Christopher’s

September 25th, 2009 by Richard Chudy

Christopher's burgerI have to stop with the expectations. Whenever I have high hopes for a place (see:O’Sullivans or UBurger to start) I’m severely disappointed. I read “best of” lists or read a great review on Yelp or plain old word of mouth that gets me excited for a burger, but 9 times out of ten it’s just not very good. Christopher’s has all the accolades, in fact, Food Network recently claimed it to be the best burger in Massachusetts. But it’s painstakingly average, it’s a pub burger and no more. I love the location, it’s Cambridge, and the Porter Square area, and it brings back fond memories of culinary school for me as we used to frequent here for a drink or four after a hard day in the kitchen. Walking over to Christopher’s last night we walked by my alma mater and saw some hopeful culinary students in class, ah the memories. I was excited to be back in my old neighborhood and I was excited because I was so sure we were in for great burger.

They list a few different options, but to be fair and consistent, I have to keep ordering the same thing, a bacon burger for me and the English burger for Nick (marinated in Ale, topped with cheddar, bacon and served on an English muffin). I immediately know I’m in trouble when presented open-faced, there is a good inch between the meat and the space to the bun, too much bread will be a problem. The burger has grill marks on it, and of course my preference is griddled, but I’m open-minded, unfortunately the meat, while relatively tasty, is totally dry despite being cooked properly. (no easy feat) The fries are good, pub fries basically, but seasoned good, if not a little skimpy on the portions. The burger is supposed to be six ounces, but it doesn’t feel six ounces, and the biggest problem really is the bread.

Christopher's burger - halfway throughIt takes a couple of warm-up bites to get through the first layer of bread to even reach the meat, even then it’s a struggle, it’s way too big a bite while still being cheap with the meat. (again, no easy feat) It’s totally average, and a huge letdown. Nick claims to barely pick up any hint of the Ale, his cheese is not fully melted (surprise surprise) and he also faces the same bread problem.

Despite having a cool neighborhood feel, it’s quiet enough that you can actually have a conversation, and the menu at least boasts several options for everyone, it just isn’t very good, and certainly not very memorable. Next time I have high hopes for a restaurant based on some list, I’ll run the other way in horror, because I already know it’s not going to be any good.

Overall Score: 74

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