Rouge Burger Review

Unreal Burger, in all it's glory

Unreal Burger, in all it’s glory

Let me start by saying I’ve never been to Rouge since I’ve lived in Philadelphia.  Not even for a drink. How is that possible? I’ve heard from many sources that the food at Rouge is excellent and that the burger is on the top of the Philly burger food chain.  I decided that the next phillyburgerquest, which happened to coincide with my birthday, would be the Rouge burger. Mrs.Burgerquest and I trekked there in the blistering cold on a Friday in early Feb.

Burger Breakdown Rouge

Rouge is a kinda small, darkly lit, beauty of a restaurant right on the hippest part of Rittenhouse square.  If I had to describe the food it would be “New American meets French bistro”.  Whatever.  Based on the burger list, the burger is listed on Uwishunu as:

Rouge: Overlooking Rittenhouse Square, Rouge is a longtime favorite for people-watching and burger-eating. Its zaftig challah roll-encased patty with caramelized onions and Gruyère is a mainstay of best-of-Philly lists and also has landed national praise.

I applaud you Rouge, for giving me EXACTLY what you advertised.

The meal began with a Mac 12 and a Muddle Blackberry martini.  You can guess who had which. We decided to go light on the teasers, but still managed to order a good amount of them.  We ordered a half-dozen of West Coast oysters (don’t remember what kind), a delicious scallop crudo and some really solid fish tacos.  All 3 were a great introduction to the meal and were very light.  Next came the burger.  WHICH WAS F*CKING AWESOME.  You know when you take the first bite of a burger and it instantly hits you that THIS is a damn good burger?  Well, that certainly happened when I took the first bite of the Rouge burger.

This burger was something special.  If I had to approximate, I’d put it in my top 5 (Ok, probably 6) burgers of all time.  Juicy, meaty, savory, sweet; every flavor accent was seeping throughout this burger.

Look at this beauty.

Look at this beauty.

Meat: This meat was ridiculously good.  Full of flavor, cooked to a perfect medium rare, excellent crust that sealed in the juices.  I had to think the Rouge kitchen collaborative was perfectly constructing the optimal beef patty.  Nope.  Turns out it was just ground sirloin.  Beautiful.  (Score: 9 out of 10)

Cooked to a perfect medium rare.

Cooked to a perfect medium rare.

Toppings: 2 toppings is perfect for a burger who’s standout is definitely the meat.  The caramelized onions were cooked to a sweet finish and were hidden neatly underneath the cheese.  I can’t say enough how much I enjoy when the cheese is cooked on top of the onions.  I don’t have that much experience with Gruyère cheese, so I couldn’t tell if in comparison to other Gruyères how it matched up.  Still, it was really tasty cheese. (Score: 8 out of 10)

Bun: The bun was really, really good.  Perfectly doughy on the outside, butter griddled on the inside.  As far as challah-based buns go, this was definitely in the top 1 or 2 buns I’ve had. (Score: 9 out of 10)

Presentation: The plate consisted of just the burger.  The Parmesan-truffle fries (definitely go for the upgrade and get these.  Game-changers) came on a separate contraption. The service was great.  The server offered suggestions based on our likes for both the ‘teasers and the drinks.  When I asked her about the meat, she took the time to find out the exact contents of the patty.  Way to go, Rouge servers. (Score: 8 out of 10)

Overall Thoughts:  This burger was awesome, in almost every way.  I honestly can’t think of any flaws or ways to improve upon the success that this burger has attained.  To Mr and Mrs Rouge: Sorry I’ve never been to your glorious restaurant.  I look forward to going back to Rouge and enjoying this burger many times over.  (Overall Score: 8.5 out of 10)

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