P’unk Burger in East Passyunk is organic, cash–only, and BYOB in two ways: both Bring Your Own Bottle, and Build Your Own Burger.
I ordered the lunch special: choice of burger, fries, and a soda. I chose the standard P’unk Burger: beef, black peppercorn bacon, smoked gouda, P’unk’s signature sauce, and onion rings. My photographer ordered the Juicy Philly: cheddar–stuffed beef, caramelized onion, and sautéed portobello. Instead of a soda we opted for a vanilla–chocolate shake.
My burger arrived at the table. It was stacked with beef, gouda, and bacon, and I was pretty sure it was going to topple over. After the first bite, I was spent. It was such a heavy burger, and pretty difficult to wrap my mouth around—I could feel a nap coming on. The meat was fine, but could have been more succulent, especially with such a dry cheese on top. The bacon was too overcooked for me, but the onions held together well. The burger’s saving grace was the superb bun. It served its practical purpose by holding all the ingredients together, yet was still fluffy and folded in my mouth. It was flavorful, but didn't overpower the rest of the burger.
Then I went for the shoestring fries. Although they were simple, no salt–or–pepper, they were some of the finest I’ve had in a while. They were crispy in spots, but soft in others. They were a little greasy, almost like fresh McDonald’s fries but with no salt. I could have eaten them for the whole meal.
I also sampled my photographer’s meal—her Juicy Philly was far better than my burger. When they say juicy, they’re not kidding. It was like biting into a sponge soaked with flavor—it just spewed out. The caramelized onions only helped, adding enough texture to complement the meat.
The milkshake was also fantastic. At first I was hesitant, as milkshakes usually make me sick. This one, thankfully, didn’t. A relatively light shake (literally, it must have weighed just a few ounces), it went down smooth and helped to wash down the meal. I experimented with dipping the fries in the shake, and the two flavors paired perfectly. The shake could have been thicker, but I loved its texture.
The service was solid, and our meal came promptly. Be sure to come prepared with cash, plus a tip, but if you forget they have an ATM on the premises. The environment is welcoming, they have vegan and gluten free options, and the price is reasonable for quality food. It’s not worth a trip out to East Passyunk, but if you happen to be in the area, drop by and order their lunch special. It’s perfect for a day out, although after eating you may just want to head back to bed.
TL;DR: A quick burger joint for when you find yourself in East Passyunk
Location: 1823 E Passyunk Ave.
Hours: Sun: 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Monday–Thursday: 11 a.m.– 10 p.m.
Friday– Saturday: 10 a.m.–12 a.m.