The Druid should have been the one, a charming, small Irish pub with a cult following with an even better burger. But I’m not sure they even know the difference between meatloaf and a burger, just because beef is formed into a patty and slapped between a bun doesn’t mean you can call it a burger. No, season it with anything besides salt and pepper, in this case ginger and what tasted like stale dry herbs, then we’re talking meatloaf. All we’re missing is a ketchup glaze and some mashed potatoes to finish it all off. And I was hungry too, joking at the table before we ate, I declared I was so hungry I was bound to give a favorable review. Not so fast, as some amateur mistakes, burger purism aside, really stood out. The first major offense was the un-melted cheese, so tired of this, it’s very lazy and shows no effort. I’d almost be more okay with raw, but when you borderline attempt to melt cheese, where it’s plasticky and a textural nightmare, it’s a major fail. A cold bun, which was too big anyway, adds to my grievances. The fries are no picnic either. Inconsistent in size, they are unevenly cooked, showered with fresh herbs, which I like, but tasting of fish because they are fried in the same oil as the fish and chips. Because of the inconsistent shapes, you get some good fries, but some have completely dried up, all the ketchup in the world can’t save these, and the amount of pepper on these fries was far too much. Back to the burger, and again, it’s not so much that I’m a burger purist (I am) but adding something like ginger to a burger no longer makes it taste like a burger, it just makes it taste weird. It was cooked a spot-on medium rare, but somehow lacked juiciness, it had flavor, but just not that beefy burger flavor that I was seeking.
I often wonder why people love certain places, is it loyalty, the fact that they’ve been going for years so they can’t change their mind? I have no idea how the Druid used to be, or why people love it so much, maybe it’s unchanged and that’s what people love about it, but the familiar scene that is this Inman Square favorite, is no favorite of mine. Call it a meatloaf sandwich and think outside the box, which is something I couldn’t do, just please don’t call it a hamburger.