Food Faceoff: Burgers
In the first installment of our new column — where we put a classic and new iconic dish head-to-head — we sought to test Village Whiskey’s burger against Rouge’s standard-setter.
The Rouge Burger — a 12-ounce behemoth made from a secret mix that includes 15% fat — is served on a brioche bun from Wild Flower Bakery, with Gruyere and caramelized onions.
The new-to-the-scene and already much lauded Village Whiskey Burger — an 8-ounce patty made from sustainable (grass-fed and grain-finished) meat from Maine, has a housemade bun and Thousand Island dressing, tomato, and lettuce.
To taste the burgers (ordered medium-rare) side by side and determine if the VW burger is worth all the hype.
Tim Haas (left): eater extraordinaire and phillymag.com online editor.
Joy Manning (center): cookbook author, blogger, and food critic for Philadelphia magazine.
Jess Ward (right): food blogger and founder of Burger Club Philly.
Ashley Primis (behind the camera): food editor for Philadelphia.
THE ROUGE BURGER
Jess: The patty could use a little salt and a more substantial bun. Did not get much flavor from the cheese or onion. Nice char. Found the proportions off — too much patty, not enough toppings. Rating: 3 out of 5
Joy: Juicy and beefy, but under-seasoned. Wish the onions and Gruyere had more flavor. Overall, a good beef flavor and generous size. Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Tim: A little too raw in the middle to be medium-rare. Underseasoned. The char was good, with a light crunch. The brioche roll was a bit sweet, but flavorful with a nice flakiness to the crust. The onions went beyond caramelized—no body to them at all. Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Ashley: Super juicy and so loosely packed, almost has a fluffy quality; wish the cheese and onion played a more prominent role. Unevenly cooked. Rating: 3.5 out of 5
VILLAGE WHISKEY BURGER
Jess: Cooked perfectly, well seasoned, great beef flavor. The housemade bun is light and airy, yet substantial enough to handle the patty. Thousand Island dressing is creamy and peppery and complements the burger. Wonderfully proportioned. Rating: 5 out of 5
Joy: Amazing depth of flavor, well-seasoned, evenly seared and shaped and juicy. The bun is soft, tasty, and perfect. The dressing has a great freshness and flavor, and the tomato adds a nice temperature, contrast, and zing. Rating: 5 (or 6!) out of 5
Tim: The evenly formed patty made for a beautiful cooking job — good char (though slightly less crunch than Rouge) and perfectly pink interior. The seasoning was a delight — great salt balance with a slight pepperiness that brought fried sausage to mind. I found the piece of Bibb completely superfluous, but the fresh acid of the tomato slice added snap to the dressing. Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Ashley: Consistent in taste and cooking the whole way through. The Thousand Island dressing has a bite and meatiness that elevates the burger taste. Love the buttered and toasted inside of the bun — adds a nice crunch. Well-sized. Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Let’s here what you think — did we nail it or fail it?