Last month’s burger club meeting was at the Boot and Saddle (1131 S Broad St) in South Philly. I have only heard peripheral things about this place “it was opened before and they just renovated it” was basically my entire knowledge of this venue. The only other thing I knew was that the Boot and Saddle was a place that hosted live bands. Then out of nowhere I heard they had a good burger. Really?? Well then, let’s go!
The location of the B&S can’t be beat, it’s right on Broad Street practically on top of the Ellsworth/Federal subway stop. I was running late from the burbs and was worried I wouldn’t find parking but I easily found a spot right across the street. You’re not going to find that kind of convenience in practically any other part of the city. I ran across the street in the beautiful sunshine and opened the door to a very subdued, dark bar with a few tables on the side for dining. This was not what I was expecting. I thought the Boot and Saddle was going to be the kind of place that was so loud that you can’t even hear yourself think, especially because I heard there was going to be a show that night. The restaurant was quiet and when the band started around 9 or so, it somehow softened the mood even more. The light folk-rock music floated over to our tables and was actually pleasant. The concert venue is all the way in the back of the building, completely separate from the bar and restaurant. I took a little peek inside on my way to the bathroom and it looked like a super cozy space to enjoy a show. The venue itself was not the end of the surprises I had in store that evening.
Let me just say… their burger is AWESOME. Yes, it’s served in a plastic basket with a diner-type piece of checkered wax paper. We’re not going for elegance here at the Boot and Saddle – we’re going for authentic. This burger is the real deal. To quote burger club member Megan’s review, “I liked the organization of the sandwich. The cheese was on the bottom, then the patty followed by the chili relish, lettuce and pork belly. The chili relish sort of sank into the meat to give it a spicy profile. Having the pork belly on top was great because it kind of kept the meats separate. Of course the Gouda was delicious as well! The fries were plentiful and flavorful. Huge shout-out to Beet Ketchup (proprietary) and Bun. That bun was a 6 (out of 5) !! Also, the staff was great, the beer selection was good and fairly priced and the restaurant wasn’t as loud as I expected. Will definitely be back.” That pretty much sums it all up. I would say the bun and gouda were the highlights of this sandwich. Many of us spent a long time talking about how great the bun was. Excellent consistency and taste. The gouda was present throughout the entire burger and was perfect. This is REALLY a burger you have to try.
I’m not sure if we lucked out because we went on a Wednesday night but I really loved the atmosphere of this space. It seems like they really spent a lot of time decorating in that way that makes it look effortless. I can’t say enough good things about this place.