How many great burgers are there in this city for under $10? Go ahead, I’ll wait for a minute…I’m labasted often for only liking expensive burgers, that paying anything over the $10 threshold is elitist and snobby. But hold on, where do you go for a cheap burger? Most cheap burgers are priced that way because, quite frankly, they suck. The exceptions to that rule, of course, are: Highland Kitchen, Flat Patties, and the Common Ground. And that’s about it. It’s not my fault the strong majority of quality burgers here are costly, I like what I like and see no need to defend myself any further.
Enter Redline, a non-descript hideaway of a restaurant in Harvard Square, which I probably walked past a million times but never noticed until recently. I regret having never heard of it, run by the same group who owns Russell House Tavern, Grafton Street and Temple Bar, it has a similar yet different feel. Maybe that’s why I liked it so much. Price aside (this one comes in at $9) it’s a delicious burger but still has that luxurious feel to it. It’s a brioche bun that actually makes sense, and a patty that has the right amount of char and no shortage of flavor. Cooked perfectly to the requested medium-rare, it’s a very juicy burger. There isn’t a ton of personality in the beef, it’s ground chuck all the way, but the seasoning is spot-on, and it’s juicy all the way through. The brioche accompanies the patty perfectly, fitting it like a glove and not taking anything away from the beef itself. Mission accomplished.
I have a minor gripe with the fries, which are fair, but feel a little dense and lacking in the salt department. Certainly not a deal-breaker, they just don’t do their part in the hamburger and fries relationship. This has the look and feel of the more expensive burgers around town, not topping driven, just the basics. But, as we have learned time and time again, it’s the execution and the simplicity that always wins me over. It may not be the beefiest, the most unique or mind-blowing in any way, but it’s a burger, it doesn’t have to be. And for under $10, the value is just incredible, there is just no stopping this burger.
Overall Score: 88