BOSTON - From choice blends of beef to fancy toppings, the backyard burger has gone gourmet. These are the eight greatest upscale burgers in Boston and beyond.
Steel & Rye, Milton
Kicking off the Great 8 is Steel & Rye. Located in the Lower Mills section of Milton, this huge industrial eatery is open and airy with high ceilings and an active open kitchen. The menu features classic American dishes like super-juicy roasted chicken and flavorful Colorado meatballs served in a cast iron skillet. And the burger is presented in a nostalgic metal tin with housemade chips and pickles on the side.
"It's just a little pan, a metal pan with little handles and we use a little mason jar to put our home made pickles in. So it definitely has a little bit of old-timey feel to it."
Plan B Burger Bar, Springfield
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, Plan B Burger Bar is a sassy spot specializing in hand-packed burgers and smooth, satisfying bourbons. Whether they're served as a salad, on a spike, or as a flight, all of the burgers are ground on site at least twice a day, so you know they're fresh. And while they do offer crazy burgers like one served on a pretzel roll topped with cheddar, spicy mustard, and pickles - they believe there's something to be said about keeping it simple.
"We really, really like the idea of being able to taste the actual flavor of the beef. That flavor is so strong and so delicious when you can actually taste it."
Maggie's Farm, Middleton
Another Great 8 winner is Maggie's Farm in Middleton. Here, they serve all of your favorite comfort foods in a rock 'n roll atmosphere. Phantom always starts with a basket of their ultra-addictive tater tots served with a bacon and sour cream dipping sauce and follows it up with one of Maggie's one pound burgers slathered with plenty of Maggie's secret sauce.
"The defining characteristic of our burger is definitely the sauce. People love the Maggie's sauce. There's a lot of things in the Maggie's sauce. I can't tell you most of it. It's got a little bit of sweet; it's got a little bit of spicy and some tang to it."
Tavern Road, Boston
Tavern Road is a high energy spot lighting up Boston's Fort Point neighborhood. It doesn't look like any other restaurant in the city, and with dishes that range from Italian roast pork to Mexican street tacos, the food certainly doesn't taste like your typical tavern. The menu changes and evolves every day depending upon what Chef/Owner Louie DiBacarri feels like making, so there could be anything from housemade Bratwurst with peaches to beautifully grilled flatiron steak, to a truly amazing burger stacked with Vermont cheddar, house-smoked bacon, and Sriracha aioli.
WATCH: GREAT 8 GOURMET BURGERS, PART 2
Moxy, Portsmouth, NH
Located on a side street in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Moxy is a fun and casual two-story space. There's a large and happening bar and an open kitchen creating some of the tastiest small plates in New England, like Short Rib Marmalade featuring beef that's slow cooked with sugar and red wine vinegar; fried clams served on a skewer; and a pair of local grass fed burger that are fired up on the grill, then topped with tangy housemade barbecue sauce, shredded cheddar, juicy tomatoes and fresh lettuce.
Zebra's Bistro, Medfield
Another Great 8 winner is Zebra's Bistro in Medfield. This elegant eatery brings city dining to the suburbs with hearty braised lamb ragout served over pasta, and pan roasted chicken served on a bed of mashed potatoes. The burger certainly lives up to the rest of the menu- topped with aged Vermont cheddar, crispy smoked bacon, and miso aioli served on a brioche bun with Parmesan fries.
Back Bay Social Club, Boston
The Back Bay Social Club on Boylston Street is a comfortable two floor eatery serving up gourmet burgers to one of Boston's fanciest neighborhoods. The price tag for the hand-held deliciousness,
with a side of golden handcut fries, is an eye-popping $22, but the result is unadulterated burger perfection.
"It's really almost like a steak, it's unbelievable. It's got this gorgeous, gorgeous sharp cheese, and then these onions that we slow roasts for about four hours, just straight onions, and it gives almost like a marmalade. And then this really great, simple bun, that holds the whole thing like a package."
Burton's Grill, 5 Locations
Rounding out the Great 8 is Burton's Grill. With five Massachusetts locations, and five more along the East Coast, Burtons specializes in the fresh quality foods you love, in a dining room that's always welcoming. Appetizers include hand-wrapped Philly Spring Rolls stuffed with diced sirloin, onions, and melted cheese. Entrees include a twelve ounce rib eye served with a big baked potato. But nothing beat's the Burton's burger. Loaded up with onion straws, cheese and plenty of pickles, it's a favorite of Executive Chef Denise Herrera.
"It's my go to meal, which probably isn't very good for you, but I really enjoy it."
Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.
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