By Glen Macnow

Score: 9.3
Price: $18
Location: Rittenhouse Square

Jeff Lurie has his gold standard, I’ve got mine. And this is the standard by which all great burgers must forever be judged. It’s legendary, gaining acclaim from everyone from Oprah to legendary food critic Alan Richman, who listed it among “20 burgers you must eat before you die.” I don’t know about the other 19, but I could eat a Rouge Burger and then die happily.

It’s made up of a 12-ounce custom beef blend patty, caramelized onions, and a nutty gruyere cheese on a buttery brioche challah bun. The first bite is bursting with flavor. So is the second, the third and the fourth. There are intense flavors of salt, grill char and other seasoning that raise this slab of meat to Hall of Fame status.

Rouge is a posh place, where they refer to French fries as “pomme frites.” You wouldn’t think they’d sell 100 hamburgs a day at a hoity-toity establishment like this, but the fans line up. The price is hefty for most burger fans. I get that. But do yourself a favor, pull on a regular pair of pants and a presentable shirt, head to Rouge and spend a few bucks more for this masterpiece. You’ll never forget the experience.

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