The first problem was the bun: a bit too big and bready. We've been spoiled by many brioche burger buns, whose buttery texture retains lots of moisture and doesn't crumble. Regular buns have a much dryer crumb and tend to fill up/dry out your mouth if you take a large bite.
The second option on the menu is the Free Range PA Turkey Burger-- which, as noted on the menu, has by one source or another been named Best of Philly ($14). This burger again has a stellar list of accompaniments: avocado, brie, curry dijon aioli, lettuce, and tomato. We didn't try this burger but were able to snap some pics and get an opinion or two. Our resident non-meat-eater (breaking the rule for burger tasting only!) claimed it was very salty, overpowering the toppings.
I truly believe we would have left as a group of happier eaters if everyone had ordered the third and final option: the Lamb Burger ($15). The novelty of a lamb patty helped make the meat super flavorful, with a good char and a soft pink center. The bun had sesame seeds, lending flavor to the mix even though it was still a bit too big and dry.
The toppings were a wonderful mix-- actually proving the opposite effect as the other two burgers, as they were executed in a way that made them even better than on paper. Fennel salad (with radishes and arugula), smoked paprika aioli, kalamata olives, and feta yogurt- lots of Mediterranean flavors that provided much needed moisture (to counter that bun), coolness, and a good mix of textures.
I would absolutely revisit Tap House just for this burger- it was wonderful. The side of fries was also just fine- hot and crispy, and a generous portion. Our first meeting of 2013 may not have found us the best burger in the city, but it was absolutely a success-- tons of new faces, a fun spot, and an unexpectedly great lamb sandwich. And, the great thing about Burger Club, you always know another meeting is just around the corner!