I’ve come to expect sub-par service based on specific locations, Brookline being one of them, as poor customer service doomed sister restaurant American Craft a few months ago, a visit to The Publick House wasn’t that much different. And it’s a pretty similar burger experience too, although admittedly better and less pretentious to boot. The burger options are pretty similar, nothing is pre-set, you’re pretty much on your own to create your burger, this time with more mainstream condiments. $12 will buy you a hamburger, and all other topping come in at a mere .75 cents, which I can live with. I go with cheddar and a chili aioli, just to mix things up a bit. All served up on a pretty typical Bulkie roll, it’s a pretty typical Pub burger with a much better beer list.And the beer is sprinkled throughout the menu, different beers featured in almost every dish it seems, special care has clearly been taken to pair foods with the beer, I just wish more attention had been paid to the burger. It’s a fine burger, a little underseasoned but juicy, if not completely so from start to finish. But the beef doesn’t carry a lot of personality, and it’s the kind of burger that should, there ought to be something unique about it, but instead it’s really just a pretty good burger. The cheddar is nicely melted but the small amount given barely adds the tangy element I was looking for. Chili aioli comes on the side and delivers a powerful heat and is an excellent touch to both the burger and the fries, which are also pretty ordinary. Pub fries, skin-on, but prepared well, they certainly aren’t memorable and could use more salt, but they are good enough I suppose.
Maybe The Publick House is just banking on the extensive beer list and condiments to make the burger stand out, and it almost is enough. The burger is juicy, but is redundant, kind of a been there done that burger when it has all the makings to be special. The bun is a good fit and all but doesn’t add much to the flavor party, a run-of-the-mill offering when something custom-made and personal would have fit the bill. All in all a comfortable place I would return to, but will probably always be in that second burger tier of close, but not close enough for elite status.
Overall Score: 83