Archive for June, 2011

The Brickyard

June 28th, 2011 by Richard Chudy

Anything not in or around Boston usually has a tough time gaining recognition. Those poor suburbs never stand a chance in the food world, what’s great for us city dwellers may not be so great on the “other side.” But good food shouldn’t know any boundaries, I was hopeful Woburn could end up being a great burger destination, but in the end, The Brickyard comes up short. The menu is built around pizzas and burgers, what’s not to like? But the burgers have that chain restaurant-vibe. Redundant flavor combinations and the usual tricks, but not much flavor. The Brickyard Stuffed burger comes with bacon and cheese in the middle of the patty, or so they say. Most of the “stuffing” sits atop the burger, with nary a bit or two of bacon and just a touch of American cheese gushing out of the over-cooked burger. Theoretically stuffing a burger is a nice idea, but it just doesn’t work here.

Again, it’s about cooking things properly, I’m looking for seasoning and technique, always. If there had been enough flavor on these ground chuck burgers to compensate for a few technical errors all would be forgiven. But the burger has no crust, with minimal seasoning and certainly not a lot of personality. The burger is smushed between my old nemesis, brioche. Don’t let the buttery and shiny bun fool you, it really only makes sense in one out of every ten burgers, and this is not one of them. The fries are amazingly forgettable, I can almost guarantee deriving from the freezer, and lacking any seasoning whatsoever. The Brickyard tries to promise a unique and special burger experience, but with a good portion of the bacon raw and the burger way over-cooked, it makes a special trip outside of the city a big disappointment, especially when the next great burger is at steak.

Overall Score: 62

Aquitaine

June 21st, 2011 by Richard Chudy

You can try to play the role of a great burger, but if you can’t even cook it right, there’s just no hope. The Aquitaine burger looks like it could be a winner; bacon, cheddar, truffle mayo and pommes frites. But oh, that dreaded Brioche. But ah, that the brioche actually works and the beef does not is the real surprise. The truffle mayo is flavorful, say what you will about the authenticity of truffle oil, I enjoy the flavor even if it’s not the real thing. The bacon ceases to be crispy, despite evoking a good smoky flavor it’s chewy and lackluster. And that beef, with a fair amount of char and modest salt, is over-cooked and relatively dry. I long for the days of juicy burgers, cooked right, and seasoned to my absurd taste. It’s a straight-forward attempt, but never carried out in the execution department. continue reading »

Scholar’s

June 14th, 2011 by Richard Chudy

I’m convinced a good number of menu’s are written on a whim; random ingredients pulled out of a hat that kind of sound good on paper but are never actually tested in the kitchen. The food at Scholar’s feels exactly that way, a few twist and turns strewn about, making it sound interesting at the very least. But in the end, the question of whether or not it tastes any good is the only thing that matters. Too bad for Scholar’s because it really doesn’t. Gary, the SBK and I headed to Scholar’s on a rainy Saturday afternoon and decided to each order the house burger and split the Apple Chutney Burger. Hey, it’s what we do, don’t judge… continue reading »

Grafton Street

June 11th, 2011 by Richard Chudy

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It can be easy to forgive a few things; a slightly over-cooked burger, a less than perfect bun or a mediocre pickle, as long as the complete package works in the end. The reality is that it’s all about the flavor; bonus points for complete execution and a few carefully crafted “cheffy” tricks here and there. But to be solid, all you really need to is season up some beef, melt some cheese and call it a day. But the Grafton Street burger can’t do it, it’s simple, but to a fault. As Harold from Best Damn Buger and I soon discovered, the beef has little flavor and is way beyond the specified medium-rare. But it’s one of those burgers that probably would have been underwhelming either way, there just isn’t much character or personality in this burger. And as we all, know personality goes a long way. continue reading »

A contest….

June 7th, 2011 by Richard Chudy

Time for another giveaway, my burger friends. Three lucky (random) winners will each receive a $25 gift certificate to restaurant.com. All you have to do to enter is give me your top 5 burger spots in Boston and tell me why they are your favorites. The winner will be chosen this Friday, when I release my Top 5 in this week’s Burger Column for the Dig. Want an extra chance at free burger money? Tweet “Free Burgers from @bostonburger? Yes, please. Enter at www.bostonburgerblog.com”.

Good luck!

Restaurant.com offers gift certificates to more than 15,000 restaurants and bars across the country for a fraction of their actual value. That means customers have access to $25 gift certificates for only $10.  From appetizers to dessert, from wine to dinner, Restaurant.com provides diners with great value in a fun, new and cost effective way. Drinks and alcohol are included unless otherwise noted. Some conditions apply.