Grass Fed

March 13th, 2014 by Richard Chudy


Sometimes I think we need to step back and appreciate a burger for what it is and what it is trying to be. Is Flat Patties supposed to be high-end? I think not. Is the Back Bay Social Club burger meant to be served and wolfed down like a fast-food burger? Of course not. Grass Fed in Jamaica Plain isn’t trying to hide behind anything; they are a neighborhood burger joint serving up fairly simple burgers in an easy-going fashion. That’s it. Everything is served a la carte, with single burgers starting at around $6 and climbing up to over $8 in some cases. Fries are on the pricey side: $4 for a small and over $6 for a large, but the small can certainly be a shareable serving size for two. Milkshakes, both adult and regular, round out the focus of the menu (along with other sandwiches and hot dogs), so the sky is literally the limit and will dictate how much you end up spending on a meal.

The bacon cheeseburger ($7.50) is simple, straight-forward and delicious. The wide patty is thin, it’s cooked to a medium but no temp on the burger is ever actually asked, which is often the case with the thinner burgers. The seasoning is done properly, highlighting the natural flavor of the presumably grass-fed beef and is far superior in flavor to 99% of the liver-y, and often unspectacular grass-fed beef I’ve had elsewhere. A soft yet mildly toasted potato roll is the perfect choice and doesn’t complicate matters like another bun may have. It soaks up the juices, has a pronounced flavor yet the beef is still the prime suspect. A good chunk of iceberg lettuce is normally something I might scoff at, but here it’s crunchy and fresh and adds up to that classic burger flavor profile they worked so hard to achieve. A common tomato tries its best to add to the party but offers little to no benefit other than that quintessential ingredient we all seem to think we need. A mayo based sauce (mayo, pickles, Dijon, cayenne, paprika) is both spicy and sweet and carries throughout the burger in a positive light. Pickles are vinegary and delicious, but borderline less crunchy than the ideal. A couple of slices of bacon are crisp and successful; they do not overpower and even better are not a greasy mess like bacon can often be on a burger. A side of beet fries, unfortunately, are pretty abysmal, and I was disappointed especially with beets being half of my company namesake. They are severely under-seasoned and mostly just taste like raw cornstarch. Truffle-Parm fries are exactly what they need to be: crispy fries with that take-it-or-leave-it truffle oil flavor with a good accent of Parm. They almost have a battered texture to them, which makes them both hollow and crunchy as a whole.

Grass Fed delivers the good on a solid all-around burger experience. It adds up though, because a regular burger (which on the smaller side, but additional patties can be added) plus fries already puts it at the $12 mark, and any milkshake or beer addition would make this way more costly than it needs to be. Is it worth a $12-$16 price tag? I’m not sure, but that burger is quite refreshing and balanced, and with an order of truffle-Parm fries instead of the beet variety, I’m a pretty happy camper. This is a neighborhood burger joint worth checking out; it wont make you re-think burgers, but it will deliver a memorable experience.

Overall Score: 85



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