Archive for November, 2010

Washington Square Tavern

November 29th, 2010 by Richard Chudy

It’s almost a fantastic experience at Washing Square Tavern, the menu is familiar but as clever as it needs to be, everything priced just a bit less than it should be, except the burger, which at $14 seems a little high. But the vibe is perfect, not too loud, not too quiet, with attentive servers and an extensive beer list. It’s the type of place, despite my thinking I’m a big shot, probably doesn’t care there’s a burger blog out there and could care less if theirs is considered the best or not. And that’s what I love about it, nobody is boasting about the quality of the food, no awards hanging anywhere, it is what it is. And it’s a great burger, flawed for sure, but great. continue reading »

Atwoods Tavern

November 29th, 2010 by Richard Chudy

I don’t know how to figure the burger at Atwoods Tavern, it’s the ultimate two-face burger, a few good biters here and there, and a few rather offensive bites in between. It bursts with juice immediately, almost violently and slightly painful on my wrist and onto the plate, which is fine for some, but me, I like my juice in the burger and not on the plate. Yes, leave it to me to complain about a juicy burger, but a little resting of the burger before it’s sent out and those juices will naturally redistribute back into the meat and not onto my wrist and plate. But the meat is flavorful, grass-fed and local, it can be sweet and luscious, which it was partly, and then inexplicably tasted of liver, and not the good way liver can taste when medium-rare, but that nasty, chalky taste of over-cooked liver. Is this a grass-fed quality or the cuts of beef used? Either way, it’s incredibly unpleasant and unflattering, all due to inconsistent cooking. The parts that are cooked to a medium-rare are lovely, otherwise it’s a roller-coaster of tastebuds and it’s not a good experience.  continue reading »

Coda

November 23rd, 2010 by Richard Chudy

I was hoping the Coda burger would be different enough from The Common Ground burger that I would at least have something to say about it.  Owned by the same people, the burger is eerily similar, but I was hoping for a little more South End-finesse as opposed to a rugged Allston burger, location is everything. It’s the same black pepper brioche, the same char-grilled just in a cleaner setting. But whatever worked for me in Allston did not work for me in the South End. Nicely cooked meat became over-cooked dry beef that was over-charred and lackluster. Although the over-char actually made for a nice crust, the nice crust really just turned into too bitter a final product. Those who prefer the grill over a griddle are just crazy, but what do I know. continue reading »

Stoddard’s

November 22nd, 2010 by Richard Chudy

What determines the price of a burger? Is it the cut of beef, the type of cheese, bun, or just the words on the menu? At Stoddard’s, it seems to be a bit of everything, the beef (Meyer Ranch) is excellent, the bun (brioche) is what it is, and of course they have “chiffonade lettuce.” For the uninformed, chiffonade refers to thinly cut strips of flat, leafy foods, usually reserved for basil and mint, not so often with lettuce. Why? Because it’s just so stupid, I mean seriously, who describes or constructs a menu and thinks of chiffonade lettuce? Well apparently the good people at Stoddard’s did, and I guess that’s the difference between what should be a $12 burger and ultimately a $14 burger, it’s all about the wording. continue reading »

Art Bar

November 22nd, 2010 by Richard Chudy

Located at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Art Bar somehow landed on my “master burger list.” I say somehow because I’ve completely lost track of the origins of these suggestions, but one way or another, someone told me to check it out and so I did, with the infamous Mike Isman. It’s a $14 burger and I don’t know why, maybe because there’s Art on the walls? Food I get, but art is a world I know nothing about, combine the two in a restaurant setting and I can’t quite piece it together. It’s snobby, but no less so than The Four Seasons, the type of place that very well could have a good burger, but sadly does not. It’s a $14 burger disguised as a $7 burger, as they use the dreaded combination of ground Sirloin and Brioche, two automatic fails in my mind. continue reading »

The Bristol Lounge

November 15th, 2010 by Richard Chudy

A great burger will stay with you for days, you wont be able to stop thinking about it, you’ll want to keep coming back again and again, no matter the cost (both in the wallet and in the waistline) and you can’t wait to tell everyone all about it. The famed burger at The Bristol Lounge, in Boston’s Four Seasons, hits on many marks, and it is a great burger. I don’t throw greatness around too often with my burgers, even a “good” burger is pretty hard to come by, but I can’t say it’s the best. We’ve talked a lot about price with burgers lately, and with good reason, as expensive burgers are abundant these days, the burger at The Bristol Lounge is a whopping $21, but I say, so what, let’s just think of it as a satisfying meal. Is $21 normally too much for a meal? I say no, but with burgers, we don’t expect to pay more than $6, $9, or maybe $12 for the traditional “combo” meal. Unnecessary quotes aside, if we ignore the price for a moment, I don’t have to work very hard to convince you this is a damn good burger. It’s thick, juicy, seasoned perfectly, has fully melted Vermont Cheddar cheese, and is great to the last bite. continue reading »