The Tasty Burger sign at night is like an urban lighthouse. When you came closer, it looks like ordinary fast-food which takes place in a old gas station but actually inside it’s more like a diner where you can order a beer and play pool: in other words, it’s a cool place. When nobody wants to cook at home and we don’t want to spend a zillion dollars in a good restaurant, Tasty Burger is a good solution. I realize that I’ve never talked about burgers on the blog, which is a shame since burgers are like our French “boeuf bourguignon” : a food institution. From the quickly eaten to the really enjoyed one on a diner booth, burgers are definitely one of my American revelations, something that changed my culinary life since I’ve been living here.
- The origins of the burgers are unclear, and as usual, a lot of people clame to be its inventor. I like the version which says that burgers became popular at the end of the 19th century, on New York docks where they were sold by German immigrants, from the city of Hamburg.
- What does it look like? Burger is a simple dish: it’s basically one big ground steak between toasted fluffy bread – at least, this is true when it’s a good one. If theses basic elements are good, you can add some things like bacon (completely different from what we’ve got in France, actually we would call it “poitrine fumee” and bacon is something else, always round – don’t ask me why), cheese, pickes, a slice of tomato, lettuce, etc.
- Fast food burgers? No thanks! Burgers are not so common in French restaurants, though it’s becoming trendy to have one fancy burger on the menu. Strangely, Mc Donald’s is really popular, and I can remember the first time I had a cheeseburger (I was 8, with an uncle on a supermarket parking, we ordered it to go, which was the coolest thing I ever done in my short life). But here in Boston, burgers are everywhere, and there’s no need to go to Mc Donald’s, though I would never say no to this taste-like-home burger. There’s one exception to this fast food burger ban: In&Out is supposed to be a cool fast food, but only on the West Coast (we tried it in San Francisco).
- “Medium Rare” I prefer my meat eaten rare. But when the waiter asks me about the cooking, it’s always an embarrassing moment for me to say “rare”, since it’s the kind of very hard word for me to pronounce. And there’s another more valuable reason for me to stop asking for rare meat, because actually here the medium rare cooking is excellent – which it’s generally not the case in French cuisine, where most of the meat dishes are cover with elaborated sauce. I was about to becoming vegetarian, but I still eat beef. And charcuterie.
- “Sides”. That’s a all new world. You can choose your side here, which would probably be seen as a picky kid attitude in Europe. But that’s how things work here. The list is always huge, from coleslaw to the classic French fries. A good thing with Tasty Burger: you can order a 50-50 onion rings and fries. Well, definitely not healthy, but really good.
- The incredible amount of sauces. Ketchup is just one option among 10 different sauces, from the spiciest to the fattiest…
- Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar : classic and simple, with a taste of Vermont cheese. They also have a delicious tuna burger. 1310, Boyslton Street, Boston.
- The Washington Square Tavern, a great place with a good burger. 714 Washington Street, Brookline.
- Lineage. Oysters happy hour are served here! And after these, there’s still room for their yummy burger. 242 Harvard Street, Brookline.
- Tasty Burger. The not so fast-food place. 1301 Boylston Street, Boston.
They also talk about burgers…
- Corine on Vie Nomade tells her experience on the “Heart Attack” restaurant in Las Vegas. It reminds me how much Boston was treating us well (post in French)
- On this blog, the author keeps track of all the burgers he tried in Boston. Isn’t a lovely occupation?
What is a good burger for you? Share with me your favorites places!