Sitting down at Casablanca in Harvard Square, menu in hand, I looked amongst the Meze plates and Tagines for the burger that soon would be mine. "Burger: Applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese and french fries - $13" it plainly read. I couldn't help it. My eyes glazed over. Another bacon cheeseburger, *sigh*. As many burgers as I eat, it's pretty easy to get a little bored with the same old. Especially when I've had bacon cheeseburger after bacon cheeseburger with sad, undercooked bacon and unmelted, sweaty cheese over and over again. I find myself practically begging someone to do something different, even just a little.
The burger arrived and it didn't look like anything special. At first glance the cheese was melted properly (hooray!) and the bacon appeared to be cooked well. The bun was pale and heavily studded with sesame seeds and the burger looked nice and charred. It was joined by two slices of roma tomato and a large fresh leaf of bibb lettuce. The fries were slender and looked tasty. After spreading a bit of Dijon mustard on the top of the bun, I went in for a big bite and found myself being covered (literally) in juice. I have never, in all of my burger eating days seen anything so juicy. In a desperate attempt to keep the juices where they should be, I juggled the burger so the juices wouldn't run onto my plate. Going in for another bite, juices literally shot out. It became laughable, my napkin was an embarrassing mess.
Getting to the taste, I was surprised at how well all of the flavors jumped out. Usually cheese can be undetected but it was very present and deliciously sharp. The bacon was smoky and while not overly crispy, it totally worked. One of my biggest pet peeves with bacon on a burger (besides it being undercooked) is when you take a bite and the whole piece of bacon comes along with it. In this case, this bacon stays right where it should, resting comfortably atop my burger. Moving on to the meat, it was perfectly seasoned and while it was cooked to a higher temperature than the medium rare I requested, without a doubt, it was the juiciest burger I've ever had and the flavors were not compromised. Closing things up, the bun was soft and fresh, fitting the burger perfectly. Lastly, the fries were satisfying crisp, salty and everything you'd want a good fry to be. Turns out, I guess you can't pass judgement on a burger before you've had a bite and Casablanca proves that some of the best burgers in Boston can be found in very unsuspecting places.