You can try to play the role of a great burger, but if you can’t even cook it right, there’s just no hope. The Aquitaine burger looks like it could be a winner; bacon, cheddar, truffle mayo and pommes frites. But oh, that dreaded Brioche. But ah, that the brioche actually works and the beef does not is the real surprise. The truffle mayo is flavorful, say what you will about the authenticity of truffle oil, I enjoy the flavor even if it’s not the real thing. The bacon ceases to be crispy, despite evoking a good smoky flavor it’s chewy and lackluster. And that beef, with a fair amount of char and modest salt, is over-cooked and relatively dry. I long for the days of juicy burgers, cooked right, and seasoned to my absurd taste. It’s a straight-forward attempt, but never carried out in the execution department. continue reading »
Articles tagged ‘brioche’
Often praised and spoken about, the burger at Neptune Oyster in the North End was my next destination is search of the best burger in Boston. To no surprise, the menu is dominated by fresh seafood, leave it to this nitwit to order one of two dishes on the menu that featured beef, it felt like I was ordering off the kids’ menu. It’s my fault for thinking this burger would be excellent, how could a burger be any good at a seafood restaurant? It’s different, I’ll give you that, maybe that’s why it’s so beloved, when do you ever see a burger with fried oysters? I feel that too often people like or dislike their meals before they even eat. Brioche, ground beef, garlic mayo, oysters and relish may sound appealing, but does it actually work well together? In my opinion, it does not, too much burger and way too much bun overwhelm everything else in this burger, despite being pretty well seasoned.
I was hoping the Coda burger would be different enough from The Common Ground burger that I would at least have something to say about it. Owned by the same people, the burger is eerily similar, but I was hoping for a little more South End-finesse as opposed to a rugged Allston burger, location is everything. It’s the same black pepper brioche, the same char-grilled just in a cleaner setting. But whatever worked for me in Allston did not work for me in the South End. Nicely cooked meat became over-cooked dry beef that was over-charred and lackluster. Although the over-char actually made for a nice crust, the nice crust really just turned into too bitter a final product. Those who prefer the grill over a griddle are just crazy, but what do I know. continue reading »
What determines the price of a burger? Is it the cut of beef, the type of cheese, bun, or just the words on the menu? At Stoddard’s, it seems to be a bit of everything, the beef (Meyer Ranch) is excellent, the bun (brioche) is what it is, and of course they have “chiffonade lettuce.” For the uninformed, chiffonade refers to thinly cut strips of flat, leafy foods, usually reserved for basil and mint, not so often with lettuce. Why? Because it’s just so stupid, I mean seriously, who describes or constructs a menu and thinks of chiffonade lettuce? Well apparently the good people at Stoddard’s did, and I guess that’s the difference between what should be a $12 burger and ultimately a $14 burger, it’s all about the wording. continue reading »
Located at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Art Bar somehow landed on my “master burger list.” I say somehow because I’ve completely lost track of the origins of these suggestions, but one way or another, someone told me to check it out and so I did, with the infamous Mike Isman. It’s a $14 burger and I don’t know why, maybe because there’s Art on the walls? Food I get, but art is a world I know nothing about, combine the two in a restaurant setting and I can’t quite piece it together. It’s snobby, but no less so than The Four Seasons, the type of place that very well could have a good burger, but sadly does not. It’s a $14 burger disguised as a $7 burger, as they use the dreaded combination of ground Sirloin and Brioche, two automatic fails in my mind. continue reading »
Despite having one of the worst names for a restaurant I’ve ever heard, Lord Hobo makes a pretty good burger. Dining with my now former Pastry Chef, Jenni, who was enjoying her last American burger before she heads to greater things in Paris, I’m glad it was worthwhile. I must be getting old though, because the noise level in there is just unpleasant, why go out if you can’t even hear what your friends are saying to you? It’s a mildly pretentious atmosphere, with the usual round-up of Cambridge hipsters and too-cool-for-school servers and hostesses. But the menu is pretty solid, if not overly priced in spots, and smaller than deserving portion sizes. The burger, ground from the traditional Chuck, arrives on a soft bun that’s in the neighborhood of brioche, not quite as “bread-y” as a brioche, a little less buttery, but glistening and an overall good fit for the beef despite being a tad too large. It may be dark, but I can tell my burger is over-cooked, not enough pink in this burger, and unevenly cooked. But the flavor is good, if not a little lean, there is some beef flavor present, and seasoned quite nicely. But it’s too dry because it’s more of a medium than a medium-rare, but again, a higher fat content might make the juiciness more forgiving, instead there’s barely a hint of moisture, despite the proper seasonings.
The fries, on the other hand, are a delight, and very memorable. I promise, all it takes is some salt and most fries would rank much higher on my list, these are perfectly fried and seasoned to perfection.They literally only taste of salt and potato, and that’s the way it should be. Look, I realize salt is a personal thing, but fries deserve to be salted liberally, something that must be done as soon as they come out of the fryer, not at the table. The fries at Lord Hobo aren’t ambitious or unique, they’re just good, I just wish there was more of them.
While the burger is good enough, and perhaps on a different day it’s even better when cooked the preferred medium-rare, the noise level is so bothersome to me I feel like a bitter old man even thinking about making that complaint. But to someone who is clearly less of a loser than I am, and someone who enjoys an extensive beer list and water served in a Mason Jar, this might be the place for you.
Overall Score: 83