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 »
Boston isn’t exactly littered with celebrity chefs. On a national scale, how many casual food fans can really name more than, say, Ming Tsai as a household name that hails from Boston? Well Bobby Flay isn’t from here, and Burlington isn’t quite part of Boston either but after three separate trips to Bobby’s Burger Palace, I can say with confidence that it is a very high quality burger place for what it is. And that “what it is” is really the only true way to identify and properly score the burger; relating it to other similar burgers and nothing more or less. Bobby’s Burger Palace is a fast casual chain of restaurants quietly spreading throughout different regions of the country, and aside from the “local” Burlington location, there is one at Mohegan Sun and quite a few in New Jersey. I ventured to the Mohegan Sun location last month and enjoyed it, much more than the disappointing and far more expensive burger at his flagship, Mesa Grill in New York City. After a lengthy chat with Flay at the opening of the Burlington store and being once again impressed with the burger I ate, I was excited to head back once more to follow up. continue reading »
I wish I could say I felt badly for the slider, but truth be told, rarely are they ever very good. Too often they are mass-produced in large-scale catering events, or they are a forgotten menu item receiving surprisingly little attention from chefs and diners alike. Best case scenario a slider is a delectable couple of beefy bites, tempting you to want even more than the three mini burgers that are usually offered. But the worst case scenario, one that most of us are accustomed to, yields three dry and flavorless balls of meat, sometimes beef, sometimes a combination of pulled pork, chicken and beef but usually mediocre at best. What always amuses me is when people order an appetizer of sliders because they don’t want or think they can eat an entire burger. But the reality is that three little burgers can often be the equivalent if not a larger amount of food than just ordering one single burger. Oh well. After visiting Saloon in Davis Square once before for a few libations and bites I had been intrigued by the “trio of grass-fed sliders” which ironically enough are listed in the entree section and not the expected appetizer corner. Saloon does not offer a full-size burger, and having never reviewed sliders before on this site, I thought it would be a suitable choice. A simple yet upscale combination of bone marrow, wild mushrooms and pickled shallots are the listed ingredients, and priced at $15 it’s in that sweet spot for what would normally be an appropriately priced burger of this caliber. continue reading »
It was the burger that almost wasn’t. I had dinner at the relative Coolidge Corner newcomer Hops N Scotch over the summer with mixed results. More recently we found ourselves in the neighborhood on a weeknight for a few cocktails, and me not being the kind of guy who can ever refuse ordering a burger I haven’t had, dove right in to what I anticipated to be an ordinary burger. It’s not due to a lack of hype or accolades, but the Hops N Scotch burger just doesn’t sound very exciting, especially for a place that has an interesting Southern spin on a lot of their dishes. Why no love for the burger though? I had dreams about a Pimento Cheese topped patty with fried green tomatoes and maybe some Cajun spiced fries. Some sort of twist would have been preferred, but I digress. After talking it over with our fine bartender, I was informed that I could in fact have the burger with pimento cheese, in lieu of traditional options such as cheddar or American. Pimento cheese, for the uninformed, is a Southern staple that is basically a cheese spread (usually sharp cheddar) mixed with roasted red peppers and mayonnaise. It could be spiced further or it could be as straight-forward as that. Additional add-ons such as a fried egg and bacon are also available for $2 a pop.
There’s something to be said for the unexpected burger. Sure, you can walk in to just about any pub, fast food place or middle of the road restaurant and order a burger and be reasonably sure of what to expect in size, flavor and price. At Posto in the Davis Square neighborhood of Somerville, the pizza is the star attraction, along with a healthy dose of all things Italian-American. Normally if/when I order a burger at a place that doesn’t specialize in burgers it feels as if I’m ordering off the kids menu. While I may have received a few glances in my direction that screamed, “what are you a moron? Why did you order a burger at a pizza place?” The end result turned out to be a very delicious and exceedingly enjoyable burger. continue reading »
To grill or not to grill, that is the question. At Back Deck, they rely heavily on the old standby, our good friend the grill. If the vibe is intended to look and feel like the prototypical “back deck” in most suburban houses, they’ve certainly succeeded. Picnic tables and a brightly lit interior set the scene, and the smoke of the grill is evident if not overwhelming. The aptly named “backyard burgers” offer three slightly intriguing choices; the Santa Fe burger (pepper jack, avocado, tomato salsa), the Muffaletta (provolone, Creole olive salad, garlic mayo) and the Mexicali (pepper jack, avocado, chipotle mayo and green chili salsa). Being a sucker for all things New Orleans, I opted for the Muffaletta burger, which rings in at $13.