Articles filed under ‘Reviews’

Brass Union

September 11th, 2014 by Richard Chudy

Brass Union

Is there too much stock put into cooking a burger to the requested doneness? Maybe, maybe not. It’s an area that is a hot button issue for burger enthusiasts, because if you are going to be cooking copious amounts of burgers at your restaurant, you should probably be nailing the temps on a consistent basis. If you order a steak and it is not cooked the want you wanted it, it’s getting sent back, one would presume, but burgers sometimes get a free pass. Maybe it’s a price issue with burgers being on the more affordable spectrum (usually), so it’s less of an issue. Where am I going with this? I lean somewhere on the side that it has to be more about the general flavor and enjoyment of the overall burger. Do I want my burger cooked a perfect medium-rare? No doubt about it, and the better spots will hit that temp each and every time, and I’d be foolish into trying to convince you that it’s not a factor in my overall grading scale, because it absolutely is. However, if the burger is juicy, seasoned and has the proper meat to bun ratio, I’ll take that over a perfectly executed patty with no seasoning or substance. Long story short, and I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this, Brass Union in Somerville makes a very tasty burger, but on this inaugural visit, medium-rare it was not.  continue reading »

Rox Diner

September 3rd, 2014 by Richard Chudy

rox

Situated in Newtonville, the newish location of Rox Diner (the original being in West Roxbury) is all about breakfast all day, with a pretty burger-heavy menu for those folks not looking for French Toast for dinner. What really grabbed me right off the bat was the proclamation that they use LaFrieda beef; in this case a short rib and chuck blend. LaFrieda is of course one of the better, if not arguably the best beef you can get out there (Shake Shack for one uses their product as well as many of the top spots in NYC) so I was especially eager to try them out. Basic cheeseburgers begin at $12 and climb to $14.75 for a couple of the more involved, so there is something for everyone.  continue reading »

High Horse

August 18th, 2014 by Richard Chudy

high horse

Finding myself in Western Mass for a weekend, I knew a burger was obviously going to be in the cards. After a quick stop at the new outpost of White Hut, I found my way into High Horse, a brewery and pub in Amherst. Like any good pub, it devotes a large portion of the food menu to burgers, which the restaurant boasts as being ground in-house every morning. Pickles and buns, I’m also told, are made in-house as well. If you think making pickles isn’t a big deal (and I would agree with you) take a look at all the local Boston restaurants that use pickles (while still delicious) from another hometown company. Generally lots of components are made in-house, but the pickle is often outsourced and I never understand why. A refreshing but painfully small pour of a Saison joined my lunch as I sat outside on the patio. continue reading »

Ceia Kitchen and Bar

August 4th, 2014 by Richard Chudy

CeiaI sometimes wish I could set my own price after I eat a burger. Not to be cheap, but merely to see if what I think it should be valued at is the actual number on the menu. It can go either way; many burgers taste far more extravagant than their humble price tag while oftentimes pricier options just don’t add up for me. Put Ceia Kitchen and Bar somewhere in the middle; not quite a bargain but but not a major disappointment either. The $16 Kobe burger is topped with manchego cheese, serrano ham, tomato, smoked paprika aioli and served with duckfat fries. It certainly sounded like it was worthy of the slightly hefty price tag, and after waiting a good hour for the food to arrive, I could hardly wait to dive right in. continue reading »

Alden and Harlow

June 24th, 2014 by Richard Chudy

IMG_1182

Hey there, Alden and Harlow, no pressure or anything. Many folks (both local and national) have been anointing the Secret Burger one of the best burgers in the country, never mind locally. I’m always wary of such proclamations, for obvious reasons, and try to avoid the hype machine as best I can before heading into a place. How good could it really be? I’ve eaten my way through a great (and uncomfortable) amount of burgers over the last few years. Many have wowed me, some have disappointed, and most have been just fine and dandy. I dined at Alden and Harlow on a busy Thursday night, knowing full well that a burger would be in my future. They mention on the menu that there is only a limited number of burgers available on a nightly basis (rumor has it about three dozen, with a few withheld for late-night service) although I have yet to hear of many, if any people getting rejected because they had run out. To me it feels like a cooler Craigie on Main approach: the burger is there for the taking but clearly there are a bunch of other fine dishes the chef would rather have you enjoy; it’s not hidden even if it is limited. I certainly wouldn’t complain if Alden just turned into a full-blown burger joint, but something tells me chef Scelfo wants to flex his culinary muscles a little more than just serving up our most beloved sandwich. continue reading »

A & B

June 19th, 2014 by Richard Chudy

IMG_1140

It’s just a burger, right? Right. I don’t totally “get” some places. I mean, I get it, you serve burgers in a fast casual kind of way, and not that you need to reinvent the wheel, but why go through the trouble if you aren’t going to try something new and interesting? I do suppose for some majority of people out there, the classics and the straight-forward are all they’d ever want or need in a burger joint. So despite my pretentious desires, there is always a market for the simple and the pure burger. A&B in Salem, relatively new, is housed in the old Salem jail, giving it a unique look and offering table service and awkward waiter interactions despite most checks coming in under $10 per person. Not that there’s anything wrong with the service, that part is just fine, and my lazy ass certainly appreciates it. continue reading »