Vito’s Tavern

February 29th, 2012 by Richard Chudy

At least the wings were good. The burger…not so much, a classic case of looking really friggin’ good on paper, the burger at Vito’s Tavern misses the mark again and again while trying to sound more special than it actually is. I ordered the “Fifth Flavor” Burger, a promise of Umami-rich ingredients (Roasted Tomato, Parmigiano Frico, Homemade Ketchup, Shiitake Mushrooms, Brioche) all for the seemingly great price of $12.99. The beef is advertised as a special blend but it tastes rather ordinary. It’s kind of an odd one; all the ingredients are there, more or less, they just don’t pack a punch the way they’re supposed to. The mushrooms are few and far between, and the homemade ketchup appears to be completely lacking, but the tomato runs rampant. The Frico, which ideally provides a wonderful crunch, is soggy and all it can do is cling to the tomatoes that may or may not even be roasted. A lot of talk but a big letdown in execution, something we’ve sadly seen far too often.  continue reading »

Masa

February 3rd, 2012 by Richard Chudy

For all my talk about “everyone having a burger on their menu,” I still get charged up whenever I find one at an unsuspecting restaurant. Is it the thrill of discovering the next great burger that no one is talking about? I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a factor, and after nestling into the bar at Masa for a quick snack before the next meal, I quickly spotted a burger on the menu and I couldn’t pass it up. Sounding different and exciting, it had all the makings of a substantial burger. Then again, much to my dismay, it turned into one of those “looks good on paper” burgers that are common and disappointing. The Masa Burger is topped with Monterey Jack Cheese and comes with smoked bacon, sliced avocado, pickled onions and Guajillo ketchup. Or so one would think.  continue reading »

Met Back Bay

December 7th, 2011 by Richard Chudy

If you’re going to talk the talk you’d better be able to walk the walk, and the Dry-Aged burger at Met Back Bay clearly has issues walking and talking at the same time. The epitome of a burger that sounds really friggin’ good on paper  (Dry-Aged beef, sharp cheddar, double smoked bacon, port wine onions, organic sesame seed bun) but is a colossal disappointment. There’s no debate that a higher price tag has to yield higher expectations and the opportunity for more critiques. It’s not nitpicking, that’s just the way it is, and this burger, priced at $18, fails in just about every aspect. continue reading »

Towne

November 28th, 2011 by Richard Chudy

Beware the gourmet burger they say, expensive burgers can’t be trusted. If people start talking about a burger, there’s probably a reason for it, although in the case of Towne, most of the chatter seems to have vanished after a hot start. Priced at $16, I’ve somehow avoided this burger for months, but like most things, this was worth the wait. To make the upper tier, you must nail execution, flavor, and offer something that other burgers can’t. Ironically labeled the “Deluxe All-American Bacon Burger,” it’s all about the meat, but for the gourmet crowd it should go without saying. How premium the entire package is and how much value is attributed to a hefty price tag is the question. continue reading »

Kingston Station

September 30th, 2011 by Richard Chudy

The only good thing to come out of my experience at Kingston Station was my first experience using Level Up, I was surprised at the ease to which I was able to pay via my new favorite App, and even more surprised when I scanned through the numerous locations I had the option of checking out. Kingston Station had been on my short list for some time, and I eagerly ventured there with the promise of an exceptional burger. Maybe that was my first mistake; it’s unfair to rule out a place based on vibe and service, but suffice to say the lackluster service and rugged atmosphere were the first hint of a dull burger to come. Dull can sometimes be spun into “classic,” sometimes it’s all you want for a burger, and generally what I covet most. Ordinary wasn’t even the real problem here, with so many fundamental errors it’s hard to even imagine how this burger is so beloved, and for $15 it was even more egregious. An off day? Please, this one offered almost no hope. continue reading »

Bistro du Midi

September 21st, 2011 by Richard Chudy

An easy burger to peg, plagued by many of the same issues of wannabe burgers from the past, the Bistro du Midi burger is merely ordinary. Too bad, this $15, “Black Angus Burger” sounds fine, available at the bar only, in what is a well respected establishment. But, as is often the case with well respected establishments and their burgers, not much thought is put into it, yet the price tag is advanced based on location and reputation of adjoining dishes on the menu. Everyone wants to serve a burger, I get it, but where’s the love? We all want to join the Boston burger party but no one wants to be prepared. Maybe I’m taking this a bit too seriously, but then again, that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me or this blog. I’m serious about my burgers, maybe I should learn to lighten up. Then again maybe I’ll lighten up for the next one. continue reading »