters?

-Oh yeah...hey you're not thinking about replacing one of MY handles are you?

PS this is an APPALLING beer list, somebody should be ashamed of themselves.

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maybe it was BREWED in 1998. I have visions of some huge warehouse somewhere with half a million kegs of Dundee Honey Brown, getting liquidated a half barrel at a time, as suckers open their taps to "craft beer".

-Hey, distributor guy, what's a reasonably priced one of them micro brew thingies?

-Well we got this Dundee Honey Brown, lots of folks like it, only $83 a keg with your volume discount. That ain't much more than Coors Light and you can sell it for four fidy a pint! This micro brew's the next big thing!

-What the hey, we'll try one. You got some tin-tackers, maybe a neon? Coasters?

-Oh yeah...hey you're not thinking about replacing one of MY handles are you?

PS this is an APPALLING beer list, somebody should be ashamed of themselves.

Not sure many people care about the beer list when they hit a burger place - not sure the burger joint, rays or other burger joints have any better offerings. Not to mention 90% of the population are fine with the beers on their list. You have to accommodate the masses.

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Not sure many people care about the beer list when they hit a burger place - not sure the burger joint, rays or other burger joints have any better offerings. Not to mention 90% of the population are fine with the beers on their list. You have to accommodate the masses.

And, you'll notice that he is charging the same for the Dogfish, Anchor Steam, etc. as the Bud and Miller. That's not a bad deal.

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And, you'll notice that he is charging the same for the Dogfish, Anchor Steam, etc. as the Bud and Miller. That's not a bad deal.

Yes I have no issue with pricing depending on serving size; I assume these are 12 oz bottles. $3.50 apiece = $84 a case vs, what, about $35.50 a case wholesale in DC for the DFH, $26.50 for the Anchor Steam? It's not my market, but if that's roughly correct this is a very reasonable markup. He's making his money on the Bud which is probably wholesaling around 19-20 bucks a case, maybe less with his volume.

"Not sure many people care about the beer list when they hit a burger place - not sure the burger joint, rays or other burger joints have any better offerings. Not to mention 90% of the population are fine with the beers on their list. You have to accommodate the masses."

Right, who expects a hand-crafted, specialty beer with a hand-crafted, specialty burger? The two obviously have nothing to do with each other, and those who savor one would could not possibly be expected to want the other.

If what you say is true, then there still exists, in the district, an untapped (sorry!) niche in what would otherwise appear to be a fully saturated burger market.

Put another way--Bud equals the "big mac" of beer, Anchor Steam possibly rises to the level of Five Guys. Only "Dogfish Head IPA" on this list (I assume this is 60 Minute IPA) belongs in the same breath as, I don't know, what Spike Mendelssohn sells. The equivalents of Hell Burgers and Burger Joint and, one hopes, Bobby Flay's, are a little higher on the spectrum and you'd better believe there's a crossover between those who demand and will pay for the best in burgers and those who demand and will pay for the best in craft draft beer.

And they are perforce NOT "the masses." The 90 % of the population to whom you refer, who are happy with the beers on their list, are also happy with Big Macs and Whoppers, and it is not those 90% of the population over whose (finite) patronage the specialty burger houses are fighting.

(Although nobody's advocating NOT having Bud available. Just pointing out there's more money to be made and more people to be made happy, with a little more thought to the beer list.)

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Not sure many people care about the beer list when they hit a burger place - not sure the burger joint, rays or other burger joints have any better offerings. Not to mention 90% of the population are fine with the beers on their list. You have to accommodate the masses.

As I recall, the last time I ate at Ray's, Too I had a Bell's Oberon which was mighty tasty with my buffalo burger.

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As I recall, the last time I ate at Ray's, Too I had a Bell's Oberon which was mighty tasty with my buffalo burger.

Not the "burger joint" version, but I've had some nice regional brews with my Hell Burger at Ray's the Classics bar - Flying Dog Old Scratch and Heavy Seas Loose Cannon come to mind. Reminds me that I need to get back there.

Back to Bobby's, if I'm in the neighborhood and can get a burger + bottle of 60 minute for less than $11, I'd be pretty pleased with that.

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We actually ate there Monday night. Staff was upbeat and friendly, in your face but not annoyingly so. I sat at a counter while waiting for Mr. S to join me after work, and was approached and spoke with many workers. Note: BF was in the house.

Burgers were quite good-juicy and done perfectly med rare as requested. I tried the Philly which was quite tasty, but covered up any flavor of meat. The peppers were flavorful and hot. I'm glad I tried the Philly but I don't think I'd order it again due to the fact that it does cover up the burger too much.

Good: juicy and cooked as ordered

Jury is still out-did not detect a grill flavor, and the meat in my burger did not have a lot of flavor. Will wait until I can try a plain one again to compare.

Fries-we opted for the regular, vs. the sweet, as we were told those are the only ones prepared "fresh" in the restaurant. Cut, prepared and fried there. They had a nice potato flavor, with skins on, but were a bit flabby.

Yes I will go back as the prices are good, but won't wait in a long line to do so. I'm eager to try the grilled chicken breast and the turkey burger. Next up I think will be the chicken breast -Napa Valley style. (Fresh Goat Cheese/Watercress/Meyer Lemon Honey Mustard.)

No liquor license as of yet, so no beer, wine or spiked milkshakes. :mellow: (really tempted to try the Vanilla Caramel Bourbon milkshake!)

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Jury is still out-did not detect a grill flavor, and the meat in my burger did not have a lot of flavor.

I'm fairly certain they use a griddle at BBP, not a grill. If you didn't taste some kind of crust though, that's not a particularly good sign.

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Went for lunch today, the first time that I have been there. When we walked in at 11:45, there were maybe five or six people in line in front of us, after we ordered, the line was out the door. Good timing on our part.

Service was very friendly, especially for an order-at-the-counter restaurant. I liked the interior, good vibe without being too loud.

My burger was cooked to a perfect medium rare and was well seasoned. The bun was good and held up to the burger. By the way, this is how I like my burger, I like it clean, not sloppy. I know some people hate burgers unless they have grease dripping down their arms, but this burger was both juicy and clean, I liked that.

The fries, sweet potato fries and onion rings were simply OK. Not one of these was crunchy enough or, for that matter, very flavorful. The onion rings cost $3.00, I believe, for four onion rings, that is kind of a rip-off (although they were large onion ring).

The black and white shake was awesome. I don't drink milkshakes often, but this one was pretty perfect. I am regretting it now, I am still full even though we finished lunch three hours ago.

I liked the fact that they put different sauces on the table, but most of them were misses other than the chipotle ketchup.

Overall, I like this place. I think that they provide a good burger and great shakes for a reasonable price in a fun setting with good service. If they get their side dishes right, I would be make it a point to go there more often.

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I regrettably have eaten at the CP location. At the time I did not comment, I think I wanted to forget it ever happened. I ordered a turkey caesar burger, which was a special. It was horrible. The caesar dressing just tasted like pureed anchovies, the burger was chewy and dry. I tried to scrape off the sauce but couldn't really get it off. A friend I hadn't seen in a long time picked the restaurant so I didn't want to return it and make a scene. Maybe the other burgers were fine. My friends seemed to enjoy their beef burgers, but I won't be hurrying back.

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Has anyone eaten at the CP location?

Yes.

Don't.

(OK, because just saying that seems a bit unfair - the burgers have generally been fairly bland and lacking in flavor, and I've had a textural issue more than once. Had a less-than-fresh feel to it. The sides are fine, but largely overpriced for the portions. There are certainly worse bangs for your buck in the burger world, but I really wouldn't go out of my way)

Edited by fuzzy510
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I've gone three times to the new location in Montgomery Mall and I've really liked if not loved each experience.  "Medium Rare" has been interpreted by the kitchen very differently each time, but nothing grossly out of range and last night's was beautifully red from the bottom of the crust to center.  And it was juicy. The kitchen showed restraint on the salt and the burger still had a lot of flavor. Crusty, dark fries are just what I like so they're a draw, too.  For me the perfect meal is the kid's meal at $6.50 for a thick but not too big burger, just enough fries, and drink. Screw the sign that asks me to limit it to 12 and under!  It's really a great deal that let's you calorically splurge without your gut immediately splurging over your belt.

The nearby Five Guys is no longer an option for me and if Bobby's keeps this up BGR will be off my radar.

Pax,
Brian

P.S. A nice service note:  My 2 year old needed to go to the bathroom for a second time during dinner last night so me, my 4 your son, and my daughter barrelled into the bathroom again.  When I came back I found all our coats and stuffed animals (yes, the kids one again...) in our seats but the 1/6 of our food we hadn't finished yet was gone.  Our server thought we came back to get our forgotten things but I said we had just gone to the bathroom.  She said, "Let me get a manager right away."  He came over, apologized, asked if we wanted new food tonight or something for next time.  The kids said "next time," so he brought over a $20 gift card.  It was disproportionately generous for a small mistake. I never even had a chance to say, "Don't worry about it."  The oversized gesture was appreciated though and I hope the good experiences continue.

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We all have biases right? And, maybe if we're honest about them and still open to having our minds changed,it's okay?

In full disclosure, I have a definite bias against mega-celebrity chefs who publish mire than a few books per year while operating a dozen or more restaurants in at least a few cities. It's not personal and, of course, you have to admire their ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit. Rather, my problem is I usually just assume their places aren't worth going to unless someone convinces me otherwise.

Which brings me to the vividly colored and futuristically designed Bobby's Burger Palace.

I had read a lot about the places including when the one in DC opened 3.5 years ago. But, never had any interest in going.

Today, I had no choice. At a meeting nearby and, starving, the group decided on BPP.

There were some signs a chef is behind the place aside from the name and glass display case with his books. Cooking to temperature and a few mildly novel sauces on each table like "chipotle ketchup" and the mysterious "burger sauce" ("it's like A1, we were told).

The colors were all great. Bright green lettuce. Fire-engine red tomatoes. And, a perfect medium pink on the cheddar burger I ordered. Further, the bun had a ton of sesame seeds so, if you really like those,you're in business here.

Sadly, flavorless. My burger had decent heft, a good thing given it was $11, but the flavor was all onion and ketchup since those things were lightly applied.

This didn't help change my mind about over-extended mega-celebrity chefs. Boo.

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