Friday, March 02, 2012

French Fry Diary 345: Bobby's Burger Palace

Bobby Flay knows French fries, other people's French fries. His own, not so much. Remember those great fries from Balthazar that he talked about on "Best Thing I Ever Ate: Totally Fried"? Well, apparently he knows where to go for good fries, but not how to make them himself.

Bobby's Burger Palace opened up at the classy new Cherry Hill Mall a few months back. It is settled in between Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52, so it's dead center in the valet parking zone. In other words, if you're going to BBP, be prepared for a serious walk cuz you can't park anywhere near it.

This was a night out for The Bride and me, and we invited my buddy Ray to come along. Ray had been to the BBP in Eatontown before and was not impressed. In the words of my friend Ray, "It's not a burger worth waiting in line a half hour for." Well see. He also said the place looked like a 1970s Burger King threw up, and I gotta say, he's absolutely right.

So, stand in line, big menu on the wall, order, sit and wait some more. We sat at the counter, not much choice there. Notably Bobby's Burger Palace has Fresca. They get extra points from The Bride for that. But they also get minus points for the anti-bigger people seating. No chairs in the place are movable, in other words, no chair can be pulled out. I think for a place that sells fast food, gourmet or otherwise, that's a serious faux pas. Condiments included yellow mustard, ketchup, chipotle, jalapeƱo, and the mysterious burger sauce. Oddly the shakes came first. Isn't that dessert? Weird. The food came quicker than I thought though, but not all at once.

I got just a plain burger as usual, but I got it 'crunchified,' in other words with potato chips on top. Now I applaud the attempt, but I've been putting potato chips on my burgers since I was a little kid. Just piling them on doesn't work. You have to lay them on, cover the whole burger, not just the middle. Also Bobby just uses regular sub-standard store brand potato chips. You need to use flavored chips like barbeque and a quality brand as well. The chips on the burgers done Bobby's way was not a treat and will not bring new folks into the chips-on-burger family. I dumped my chips off after a few bites.

The burger was very good though. Well, mine was at least. Ray had complaints. He got the Bobby Blue Burger, which purports to have blue cheese on it. One would expect, as Ray would, it to have crumbled bleu cheese on the burger, but not the case. It's a bleu cheese sauce, not quite the same thing.

The fries on the other hand, were not good. The Bride suspected they were the last of a batch, very hard and stuck together. They were pretty terrible actually, like at the end of the night at Five Guys. Way too crunchy, overdone, and just bits and pieces. Looking at the fries of others, this seems to be the standard. Now when I asked our waiter if this was the way the fries usually are, he told me yes. Still, the website showed quite tasty looking fries, that bore no resemblance whatsoever to anything I saw in the restaurant the night we went.

The special BBP fry sauce was just some type of salad dressing. Ray had the sweet potato fries and described them as bland. Not good for Bobby so far. We did like what we saw when an order of onion rings went by - gigantic. They looked awesome. Maybe next time, cuz I will be back for the burger, but definitely not the fries.

I remain puzzled. If Bobby Flay thinks the best most perfect fries in the world are from Baltthazar in New York City, why not produce something similar at his own restaurant? Those at Bobby's Burger Palace are not recommended.

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FistPortal said...

tacky and bloated review.

Glenn Walker said...

I call 'em like I see 'em.

I have yet to find someone impressed with the Cherry Hill location or the food. My experience was for the most part unpleasant.

Did you like it?

Either way, thanks for reading.