The South Philly SHAME Burger

By: Jordan Epstein, posted Apr 19, 2010 at 11:00 am

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Since the opening of The Wishing Well on 9th and Catharine early this month, we have been receiving emails directing us to the burger that got kicked out of Atlanta for being too rib sticking.

The SHAME burger was invented by chef Carmen Cappello at his southern location, where he improvised on Pennsylvania tradition in creating this enigmatic creation.  A bit of background- the restaurant is part of the Slow Food Movement – meaning that they pledge to bring ingredients in that are grown within 100 miles of their location, contributing to the local economy and respecting the environment.  The Burger is made of local Lancaster sirloin, bought fresh right down the street in the Italian Market.  It is topped with house-made scrapple, American cheese and a runny fried farm fresh egg. Yep. It’s ridiculous.  Carmen calls it a “gluttonous treat that you can feel good about eating” and we definitely agree.

The burger is cooked well-done because the gooey cheese and fried egg provide all the juiciness you need. The fresh scrapple is well spiced with thyme and sage, and is both creamy and crispy – it’s fried, as it should be.  The multiple textures and contrasting breakfast and lunch flavors, shifting back and forth depending upon the ratio of what you get in each bite, together make this a fascinating sandwich.

We speculate that another reason that they belong to the Slow Food movement is because you ain’t moving so fast after you eat one of these.   Next time we head to Wishing Well, we’re going to get the appetizer version of this burger, which comes topped with a fried quail egg, so that we can save room for the fresh fish, inventive meat dishes and seasonal vegetables that they actually work directly with farmers to source.  Wishing Well is a welcome addition to the Italian market.  Co-owner and GM Chris Martino is already seeing repeat customers at the bar, which carries over 50 bottled beers.  Final verdict: do this burger at least once, it’s delicious, it supports the local economy and is definitely something to talk about.

The Wishing Well
767 S. 9th St. – Philadelphia, PA 19147 (Google Map)
(215) 238-6555



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  • http://www.afoodcoma.com Alexandra Harcharek

    That looks GORGEOUS. I am starving just thinking about it. Nice write up, Jordan.

  • http://www.afoodcoma.com Alexandra Harcharek

    That looks GORGEOUS. I am starving just thinking about it. Nice write up, Jordan.

  • http://www.howcanidomore.com Jordan

    Thanks Alexandra! It's definitely the cure for starving, you should give it a try – and have one of their Black IPAs – brewed with dark and caramel malts but still crisp and hoppy.

  • http://www.howcanidomore.com Jordan

    Thanks Alexandra! It's definitely the cure for starving, you should give it a try – and have one of their Black IPAs – brewed with dark and caramel malts but still crisp and hoppy.

  • http://twitter.com/mikeyil Mikey

    The regret for not accompanying you on this venture flows from me like a mighty sea current.

  • http://twitter.com/mikeyil Mikey

    The regret for not accompanying you on this venture flows from me like a mighty sea current.

  • scrambles

    Wow. I love burgers. I love scrapple. I love fried eggs. But altogether, this might be a bit too much for me.

  • scrambles

    Wow. I love burgers. I love scrapple. I love fried eggs. But altogether, this might be a bit too much for me.

  • http://twitter.com/phillygrub Philly Grub

    Yes, please!

  • http://twitter.com/phillygrub Philly Grub

    Yes, please!

  • hollymoore

    Not buying the rationale for well done, but does look promising – assuming it squashes down so can be chomped my a non-Pacman size mouth.

  • hollymoore

    Not buying the rationale for well done, but does look promising – assuming it squashes down so can be chomped by a non-Pacman size mouth.

  • http://benkessler.com Ben Kessler

    Have to agree with you; I too am perplexed by the rationale there. Wondering if you can still designate a temperature preference? Maybe Jordan can chime in on that.

  • http://benkessler.com Ben Kessler

    Have to agree with you; I too am perplexed by the rationale there. Wondering if you can still designate a temperature preference? Maybe Jordan can chime in on that.

  • http://www.howcanidomore.com Jordan

    This is the only thing on the menu that you can't add or subtract anything from. Chef knows best is how they roll with this burger. Holly, perhaps you can get the sliders and bribe someone to get one made rare, one well done so that you can do your own taste test. BTW- It squashes quite nicely, and once you pop that yolk – lookout.

  • http://www.howcanidomore.com Jordan

    This is the only item on the menu that you can't add or subtract anything from. Chef knows best is how they roll with this burger. Holly, perhaps you can get the sliders and bribe someone to get one made rare, one well done so that you can do your own taste test. BTW- It squashes quite nicely, and once you pop that yolk – lookout.

  • http://www.howcanidomore.com Jordan

    Go for it only when ravished- it's a great combo for a scrapple lover and a very breakfasty burger.

  • http://www.howcanidomore.com Jordan

    Go for it only when ravished- it's a great combo for a scrapple lover and a very breakfasty burger.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-Davis-Covais/1766860996 Michelle Davis Covais

    WOW!~this is a genuine American beauty!!! I thought my daddy was the only person in the universe to eat an egg on his burger.
    I THINK I would like to try this but would probably bring a friend to help…:)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-Davis-Covais/1766860996 Michelle Davis Covais

    WOW!~this is a genuine American beauty!!! I thought my daddy was the only person in the universe to eat an egg on his burger.
    I THINK I would like to try this but would probably bring a friend to help…:)

  • http://www.facebook.com/imalwaysmoody Bryan Moody

    I WANT! Maybe, just once.

  • http://www.facebook.com/imalwaysmoody Bryan Moody

    I WANT! Maybe, just once.

  • Buckethead

    Me neither, I had the slider version of this burger a few days ago and it left a lot to be desired, mainly due to the fact that it was well done. And sorry, but “The burger is cooked well-done because the gooey cheese and fried egg provide all the juiciness you need.” makes no sense. A slice of American cheese doesn't provide enough moisture to make up for a dry burger, never mind the fact that the cheese and egg are separated from the beef by a slab of scrapple. Or that you're suggested that lost beef juices can be replaced with melted process cheese. Or that the egg can easily be overcooked, as mine was. The bun they are using for the slider version was also not good. I liked the idea of the burger but the execution of it needs some work.

    I did really like the charcuterie plate, though. If it's true that they are doing that in-house, they need to do more of it, it's good.

  • Buckethead

    Me neither, I had the slider version of this burger a few days ago and it left a lot to be desired, mainly due to the fact that it was well done. And sorry, but “The burger is cooked well-done because the gooey cheese and fried egg provide all the juiciness you need.” makes no sense. A slice of American cheese doesn't provide enough moisture to make up for a dry burger, never mind the fact that the cheese and egg are separated from the beef by a slab of scrapple. Or that you're suggested that lost beef juices can be replaced with melted process cheese. Or that the egg can easily be overcooked, as mine was. The bun they are using for the slider version was also not good. I liked the idea of the burger but the execution of it needs some work.

    I did really like the charcuterie plate, though. If it's true that they are doing that in-house, they need to do more of it, it's good.

  • scrambles

    Wasn't it just a year ago that you were dissing scrapple and saying you hoped that “scrapple-infused sandwiches” wouldn't start popping up around town? (see http://unbreaded.com/2009/03/24/cant-spell-scap…)

    I hope this means that Unbreaded has succumbed to the allure of scrapple. ;)

  • scrambles

    Wasn't it just a year ago that you were dissing scrapple and saying you hoped that “scrapple-infused sandwiches” wouldn't start popping up around town? (see http://unbreaded.com/2009/03/24/cant-spell-scap…)

    I hope this means that Unbreaded has succumbed to the allure of scrapple. ;)

  • jasonhellion

    “grown within 100 miles of their location, contributing to the local economy and respecting the environment.”

    yeah so you can die from a heart attack 100 ft from the joint after you eat it… this looks pretty disgusting…

  • http://twitter.com/phillygrub Philly Grub

    I had my SHAME burger last Thursday. Unbelievable. Honestly, I'm surprised someone didn't think of this earlier. 2010 = Year of the Scrapple!

  • http://www.howcanidomore.com Jordan

    Buckethead- that's unfortunate that your egg came out overcooked. I actually liked the well-done burger with the gooey cheese and runny egg, it reminded me of a 5-guys burger plus some. I'm sure they'd be happy to hear that execution wasn't ideal, most chefs like to know if their cooks are not executing to perfection. Full disclosure: if the meat's good, I usually get my burger rare, so this was out of the ordinary for me – but I did like it when cooked to the chef's specifications.

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