Much loved by unsuspecting co-eds, much loathed by everyone else, The Sunset Grill boasts one of the most extensive beer lists anywhere in Boston, while serving some of the most mediocre food in town. It’s hell on earth with a good beer selection. I suppose most people don’t come here to eat, and it’s hard to argue with the overwhelming options of imbibery. The burgers are steamed in beer, self-described as “famous” to “preserve its optimal flavor and juices.” But if you start with mundane ground sirloin you’re probably going to end up with mundane sirloin, no matter how much beer you steam it in. Luckily, the burgers are relatively cheap; $6 will get you a hamburger, but why stop there, most add-on’s are around $1, and the fries come a la carte for another $2. Still in the under $10 category, although I’m not so sure that makes much of a difference here.
A rather bland, but very massive half pound burger arrives on a quasi-sweet bun, but it all feels too heavy. The meat is packed too tight, the bun is thick and overly substantial, there’s a heavy hand on too many of the ingredients, just not on the seasoning. It’s over-cooked but it’s nothing criminal, it isn’t exactly gushing with moisture, but it’s far from dry either. It’s just another run-of-the-mill burger, akin to an Applebee’s and the like, wanting to be so much more than it actually is. Not every burger can be great, and The Sunset Grill is banking on inexperienced college kids hoping for a massive upgrade to the fast food that is unfortunately the norm. But the bacon is past its prime and chewy, and the curly fries are barely warmed and an insult to even be categorized as fries. They are bland, soggy and unpleasant all at the same time. Hey, at least they melted the cheese, something their burger contemporaries at other higher priced, classier restaurants can’t even do. Still, it’s hard to get past the tawdry interior, and what always ends up feeling like a cheap thrill; lots of beer, enormous menu and large portions to match. The food is an afterthought at The Sunset Grill, and it shows.
Overall Score: 63