Philly-bred chef Michael Jamison spent many years cooking in New York - including a spell in the '90s at Blue in Chelsea and Mo's Southern Barbecue in Queens.
He's riding the burger wave in his hometown by opening Prime Burger Company at 703 Chestnut St. (267-519-0752), replacing the ill-starred Green Wasabi and Delicatessen. It's his first shop; asked if he'd open more, he replied: "When I get this one right."
Layout is similar to predecessors, with counter service, a partially bamboo-covered ceiling and booth seating on two levels.
Jamison says he's using Pat La Frieda ground short rib and New York-sourced brioche rolls for his signature, flat-top-grilled burgers. Starting price is $6.95 for a classic; also on the menu are a Monet (with goast cheese, portobello mushrooms and trufled mayo for $8.25), a Philly cheesesteak burger (with provolone, cheesesteak, peppers and onions for $9.50), and a soft taco burger (which adds jack cheese, guac and pico de gallo on a red-flour tortilla for $8.50).
There's an assortment of "zero-beef" burgers, including a portobella mushroom, crabcake burger (a sandwich, actually), a turkey burger, a salmon burger and a seared ahi tuna burger, plus a kobe beef hot dog, BLT grilled cheese; sides of onion rings and fries; and shakes.
Jamison also sells cheddar-burger soup, lobster bisque, and salad versions of the burgers.