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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mr. Bartleys Burger Cottage

Right across the road from the sophisticated and elite Harvard University in Cambridge Mass, is the small and crowded, boisterous dive called Mr. Bartleys Burger Cottage. If you are looking for a quite laid back tea sipping lunch, then keep on walking because this is not your place. However if you want arguably the best burger you may ever eat in a crowded loud and kinda insane atmosphere then you have found your place.  About 50 or so burger combinations grace this menu and there is also some other stuff, but honestly who cares?  The burgers are ground fresh each day and start out by being formed into baseball size patties and then slapped on the grill and charred until a nice crust forms on both sides.  Simone and I hadn't even planned on eating here,  but were directed by the hotel concierge that this was the ONLY place to go if I wanted a great burger.  
We arrived at 1:00pm with a small line out the door, but we only had to wait 5 minutes before seats were found for us at one of the long community tables with 25 of our closets friends. Sitting across from each other, arm to arm with no room to move we were packed in like a sardine can. You have no choice but to sit, eat and be merry. And don't even try to talk with whomever you came with...just write your conversations on a napkin or learn sign language. The waitstaff literally yells out your order to the three short order cooks manning the grill who are also dropping some great fries (regular and sweet potato) and fresh onion rings in a culinary circus of madness. Simone ordered a soup that was very good..but really again...whos cares?

I ordered what you go to Bartleys for..a burger.  The Democrat to be exact, medium well ( as suggested by my concierge unless you like your burger mooing).  It arrived as ordered. It was an inch thick topped with about another inch of grilled sauerkraut, a couple slices of melted Swiss cheese and a good portion of creamy, tangy house made Russian dressing. The bun was mostly useless and disappeared under all the toppings. It was a dream come true. Fresh, Rich, Beefy, Drippy, Melty, Sloppy and Delicious. The kraut and dressing spilled down the sides of my mouth but I wore it loud and proud. I was able to finish the monster, and still had room to take on a milk shake to go. I choose the Elvis Frappe which included Chocolate Ice Cream, Bananas, and Peanut Butter blended up into a delicious smooth, rich coma inducing dessert. A perfect way to end the insanity. Overall the food gets 5 stars, the atmosphere 4.  I loved Mr. Bartleys Burger Cottage.  

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