Bobby's Burger Palace

/ Monday, April 6, 2009

Prepare to be crunchified! No laughing. Crunch-ification is serious terminology at Bobby Flay's latest venture Bobby's Burger Palace. His trio of gourmet greasy spoons, one of which happens to be right at the Smithhaven Mall, offer a menu of honest eats that are chockfull of Flay's flare and flavor. Throw aside your polished perception of Mesa Grill or Bar Americain and embrace squirt bottles of burger sauce, thick shakes and mountains of chips right on your sandwich. It's crunch-a-licious!

If you're a Food Network addict like I am, take advantage of having a celebrity chef's grub so conveniently located and totally in your price range. Think of it as a private viewing of "Boy Meets Griddle" at Long Island's Bobby's Burger branch! The instant you come through the front doors, it's apparent Flay has set up a unique dining experience that points to his love of great grillin' and zesty style. Although you wont find Bobby back in the kitchen any longer, the place is abuzz with his energy (not to mention his recipes!)

After reading a few reviews of Bobby's Burger Palace I was determined to give it a whirl myself. Not many writers were showing Bobby love! In fact some online know-it-alls were completely perturbed by the set up of the restaurant, claiming it was too low-class or "food court" like for the grill masters of prime time TV. Well step aside burger snoots because I find Bobby's Burger Palace to be a breath of fresh air. The system of purchasing-receiving-and-enjoying your burger goes like this:

1. Look at the life-size menu posted on the wall when you first walk in (David & Carrie are doing a beautiful job modeling this step in the image above.)
2. Place your order at the front desk & receive your table card with a number corresponding to your order.
3. Find any open seat or table in the dining area and stake your claim!
4. When your order's up, the waiter will come find you.
5. As usual, eat & enjoy!

This system of order and serving is as streamlined as the decor of the dining area. There was no waiting on line, no one telling you where to sit and our food arrived in less than 10 minutes. The curvy counter space is reminiscent of its counterparts in classic American diners, but totally in keeping with Flay's modern aesthetic. The bright green paint and golden furniture creates a warm dining space that's accented with stainless steel. Large paintings of avocados, bacon and corn line the walls. Sitting in the midst of what I believe is breakthrough in new fast-food dining, I was shocked to think that some people could label this as place sub-par. Go eat at a Ruby Tuesday and then try to tell me that Bobby Flay doesn't have something special going on.

Enough about the decor, what really matters are the burgers and that's one thing Flay has down to a science. Each burger can be made-to-order with either angus beef, ground turkey or chicken breast. Sorry veggies, but they have salad & grille cheese for you! Back to the burgers. Most of the burgers on the menu of inspired by the local flavors of different regions around the USA like the Dallas Burger, LA Burger, Miami Burger, etc. Take a peek at Flay's menu for the full effect.

Each table setting is garnished with a basket of Bobby's signature sauces to dress your burgers, fries or anything else you might want to season. David was doing straight sauce sampling on his paper napkin. Out of all of the sauces the "Burger Sauce" was by far my favorite. It tasted like a combination of BBQ sauce, worcestershire sauce, mustard and maybe molasses. The chipotle ketchup was a little too overpowering for my liking, same with the jalapeno ketchup. We were too busy enjoying our burgers "as is" to get overly caught up in the condiments. Speaking of burgers, we sampled 3 different regions along with a basket of sweet potato fries, a coconut milkshake and a coffee milkshake with whipped cream.

Nappa Burger: Chosen by C.Goldberg is an angus burger spread with fresh goat cheese, watercress and a meyer lemon honey mustard that will rock your world. Meyer lemons are usually known for their unusual sweetness, contrary to the sourness of a normal lemon, however the sweetness was subtle when blended with the mustard and creamy chevre. The goat cheese cut through the denseness of the party giving each bite a fantastic texture. I loved how the savory patty and sharp goat cheese flavor seemed to linger in your mouth from bite to bite. Take a swig of an icy shake and you're all set.

LA Burger: chosen by D.Fell is an angus burger garnished with avocado relish (like a fancy guac), cheddar cheese, watercress and tomato. The veggies gave the burger a fresh taste to pair with the rich patty. Think of this as a cali-latin inspired burger with a fresh twist. David crunchified his burger as well, getting a big pile of chips right under the bun.

Dallas Burger: chosen by E.Phraner is an angus burger with a spice crust slathered in homemade coleslaw, monterey jack cheese, BBQ sauce and pickles. I asked for mine crunchified. The chips soaked in the BBQ sauce. Mmm, mmm. I loved the fact that the patty itself has a spice crust. The meat had so much more flavor than your typical burger. You bit right through the crust for an mellow taste of smoke, spicy and juiciness. Now that's what I call a burger!

For $7.50 a pop, I'd say Bobby's burgers are far more than a rockin' deal. Need a place to take your date? Hello! Bobby's Burger Palace. The food is amazing and all you'll have to do is watch one episode of Throw Down and bam! instant conversation starter, "blah blah blah I love Bobby Flay so I wanted to take you here, isn't it awesome? Do you think he can throw down himself for his own burgers? Blah blah blah."

I wish I knew what the sweet potato fries were coated in. They were crispy on the outside but had a soft interior, like a stick of mashed sweet potatoes. So yummy. These suckers dipped in the Burger Sauce...D.F.T

Bobby's Burger Palace is a find. It's tasty, stylish and a blast to pass a meal in. For great food at an amazing price, you can't afford to not try this place. Hopefully you'll love it as much as we did.

A big thanks to the manager Phil who was patient enough to answer all of my silly question about ice cream brands, training and cliental. You guys rock! Enjoy...

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