What makes a great burger? It’s not a big secret, most restaurant dishes, especially of the comfort food variety, succeed because they are not shy with salt or fat. Burgers are no exception; season aggressively and don’t skimp on the fat and you’re off to a delicious start. Burgers aren’t a diet food, better stick with the salad if you want something healthier, the ideal burger shouldn’t be good for you. Which isn’t to say the burgers at JM Curley are overly greasy or salty, it isn’t, although it is in fact, a strong contender for one of my new favorites in Boston.
An interesting menu with burgers that change depending on when you come in, the 5 oz. Griddled Burger is featured on the lunch menu, the larger 9 oz. Char-Grilled burger available at dinner, and both offered on the late night menu. It’s up to you how creative you want to get with your toppings, (Peanut Butter, Spinach Spread, Duck Confit, etc.) but the house burger (Griddled or Grilled) is a fairly traditional patty topped with Grilled Onions, Cheddar, Pop’s Russian Dressing and Pickles. It’s straight-forward and simple, or rather uncomplicated, and that’s what makes it delicious. I’m a burger purist and this is a burger I’ve been waiting for; great beef, nothing pretentious and just good without tripping on its own two feet, and the option is there if you want to go a little crazy. Priced at $7.50 and $14, respectively, this is a rare case of my preference towards the Grilled Burger. The Griddled is very good, juicy and a touch pink, it’s slightly less beefy perhaps because it’s just that much smaller. The Grilled Burger, however, really shines. Using beef from Kinnealey was a wise choice; it’s the best in town and it’s showcased at JM Curley, that and a very generous amount of Beef Suet make this one of the beefiest burgers in town. All nestled into a Piantedosi Bun, another adequate decision, and it’s a winner all around, the bun fitting the burger nicely and not becoming a distraction that plagues many buns.
The fries are just about perfect, beautifully crispy and aggressively salty in that great way that makes a delicious Fry, the Shoestring are a better choice than the drier and blander Wedge option. The Grilled Burger is cooked the way I order it; medium rare, naturally, and it’s rosy red from edge to edge. The juices in this burger are consistent throughout completion of eating the sandwich, and it’s a beautiful mess. Some burgers are nice because the juices are contained within the patty, but here it’s a combination of both sustained and fallen juices onto the plate and over my arm. You’d be hard pressed to find a beefier and better tasting burger, while not a complete original thought, I don’t see the need to be unique with this burger, you just need a good design and the right execution, and luckily JM Curley is successful all around.
Overall Score: 93