I don’t know about you, but when I hear that a celebrity chef is opening up a restaurant within close proximity to my house, I have mixed feelings. I’m not one to talk bad about celebrity chefs for the sake of just talking bad, but more times than not, I’ve had experiences at some of their restaurants that literally leave a bad taste in my mouth. The thing is, these restaurants begin to rely on name alone and pretty much don’t pay much heed to serving quality food. The fact that just association elevates the prices at restaurants attributed to these stars doesn’t lead to any relief. But still, I am somehow drawn to them with questionable interest just to see what all the hoopla is about. With questions running through my head about whether these chefs actually deserve their fame or not, I pack my pockets with money and hope that I am not about to make a mistake. A situation like this recently occurred to me in regards to Bobby’s Burger Palace (BBP).
Bobby’s Burger Palace opened in the Dadeland Shopping Center a few months ago in a new section of the mall dedicated to dining destinations. With competition coming from the likes of the already popular Earl’s and the soon-to-open Aoki, BBP is certainly taking risks in where they decided to open. I’ve sampled burgers from Earl’s, and I can confidently claim that they can easily compete with some of the best in the city. One thing to mention though is that Earl’s is a sit-down experience and at a higher price range. This is where BBP excels. What they offer is a more affordable option in a quick-service atmosphere, which is something more in line with what people are looking for when dining in a mall setting. Burgers average around the $8 price range, with a la carte sides including over-sized onion rings, sweet potato fries, and regular fries. The burgers themselves are inspired by different cities and what the popular ingredients and foods in those cities are. With burgers like the Miami Burger being inspired by Cuban sandwiches and the Carolina Burger inspired by southern BBQ, there are enough options to please all palates. On this particular visit, I went for the Brunch Burger, a theme that seems to be growing in popularity at all burger joints. As you could imagine, the Brunch Burger at Bobby's Burger Palace is created with a 6 oz certified angus patty topped with American cheese, egg, and bacon. All burgers at BBP have the option of being “crunchified,” which basically means that you can add a fistful of potato chips for an added form of texture.
What I received was more eye pleasing than I had expected; a burger staring at me as if daring me to bite into it. The stack of potato chips made biting into this burger as it was served a herculean task, so I had to squish it down. Unfortunately, this caused the yolk on my egg to crack. Personally, I like causing this break with a bite, since it creates a burst of flavor rich in umami flavor and unctuous texture. Still, the yolk added more flavor to the burger overall, only accentuating the surprising quality of the beef. The bacon was crisp and smoky, and in combination with the beef made for a very enjoyable burger. Next time, I will politely decline when asked if I want my burger “crunchified.” Not only will I save myself the silly feeling that comes with saying the term, but it will allow me to taste the burger more than be interrupted by far too much crunchiness and added levels of salt.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this burger. It was a spot-on interpretation of a Brunch Burger, but I would recommend that you skip the gimmicky addition of the chips. This restaurant exceeded my somewhat low expectations not only to serve a burger that I would eat again, but one that I would deem worth of carrying a celebrity chef’s name.
7325-7343 SW 88th St Kendall, FL 33156
By food blogger, Santiago Cardona