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VictorFiorillo

The Sixth Borough aka Bootsie's Hot Dogs

63 posts in this topic

Maybe it's just wrong place, wrong time, but I just left Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries (the new one, 1527 Chestnut), where I witnessed another behind-the-counter melee, this one featuring one very large cashier and one very small cashier both of whom were threatening each other with all sorts of mean things. The word "bitch" was uttered several times. The large cashier punched the small cashier, who left the floor. As twenty or so people wondered what would happen to the food orders they placed long ago, the manager told the puncher to go home, that she is not "permitted to punch another employee while on the floor". The fight was over the fact that the little cashier opened the drawer of the large cashier, which seems like a pretty good reason to me to fight.

Holly, have you tried THEIR burgers/dogs yet?

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Maybe it's just wrong place, wrong time, but I just left Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries (the new one, 1527 Chestnut), where I witnessed another behind-the-counter melee, this one featuring one very large cashier and one very small cashier both of whom were threatening each other with all sorts of mean things.  The word "bitch" was uttered several times.  The large cashier punched the small cashier, who left the floor.  As twenty or so people wondered what would happen to the food orders they placed long ago, the manager told the puncher to go home, that she is not "permitted to punch another employee while on the floor".  The fight was over the fact that the little cashier opened the drawer of the large cashier, which seems like a pretty good reason to me to fight. 

Holly, have you tried THEIR burgers/dogs yet?

I'm not Holly but I can say that the burgers and fries at Five Guys near us (down south in Delaware) are wildly inconsistent. The burgers are dry sometimes, perfect others. The fries, while usually heavily tasting of overused oil, can be great one of every five times or so. While I love going to Five Guys near us, I sometimes dread the thought of what I will end up with. Hey, at least the peanuts are consistent.

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Maybe it's just wrong place, wrong time, but I just left Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries (the new one, 1527 Chestnut), where I witnessed another behind-the-counter melee, this one featuring one very large cashier and one very small cashier both of whom were threatening each other with all sorts of mean things.  The word "bitch" was uttered several times.  The large cashier punched the small cashier, who left the floor.  As twenty or so people wondered what would happen to the food orders they placed long ago, the manager told the puncher to go home, that she is not "permitted to punch another employee while on the floor".  The fight was over the fact that the little cashier opened the drawer of the large cashier, which seems like a pretty good reason to me to fight.

"Come for the burgers, stay for the floor show!"

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Bluehen (or anyone else)- How do you think 5 Guys compares to Jakes? I like Jakes but give the nod to Charcoal Pit for best to go burger in our gastronomicaly humble state.

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Maybe it's just wrong place, wrong time, but I just left Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries (the new one, 1527 Chestnut), where I witnessed another behind-the-counter melee, this one featuring one very large cashier and one very small cashier both of whom were threatening each other with all sorts of mean things.  The word "bitch" was uttered several times.  The large cashier punched the small cashier, who left the floor.  As twenty or so people wondered what would happen to the food orders they placed long ago, the manager told the puncher to go home, that she is not "permitted to punch another employee while on the floor".  The fight was over the fact that the little cashier opened the drawer of the large cashier, which seems like a pretty good reason to me to fight. 

now that sounds like a real party!

every time i've been to five guys the cashiers and staff in general have been extraordinarily nice. i mean, like, oddly nice.

the thing that i wonder about that place is how long they're going to last without getting sued by someone falling and breaking their neck on the extremely treacherous grease-covered tile floor. i mean, i've come this close to wiping out every time i've been in there.

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the thing that i wonder about that place is how long they're going to last without getting sued by someone falling and breaking their neck on the extremely treacherous grease-covered tile floor.  i mean, i've come this close to wiping out every time i've been in there.

That's why the doctor is always telling you it's not healthy to eat all those greasy burgers, see? It's got nothing to do with your arteries.

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Not sure if Mr. Butz has read this but Michael Klein of the INKY has. Today's food section reports favorable buzz. "The budget- conscious crowd on E-Gullet has seized on the prices"

No mention, however of the way negative service reported on this thread.

Oh and Bootsie's partner is a writer for General Hospital, seems like there isn't a whole lot of restaurant experience in this venture.

.org, Michael, .org...


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Okay, back again today. First things first, service has been friendly on both of my visits. Right place, right time I guess.

Tried both the buffalo dog and the organic beef dog. The buffalo dog was so much like the kobe dog that I'm wondering if I might have received a buffalo dog my first visit by mistake. Just as un-greasy and lacking juicy flavor.

The organic beef dog is by far my favorite of the three. Juicy and a real hot dog flavor. But I miss the snap of a natural casing dog. I'll keep asking. Maybe they'll humor me one of these days.

For those asking about Five Guys - only one I've been to so far is one of their Arlington VA operations. My burger was way over cooked. The fries were good. So was their dog. I'll probably hit the Chestnut Street 5 Guys this weekend and hope for a properly cooked burger and peace on both sides of the counter.

Back to Bootsie's - Bootsie's fills a major Center City eating deficiency that has been unfilled since Levis' was sold back in the mid 80's and since Dewey's shook their last shake - a walk in, walk up to the counter kind of place - quick service, real food - available on Sundays and evenings. I'm pulling for them and believe they are smart enough to listen to their customers and adapt to their suggestions and criticisms.

That said, if the place was mine, I'd put a serious, basic New York style dog on the menu, I'd trim the hot dog buns so the dog hangs out the ends or at least reaches the ends, and I'd either twice fry my fries or switch to a Nathan's krinkle cut. (I go to Nathans as much for their fries as their dogs.) But it's not mine, so all I can do is whine a bit every once in a while, between bites of dogs or burgers.

Edited to add - I see the owner's membership to eGullet has been activated. I'm expecting he'll be joining in this conversation soon.


Edited by Holly Moore (log)

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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For those asking about Five Guys - only one I've been to so far is one of their Arlington VA operations.  My burger was way over cooked.  The fries were good.  So was their dog.  I'll probably hit the Chestnut Street 5 Guys this weekend and hope for a properly cooked burger and peace on both sides of the counter.

If by "properly cooked" you mean "not brown all the way through," you're going to be disappointed. Their policy--posted on a sign at the order counter--is to cook all burgers well done, and no, don't ask.

Judging from comments I've seen elsewhere, this policy applies to all their locations.


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Thanks for saving me a trip to 5 Guys though I might still go for their fries.

Anyone know if, in Philadelphia / Pennsylvania, the well done policy is imposed by over-protective authorities, or is another example of corporate lowest common denominatorism?


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Bluehen (or anyone else)- How do you think 5 Guys compares to Jakes? I like Jakes but give the nod to Charcoal Pit for best to go burger in our gastronomicaly humble state.

When Jake's first opened the burgers were much better than the Charcoal Pit. Unfortunately my last visit to Jake's (in November of last year at the Elsemere location) was so bad that I have not returned since. The burger was beyond overdone, dry, and deviod of flavor, and was topped with a green and brown colored tomato slice (as in one). The fries were actually limp and cold (which is really odd seeing that they never used to be like that) and the black and white milkshake was terrific but not enough to salvage the meal. Jake's burgers used to be really fresh tasting and juicy but on a few occasions before that visit they were starting to go downhill, as in cooked to death, which is a shame since they only use fresh meat.

We have been back to the Charcoal Pit a few times, and even though their burgers are admittedly frozen, preformed patties, you can order them rare and there is still someone at the place who knows how to cook. The fries have always been fine and the milkshakes decent, although a notch below Jake's.

I suspect that Jake's is expanding too quickly (as in the next Five Guy's?) as I read a while back that they are franchising to places like Tampa, Florida.

While Jake's took the crown from the Charcoal Pit a few years back as having the best burger, with poor prep and quality control issues they have shot themselves in the foot. At this point in time i'd say the Pit has the best burgers in the state although I've never tried that Red Robin place in Bear. I would place Five Guys as being second and Jake's third. The fries are much better at the pit too, as Five Guys near us can't seem to cook them properly (or has not changed the oil since last summer). Maybe Emeril's business partner who bought the Camellia Grill in New Orleans will expand to DE and then I will be happy...

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Thanks for saving me a trip to 5 Guys though I might still go for their fries.

Anyone know if, in Philadelphia / Pennsylvania, the well done policy is imposed by over-protective authorities, or is another example of corporate lowest common denominatorism?

The Five Guys in Delaware has a sign that states that all burgers are prepared well done so I suspect it's (like Jake's burgers in DE) another slap in the face for customers. I like my burgers rare but I can put up with well done but still juicy. But it seems that there are some line cooks that figure a few extra minutes cooking time won't hurt but in reality it's not the case.


Edited by Bluehensfan (log)

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i can't be the only one to think that a super-greasy fast food burger is just fine cooked all the way through. if it's greasy enough, it's not dry.

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A well done burger, no matter how greasy, is always a disappointment - and often a predictor about a joint's tao. Nothing good comes from a well done burger.

That said, if the bun is buttered and toasted, the mayo real, the tomatoes vine ripened, the cheese aged cheddar, and the burger is still juicy, greasy, and charcoally, there is a possibility that the accoutrements will disguise a well done burger enough to make it edible and possibly enjoyable.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Anyone know if, in Philadelphia / Pennsylvania, the well done policy is imposed by over-protective authorities, or is another example of corporate lowest common denominatorism?

From Philadelphia Department of Public Health's regulations governing food service establishments:

"Hamburger patties and other ground meat products shall be heated to ensure that all parts of the product are heated to 155ºF (68.3ºC)."


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Thanks for saving me a trip to 5 Guys though I might still go for their fries.

Anyone know if, in Philadelphia / Pennsylvania, the well done policy is imposed by over-protective authorities, or is another example of corporate lowest common denominatorism?

The Five Guys in Delaware has a sign that states that all burgers are prepared well done so I suspect it's (like Jake's burgers in DE) another slap in the face for customers. I like my burgers rare but I can put up with well done but still juicy. But it seems that there are some line cooks that figure a few extra minutes cooking time won't hurt but in reality it's not the case.

Count me in with Bluehensfan (BTW, your avatar is broken).

I can deal with a well done burger if it's not well done to the point of dryness. Five Guys--at least the one on Chestnut--gets its burgers off the grill and onto the bun while they still have juices left in them.

That said, medium rare is where I prefer mine.


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Count me in with Bluehensfan (BTW, your avatar is broken).

I can deal with a well done burger if it's not well done to the point of dryness.  Five Guys--at least the one on Chestnut--gets its burgers off the grill and onto the bun while they still have juices left in them.

That said, medium rare is where I prefer mine.

Sorry...I fixed the avatar...must be the rain? (or just blame SEPTA!)

I still like my burgers rare. What's the world coming to when there's a sushi joint serving raw fish on every corner but you can't get a burger rare in this city?


Edited by Bluehensfan (log)

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Well all, we at BOOTSIE’S cook all our burgers to medium! You can even get it medium rare if we’re not super busy. Our burgers are juicy and 8 oz. across the board (other then our 4 oz. kid’s burger). Everything we offer is natural and free of by-products and fillers. See you all soon.

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Welcome simply_perfect! Happy to have you join us here.

Speaking as one who has been accused of same, shameless shilling should be kept to a minimum. :biggrin::wink:


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Welcome simply_perfect!  Happy to have you join us here.

Speaking as one who has been accused of same, shameless shilling should be kept to a minimum. :biggrin:  :wink:

katie, i'll do my best :laugh:

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A well done burger, no matter how greasy, is always a disappointment - and often a predictor about a joint's tao.  Nothing good comes from a well done burger.

That said, if the bun is buttered and toasted, the mayo real, the tomatoes vine ripened, the cheese aged cheddar, and the burger is still juicy, greasy, and charcoally, there is a possibility that the accoutrements will disguise a well done burger enough to make it edible and possibly enjoyable.

Don't think Five Guys will meet this criterion.

They use a standard restaurant grill, and the cheese is American. (Edited to add: Oops! Scratch the comment about the cheese. They do offer you a choice of cheeses--American, cheddar and provolone. I think they may offer Swiss as well, but don't quote me on that.)

However, the tomatoes were real ripe ones--and this is one of the few occasions where I ate them on the burger.

As I'm a ketchup-and-mustard guy myself, I can't vouch for the mayo.

Moving back to the topic at hand, price aside, it does sound like Bootsie's has seriously good fare from these initial reports, pace the comments about the hot dogs. And if I can afford to plunk down $10 at Good Dog or $15 at Rouge every now and then, I can certainly afford to go there.

Take a good look at the avatar attached to this post, simply_perfect. Someone bearing a strong resemblance to it will be walking through your door before long.


Edited by MarketStEl (log)

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Maybe it's just wrong place, wrong time, but I just left Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries (the new one, 1527 Chestnut), where I witnessed another behind-the-counter melee

I tried 5 Guys this afternoon and was disappointed by the fast, courteous service. No fighting, no fireworks. Oh well.

Anyway, I thought the burger was pretty good. Not as in "Philadelphia's best" good, but as in "head and shoulders over other chain burgers" good: greasy, sloppy, with lots of onions and pickles. And as other have remarked, very good french fries, and lots of 'em.

I'll try Bootsie's one of these days, too.

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I'll try Bootsie's one of these days, too.

... and I did, today!

I thought that the organic beef dog was pretty good, and the chili nice and spicy. And I'm always psyched when I go to a place that serves fresh lemon- and limeade.

Service was friendly, and more efficient than I was (I walked away from the counter without paying and had to be gently reminded that the food wasn't free...) The bill for two dogs, two lemonades, and fries was $15, which doesn't seem too unreasonable to me.

Next time I'll try some of the more exotic sausages. I definitely haven't had enough baby animals in my diet lately.

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I made it over to Bootsie's today too. Mr. Butz and I realized we knew each other from way back when I worked for a certain wine shop in NJ. Small world - even smaller town.

I had an organic beef dog with the spinach and garlic topping and a little schmear of mustard. Outstanding! I'm also a fan of the fresh limeade and my fries were twice fried and delicious. I'm told they've had lines out the door at times and am not surprised. This is great fast food, made with high quality ingredients. And they're open late. This beats the hell out of Lorenzo's pizza or either Passyunk Avenue cheesesteak for a when-the-bars-get-out snack.

Service today was vastly improved over my last visit. Friendly and efficient. I was offered a taste of one of the toppings I inquired about. Nice.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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