If I eat a decent burger do you need to know about it? I’d say most burgers I consume fall into the “pretty good” category; not fully memorable or in the top pantheon, but certainly worth your hard earned cash if you are in need of a burger fix. Worden Hall, a newish spot in Southie, attempts to elevate the commonplace pub staples into something a little more refined. But are they successful? Simply labeled “The Burger,” the offering here is a mighty 8 ounces of Angus beef, black pepper bacon, blue cheese, caramelized onions and a chipotle secret sauce. In the wrong hands it could have been a predictable sandwich without much fanfare, but the Worden Hall burger is more than meets the eye (pun intended). A thick and crusty patty is mostly cooked medium with pockets of pink (it was ordered medium-rare) but is seasoned well enough that the slight overcooking isn’t that big of a deal. It’s a juicy patty that doesn’t gush uncontrollably, but is easily moister than most. Heavier on the pepper than the salt, the choice of beef is ahead of the curve, but is certainly not very abstract with different cuts or any serious depth. A healthy dosage of blue cheese is pronounced and a nice partner for the beef. If you are a lover of blue cheese this is the burger for you, but if you not a fan of the blue funk I’d suggest swapping out for a different cheese. I fall somewhere in the middle on the blue cheese spectrum and found it to be just fine. House-made black pepper bacon is very thick with a nice, almost overboard chew, but the craft is noticed and appreciated as two slabs of the bacon supply their due diligence to the sandwich in hand. Caramelized onions are textbook but are half-hazzerdly slapped on, and a chipotle secret sauce is creamy without being too spicy. The bun (can’t tell if it’s house-made or not) is crumbly but not too stiff. It’s kind of like brioche meets baguette; towering high it feels separated from the patty and the condiments in that it doesn’t bring it all together, but it’s not so large that it’s distracting in any way. Curly fries are all I need. They are seasoned perfectly, served hot and extra crispy; I could eat them all by their lonesome and be perfectly content.
I’m not sure the burger is completely worth the $16 price of admission at Worden Hall, but it is quite delicious. It’s pretty well cooked but by no means is it perfect. It’s got enough juiciness to be proud but it is not best in show. Bacon is a plus but is too chewy and the bun is successful with an asterisk. All of this adds up to a good, if not superb product and in the grand scheme of things, I’m ok with that. Service can only be described as mildly awkward but I can safely recommend this burger (with a killer beer list to boot) for anyone who likes a classic with a slight upgrade. Worden Hall does make a successful burger with well-rounded condiments and fries. For the burger adventurous it may not be all you are looking for, but for those who appreciate the simple and the beefy, this one will do just fine.
Overall Score: 84