Small Bite: Tasty Burger Review

By Amy Traverso | Boston Magazine |

There’s nothing restaurateurs love more than the rebirth of a retro, high-margin food. First it was cupcakes and fro-yo; now it’s burgers.

Tasty Burger on Boylston Street in the Fenway, from the folks behind Franklin Café, is modeled on New York’s successful Shake Shack chain: patties, hot dogs, and shakes served with a side of ’50s nostalgia. (It’s housed in an old gas station.) Like Shake Shack, Tasty Burger serves beer and wine, and brings care to the preparation of affordable fast-food favorites. Burgers run just $4 to $5.50 for a single and max out at $7 for a double. Onion rings are soaked in buttermilk, battered, and fried. They’re sweet, crisp, and not the least bit greasy.

The hot dogs are snappy and flavorful, topped with basics like homemade sauerkraut, chili, and chopped onion. Weighing in at half a pound, they’re a tad big, but high-quality. The oddly addictive chicken nuggets alone warrant a stop.

The burgers, however, are a work in progress. The kitchen started out using ground tenderloin, which was flavorless. The recent addition of ground chuck is an improvement, but the patties are often dense and underseasoned, with most of the flavor still coming from the toppings. Tasty? Sure. Worth naming a restaurant after? We’d give ’em a few more weeks.  

1301 Boylston St., Boston, 617-425-4444, tastyburger.com.