First Bite: Boston Burger Company
One advantage to living in a college town: You don’t have to go much farther than the nearest campus to satisfy your craving for a decent burger: Harvard has Bartley’s, BU has UBurger, and now Tufts has Boston Burger Company, a Davis Square indie fast food joint that seems tailor-made to meet the unguarded appetites of the undergrad set.
Open since early April and housed in the old Antonia’s space, the restaurant is a no-fuss counter spot, with three flat screen TV’s (usually set on the Sox game) and large menu boards listing the burger variations.
And boy, are there choices: 22 types of specialty burgers (all made with certified Angus beef, bred for better marbling), plus a choose-you-own-adventure menu of toppings, from pesto to pineapple. There are 11 types of fries, with seasonings that run from sweet to savory, eight non-burger sandwiches, and apps, wings, and salads to round it out.
With a menu that big, execution can be uneven. Mac and Cheese bites were tasty, if heavily fried. Crispy sweet potato fries were a nice contrast to the salty burgers, and the optional caramel and cinnamon drizzle was oddly appealing. But parmesan-Garlic fries were less successful, with no discernible parmesan flavor and a heavy hit of garlic.
Of course, the real focus is on the beef, and here the results are solid, if sometimes outrageous. Specialty burgers range from the simple Boston (lettuce, tomato, onion) to the obscene Kitchen Sink —a patty topped with a heaping pile of American, provolone, cheddar, fried egg, bacon, ham, grilled onions, peppers, and mushrooms, all covered with the house barbecue sauce. We wondered how this behemoth would fit in a human mouth, but once that was solved, it was actually quite tasty.
Equally deadly: The Artery Clogger, a beer battered deep fried delight smothered in the aforementioned BBQ sauce and topped with bacon and American cheese.
Burgers come with an option of beans or coleslaw on the side, but these are to be skipped. You’ll have plenty to eat without them (and a good excuse to regain those freshman fifteen).
Boston Burger Company, 37 Davis Square, Somerville, 617-440-7361