Found the SPOT for Amazing Burgers and Sandwiches

Today Luncher John gets a gourmet truck burger and LOBSTER ROLLS.

Since the SPOT food cart started serving near Drexel’s campus a few months ago, the word on the street (literally) was that it was cooking up some remarkably tasty burgers and other sandwiches. Having heard the rave reviews, I figured it was worth a trip to University City to check out SPOT’s offerings. Needless to say, all the stories were “spot” on.

Despite its bright yellow color, SPOT, can be easy to miss if for no other reason that its physical size. It’s a small cart that really only fits one person (which would be Josh, the proprietor/cook). SPOT is parked near the corner of 33rd and Arch (with a stint at the Porch at 30th Street every Wednesday through the end of September), but I walked right by it on the first visit. I should have been clued in immediately by the wonderful aroma of beef and pork on the grill.

Though it has several sandwiches, SPOT’s specialty is probably its burgers, which are a third pound of fresh ground 100 percent sirloin. With several options on toppings, I chose the Charlie Brown ($7.00). Featuring hickory smoked bacon, cheese whiz and grilled onions, this burger pretty much features my favorite grilled food toppings. One bite, and that wonderful sirloin flavor totally stands out. It’s cooked a perfect medium rare, with a pink center. The roll, supplied by Conshohocken Bakery, is relatively thick, but it’s soft and does not overwhelm the burger. It’s not the cheapest burger, but it’s a fair price considering the quality. If there’s a problem with the burger, it’s that you finish it too quickly and want more afterwards. It could possibly be the best burger I’ve had from a food cart of truck.

If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to wait for the burger to cook, try the roast pork. I ordered the Passyunk ($8.00), which comes with the roast pork, provolone, spinach and fire-roasted peppers, and it came out a lot quicker than the burger orders. The meat is plentiful on the soft roll, though the pork may be a tad too drenched. I tipped my sandwich over just to remove some of the excess pork au jus and was lucky not to spill it on myself.  I personally would have preferred if the pork was sliced thinner. Overall, it was a good sandwich though I would still pick the burger as the best thing Spot serves.
The SPOT staff member taking orders in front of the cart clued me in to the availability of lobster rolls, which SPOT serves on rare occasions, the rest of the week. After hearing those magic words and being warned that they go quickly, I found my way to the cart at 12:20 p.m. the next day only to find that the lobster rolls were sold out for the day. Heartbroken, I was relieved to find out that there would be more the following day. This time, I made it there before noon and scored the precious lobster roll.

SPOT’s lobster roll ($8.00) offers the option of a side of French fries at a discount ($1.00). This lobster roll variation has a buttered (though not traditional top-split) soft roll, with some corn and small cherry tomatoes mixed in with the lobster meat. The lobster tasted relatively fresh, with the corn and cherry tomatoes complementing the flavor. It’s not extremely filling, but lobster rolls rarely are. Eating a lobster roll is about the flavor and evoking a feeling of being up in Maine and eating yesterday’s catch in sandwich form. To that end, the SPOT lobster roll is more than satisfying. Considering that most lobster rolls in the city run well north of $10, this lobster roll was an excellent value. The fries had tasty sea salt seasoning. Though not crispy, they were solid.

I haven’t even tried the roast pork sandwiches yet. Given the superb quality of the food from this cart, I can only assume the rest of the burger list is also worth an out-of-the-way trip to University City.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Amazing burgers from a food cart
  • Lobster rolls on occasion??!! At only $8??!!

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • The burger is priced a bit high
  • One person working the grill, so you may have to wait a few minutes for your order

Spot Gourmet Burgers, Steaks & Pork, 33rd and Arch (all week), Porch at 30th Street (Wednesdays through the fall)


1 Comment

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    Went for a long, long walk while enjoying yesterday’s weather, and unexpectedly happened across Spot’s cart at 2nd & Brown down in NoLibs, right after having a couple beers. Score.

    My first time here, and I enjoyed it. I went with the Spot Burger ($8 – cheddar, pickles, cole slaw & ‘SPOT Sauce’ – if the bacon was on it, I didn’t notice it), figuring the one they name after themselves should be their best. The drippings and droppings on the wrapper looked like a crime scene (in a good way) after I was finished with the one side perfectly-medium-rare, the other side closer-to-medium-well burger.

    It was a good burger, but I think next time I’d prefer a more classic, simple one.

    Now I need to finally get to Lucky Old Souls one of these years, too…

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