Restaurant Roundup: Bobby's Burger Palace

As I mentioned in It's a Date, Shaun and I spent Valentine's Day 2009 at Shake Shack. Call it our love for a juicy burger or our utter refusal to get into the whole Valentine's Day price fixing, but I was excited to turn this fast food date into a Vday tradition of sorts. After all, there is something romantic about a laid back, comfortable Saturday night, isn't there?

This year, when Shaun suggested branching out from the Shack and trekking out to another upscale fast food join, Bobby's Burger Palace in Paramus, I jumped at the offer. The brainchild of Bobby Flay, Food Network personality and founder of Mesa Grill, Bobby's Burger Palace features high-end cheap-o burgers at their best. Though the name does leave a bit to be desired (I mean, really...Palace?), the food was worth the trek out to North Jersey. (Oh, and did you know there's a Nordstrom Rack out there? I didn't either...) Anyhow, a way more civilized set up than Shake Shack's Upper West Side location, BBP boasted burgers that sounded, and ultimately tasted, nothing short of divine.

For the night o'food, we decided to get a few different menu items and split 'em down the middle in an effort to maximize food tasting (for research purposes, of course). And since we were sharing, Shaun graciously gave in to my request for 'medium' burgers, as opposed to 'medium rare'. Love ya honey. First up, the burgers. Though apparently Bobby has trademarked the whole potato chips on burger routine as his signature burger fare (the Crunch Burger, if you will), we decided to play it a little less than traditional, since, let's face it, we can put potato chips on our own burgers, after all. Instead we went with the Dallas Burger...
and the Buffalo Style Burger
Each was mighty fine in its own right. Though I could have tolerated more hot sauce on the Buffalo Burger, it boasted a creamy blue cheese sauce with actual crumbles mixed in. It didn't overpower the burger, which is really the way it should be. Have you ever seen a burger look so delectable? The Dallas Burger, on the other hand, was full of sweet and smokey flavor due to a combination of barbecue sauce and coleslaw. It's all about the sweet and savory with this one, and it really shined as a drastic contract to the Buffalo Burger. Oh, and I should mention the sides; fries...
and onion rings... The Pluses: Unlike Shake Shack, with its anxiety-driven table scouting, BBP had a server actually seat guests as orders were frying away. Like I said, much more civilized.
The burgers were wonderfully cooked and full of flavor. And for a satisfying dinner under $25? It was inexpensive, to boot. Ok, with the high fat factor in this meal, I wouldn't recommend it for regular eating. It's a specialty place and should be treated as such.

The Not-so-much factor: Ok, I know that the universe doesn't revolve around Manhattan, but when it comes to Bobby Flay's burgers...I just think it should. The fact that this place is part of a mall in Bergen county just doesn't sit well with me. I need easier access...and by easier access, I mean somewhere I don't have to drive to.ο»Ώ After all, one step inside this place and it screams "Less expensively decorated Mesa Grill..." But I suppose I should follow my own advice, above...

The Bottom Line: A super burger joint with one seriously low price. Ok, you have to drive out to Jersey to get it, but it's worth it.