12.18.2010

Is Boston's Best Burger at Cafeteria?

Is Cafeteria's Burger Boston's Best?
I was excited and hopeful when I walked into Cafeteria's prime Newbury Street location.  After all, all signs were pointing to this being a good burger.  The discussion boards seemed to favor it, fellow bloggers seemed to like it and the menu seemed like they knew what was up.  There were a couple of burgers to choose from (Cafeteria Burger, BBQ, Tuna, Lamb and Deluxe) and several options to modify things to your liking and, with prices ranging from $12 - $15, all of the stars were seeming to align. Sadly, this burger rendered me disappointed and with a bad taste in my mouth (literally).


When the Cafeteria Burger (grass-fed burger with cheddar cheese served up on a griddled bun with a "special sauce" that I declined) was placed in front of me, the presentation of it tipped me off to the fact that this would not be a strong contender in the quest for Boston's Best Burger.  The burger was wrapped in a paper thin, partially melted slice of yellow cheddar cheese and limply laying on a bed of pale iceberg lettuce and sandwiched in between an unbuttered and lackluster stale Kaiser roll.  On the other hand, sitting next to the burger was a pile of fresh and piping hot fries that were generously dusted with Parmesan and sprinkled with bright green parsley.  The fries were so appealing to me that I couldn't resist giving them a try, even before snapping my pictures.  They were so crispy on the outside yet soft and almost mashed-potato like on the inside and the flavor of the salty Parmesan really shone through.
  
Parmesan French Fries
Getting back to the burger, at first bite I realized that my request for a medium-rare burger had not been honored and instead I had been presented with a grey, well done substitute.  While the burger was salted well, the flavor of it left much to be desired and it tasted so oddly and strongly of onions and not it a good way.  I couldn't put my finger on it.  True, my burger had come with a little slice of purple onion resting on one piece of the bun but this sort of set-up is not unusual when it comes to burgers.  Although I removed the onions (as I usually do, I'm just not a fan of raw onions) the strong onion flavor permeated through my burger and was the strongest flavor that masked every other flavor.  It was like no other burger I've had before.  I had asked for some mustard with my burger to help mask the odd onion flavor but it was never brought to me.    

Cafeteria itself has a good atmosphere.  Clean feeling with gleaming white walls and varying textures such as cork board style chairs and booths, marble tables and brassy woven place mats that give this garden level restaurant some personality.  There were even some tasteful holiday decorations adorning the walls and cheerfully hanging from the ceilings.  I'd potentially go back to give the rest of their menu a shot (and maybe to have more of those addictive fries!) but the cheeseburger was a bust.

Cafeteria Boston on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

burgerboy said...

Disappointing all around. How dare they ruin burger day for us!

Megan said...

Sounds so disappointing. Hope your next burger makes up for it!

Boston Food Diary said...

Ugh...I didn't like my experience at Cafeteria, but was gearing up for another go....Now I dont want to. Sorry so disappointing!

Elizabeth said...

Those fries do look goood. But I guess not good enough to warrant a visit if the burger is indicative of the rest of the food.

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