Hey there, Alden and Harlow, no pressure or anything. Many folks (both local and national) have been anointing the Secret Burger one of the best burgers in the country, never mind locally. I’m always wary of such proclamations, for obvious reasons, and try to avoid the hype machine as best I can before heading into a place. How good could it really be? I’ve eaten my way through a great (and uncomfortable) amount of burgers over the last few years. Many have wowed me, some have disappointed, and most have been just fine and dandy. I dined at Alden and Harlow on a busy Thursday night, knowing full well that a burger would be in my future. They mention on the menu that there is only a limited number of burgers available on a nightly basis (rumor has it about three dozen, with a few withheld for late-night service) although I have yet to hear of many, if any people getting rejected because they had run out. To me it feels like a cooler Craigie on Main approach: the burger is there for the taking but clearly there are a bunch of other fine dishes the chef would rather have you enjoy; it’s not hidden even if it is limited. I certainly wouldn’t complain if Alden just turned into a full-blown burger joint, but something tells me chef Scelfo wants to flex his culinary muscles a little more than just serving up our most beloved sandwich. continue reading »
It’s just a burger, right? Right. I don’t totally “get” some places. I mean, I get it, you serve burgers in a fast casual kind of way, and not that you need to reinvent the wheel, but why go through the trouble if you aren’t going to try something new and interesting? I do suppose for some majority of people out there, the classics and the straight-forward are all they’d ever want or need in a burger joint. So despite my pretentious desires, there is always a market for the simple and the pure burger. A&B in Salem, relatively new, is housed in the old Salem jail, giving it a unique look and offering table service and awkward waiter interactions despite most checks coming in under $10 per person. Not that there’s anything wrong with the service, that part is just fine, and my lazy ass certainly appreciates it. continue reading »
My mom, for reasons that might or might not have been clear to me, has been constantly singing the praises of the burger at Canary Square in Jamaica Plan for quite some time now. Finally, on mother’s day, I caved. Not that I thought it wouldn’t be a great burger, but more because I was sort of enjoying the back and forth game of the elusive burger, and the saleswoman pitch she kept giving me. It’s a bustling restaurant on this particular Sunday night, the first warm day/evening in a while, and neighborhood patrons appear as if they have been coming here for years. The service is a tad slow when you want it to be faster, and very quick and short once they realize you are done for the night. continue reading »
I’m doing a giveaway with the good folks at Kayem as part of their new line of artisan sausages. Want some free Kayem swag including a sample of the new sausages? Just drop a comment below telling me what your favorite thing to grill in the summer is. Contest ends tomorrow at noon, and then one lucky winner will be announced. For an extra chance to win, leave an additional comment on my Facebook page or via Twitter. Good luck!!
You know the drill. A simple burger is bound only by its parts and labor. Great beef, bun and fries are more paramount than the burger loaded with a myriad of toppings and the like. Sure, great beef, bun and fries are always important, but if you go the straight-forward route, you are only opening up yourself to a closer inspection with nary a sauce to hide behind. The burger at Cook, in Newton, comes with nothing more than cheddar, lettuce, tomato and onion on their burger, and for $13 is probably about all you can expect from this middling restaurant. continue reading »
In only our second year of #burgermadness , the impossible has happened. After battling back and forth for two full days, and after getting picked up by Barstool Sports (read all about the trolls here), this site crashed during the final hour of voting. Rather than either take the votes for what they were or extend the voting for another hour, finalists The Blue Ox and Park both agreed to a draw. Normally I’d scoff at such a notion, but that’s what the chefs wanted in order to keep it fair. So here we are, the winners of the best burger in Boston are both The Blue Ox and Park. Yes, I realize neither restaurant is technically in Boston, but so what? Clearly the people have spoken (the race at last check was painfully close) and these two restaurants dominated the voting throughout the 64-burger bracket. Hats off to both of them and to everyone else for voting, tweeting and sharing this story over the last few weeks. In total, there were 21,784 votes for this contest, and would have been even more if the site didn’t crash. And the word on the street is that The Blue Ox and Park are going to have a “burger-off” sometime down the road, so check back here for all the upcoming news. Thanks again for another great year!!!