The Oak Room (CLOSED)

January 11th, 2011 by Richard Chudy

There’s a reason people get pissed off for spending more than “x amount of dollars” for just a hamburger, we’re so accustomed to fast-food, cheap, backyard burgers that barely cost anything. Ground beef, bun, lettuce, tomato, cheese, done. Why the expensive trend? What makes a burger gourmet or pricey anyway? Most of the time, it’s expensive because of a famous chef, or because it’s served on brioche and is topped with fancy aged cheddar. But does that ever really justify an $18 price tag? I have loved some expensive burgers before, but I wouldn’t automatically call them gourmet, they may be carefully prepared and have a little more finesse than say a grease-bomb burger at a diner, but ¬†it’s always hard to justify a big price tag. And this just in, the burger at The Oak Room at the Fairmont Copley Plaza is quite awful, and it would be bad at any price, but for $18, it’s downright offensive. Value and price all play a part in my scores, and for $18 this burger is worse than if it were to cost $8, but either way it stinks. For $8 you let it slide a little, it may be bland but you get out cheap. For $18 I expect simple things like cooking it to temperature and not using a stale bun obvious choices, but they can’t even pull that off. The fries are not quite crispy and need salt, and the pickles are straight from your common grocery store. My burger is over-cooked, not by much, but my friend’s burger is beyond over-cooked, I’m talking well-done despite ordering medium-rare. How is this even possible for $18?! Throw in some very snooty waiters and an atmosphere that is only fitting if you are of retirement age or have money to throw around and think is the place to be. But it is not, not even close, cool in the 80’s maybe, but not cool today. The beef is supposedly Kobe but I seriously doubt it. Unless it was that under-seasoned that I just couldn’t tell either way (very possible) it’s a rip-off all around. There’s a reason “gourmet” burgers get a bad reputation, it has to be close to perfect to justify the money, and The Oak Room is downright egregious in every sense of the word.

Overall Score: 58

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