It’s about as close to an ideal griddled burger as you’ll find, from conception to execution, The Gallows puts their best foot forward on the burger front. It’s the uncommon treat of enjoying a meal based on actual care and consideration, versus the norm of slapping something between two buns. It’s clear from the moment you are greeted through receiving the bill, this is a tight knit group that actually gives a shit about your dining experience. The burgers, of course, are a delight, the attentive front of the house is really just an added bonus. We sample both the “Our Way” burger (American cheese, grilled onion, iceberg, homemade pickles) and the “Sunnyside” burger (house smoked bacon, American cheese, sunnyside egg) and love them both. Priced at $10 and $15 respectfully, it’s the classic griddled burger I’ve been seeking; crusty exterior, beefy interior, and as juicy and satisfying as the larger Pub burgers I often shun. Blended from Chuck and Brisket, the burgers featured at The Gallows often vary depending on your visit. You may find burgers topped with fried oysters one day, or bbq sauce and coleslaw on a different trip. Either way it’s the same premise; griddled until crusty, seasoned beautifully and as juicy as a burger should be. How crazy you want to get with the toppings is a personal choice, you’ll be hard pressed to find better value than the “our way” burger for $10. Griddled burgers are not that prevalent in Boston, few places do it and even fewer do it successfully. Usually “griddled” has a negative, cheap burger connotation, whereas the thicker but often one note Pub burgers grab all the accolades, at least locally. It’s a shame, cooking a burger on a griddle is essentially cooking the burger in its own fat, yielding maximum juiciness and flavor. It’s no accident they choose the griddled method at The Gallows, these boys know their beef. Personally, I could do without the iceberg lettuce and onion, but I can recognize a nod to the most familiar of burgers. It’s the cliched burger I bemoan, but this one actually tastes pretty darn good. All it takes is the right blend of beef and some salt and pepper, pay close attention, all you burger wannabes.
If you’re looking for that drip down your chin, multiple napkin burger (not to be confused with another place that promises an excess of napkins) this may not be it, but again, it’s almost intentionally so. The proper resting post-cooking is no accident, and ensures a juicy burger from start to finish. The American cheese adds the necessary creaminess with a tad of fat to both burgers, and while the perfectly cooked sunnyside egg is just what I needed, it’s really gilding the lily. House smoked bacon has a powerful flavor like no other, but its chewy texture leaves a little something to be desired. The fries are good, well seasoned and adequate, if not a smaller portion than one would like. The bun is also uncomplicated and close to ideal; soft and buttery, it’s the perfect size for an exquisite burger. While I can’t completely get behind the big leap from $10 to $15 to upwards of $17 for a humble griddled burger, simple is best. The Gallows burger is the perfect example of restraint, attention to detail and a well executed product.
Overall Score: 93