By Glen Macnow

Score: 8.2
Price: Angus cheeseburger with bacon – $12.
Location: 937 E. Passyunk Ave., Philadelphia

Ahh, this is what the ideal bar burger should taste like. Featured a few years back as the best burger in Pennsylvania, Royal’s Angus burger features bacon, caramelized onions, smoked Gouda and spicy long hot peppers and chile mayo on a seeded brioche bun.  We loved it with a side of truffled popcorn and an Ommegang Stout. And we loved the Royal Tavern, the kind of laid-back place where no one gives you a snooty look if a little bit of juice runs down your chin as you savor each bite.

The eight-ounce Angus is small in diameter but stocky, which means it’s rare on the inside, charred on the outside. It’s a great cut of marbleized meat, and they’re smart at the Royal enough to pack it not-too-tight so that the juices stay inside. I ordered mine medium-rare and a cross-section revealed the perfect coloration, like a beautiful red sunset.

The bun, from Baker Street bread, is ever-so-slightly toasted.  The smoked gouda, thick-cut bacon and tongue-burning long hots complete a magnificent package of gastronomic delight.

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