A Burger's Last Will is Read at Eulogy

Burger Breakdown

Eulogy - Map It!
$8.99
Pick a cheese and a topping. Bacon, ham and Gruyère cheese will cost you extra though.
Supposedly they are frites but they seemed like regular fries when we ate them. No complaints though. They were thick and salty.
6.5/10

Eulogy is an old favorite, and not just because I'm morbid. It's hard to go wrong visiting a pub with good food and a beer list that overwhelms even the most savvy beer drinker. The Belgian-style tavern shares a good deal in common with other Belgian establishments such as Monk's. Where Eulogy* differs is that I like to visit it because the former acts as a sort of beacon for the wanksters who inhabit the Rittenhouse area.

The other big difference at Eulogy is that the fries won't make you have to change your shorts after you eat them. The fries are good, but while they're called frites, they share little in common with the thin crispy delights at Belgian Cafe or Monk's. I wouldn't go out of my way to eat the fries at Eulogy but that's beside the point because we went for something more substantial.

The interior and particularly the second floor is quiet and cozy. It's the sort of establishment that lends itself to drinking too much on a date and perhaps making out in the corner, or just imagining that you did because you really shouldn't drink so many bottles of Delirium Tremens... ever. (Kyle: I respectfully disagree.)

There are also clear-topped coffins for tables, complete with bizarrely decorated skeletons inhabiting them and grinning, skull style, up at you while you eat. Call me odd if you will, but I like the dark, heavy curtains and existential strife that washes over you as you sip beers and commune with the dead. I also like burgers and beer. In this respect Eulogy seems to have it all.

*This website hasn't been updated since the city-wide smoking ban went into effect. It would seem the menu hasn't changed since then either.

The Burger: The Beneluxx Napoleon Burger is 8 oz. of dead cow, some dead challah bread and a choice of cheese and a topping, likely also both dead. At about $9 it's a good deal considering we've recently spent twice that amount on less than half the amount of food. Bacon and ham both cost extra; I guess that's the price you pay for more dead things.

photo of the burger at Euology

Laurence: I hadn't been to Eulogy in several years on account of my last experience there in which I consumed too many bottles of Delirium Tremens. By now I think they've almost forgotten, or at least now I have enough facial hair that they won't recognize me. I'd always remembered the burger being a personal favorite but I was concerned at how it would stack up since I've gone pro in the years since my last visit. I'm happy to report, the burger seems to have improved if anything.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that it happened to be a late dinner that drew us to Eulogy this time, and we were both somewhat ravenous. The food was not quick to arrive and we plowed through our first round of beers with relative abandon while waiting. But I would say it was worth it. Little stimulates an already appreciable hunger more than beer. So it was that when the burgers arrived, fat bacon topped and wafting an aroma of savory seared meat into the room, we had to use all powers of restraint to ensure a few photos were snapped off before we descended onto our prey like hungry vultures. It's a fitting image in a place like Eulogy which is simultaneously morbid and cerebral.

The meat made a strong showing in this meal. The patty was large and glistening with the delights that I know are liable to leave me in the coffin table on which I was eating. There's some interesting flavors at work. A combination of spices that I concluded was heavy on Worcestershire sauce. A side-note on this fact is that Worcestershire sauce is also known as the awesome sauce and more burgers joints should consider flavoring their patties with it.

The other notable component of this burger that Kyle goes on to describe below, was the bun. It really was a fantastic piece of bread. It was soft and fluffy with an amazing exterior, a dark rick brown with a range of flavors and a distinct sweetness. It melded well with the burger overall and didn't create a distraction by making everything too dry.

My choices of toppings were caramelized onions, leeks and bacon, because I apparently don't want anyone starting a conversation with me for at least a week. That's a great deal of sharp flavor to pack onto a burger, but I am pleased to report that the burger held it's own against this melee.

The bacon, again, while nothing overly remarkable, was delicious and thick. The lettuce was bright and green, and the overall flavors blended to a strong chord. This was a damn good burger. But crazy at it sounds, it doesn't stand out that much from all the other damn good burgers in the city. This bring me to a point that's been haunting me for a few weeks now. Philly seems to have really upped the bar as far as the quality of ingredients and food preparation at the majority of it's restaurants. It may also be that we've been choosing better places to grab our meals and specifically places that are known for having a decent burger, but it's really getting ridiculous that we're struggling to mark anything lower than a 6. Now surely there are the exceptions but overall the quality we've been encountering is consistently high. I don't really know who to blame for this increase in quality and thus decrease in my ability to hate things. There are a number of culprits out there. Regardless it seems burgers have been taking off in Philadelphia and the existing ones are stepping up their game to keep up. I think to some extent this must be true at Eulogy.

The aforementioned ravenous hunger really made it hard for this burger to last long. We made quick work of it, myself grunting all the while how amazing it was. In retrospect it still was a great burger and while I rank it high on the list, it's a few big steps shy of the top but well worth your time and effort. Rating 7/10.

photo of the burger at Eulogy

Kyle: I'm prejudiced against Eulogy. It's a half-assed Monk's Cafe, and being on the wrong side of Market Street in Old City means it's essentially South Jersey. They've tried to differentiate themselves from the plethora of other Belgian dining options in the city, but when “differentiate” means watering down your impressive beer list with Milweisoors and showing ESPN 24/7, your differentiation is the equivalent of listening to ICP in high school. Takeaway point: being different is always bad.

photo of the decor at EulogyNow, I should like Eulogy. They have Belgian beer! There are skeletons everywhere! It's name is evocative of death! But I don't. When compared to the most similar restaurants, Monk's and Belgian Cafe, Eulogy's prices are a little higher, their décor a little forced, and their food a little worse. Nowhere is this more evident than in their burger. Everything about the Beneluxx Napoleon Burger shows a little more substance with a little less substance. (As Baudrillard taught us, all metaphysical properties are best discussed in italics.)

Loading my sandwich up with caramelized onions, bacon and gouda, I expected a smokebomb of flavor to go off in my mouth not unlike what you'd expect in a movie like Problem Child, which absolutely no one has seen except me. (John Ritter is so emotive.) Much to my surprise, the toppings added very little flavor to the meal. The bacon was thick and pink but only lightly cured, while the unmelted gouda was smoky but in no way blended with the rest of the toppings. The onions were entirely forgettable, so much so that this is actually the last sentence I'm writing for the  article because I forgot to mention them.

What struck me instead was the challah, thick and sweet, and with a texture and taste extremely similar to cornbread. Whether it actually had cornmeal or was sweetened with honey, it was a surprising and pleasant change from the challah rolls we've seen at approximately 400% of the restaurants we've visited. In a similar fashion, the meat at Eulogy has a distinctly sweet bite. Although overcooked and dry, my burger had a sugarly flavor that went well with the bun. I identified it as molassas, whereas Laurence thought it was Worchester. Either way, the seasoning on the meat was a standout in the meal. Beyond that, the burger was dry and coarse, and I found myself sucking back glass after glass of the only reason to live entirely too quickly to counteract the desert in my mouth. As a result, most of my tasting notes look like a Pollack, only less drunk and not convincingly played by Ed Harris.

Of particular note at Eulogy are their fries, or “frites” if you want to be different (or “frietjes” if you want to be an asshole). Twice fried, they taste slightly of a sweet glaze that is almost entirely in my imagination. Very thick and very clearly made in-house, they are crunchy and salty and very near the opposite of what you'd get at Monk's. Similarly, their house sauce is a sweet garlic and dill concoction that stands opposite the spermatoza of God you'd find at Monk's Cafe. It's a thinner and less potent a dip, but delicious, and I've found myself craving it since our visit.

Nothing about Eulogy is actually bad, aside from the clientele and location and the fact that it stole everything from other places. The burger is decent and I'd eat it again, the beer list is among the best in the city, and I absolutely recommend their fritetjezesstes. I don't have much of a conclusion to wrap it all up, since I don't have anything smarmy to say and no real justification for scoring the burger as low as I am. The real conclusion here is that I'm just an asshole. Rating: 6/10.

Verdict: 

Eulogy is worth your time even if you don't like burgers because it is full of beer. But in all honesty if you don't like burgers we should be reading your eulogy because you're already dead.

6.5
Your rating: None Average: 9 (2 votes)