A wild card in the making, The Avenue in Allston should have no business being in the great burger discussion. Our memories of this place are not positive; a seedy bar overtaken by seedy college kids, cheap beer and darts are the name of the game, surely they are incapable of serving decent food. But a new ownership and a complete interior overhaul has done wonders, at least in the confines of a weekday afternoon, who knows what lies between the walls when the construction workers are swapped out for scantily clad co-eds. At least for the lunch shift, The Avenue serves up above-average burgers. The price is right too, unless you’re ordering a turkey burger (and really, why would you do that?) all of the burgers cost less than $5. On Mondays, the Avenue Burger (lettuce, tomato, secret sauce) is only $1, extra toppings costing a mere .50 cents, you won’t top out for more than $2 for a more than respectable burger.
The Avenue should be more popular based on my visit; they’re serving better burgers than most of their contemporaries (ie Tasty Burger and UBurger) in a less than desirable location. Personally, I’ll take the better product over the superior locale. Theese 4 ounce griddled patties are seasoned generously and cooked a perfect medium-rare, no easy feat for a burger this thin. It’s a juicy burger, just not the juiciest, although the residual grease (especially if you have a burger with bacon) will fool you into thinking it has more than it should. And let’s not disregard the fact that they are clearly doing their best In-N-Out impression, griddled is one thing, but calling one of your burgers “Animalized” is a clear shout-out to the much loved West Coast burger chain. The Animalized burger will get you grilled onions, American Cheese, pickles, and Secret Sauce. The sauce really just tasting of mayonnaise and cayenne, missing the opportunity to make it more Thousand Island/Russian Dressing than the burger it’s trying to imitate. The cheese is fully melted on some of the burgers, but completely cold on others, and while the onions are fairly bland, the bacon is crispy and the buns the perfect size for the modestly proportioned patties.
Sea Salted Fries ($1.50) and Sweet Potato Tots ($2) come a la carte, both with a generous portion size. The fries, while not specifically tasting of sea salt, were hot, crispy and flavored well, despite being pale in color and possibly pre-frozen, they weren’t awful for a cheap-o spot like this. The tots, also well seasoned, were far too perfect in size to be homemade, but again, tasting good enough to get by, and far superior to the abysmal tater tots at 5 Napkin. Both the fries and tots are just fine, not superb, but better than most. It remains to be seen whether or not The Avenue can be consistent with their burgers. Come on a Monday and give it a shot, two people can happily eat for a mere $10, and if that’s not enough to make you want to try, the promise of a superior product to the much more popular Tasty Burger or UBurger should be good enough.
Overall Score: 85