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 »
How much does ambiance truly factor into our burger satisfaction? I’ve been known to be not so kind to a slightly snobby atmosphere because it just doesn’t pair so well with a hamburger. Most would argue that the quintessential burger should probably be consumed in a setting where either a visible grill is present (ie a backyard) or at the very least, the aromas of char and beef smack you in the face from the get-go. Clearly this is something that the fancy pants places cannot emulate, and yet despite an onslaught of “higher end” places that are wildly successful, don’t we all just want something cheap and quick at the end of the day? continue reading »
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 »
Simplicity with a burger is usually a good thing, but it can get tricky. It can go from looking appealing on paper with unnecessary overly complicated ingredients if done with too much ambition, to plain and boring if left with too blank a canvas. The short of it is a great burger need not be too involved but if you’re going the easy route, you better bring it. Silvertone, known as an industry hot spot because it’s open until 2am, isn’t the prettiest gal on the block, especially in the light of day. The Silvertone burger is a very straight-forward, $10, 10 ounce patty with your choice of cheese and a side of fries. continue reading »
When I was contacted by the folks behind the Food Truck Throwdown to be a judge this year, it was pretty much a no-brainer. For the second year in a row, it’s a chance for the food trucks in Boston to compete against some of the best food trucks in New York. A Boston versus New York rivalry? Now where have I seen that before… Regardless, I’m looking forward to a fun day filled with great food, the event is free to the public so I hope to see you there. As an added bonus, I’ve been contacted by a few of the Boston trucks to share some of their signature dishes, all made with Maker’s Mark, enjoy!
Roxy’s Grilled Cheese Bourbon Peach Melt
with Brie, Maker’s Mark ™ Bourbon-Peach marmalade, crispy bacon
8 Peaches, Quartered
Quarter cup brown sugar
1 and a half cup Maker’s Mark ™ bourbon
Quarter of a diced red onion
One sprig chopped tarragon
Six slices of center cut bacon
Six slices of white bread, preferably sourdough
One pound of triple cream brie, sliced around a quarter inch thick
Quarter cup mayonnaise
Cook bacon on medium heat in frying pan until crispy. Cool, rough chop.
For the Maker’s Mark ™ Bourbon-Peach Marmalade:
Quarter and pit peaches. Saute onions til tender. Once tender, add peaches. Saute until soft. De-glaze with Maker’s Mark ™ bourbon. Add brown sugar, cook down on low for ten minutes. Remove from heat, add chopped tarragon, let cool.
For the Grilled Cheese:
Apply a thin layer of mayonnaise, not butter, to one side of each slice of bread. Over low medium heat in a frying pan, lay bread down with the mayo side down touching the griddle. Apply brie, marmalade, and chopped bacon. Once topped, close sandwich. Flip as needed until golden brown. continue reading »
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 »