I should hate Bobby Flay. A real chef, owner several restaurants, rich, famous, hot wife–I mean come on, his life is too good. But somehow Flay has managed to stay true to his cooking style and not be a douche bag despite the TV shows, riches and critical praise. Flay’s latest concept is Bobby’s Burger Palace, a fast casual restaurant that has a straight forward menu and retro vibe.
The Palace features several styles of burger options that can be applied to either angus ground beef, ground turkey or chicken breast. The unique and regional combinations represent classic pairings with a higher end flair. For example you have the Philadelphia with provolone, onions and peppers (naturally) or the Miami with ham, Swiss, pickles, mustard and mayo all pressed a la the classic Cuban. I went with the Dallas– Angus beef with a spiced crust, coleslaw, Monterey Jack cheese, BBQ sauce and pickles on a rich sesame seed bun.
The Dallas was an awesome surprise. Juicy beef, melted cheese, tart pickles, spice, coleslaw to balance the richness. Easily the best burger I’ve eaten at a “fast casual” joint. Add to the burger some perfectly crispy and overdone fries and the meal was completely diesel.
I’m not naive and there’s no reason to ever think that Bobby Flay would be on the line grilling up burgers at his Palace. But the Burger Palace concept and menu are clearly born from Flay’s culinary leanings and business savvy. With only four locations in the tri-state area, it’s clear that while the franchise is still growing, there is a demand for his product. If Flay can elevate the art of the local burger joint at an extremely reasonable price point, there’s no reason to believe that this won’t be America’s next great chain.