Savor Hand-Held Comfort at Drip

Savor Hand-Held Comfort at Drip

Wrapping two hands around a golden, toasted brioche bun packed with hearty flavors – whether a well-dressed burger or another appealing protein offered at Drip – transmits a primal message of ownership: This is a personal dish that discourages companions from poaching a taste. Leaning forward for that first big bite, shoulders may even hunch slightly, a protective stance assumed by hawks when guarding their prey. Safeguarding your food is only natural. Anyway, fries are more amenable to sharing.

Composing a core menu of irresistible tastes remains central to the culinary ethos of this easy-going Hellertown bistro. “We’re adamant about getting feedback on our creations,” Chef/Owner Andrew Murtha says. “The goal is to constantly improve the menu, and create items near and dear to [the clientele].” Delivering a fun experience in a great atmosphere count among complementary goals. The décor, splashed with graphic designs, sets a light and playful mood – the restaurant’s mantra, “Come get weird with us,” hints at intrinsic whimsicality – and a generous patio satisfies al fresco dining fans. 

Hellertown deserves a great burger joint, and we’re going to give it to them.

Early on, Murtha learned to use food as a communication tool. “At big family get-togethers I was always more comfortable working the grill, rather than making awkward small talk,” he explains. “It was an icebreaker for me – the first time in my life I used food to meet people on common ground and talk about life. Being new to town, I find myself adopting that same mindset.”

A native of Buffalo, New York, the chef honed his professional skills in such plush settings as Stephen Starr’s Barclay Prime in Philly. “A lot of people wonder why I left fine dining to open a burger joint, and I guess the answer is that I wanted to eat a great burger,” Murtha says. “Hellertown deserves a great burger joint, and we’re going to give it to them.” 

To craft a signature burger up to his “perfect bliss” standards, the chef took an elemental approach that ensures each component reaches a benchmark of excellence and works together to achieve a synthesis of taste and texture. A rich brioche bun, specially developed by a New York bakery, provides a sturdy delivery system for a hand-formed 6-ounce patty of finely ground chuck beef enhanced with a bit of butter. (Note: Gluten-free buns are also available.) A custom-designed cast iron cooking system seals in juices during the rapid searing process. From there, an array of toppings distinguish specialty burgers, from the cheesy BLT-style Hamlet to the Big Mick, which gives a metaphorical flip of the bird to fast food products (for a detailed look at this mighty mouthful, see “Best I Ever Had” in LV Marketplace, May 2021). My Big Fat Greek Burger goes Mediterranean and Smoked Out sports cowboy flair. Condiments such as bread-and-butter pickles, sauces, and dressings are all house-made, and non-meat eaters may sub a plant-based Impossible Burger in any sandwich for a small upcharge. 

Chicken sandwiches, another menu mainstay, appear in multiple forms based on boneless, tenderized breasts marinated in fresh herb-infused buttermilk for 24-hours. After being dredged in seasoned flour and fried at the time of order, the moist meat becomes encased in a deeply satisfying crispy-crunchy coating. “This is the fried chicken sandwich you want every time, not the steamed version you usually get,” Murtha says. For a kicked-up variation of the Filet o’ Chicken sandwich, open wide for a Nashville Hot, intensified with a complex, aromatic, and zesty spice blend after frying. All sandwiches come with a side of fries or a salad.

Festively adorned milkshakes offer a sweet beverage pairing, and arrive in such classic forms as Vanilla, Chocolate, and Coffee, plus offbeat tastes like Birthday Cake and Chai. Floats encompass traditional Root Beer to Nitro Coffee. Rotating desserts include cookies, brownies, and crème brûlée, along with a personal-sized, multi-colored Birthday Cake, a house staple. All desserts team well with French press-prepared coffee made with renowned Cafés Richard beans.

Adult beverages are also represented. “We work with a local brewer to keep our taps flowing with the golden nectar of the gods,” Murtha states. Yuengling Lager, an IPA, and one rotating craft brew are always on tap, with small-batch domestic cans in the works. The headlining drink, however, is an evolving selection of house-made hard ciders. “The cider revolution has been gaining a lot of momentum, and we were really impressed with some of the growers in our area,” he continues. “We brew traditional ciders, Old World style: Unlike their modern overly sweetened distant cousins, a true cider is incredibly refreshing and doesn’t leave you feeling bogged down with sugar and calories.” His personal favorite is At the Hop, a hop-infused cider that’s “great for any beer drinker, including myself.” Sip a glass in-house, then grab a growler to go. 

1310 MAIN ST

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