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BCP Report Card #10 – National Mechanics

January 20th, 2010 · 3 Comments · Burger Club, National Mechanics, Old City, Report Card, burger

OVERALL GRADE: B+

National Mechanics
22 South 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Oh National Mechanics, I am so grateful for you. When I find myself in Old City feeling scared and out of place, I know I can count on you. You also have the loveliest holiday decorations in all of Philly.

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We are very luck to have National Mechanics. Paul, the owner, is a great supporter of all things Philly and he is kind enough to offer his bar to groups in need of an event location. I’ve been to several of these events and they never fail to be fun and awesome. I also want to give a big thanks to our waitress, whose name I can remember sorry! There was another big group there that night and she handled both of us like a champ. She was wonderful. I was especially appreciative of the very kind welcome they gave to burger club the night of our visit. It was the perfect location to celebrate burger club’s 10th meating!

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TRENDS:

Top hits:

  1. Bun
  2. Fries
  3. Tied: cheap/service

Top Gripes:

  1. Tied: patty under seasoned/bun
  2. Fries

IN SUMMARY:

National Mechanics has been on my burger club visit list for some time because of their veggie burger. I really wanted to go somewhere where both meat and non-meat eaters alike could come together for the momentous meating. It is also the only place I order a veggie burger over a beef burger. You heard right. It’s just straight up veggies. Burger club members described it as a “veggie latke,” “stir fry patty” and “more of a salad on a bun.” I think the point they were trying to make is that there is a ton of veggies in this patty. It’s all veggie. VEGGIES! Serious colon cleanser. Sorry but it’s true. I don’t think this blog has ever seen the word veggie used so much. Though not all in our burger club crew were a fan of the texture. They wished it were more burger like and I can understand that.

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National veggie burger

The National burger is your basic bar burger. The 8oz Angus patty is grilled and comes with a nice char. One of the big gripes with this burger was that the patty wasn’t seasoned enough. Also in a tie for first in both the gripes and hits categories was the bun. Some folks really loved the bun and others thought it overwhelmed the burger. I liked the bun and while it was a substantial bun it was very soft. I think the patty could have used a little more seasoning. Oh the big plus with this burger is that during happy hour it is $6.00! The veggie burger is the same deal. This is the best burger deal in the city.

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National burger with cheddar and bacon

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As I had somewhat promised, I did have some great giveaways just for coming to burger club and filling out a report card. I got a few goodies from a friend of FWTS and fellow burger club member, girlscantell. You might remember we did a blogiversary giveaway that involved Sara’s amazing burger diagram. Another friend and loyal member of burger club, Kate, donated some really cute burger inspired earrings. The Rizz won them and they are going to look great on him. It’s really fun giving away stuff, I totally felt like Oprah. You get a burger, you get burger, you get a burger… You get the picture. It was a great night and I am still amazed at every burger club that people are actually interested in attending. It is my most favorite thing to do so I thank all of you who have attended the meatings, joined the Facebook group or followed along on FWTS. I appreciate your support and enthusiasm for burger club.

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RESULTS BY BURGER:

National burger: “Light not messy. Overall good.” GRADE: B+

Burger, medium with cheddar: “The burger is pretty tasty, but not really “medium” it’s more medium rare. Presentation could be better, bun is pretty good.” GRADE: B+

Burger, medium rare with cheddar: “Pros: cheap during HH, it’s HH! Bun, Con: not a lot of taste.” GRADE: B-

Burger, medium with cheddar: “The roll took over the burger and it was a tad basic from the fries to the fixins. Nothing that turned my taste buds on but solid B-!” GRADE: B-

No burger type mentioned: “Fries could have been better; however it is very cozy.” GRADE: B

Veggie burger with cheddar: “Nat’l Mechanics waitress was awesome and unflappable! This was an interesting, tasty, completely unexpected veggie burger experience. I think I get what it’s trying to be, and it’s satisfying for sure, but needs it’s own rating system. Nice to get actual veggies in a veggie burger. I liked the veggie latke! Bun is lovely! Nice bit of crunch. Not sure I’d order it again.” GRADE: B+

Burger, medium with cheddar: “Good fries, good amount. Excellent pickle. Bread is too chewy. Meat is kind of bland.” GRADE: B

Burger, medium with cheddar: “Bland, didn’t taste ANY salt or pepper seasoning, the bun didn’t stand out, the cheese didn’t stand out, veggies were typical, not spectacular. Plantain chips were good. Burger was filling, I’ll give it that.” GRADE: C-

Veggie burger: “I liked it’s unique taste and texture, but it was more like a stir fry patty than a burger.” GRADE: B+

No burger type mentioned: “burger was juicy; good size. Bun was a little chewy. Could have used some more seasoning.” GRADE: B-

Veggie burger:While it was lovely that it wasn’t a pre-made patty it didn’t really hold together as an actual burger. It was more a salad on a bun.” GRADE: B

Burger, well done with cheddar: “Don’t like the tough bun. The burger was a little tough and not juicy, but I liked the overall flavor and size of the patty. Fires were good.” GRADE: C+

National burger with monterey jack: “Lettuce was unique but good (leaf), Good atmosphere, average service. Overall good burger.” GRADE: B+

Veggie burger:Great that there are real deal veggies up on this jawn. Making me thirsty.” GRADE: B+

Burger, medium rare with bacon and cheddar: “GREAT bun, held everything together. Good crisp, salty bacon. Patty could have been seasoned a little more. Overall, very good!” GRADE: B+

National burger, medium with cheddar: “Great bun. It really pulled the burger together. Burger patty was perfectly medium. Held together well and had nice grilled flavor. Fries were great too. A little skin and not too mushy. Awesometown, population National Mechanics!” GRADE: A

National burger with cheddar: “The burger just seemed average. The meat was good and cooked well but fixins were pretty much non-existent. Just seemed plain.” GRADE: C

National burger with blue cheese: “bun was great, good cheese. Patty was underseasoned, but perfectly cooked overall, could have used more flavor or toppings and would have held up to the challenge.” GRADE: B

No burger type mentioned: “It’s not bad, but not great. Nice atmosphere of a place though.” GRADE: C+

BURGER NOVICE, Veggie burger with provolone:Very tasty, bun a little too big and thick. So many veggies in burger! So good!” GRADE: B

National burger, medium rare: “It was fine. Too much bun. Not un-tasty, but rather bland. It. Was. Fine.” GRADE: B

Burger, medium well with cheddar: “Service was slow but our waitress was (understandably) slammed. I feel like the bun overpowered the burger. The meat, however, was perfect, the toppings fresh and the fries crispy – not greasy at all. The plantain chips and calamari were awesome and I’d sell my first born for their guacamole recipe.” GRADE: B+

Veggie burger:Very interesting/unique taste and texture. Not very burger like (but not necessarily a bad thing). Great cheddar, too many onions.” GRADE: B+

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • J T. Ramsay

    Are you ready for geek heresy? I loathe this place. I only go as a last ditch when I’m desperate to eat quickly before catching a movie at the Bourse.

    To make matters worse, their beer list is boring and overpriced.

    I dare not mention that the atmosphere of the place is ghastly to boot. You can still sense the ickiness of Coyote Ugly that hangs in the fetid air.

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  • Jess

    JT, thanks for stopping by! I won’t say that this is my favorite bar in the city but for being in Old City, I find it very tolerable. I also just appreciate Paul’s support of the many geek initiatives in the city so I like to support him in that. I never went to Coyote Ugly so I don’t see the lingering ickiness that you mention.

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