Triumph: The Insult Comic Burger
Triumph Brewing Company exudes urban cool in an artsy-industrial atmosphere. Welded steel gremlins hang out over the bar, where the beer is A1. It's a fun spot in old city and, unlike many of the establishments there, actually large enough that you won't feel claustrophobic while you eat and drink.
Getting the scoop on the Triumph Bacon Double Cheeseburger has turned us into investigative journalists. We'd heard that Triumph was releasing a specialty (and especially extravagant) burger to honor the centuries old tradition of celebrating burger month. Don't let anyone tell you burger month is a new idea. It is written into the declaration of burger dependence. However, Triumph has not been very good about publicizing the event or telling anyone when said burger could actually be consumed. So we began to ask some hard questions. What we found was shocking... the triumph burger is available now. It's not printed on the menu so you have to ask for it specially but it's there and we have cardiac plaque to prove it.
What is so lavish about Triumph's burger month offering? Try this: take two beef patties patties; put some duck fat-fried pork belly in the middle; put gruyere, truffle oil, onion confit (again, saturated in duck fat) and a fried egg on top; and stick it all on an eggy Le Bus brioche bun, and what do you get? I don't actually know, we're still waiting on the coroner's report.
Laurence: This burger is not for amateurs. It takes an experienced hand to consume this monstrosity without it degrading into a sloppy mess. Be warned: if you're not ready to get your hands dirty, you probably shouldn't order it. This burger is about excess.
The first thing you notice is the egg, bright yellow and ready to burst yolky goodness over the rest of the meal, which it does as soon as you add the brioche bun. Personally though, I have a thing against slimy eggs, so I was less than thrilled about the level to which the egg was cooked (not quite enough for my taste). The flavors of the pork and the duck fat mix well. The onions are wonderful. The least flavorful aspect of the meal was the beef. That's not a huge strike against it. It is grass-fed beef (at least that's what they say) which often means the flavor is prone to vary. Further, since there are two patties they are somewhat thin to ensure you can actually finish your meal. Thin patties lend themselves to overcooking. But as you eat it, the cheese, onion, and egg blend into a concoction that saturates every bite with flavor. It's a good burger with technical imperfections. I enjoyed eating it but my stomach certainly paid the price later that night, and I can't say I'm in a hurry to get it again. Rating 6/10.
Kyle: The problem with most hamburgers is they don't have enough cholesterol. And I don't mean that good cholesterol; I'm talking about the bad, "You've got 16 minutes left to live" cholesterol. Fortunately, Triumph Brewing Company is on the job.
On paper, this burger is top notch. But because I'm beginning this paragraph with the phrase "on paper," you can be sure there's a twist. The Triumph Bacon Double Cheeseburger is an exercise in the whole being less than the sum of its parts. You get two beef patties, but each is fairly thin, which rarely works out. As previously mentioned, temperature is entirely irrelevant when dealing with patties this size; your options are "well done" and "shut up," and my medium request was brown to the bone. Beyond that, the beef was dry and unseasoned, although this did emphasize the pork belly nestled in between. A bit tougher than average, but very flavorful, with just a slight hint of duck. The onion confit, as well, was excellent, with a very soft and buttery texture, and a much more pronounced duck savoriness. The brioche bun (which is next to challah French toast on the "most overdone cuisine in Philly" list) was sweet and fluffy, if a bit dry, and the steak fries, of which I received five, were thick and meaty with a pleasantly starchy taste. Beyond that, there isn't much to report. The egg was runny and unexceptional, and if there really was gruyere and truffle oil on the sandwich I couldn't taste it.
In all, the burger was a bust; the various components, even if they were good, didn't come together as a cohesive experience, and with every bite I had the distinct sensation that there was something missing* from the meal. A friend dining with us ordered the regular Triumph Burger, and seeing the juicy pink center of his hamburger made me regret the dribbling mess on my plate. Not a bad sandwich, but you've had all these ingredients before, and they were better then. Rating: 5/10.
*That would be "flavor."
Got good insurance and want to take a few weeks off while you recover from a double bypass? Go to town. Otherwise go for the beer, not for the burger.