We meet at Flat Patties, located in The Garage in Harvard Square.This is much more of a fast food environment than anything; there’s less than ten tables with a few scattered counter seats throughout. Even though it rests in such a high traffic area, it’s pretty clean, and in fact, on this particular visit, The Garage is pretty clean in general. The first thing that grabs my attention, however, is the simplicity of the menu, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. We can only be prejudiced by our own preferences, and for me, a burger is all about simplicity.
In my last post I criticized The Biltmore for not pulling all of its culinary promises off, when in reality, had they, they could have had a much higher score, maybe an unbeatable one. I still don’t know what my perfect burger will taste like, but for now, the West-Coast style, which is what Flat Patties serves up, seems to be more my style. I ordered a double cheeseburger that came with lettuce, tomato, cheese and a house sauce, as well as a small order of onion rings. The food came in about 8 minutes, and they also have a self-serve topping bar at the counter. I have a love/hate feeling towards this, while I appreciate the offer, I want my burger to be prepared and topped for me. I understand that some people may want jalapenos or relish, but not me, please serve it the way you intend for me to eat it.
Upon first bite, I knew I loved it, the grilled brioche style bun was lovely, it had a nice crust and was a perfect fit with the meat, just the right amount of bread to meat ratio. And it was juicy, very juicy, but unfortunately I couldn’t taste the house sauce at all and honestly didn’t miss it too much. The beef was good, not great, could have been seasoned better and certainly not the quality of a John Dewar. The onion rings were solid, a bit greasy, but perfectly salty and delicious, if not a little on the skimpy side. ($2.25 for about ten very thin rings) I tasted a few fries, which were sub-par, somehow cold, even though they claim to fry to order, but there’s no way fries get that cold that fast. A few things were curious to me though; 50 cent refills on the soda machine, a gumball machine from the late 80’s and a gigantic tortilla press on the counter even though I couldn’t detect a tortilla-like product on the menu whatsoever. Overall, the burgers were great, it ran in at about $11 per person, the service was fast and friendly and I left completely satisfied. I will definitely return.