Common Ground

July 27th, 2010 by Richard Chudy

Wow, so many things I hate about burgers all rolled up into one package at Common Ground in Allston, yet they still manage to pull off a nearly fantastic burger. Brioche, un-melted cheese, and char-grilled all manage to sneak their way onto the menu and into the burger and I’m still won over. Brioche is almost always a huge offense for me, but it’s worked at least once before (Eastern Standard) and it works here. Clearly an Iggy’s, topped with black pepper, it’s almost the perfect complement to the beefy grilled burger, still a few remaining bites of bread to be considered well thought out, but a good match overall. Brioche is usually a failure because a: too much bread for not enough meat, b: too rich and airy when it needs to be just the opposite, or c: all of the above. The bun at Common Ground isn’t perfect, it’s not my ideal, but the size of the patty needs a large bun or those juices wouldn’t stand a chance. And this one is juicy, not overly-so, but juicy, it’s cooked much more on the rare side than anything, spots of raw really, but I like that, it’s seasoned well, bursting with saltiness and charred flavor from start to finish. Again, normally too much char can ruin a burger for me, but this has just the right amount, nothing is compromised and nothing is overwhelmed, except maybe those sad tomatoes and lettuce, poor guys never had a chance. The pickles are a nice touch and the little squirt of mustard I apply seems to be just what the doctor ordered. (who the hell still uses that expression?)  Un-melted American cheese is a major offense, the biggest one overall, as it’s nearly impossible not to melt, they clearly haven’t tried. The fries are also a letdown, slightly thicker than shoestring, they taste almost exclusively of oil, are not crispy, and are bland, if only they seasoned those fries they way they seasoned the burger. Overall, the service is attentive, but then again, when you’re one of  three people at 2:00pm on a Tuesday I expect nothing less. It’s very nondescript, just a bar really, but incredible value at $9, who says who have to go into Cambridge or Downtown Boston to get a good burger, and despite offering a burger that I would normally hate, the Common Ground somehow delivers.

Overall Score: 85

3 Responses

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