First Look at Bobby’s Burger Palace, Opening April 6

Photo: Mike Persico

Tomorrow marks the debut of Bobby’s Burger Palace, the fast-casual burger concept from TV food personality/chef Bobby Flay in the Radian Building in West Philly. It’s Flay’s fifth Burger Palace and the first in a major city. Are you wondering what the David Rockwell-designed space looks like inside? Click on through for a sneak peek at the interior, the burger and a Q&A; with Flay himself.

Click on the photo to view the slideshow and read on to hear what Flay had to say about his new burger joint.

Your other Bobby’s Burger Palaces are mostly in suburban areas. What made you decide to open here in Philly?
We felt like Philly was a great place. It’s a city that I love, first of all. I love the gutsyness of the town and the people are very real. I love the fact that they’re honest about how they feel about things. I feel like I’m the same way - I feel like I can relate to people in Philadelphia. The chefs here have always been good to me and very supportive and whenever I do a book signing here the people are very warm.

Where do you like to eat here in Philly?
Vetri. His place is ridiculous. He’s like a gem here, you know?

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but we had this sort of BurgerMania around here last summer with a bunch of burger places opening up simultaneously. Did you try any other burgers around town?
No. In fact, when I opened the first BBP, I didn’t go around eating other people’s burgers either. I didn’t want to be influenced at all. I knew exactly what I wanted in a burger and I just wanted to do that. I just wanted people to like it and so far, they have. I talk about people wanting to “crave the burger” - crave, that’s an important word to me. Getting someone to come off “their” burger they go to every time they want a burger is a hard thing to do. A lot of times it’s ingrained in them for generations. How does the new burger guy get a shot? It’s harder than people think.

People are opinionated here, especially about cheesesteaks, which you’re venturing into with your Philadelphia burger topped with onions, hot peppers and a choice of Whiz or provolone. How do you have it, Whiz or provolone?
Definitely with Whiz. I’m not sure it’s cheese, but it’s good. That’s what I get when I go to a cheesesteak place.

Can you tell us a little bit about the beef and buns you use?
It’s Certified Angus Beef. I don’t think a lot of people understand this, but Certified Angus Beef is a brand. It’s a brand that gives me an extra set of checks and balances. They’re doing the picking for me before it gets to my grinder. It’s a quality control thing and that’s what’s most important to me when it’s volume like this. It’s an 80/20 mix, it’s pretty straightforward. Sirloin, chuck. Nothing inside of it, just kosher salt and cracked black pepper. The bun is a Martin’s bun with sesame seeds. For me it has to be a soft bun. It can’t be some artisanal roll that’s firm. I love the texture of this - it has a certain amount of texture, but it’s still soft.

Bobby’s Burger Palace is open daily, Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. to midnight. Download a pdf of the menu here or view it online at MenuPages.

Bobby’s Burger Palace, 3925 Walnut St.; (215) 387-0378

First Look at Bobby’s Burger Palace, Opening April 6