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January 14, 2015

P'unk Burger now open on East Passyunk Avenue

And it's open late. Like, really late

Restaurants P'unk Burger
P'unk Burger Lauren Mame Thomas/for PhillyVoice

Marlo Dilks inside P'unk Burger -- aka, the old Chhaya space -- on Jan. 14.

Rejoice: East Passyunk Avenue at last has a go-to burger destination.

P'unk Burger, the new BYO, organic specialty burger restaurant from SliCE owners Marlo and Jason Dilks, officially opened at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 13.

The restaurant is open at the old Chhaya location at 1823 East Passyunk Ave., a 26-seater that, Marlo said, has only been slightly retouched and aims for a "bright-lit, earthy feeling" that's more "modern farm" and less "farm fable." There's also a casual, family-friendly vibe, thanks to an arcade table featuring 50-plus games; proceeds from the table will go to MANNA.

  • The burger joint also feature arcade games, including Burger Time. Get the high score in Burger Time during the month of February and win a year of burgers.

But the main focus of P'unk, she said, is making a good burger -- especially in a neighborhood that's currently, from her perspective, starved of one.

"I would say anywhere outside of Center City is lacking a good burger place," she said. "When we first announced the P'unk Burger opening, plenty of people were upset that we said the city doesn't have a good burger place outside of Center City -- but does any place outside of there have a place that's just good burgers? No. We'll be the first in that area."

The overarching goal of the restaurant, she said, isn't to one-up the "Chef So-and-So" variety of East Passyunk Avenue, but to simply offer a menu of specialty burgers that cater to everyone.

"Our goal with SliCE is to have a pizza for everyone, and I have that same goal with the burger place," she said. "For the meat eaters, the gluten-frees, the vegetarians, the ones who want a spicy burger -- we want to have something for everybody."

The organic meats -- mostly beef and turkey, but including salmon and poultry -- come from Pat La Frieda Meat Purveyors in New York, she said. She'll be making the burgers herself, she said, with the help of Michael Vellisoma. Burger prices range from $8-$12, the farther end of the price range attributed to specialty burgers like "Wasabi Ahi" (spicy rare ahi tuna, wasabi sauce, arugula, cusabi slaw) and "Always Sunny on EPA" (beef, egg, black peppercorn bacon, American cheese, tater tots).

Also on the menu is organic Maine Root fountain sodas, and a variety of shakes. (Because there's no such thing as a good burger joint that doesn't serve shakes.)

Still, the real attention-grabber here -- especially for anyone living in the neighborhood -- is that P'unk burger will be open late: until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. (They're open until 10 p.m. on weekdays.) Take-out and delivery is also be available.