Let me start by saying I’m not that big a fan of Northern Liberties/Fishtown, whatever it’s called. 10 years ago when I interned at City Hall it was “the up and coming neighborhood . Now, it’s just dirty and full of vegans who grow their own vegan herbs in their 5×5 backyard. Frankford Hall is good for a day drink here and there, but otherwise, I try to stay out of there. But this burgerquest is about the burgers, so I go where the burgers are. Myself and two of my buddies went on a windy, cold Sunday early afternoon to try the Sketch Burger.
Sketch Burger is small joint right on the border of Nolibs and Fishtown. I had heard about it through the grapevine that they have no-nonsense, quick serve like burgers. First, I give them props for sustaining a business in the middle of nowhere on a street that looks like a war zone. I don’t care what the business stats say, Girard Ave is not eye candy. Second, I give them props for having a really, really good burger. It met pretty much all of my qualifications of a really good burger.
Fishtown’s art-themed Sketch has the burger bases covered with sirloin, Kobe, turkey and vegan options, plus the signature smashed onion beef burger. Inventive toppings like horseradish cheddar and salsa verde make it a burger-lover’s dream.
Since they offer many variations of a burger, the description on Uwishunu didn’t say which burger to get. I went with the Kobe beef, cheddar and bacon burger, cooked medium rare of course. Above I said it was “quick serve like” mainly due to the fact that it took under 10 minutes to get the burgers from order time and they were served in white paper baskets (see below):
On to the scoring:
Meat: Interestingly, there is no such thing as Kobe beef in America. There is however, Kobe-Style beef. Either way, the beef was pretty good. You can definitely taste the difference between Kobe Style and regular top grade beef due to the higher fat content. I wonder how it compares to say Kobe Style beef from a 5 star restaurant but on first glance, this is pretty tasty beef. From a cooking aspect, it was cooked to a perfect medium rare. Just the right amount of juice seeping out. (Score 8 out of 10)
Toppings: Sketch offers a variety of toppings ie. Fried Egg, Salsa Verde, an array of cheeses, but I choose to be simple and go for a Bacon Cheddar burger. The bacon was a little too burned on the ends but it was nice and crispy. I dislike when the bacon is cris crossed on the burger so that the ends are way off the burger like in the picture above, but I’m not gonna lose sleep over it. The cheese was melted perfectly on the burger. (Score 7 out of 10)
Bun: According to the website, the bun is a “LeBus Country White Hamburger bun”. I assume that means it comes from LeBus in Manayunk. My powers of deduction are at an all time high these days. I haven’t been to LeBus in years, but it was a pretty good bun. Soft and firm at the same time on the outside and just the right amount of pull on the inside. The bottom of the bun gave the right amount of support to the juicy burger as well. (Score 7 out of 10)
Presentation: Although it’s a sit down and order type of place, there isn’t much in the way of presentation that exists. The burgers come in the above mentioned white basket with very little thrills. That being said, the green chili cheese fries were fucking awesome. Definitely get these and skip the regular fries. (Score 8 out of 10, the chili cheese fries weight this score higher.)
Overall thoughts: For a quick, affordable, really tasty burger (and chili cheese fries), you really can’t get much better. My only complaint is the location, but I supposed there is nothing they can do to help that, right? (Overall score: 7.5 out of 10)