January 13th, 2013

Tasty Burger, Harvard Sq.

“It’s a tasty burger,” and I laughed when I realized what I had inadvertently said. Tasty Burger is the latest entry the burger game. It is situated right in the middle of Harvard Sq, where the 7-11 used to be.

As burgers have become more and more trendy, the prices have risen and risen to the point that no one blinks at a $15 price tag anymore. I remember when I was astounded at the $14 burger at the Bristol, which at the time was Boston’s most expensive. Tasty Burger starts at $4 for a 1/3 lb all-natural, grass fed patty topped with lettuce and tomato. You can pay for extra toppings accordingly ($1 for bacon, 50 cents for cheese, etc). The burgers are cooked to medium, on a sesame seed bun. My bacon cheese burger was more like medium well, but it was still juicy and flavorful enough. Allison and I shared an order of 50/50 fries and onion rings. I wished more restaurants offered this option – after all, why choose just one. They were fried well, crispy and not greasy. The basket was large enough that we were not able to finish it. It's still not as good as In-N-Out, but is far superior to Five Guys

We went during lunch time on Friday and the place was packed, but the line moved quickly and we were able to get our food within 5-7 minutes. There is a downstairs area with sit down service, alcohol and pool tables, and best of all; they are open to 4am.

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www.tastyburger.com

Painted Burro, Davis Sq.

Painted Burro is in the old Gargoyles space on Elm St in Davis Sq. It is by the same people behind Pizzeria Posto. The reviews have uniformly positive, so I put it on my 2013 to go list. Jes and I enjoyed their Sunday brunch today. I had a 10:30am reservation but it wasn’t needed, there were only a small handful of tables occupied. I started with an iced coffee horchata ($6) which is made with almond milk. It came in a huge stein, rimmed with cinnamon and sugar – delicious! We munched on freshly fried tortilla chips and salsa while we waited.

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I had the “El Montanero,” ($13) crispy tortillas topped with chorizo, beans, fried plantain, rice, and 2 fried eggs. I was worried there would be too many competing flavors, but it all went together nicely. I really enjoyed it. The portion was extremely generous. My only complaint is that the eggs were a tad overcooked; I would have liked an oozing river of yellow yolk.

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Jes had the French toast ($10), topped with caramelized plantains. I had a bite and it was delicious as well. She seemed to enjoy it as well.

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Our server was attentive and friendly. I thought the prices were on the high side, but not unreasonable for the quality of the food. I will certainly return; The Yucatan Meatloaf caught my eye: “spicy ground sirloin loaf stuffed with chorizo, ham, chicharron, green olives & toasted almonds, 2 fried eggs, served open faced with red mole on thick toast”

www.thepaintedburro.com