Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay has been a household name for years. Some of his titles include being an Iron Chef, Throw Down Master, Cook Book writer, and Food Network star, but to Flay, he is still just a chef.
"I am still a guy with a white chef’s coat on, the food world has changed so much in the last 20 years and I have just been standing in the right place so in some ways I have been lucky to ride the wave where food has taken people in this country. I am just happy to be apart of it," said Flay. "If I could only do one thing it would be standing in my kitchen cooking in my restaurants because that’s where I started, and that is where I am most comfortable; it is where I have the most smiles."
While Flay's kitchens span across the United States in the form of upscale restaurants and now burger places, he has had his eye set on having a location in the Freehold Raceway Mall for some time now.
“Freehold Raceway Mall is a fantastic mall. It's very busy. We are about 20 minutes away from Monmouth Mall [where another BBP is located] but I find it to be a completely different area and I have always wanted to be in this mall. I have had a few book signings here that were very successful so I decided with my business partner that we had to open in the Freehold Mall. We have been trying to get in here for a number of years and finally a space came up and we were able to make a deal so we are really happy to be here.”
The happiness of having a BBP in Freehold was a mutual feeling, as area residents lined up over an hour before the restaurant’s scheduled noon opening on Wednesday.
“We have been here since 10:15 a.m.,” said Robin Marx of Marlboro, who came to the opening of BBP with a large group. “We have eaten at the other locations but we wanted to be the first in line for this one.”
Before the opening, Flay sat down with Patch and gave some prospective into what makes BBP different from other burger chains.
“One thing I have realized is that you can definitely put too many things on a burger. When you put too many things on a burger it doesn't taste like anything, you don't know what it tastes like, which is why I put on between two and three toppings at the maximum. We don’t have frozen fries here, we start with the potato, it’s a two-day process to make the perfect french fry and we do that here. Very few people do that in this price range and we do."
BBP offers 10 signature burgers, influenced and named after ingredients found and commonly used in specific areas of the country. To have the full BBP experience Flay suggests getting your burger crunchified℠ with a layer of crispy potatoes. Since getting crunchified℠ is something Flay believes should be done to each burger, it is always free to add to your order. Another must at BBP is the shakes.
"Let me tell you right now, the shakes are deadly. It took me like a year to make the perfect shake. I tried every ice cream on the marketplace, every commercial blender on the marketplace and then started messing around with the fat content, the milk content, and how to long blend it," said Flay. "Finally, after trying with a brand ice cream we decided to make our own. We have a company that makes our ice cream and I will tell you that it takes a lot of ice cream to make a good shake. There is 11 ounces of ice cream in each of our shakes and all the ingredients in the shakes are all natural."
With a high set of standards expected at each BBP location Flay explains that he is on a constant tour of his restaurants.
"I have six high end restaurants that I cook in all the time. I am always constantly on tour of my restaurants and I am constantly on tour of the burger places making sure that everything is going the way I want them to be because no one is going to care the way I do. This is not a case where I put my name on something and hope for the best. I am very hands on, I own these restaurants and each one runs according to me."
BBP is located next to the Cheesecake Factory in the Freehold Raceway Mall. It is open from 11. a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Sunday. Online ordering is also possible at bobbysburgerpalace.com.