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Review: Smokin Betty’s

Article first published as Restaurant Review (Philadelphia): Smokin Betty’s on Blogcritics.

I took a trip to Philadelphia for a wedding and was extremely excited to stop by Smokin Betty’s for their famous Turduken Burger. I took the train into center city and walked the few blocks from the market to the restaurant. Upon my arrival I noticed how nice the interior of the restaurant looked. For a comfort food place it looked rustic but upscale. The wait staff was very polite though my waiter did take a while to come talk to me for the first time. I was also excited by the large craft beer selection and quickly ordered a nice Blonde Ale. A few minutes later I ordered my turduken burger with a side of sweet potato fries.

After about ten minutes my glorious burger arrived and I just took a few seconds to look at it lovingly. Maybe you should do the same:

Who needs a pickle, really?

After staring at the burger for a bit I cut it in half and dug right in. So for those who do not know, a turduken is a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken filled with stuffing, so a turduken burger has all the meats cooked together and the rest of Thanksgiving as toppings. I will say that I have not eaten many turkey burgers in my day, usually I am beef all the way, but I would imagine that this patty tasted very similar to a normal turkey burger. I would say that the difference would be a richer flavor because of the duck fat but if I hadn’t known I would have just thought it was a traditional turkey burger. Did this make a difference? Absolutely not! The burger patty was full of flavor and dripped juices right down my arm.

Now, as you can see by the picture there is much more to this burger than a patty. This burger was a Thanksgiving meal on a bun. A fluffy and flavorful bun, just like the rolls you normally get on the big day. Beneath the patty was a layer of stuffing and gravy topped with melted cheese. Generally I find stuffing pretty dry and boring but add gravy and cheese to it and you’ve got a party! Now I know a new stuffing recipe to try out. On top of the patty was a wonderful cranberry chutney. Adding the tang and sweetness to cut through all the rich flavorings of the dish. Truly a perfect addition to the burger and definitely not what you get from the can. Last but certainly not least, fried sweet potato chips, adding the final delicious crunch to the meal. Take a look at the burger from the inside, but first you might want to grab a bib to catch the drool.

AJ Bombers can take some advice about buns from this place

There is only one word to describe this burger…epic. I kept cutting it down to make it last longer because I didn’t want it to end. So many flavors dancing around on my palette and all in harmony. It really was Thanksgiving in each and every bite! The most prominent flavor was the cranberry chutney so if you don’t like cranberries you may not like this dish but then again you may love it. All in all a really well designed entree and one that I would go back to again and again over some of my favorite beef burgers.

You probably are thinking, what about the fries. Well no need to worry, they were also pretty great. I have never eaten thick cut sweet potato fries but I was not disappointed. These fries were crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside like potato wedges. Not too greasy but with just enough to add the needed flavor. A really great side dish to a Thanksgiving burger. I will say though that every time I get sweet potato fries I am hoping for a dipping sauce. A brown sugar and cinnamon aioli to be specific, but I never seem to get it. I just can’t get behind dipping them in ketchup.

Next time you are in Philly, check out Smokin Betty’s, get the Turduken burger, and plan to be full for a long time. Probably not the best idea right before a wedding but I toughed it out.

Overall Review: 8/10

Check out Smokin Betty’s here

Smokin' Betty's on Urbanspoon

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