Estelle’s

August 29th, 2013 by Richard Chudy

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Quick: name any and all exceptional burgers in Boston for under $10. Sadly, the examples of greatness in the under $10 burger category are shrinking it seems, or maybe it was never that strong to begin with. Options are limited for the classic burger and fries combo, even more so when you take into consideration my ridiculous standards. Estelle’s, right on the corner of Mass Ave and Tremont, has East Coast Grill alum Eric Gburski at the helm, and a Southern-tinted menu to boot. Although they tout the lunch menu to be a “daytime burger joint” there are surprisingly very few twists and turns or options to an otherwise pretty basic burger looking menu. There is only one beef based burger (two if you count the “double trouble,” essentially just a double burger with extra cheese) to go along with a turkey, catfish and vegan burger option, not exactly pushing the limits on all things burger if you asked me. True to form, I order the the Estelle’s House Burger, a very straight-forward sounding sandwich with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and house-made bread and butter pickles. Served with house cut fries, it’s the basic burger model in the most basic of ways, but for $7.95, how can you complain? continue reading »

Union Bar and Grille

May 21st, 2013 by Richard Chudy

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It’s hard to say whether or not Union Bar and Grille is still a reliable food destination. It’s a shiny space with a comfortable bar setting, and that’s exactly where I found myself on a recent outing. It’s surely an enjoyable place to sip on a few cocktails, leisurely wasting the day away in the process. The burger certainly sounds appealing, as the “Prime Chuck Burger with smoked tomato remoulade with cheddar, bacon and fries” feels appropriately priced at $14.75. After placing our order, we waited, and waited, then waited some more for the food before it finally arrived. continue reading »

BoMA

April 30th, 2013 by Richard Chudy

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Just like the days of a “chicken in every pot” there seems to be a “burger on every menu.” But that’s not a complaint; I’d be out of words long ago if eight out of ten restaurants didn’t serve some form of beef in bun locally. BoMA, open since October, is mere steps away from The Gallows, home of one the better burgers around, and similar in structure in the realm of GastroPubs. It’s tough entering the burger market around here: do something different and you risk alienating the purists, but keep it too mainstream and you’re just one of the same. Ultimately it can be risk-reward; the better burgers are able to stick their neck out even just a little to differentiate themselves, while still keeping it as close to the traditional as possible. On paper, BoMA appears to be right in the middle of the norm and the different. continue reading »

The Butcher Shop

November 14th, 2012 by Richard Chudy

Damn you, expensive burger. There is a time and a place for the pricey hamburger (anything in that $15 and up range, I think) if executed right. At a certain price point I come to anticipate a level of culinary craft and skill. Anything less than a fully functional sandwich technique-wise (cooked to temp, seasoning, etc.) and it just opens the doors to a justified list of criticisms. I’ve gone on and on regarding the merits of high end versus low end and quality when factored into the complete package. When successful, the “high end” burger is a divine treat; examples being Craigie on Main, Back Bay Social Club and Radius, whereas places such as the former Oak Room, Catalyst and Neptune Oyster fell short. The Butcher Shop, Barbara Lynch’s South End restaurant and butcher spot, unfortunately lies in the less accomplished category. continue reading »