after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Village Whiskey: Best Fries in the City?

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g says:  After months of trying to find a time when there was not a 2 hour wait at Jose Garces’ latest venture, we finally made our way there for lunch today– we were at the bar, but we still made it! At last, we would be able to taste for ourselves the storied burgers and duck fat fries, and even try a little whiskey.

We were surprised by how narrow the place is; I guess it seemed larger from the outside in warmer months when they have outdoor seating to accommodate the throngs of folks wanting to check out how the newest Iron Chef makes a burger. But no matter, we were in and not moving until our mission was accomplished.

To drink, we shared  a classic old fashioned, which was refreshing and had a nice balance of bitter/sweet. For our lunch, we split the following: deviled eggs, Village Burger with cheddar and caramelized onions, and short rib and cheddar fries.

Our deviled eggs were decent — unlike any that I have experienced before, as they seemed to include chopped pickles in the filling. I did feel that the batch served to us were oversalted, so not the best I have eaten. But, I am a bit of a deviled egg snob, so I wouldn’t discourage anyone from trying them out for his or herself at some point.

The Village Burger is aptly named, as this thing could have fed an entire village. The couple seated to my left actually exclaimed when they received theirs, “This is the biggest burger I’ve ever seen!” Luckily, we saw a few come out of the kitchen before ordering so we knew that splitting one between us would be just right for us. Our medium burger was cooked nicely, and definitely made it into my top 5 list of best burgers ever. I know that t is still talking about that Supper burger from a few months ago, but I feel that is an unfair comparison, as that was a brisket burger, and the Village Burger was made of a ground beef more familiar to my classic burger taste.

The short rib and cheddar fries were delicious! See further comments by t below.

The verdict — I would absolutely come back, especially with friends who have not been before (and I will have to make up for the fact that we went without my mom. Sorry, Mom — I promise to make it up to you). Every once in a while I have a classic burger craving, which I believe VW could handily satisfy on any day. However, I think that I would more frequently come in just for the short rib fries, some dessert (the three on their menu sounded incredible, though we were both far too full to try) and a drink. It made for an amazing Saturday afternoon, and I was really pleased with our lunch as a whole.

t says:  2/2010, Saturday Lunch, Party of 2 [at the extension of the bar, facing a wall].  Yes, it was time to experience what the infamous food critic Craig Laban (of the Philadelphia Inquirer) claims is the best burger in Philadelphia.  Now, g and I are not huge burger eaters, so we don’t [yet] have a huge repertoire with which to compare/contrast the food at Village Whiskey – but we have had one remarkable burger (and deviled eggs and fries) at Supper on South Street.  Given my competitive nature (thanks, mom), it should not surprise you that I [not so] secretly modeled our selections to mirror what Supper had offered.

While I completely agree with g’s description of the burger and eggs, in the end, someone has to be the bad cop; I’m the bad cop.  My conclusion: VW’s burger just can’t compete with the sheer flavor and texture of Supper’s burger (VW’s was a little “crumbly”).  Personally, I also preferred Supper’s outside-the-box deviled eggs (we STILL put Sriracha sauce in our deviled eggs) to VW’s take (I’m not a huge fan of dill/pickle).  Keep in mind that while I praise Supper here, our dinner there wasn’t flawless, either (you can see my critical analysis in the page “Oh the places we’ve gone”).

We also had VW’s short rib cheddar fries.  They were amazing (why didn’t -I- think of such a dish – I love short rib!).  I feel that they were the saving grace of the meal (not that the rest of the meal was bad – it was quite good – it just didn’t blow me away).  The short rib and cheddar fries were served to our [tiny] counter next in a hot Staub cast iron platter.  It looked amazing: big, beautiful chunks of tender short rib among well-cheesed (i.e. not just on top), golden fries.  The meat was tasty, and the cheese wasn’t overwhelming.  The contrasting textures between the cheese, short rib, and potato was fantastic – this was no puddle of mush.  I don’t think I’ve seen fries prepared with short rib before, and the result was the most delicious homage to potato that I have ever encountered.  That said, an order of these fries is substantial enough to stand alone – this ain’t no side dish.

Finally, I do want to mention that after eating 3 deviled egg halves, 1 burger, and 1 dish of fries (and that old-fashioned), g and I were stuffed from 2pm all the way until 9:30pm.  I was uncomfortably stuffed for at least 3 hours, and by our 9:30 reservation at Sampan (see our review for details of that meal), I still wasn’t starving.  So my advice is don’t be fooled by this gourmet “burger joint” – it’s easy to get full.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

14 February 2010 at 9:26pm

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