Just like the days of a “chicken in every pot” there seems to be a “burger on every menu.” But that’s not a complaint; I’d be out of words long ago if eight out of ten restaurants didn’t serve some form of beef in bun locally. BoMA, open since October, is mere steps away from The Gallows, home of one the better burgers around, and similar in structure in the realm of GastroPubs. It’s tough entering the burger market around here: do something different and you risk alienating the purists, but keep it too mainstream and you’re just one of the same. Ultimately it can be risk-reward; the better burgers are able to stick their neck out even just a little to differentiate themselves, while still keeping it as close to the traditional as possible. On paper, BoMA appears to be right in the middle of the norm and the different.
BoMA offers two burgers: The BoMA Burger (LTOP, Vermont Cheddar, Brioche, Duck Fat French Fries) and the Prime Burger (Mushrooms, Gorgonzola, Crispy Shallots, Brioche, Duck Fat French Fries) priced at $14 and $16, respectively. I opted for the BoMA burger, medium-rare of course. Arriving to the table was a towering burger with a shiny brioche bun. Upon first bite it was clear this burger would not be shy with the juices, which flowed pretty steadily despite some uneven cooking. I ended up with mostly medium parts, some verging on medium-well but juicy regardless. The first thing I noticed was an almost overwhelming charred flavor, which was a result of both grill marks on the patty itself and an extra toasted bun. The char became the predominant flavor and it’s hard to look past that, masking any hope for the beef to stand alone. The usually sharp Vermont cheddar was hopelessly abandoned, it was barely melted and couldn’t stand up to the bitter aftertaste of the patty and bun. The brioche bun, too tall and thick for its own good, was the complete opposite of the ideal role a brioche should take, that of which being light and airy. This brioche felt like it weighed two pounds on its own, and was dense and chewy. Duck fat fries, appealing by name alone, were a success. It’s not so much that frying in duck fat makes the fries taste like duck, but it gives it just enough to make them more succulent and adding a bit of differentiation versus the normal fry. Hard to put into words, there is something unique about them in a good way, although they could have been crispier, the seasoning was successfully aggressive.
Despite a very noticeable juiciness factor, there wasn’t a lot to love about the BoMA burger. The burger is fairly well seasoned and mostly enjoyable, reminiscent of backyard burgers everywhere. But the choice of a poor brioche bun, unmelted cheese and too strong of a charred/grilled flavor are ultimately the downfall. It’s an alright option, but with stronger burgers just down the street, it’s hard to make a case for this one.
Overall Score: 75