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Wegman’s Pub / Pub Cheese Burger – $11
Allentown, PA | wegmanspub.com
We’re lucky to have one of the few Wegman’s Pubs around, and I’ve yet to have a bad meal there. Most of the time I find myself surprised at the quality and consistency of the food. It’s one of the only places you can sit down to eat above average food in a grocery store, and it’s a fun spot with good service and a good atmosphere. All they need to do is add a movie theater, and you’d be able to enjoy an entire date night, while getting next week’s grocery shopping done – all in one place!
Usually, I find myself at Wegman’s Pub on a Saturday night for a quick bite, but this time I visited at 7:30 on a Tuesday, and was pretty surprised to find the restaurant as busy – or even more busy – than a typical Saturday. Admittedly, I’ve also had Wegman’s burger a few times in the recent past, but for reviewing purposes, felt as though I needed to give it another try.
Enter the Pub Cheese Burger described as an eight-ounce hand-formed, irradiated (so we can grill to your liking) beef patty, Adams Reserve Cheddar, Wegman’s Thousand Island Dressing, leaf lettuce, and vine-ripened tomato. I ordered the burger medium, and when it arrives, it’s just as good-looking as it usually is. To be honest, it’s one of the best looking burgers around, along with the fries presented nicely in the vertical metal tin.
This burger is a mouthful. The bun and burger are thick, so it takes a bit of compressing to fit it into a manageable bite. While the bun is beautifully golden and shiny, it’s also too bready and dry, perhaps even just on the verge of going stale.With the bun being so substantial in size, there’s too much of it in my opinion, masking the flavors of everything sandwiched between. The patty, however, is awesome. It’s nice and juicy with a fresh beefy flavor, while being seasoned and cooked perfectly (medium), with a good amount of crunchy char bits around the edges. It’s one of the better burger patties I’ve sampled in the area so far, which is likely attributed to being located in a high-end grocery store and having instant access to quality, fresh ground beef. Around the 2nd or 3rd bite, I realize the slice of tomato contains more of the hard core than you’d probably want to eat. Not really a big deal, so I just remove it from the burger. While I’m assuming the Wegman’s Thousand Island dressing is just their store brand salad dressing, it adds a nice, tangy touch. Perhaps a little sweet for my taste, but a good addition nonetheless (Think Big Mac dressing, but more intense, and obviously, much better). The lettuce is, well, lettuce. There wasn’t really enough of it to add or detract from the burger, but it was nice and fresh so it provided a slight crispness while biting into the burger.
As for the fries, they’re always easy on the eyes. Very near Curious Good’s fries in the looks department. Fried with fresh herbs and garlic, they smell amazing and are delicious. My only complaint are that they could be a little saltier and much crispier. Once I get to the bottom of the fry container, I usually find myself even eating some for the herbs by itself. The fries are presented nicely in a vertical metal container, they all stand up for easy grabbing and dipping into what seemed to be Wegman’s brand ketchup, since it was tangier and had a slightly chunkier texture than Heinz.
The burger also comes with a pickle spear, which was good but mostly unremarkable. T’was a pickle.
Final thoughts: overall, Wegman’s Pub Cheese Burger is a solid burger that I’d order again. It’s a burger of highs and lows: great patty, not-so-great bun. I do wish there was more of that Adams Reserve Cheddar on the burger, and slightly less bun, but beyond that, it’s a good experience. I won’t slight them for the tomato core, since that kind of thing just seems to happen from time to time, and it didn’t ruin the burger since I was able to simply remove it. If you’re not completely sure you’ll like the tanginess of the Wegman’s Thousand Island Dressing, I’d recommend ordering it on the side and adding to your taste.