#19 - Bobby's Burger Palace, College Park, MD

Heather and I have been friends for 17 years, starting when she began working at Maryland...geez that makes me feel old.  We've been there for each other through thick and thin, good and bad.  I don't need to go into details...she knows what I mean.

My summer trip back to Maryland almost always coincides with her birthday.  I got to spend the day with her when her hubby Vinnie threw her a surpise 40th...and have done a few birthday dinners with Vin and the girls.  Two years ago at Red Robin her daughter Marissa announced to anyone within a very wide earshot that Heather had just turned 40.  I don't think I've ever seen anyone's face turn that red before, but we all had a great laugh about it, and Marissa was extremely proud of the fact that she had entertained everyone.

College Park's restaurant options have exploded since I left.  A few old favorites have closed, but other good places have taken their place.  One of our favorites was Jungle Grille  It was locally owned, and John (the owner) knew us all by name and usually also knew what we wanted...unless we threw a change curveball at  him.  I rarely did that to him, usually sticking with the burger & fries (sound familiar Brett??) It was our go-to restaurant for a long time, but unfortunately it closed down a few months ago.

Every year we also do a group lunch with Ronnie O and Nate.  This year I forgot to call them (sorry guys), so it was just me & Heather.  Thanks to Mark's suggestion, we decided to try Bobby's Burger Palace.  It's owned by Bobby Flay, and they have 10 locations between Maryland and Jersey.  I love Bobby, and had never eaten at one of his restaurants, so it was an easy decision. 

They've got sandwiches and salads, but why would I eat those at a place called the Burger Palace???  Apparently you can "crunchify" your burger, which means they crush a handful of chips between the meat and the bun.  Hmmm...doesn't really sound very appetizing to me. 

Bobby's is a mix between fast food and a sit-down restaurant...you get in line, order your food, then sit down and they bring everything out to you.  After my awesome lemonade experience Monday night at Mark's, I decided to try the regular lemonade at Bobby's.  The lemonade at Mark's is homemade and fresh squeezed...Bobby's was definitely a mix.  Oh well, lesson learned.

I went with the Bobby Blue Burger with the regular fries.

I'm a huge french fry fan.  I try not to eat them too often, but when I do, I like them to be fresh and hot, right out of the oil.  I was really looking forward to that, but then I saw at the counter that the fries are portioned out about 2 minutes before the burger.  Not a good tactical move, because then they're just sitting there.  They were still good, but not as good as they could have been.  They come with the BBP fry sauce.  Not sure exactly what that is, but it was really good.

My burger was also very good.  I was a little surprised because it's probably no more than 1/4 pound, unlike a lot of places these days with huge burgers.  But it was cooked perfectly and had great flavor.  And it was just enough with the fries, that I wasn't in need of an immediate nap afterwards.  The bun tasted really fresh, and wasn't twice the size of the burger, as can very easily happen.

Will I go back?  Definitely!  There's lots of other burgers to try, and they have milkshakes and malted.  If I still worked on campus it would definitely be a periodic treat for me.