Boston Burger Company

July 13th, 2009 by Richard Chudy

Placed right in the middle of Davis Square in Somerville, The Boston Burger Company certainly has a great location going for it, and not much else. We arrive on an absolutely perfect Sunday afternoon, seated right by the open bay window in this small, but inviting twelve table spot. The menu, as expected, is mostly burgers, but in order to please everyone they boast a few chicken sandwiches, veggie burgers, and an assortment of salads that have been done a million times over. (wedge salad with blue cheese anyone?)

The menu is written in a faux style chalk board, giving the impression of daily menu changes and a homestyle feel, but anyone can see through that. The smells are nice, you can pick up the griddled aromas blocks away and I am excited to dive in. The burgers (twenty-two in all if you count conch and veggie) all come with homemade potato chips and a choice of baked beans or coleslaw. Fries and onion rings are to be ordered separately, and some toppings (lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo, etc.) are free, while others are an additional charge, pretty standard fare.

I order a cheddar cheese burger and as a group we split the classic fries, garlic parm fries and onion rings. There are eleven different fries options in all, as well as conch bites and the like. Bad sign number one as our rings and fries arrive first, a good five minutes ahead of our burgers. I realize they may seem more like a side dish at this point, but c’mon, serve the fries with the burgers please.

One bite into the fries and I’m upset, while crispy on the outside, the fries are barely cooked on the inside, more like potato wedges than anything, and lack any salt whatsoever. The onion rings have a nice batter, text book actually, but have zero onion taste in them, they’re all batter. The garlic parm fries are decent, but a poor quality of parm, which is unmelted, is duly noted.

The burgers come, mine is of course over-cooked, and there is way too much lettuce, at least 6 thick pieces. The cheese is nicely melted, but almost nonexistent, the saving grace might be the bun, which comes from Piantedosi in Malden, and is delicious, although I wish it had been griddled or toasted. The homemade chips are abysmal, totally over-cooked, and we all agree they are barely edible, a complete afterthought. The coleslaw is nice, well seasoned. The burger overall is pretty good, made from Angus beef, it is, well, beefy, seasoned the best of anything else on the menu, but still not enough for me. It does have good flavor and is relatively juicy, I just wish it was cooked to order. Nick’s is cooked perfectly, and I can’t understand the inconsistencies, not just here, but almost everywhere in Boston, in cooking a burger to order.

All in all, for three of us, we spend $55 including tip, but probably didn’t need the onion rings and two different fries, one would have been enough. The surroundings are good here, the service is attentive and it looks the part, but never fully delivers.

Overall Score: 78

4 Responses

  1. William says:

    I always order my burger well done and BBC has not had any issues hitting the mark consistently. Perhaps because it’s on one end of the spectrum and they don’t have to worry about getting it just the right shade of pink, etc.

    Also, point well taken on the chips. They’re a great side, but they do tend to be overcooked.

    Despite all of it, though, I love this place.

    • I was always pulling for that place, they have such a great environment. It’s one of those restaurants I haven’t been back to, definitely have to check it out again.

  2. Ron says:

    I have been here a few times with different people. And have tried a couple of different burgers. My wife and brother keep going back for the parm and garlic fries. I usually get the sweet potatoes fries. Which are some of the best sweet potatoes fries I have eaten out,not soft and greassy like most places. But between Harvard Sq and David Sq I use to love to go to Bartleys Cottage even though it was always crowded around lunch. But now since I have visted The Boston Burger more than once they definatly deservw a score as higher if not higher than Bartleys.

  3. Richard says:

    I’m probably due for a return visit. Definitely remember not liking the chips or the fries.