Shiny and with an open concept, Lulu’s still has that new restaurant smell and is a welcome addition to the Allston ‘hood. The menu is vast with pub influenced bites, plates and sandwiches and a slight accent of gluttonous offerings to boot. Two burgers appear on the menu (three if you count a black bean one a burger; I don’t), one very normal, one very much a knife and fork sounding job. Of course I had to have both the Lulu’s Burger ($12) and the fittingly named Bad Ass Burger ($15).
Burger number one is standard and straight-forward, with natural beef, Vermont cheddar, secret sauce, brioche bun and fries. It’s pretty to look at, with a soft and polished bun holding it together. The beef, more rare than medium-rare, is seasoned flawlessly and charred just so. It has a wonderful depth of beefiness usually only seen in Boston’s top tiered burgers, immediately making it a contender on the scene. Cheddar is nicely melted and pronounced. Although it adds creaminess, the secret sauce (mayo based of course) isn’t even all that necessary, it really just takes away from the beefiness slightly. The bun works ok in this case; flaky like challah, it does behave as a proper stopgap for the juices. Burger number two is a controlled mess, and is actually not nearly as sloppy as it could have been. I’m not sure if that was intentional or not, but despite the promise of stout braised short ribs, a runny egg and being topped with a beer cheese soup, it is self-contained and it works. I was only slightly let-down that I wasn’t resorted to a beefy, greasy food coma afterwards, but truth be told it was balanced and damn successful. I’m not so sure I could specifically pick out the flavors of ale in the short ribs, or pinpoint the exact flavors of the beer cheese soup, which tasted more like fondue, not that it’s a complaint whatsoever. The same natural beef is used on this burger too, and is again little under cooked but with the same onslaught of juices, full on beef flavor, and perfect seasoning. Fries in both cases (one normal, one chili cheese) are under-cooked as well, with greasy and not quite crispy spuds presented, and are kind of a let down but are seasoned aggressively here too.
The burgers at Lulu’s have some of the better beef around (not quite on the Alden and Craigie level, however), certainly as memorable as most in the top twenty. Brioche is an adequate bun choice, if not the best and sauces and accompaniments (especially the perfectly cooked fried egg) are big hits. Overall the food is balanced when it almost has no right to be, and although there are some inconsistencies with the cooking of the meat and fries, they make a very tasty burger.
Overall Score: 85