Beacon Hill Bistro

February 20th, 2014 by Richard Chudy

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It’d probably be simpler if we could ignore price and just focus on the quality of the burger in hand. In some ways, price is just one factor of many, but it’s always something to think about, especially when that price tag slowly creeps higher and higher. But the flavor of the beef can often trump the price tag, within reason of course, and that beef better be damn great to be worthy of semi-frequent visits. The Beacon Hill Bistro burger launches off at $16, which comes with a side of fries and a red eye aioli (more on that later), and nothing else. Upgrading with cheese (cheddar or blue) will set you back $2, as will the bacon of the day. Of course I went with both, and for all you math majors out there, that comes to a grand total of $20. But how was it?

Nestled into a soft English Muffin, which appeared to have a small bite removed from the front, the burger is loosely packed, grilled and definitely on the thicker side of things. I’m not sure the English Muffin is the proper choice here, as the patty is simply too tall and hefty, causing the English Muffin to kind of crumble at times, but that’s mostly due to one hell of a juicy burger. The beef, I must say, is one of the top three beefy burger experiences I’ve had to date. Seasoned flawlessly, cooked even better (a perfect medium-rare across the board) this burger is crazy juicy from start to finish and wouldn’t give up. The taste of the grill is there, not in an overly charred way, just balanced, smoky and delightful. Ground daily from sirloin and copious amounts of beef fat (sometimes with the additions of brisket and/or short rib), it’s an 8oz. burger done right in every which way. A side of piping hot fries are dusted with herbs; they arrive nice and salty and are crispy and ever so fluffy. The bacon of the day on this day was a Mangalitsa guanciale, a salt, pepper and herb cured piece of jowl that is dried then sliced raw. It’s like eating the straight-up fat on a strip of bacon, cut just too thick for my liking, and not fully melting on top like was intended, similar to a piece of lardo. Still, I applaud the effort in doing something different with the bacon family, and creativity gets points even if the execution didn’t fully do it for me. Cheddar cheese is slightly detectable but if I had to do it again, I’d probably omit, wishing it was included in the regular $16 price tag. It was the rare time where cheese didn’t necessarily add anything to the burger. Red Eye Aioli was just fine, a little light on both on the espresso and the chili oil front flavor-wise, but much like the bacon, the effort of doing something outside the box will always yield an appreciation.

If you did strip down this burger for the basic package of $16 with a side of fries, you’d be in burger purist heaven. Cheese and bacon are generally automatics, but in this case, they almost get in the way of the beefy endeavor that awaits. Right up there with the beef from all the other greats like Craigie on Main and Back Bay Social Club, Beacon Hill Bistro makes a hell of a beefy burger. Is it worth $20? I’m not sure any burger truly is, but this one is easily deserving of hanging with the top notch fancy burgers in town.

Overall Score: 89

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