Sketch: The Most Use You'll Get Out of Your Fine Arts Degree

Burger Breakdown

Sketch - Map It!
$8.50
If you've ever had it on a burger, the have it here.
$2.00 to order french fries, $3.00 to cause the Irish Potato Famine. Which is totally worth it.
8.0/10

One of my biggest complaints about our work here at Burgerdelphia is that we haven't made enough fun of hipsters. People (probably dirty hipsters) have complained that I can't even explain what a hipster is, but this misses the point. Hipsterity, like quality, cannot be defined: you just know it when you see it. Which makes perfect sense, since hipsters are usually identified as having no good qualities. And stupid hair. With that in mind, we decided to delve into their labyrinthine central hive known as Fishtown and check out Sketch.

The first thing you notice when you enter Sketch is that they have no beer. The second thing you'll notice is that they have no whiskey. You can't even get Iced up in here. If you somehow don't walk out immediately, and there would be no shame if you did, you might find a drawing of an adult beverage. You may also find a drawing of a burger, or of a rainbow, or of what I think was broccoli smoking a joint. Each table has a pile of crayons and a stack of construction paper, replicating the diet you had when you were five. Sketch is adorned wall-to-wall with drawings from customers, and if your scrawl is good enough it may find a home somewhere in the restaurant. It's a fun touch, but you know what's more fun? Alcohol. Seriously, no booze = 50 DKP minus.

Sketch exterior.The Burger: Seven default burger options appear on the menu, there are multiple burger specials daily, and they have a ton of additional topping options: this place takes burgers seriously. Laurence got the American Kobe Burger with more toppings than he knew what to do with, and I got the Truffle Butter Burger which comes with onions and truffle butter, and spent an extra buck for cheddar.

Truffle burger at Sketch

Kyle: I was not looking forward to coming to Sketch. I don't particularly like Fishtown, I certainly don't like the hipsters that inhabit the area like stray cats, and I refuse to acknowledge the existence of restaurants that don't serve beer. The only thing I was looking forward to was writing a condescending review describing the burger as being too thin, lacking in substance, hiding its bland core under trendy accouterments, and only living in Fishtown because mom and dad swore they wouldn't buy it a house if it got that dual journalism/philosophy degree but it's going to show them by starting its own silk-screening Libertarian political website and clothing line because mom and dad just don't get it. Basically, I was excited to hate the burger.

Leave it to hipsters to take the fun out of everything I want to do.

The burger portions here are gargantuan. You get an 8 oz. patty of sirloin beef (or other appropriate burger base) piled with ample toppings on a fluffy grilled roll. The bun tasted buttery to me, but that may be because my burger was slathered in a thick coat of truffle butter with a distinct, but more subdued than average, truffle bite. The more subtle flavor here is a positive, as it enhances the rest of the ingredients without overpowering them. My beef came out cooked perfectly, very hot yet still very pink, and was certainly of excellent quality. I thought it could use more seasoning, as it didn't seem likeSketch drawing 1 much had been done to the blend, although that's possibly a deliberate choice since so much emphasis is placed on the plethora of topping options. The caramelized onions and cheddar blended perfectly with the truffle butter, with the only downside being that melted cheddar, soft onions, juicy beef and dripping butter combine to form some kind of monstrous lubricant that you can never wash off your hands. Don't think about what it's doing to your colon.

The fries here deserve an article unto themselves. Although you're paying extra, $2.00 for a small serving and $3.00 for the big guy, these "Hand Cut Belgian Style Fries" are absolutely worth it. As previously established, "Belgian" is a code word for "awesome," which these thick, salty fries surely are. As a bonus, they're served with a dip of unidentifiable but equally awesome origin. Guesses ranged from horseradish to garlic to wasabi to lime, with the only consensus being that everyone loved it.

Sketch is an awesome idea for a restaurant with awesome food. The focus on burgers is basically a love song to me, and I plan on going back to try each of their hamburger options. The only thing marring our dining experience was, after reclining back in post-mastication bliss, a gaggle of college students with teenage mustaches and all wearing the same totally authentic vintage concert tee from Urban Outfitters rolled in and squawked about Lady Gaga. And I didn't have any beer bottles to break over their heads. Double negative. Rating: 8/10.

Kobe burger at Sketch.

Laurence: One of the worst aspects about our quest is the string of disappointments. There are nights when the only thing keeping me standing is the drive to eat a burger. On those night, the utter despair I feel when I get a bad burger is enough to make a walk through Camden (AKA suicide) seem appealing.

But then there are the wonderful surprises. The burger that seduces you when you least expect it. Such was my experience at Sketch. It's hard to get excited about a burger joint on the edge of Fishtown, and I wasn't, until we sat down. Sketch is like those specialty candy shops in New York that charge $70 for a single bar of chocolate, that is to say it's a specialty burger shop and not to say that it is pretentious and overpriced. The atmosphere is about as relaxed as it comes in a place with multicolored walls and crayons on every table so that you too can draw burger art. It's just a fun place to be. But don't be fooled. The atmosphere may be casual but the burgers are serious.

Sketch drawing 2It was apparent we were dealing with a pro shop when we saw the menu. Kobe beef, truffle butter, avocado, egg... you name it, Sketch has a burger for it. And the staff knows burgers. It's easy to be overwhelmed by the menu at Sketch, so I simply asked for the craziest, tastiest burger my waitress could think of. The answer: Kobe beef, bacon, chipotle sauce, avocado and pepper jack cheese. She rattled that off without a moment of hesitation and when it arrived I ate it without a moment of hesitation.

With the massive potential of Kobe beef (even though it was American Kobe) I was worried that the flavor of the meat might be lost. It was not. The meat was nearly perfectly cooked, rich and coarsely ground. The flavors of the the pepper jack and chipotle melded into a mildly spicy richness that was countered by the perfect golden roll which was slightly sweet. The avocado added a fresh, clean taste and also heightened that savory sensation you only get when you eat more fat and protein than humans were meant to consume, ever.

Fries at Sketch.And for the second week in a row we were dealing with fries that are so good they defy logic and the brain's ability to stop eating. They're thick cut Belgian-style fries, salted and spiced so well you can't help but imagine what magic took place to make a raw potato into this slice of wonder. Alchemy aside, a large order is a full pound of fries, which frankly I dare anyone to eat with a burger the size of this. I recommended to Kyle, “Perhaps a small order would have been appropriate.”

To which he responded, “Perhaps shut up.”

I spent a good part of the night wondering how they could improve the burger and the only thing I can think of is slightly better lettuce. But in all honesty when it comes to a meal like this, lettuce is more of a joke than a topping. Rating 8/10.

Verdict: 

There are a lot of reasons why you might go to Fishtown: you lost a bet, you got lost while trying to find NoLibs, you've accepted the meaninglessness of existence and wish to end it all. Sketch is the first good reason to go.

8.0
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