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O'Sullivan's Burger Question

So that I can more intelligently participate in the best burger debate, I have decided to try R.F. O'Sullivan's for the first time tonight. Given that it's my first time, should I stick with the basic burger, or should I branch out to something more interesting, like the jalapeno burger or the cheddar & onion burger? And how's the rest of the food? Anything else worth getting?

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  1. I tend to go with a topping or two, maybe cheese and grilled onions. Those big wedge-style fries are not my favorite. I don't know if anything else on the menu is worth ordering, because I have never seen anyone, in my party or otherwise, order anything but a burger; my guess is that you'd be getting very generic pub-level food at best. Draft lager goes nicely with those burgers.

    1. While the burgers are the thing at O'Sullivan's, there are also a few other standouts on the menu. The steak and cheese is very good; the meat they use is a lot better than your typical sub shop. Also, the tuna sandwiches (they have many different ones) are good. And the cock and bull special is excellent.

      But I'd stick with the burgers. My favorites are the blackjack burger, the jd burger, the swiss mushroom burger, and the house burger (bacon, ham, cheese).

      I'm not a big fan of the fries, either. I usually order rice with my burger instead of the fries.

      2 Replies
      1. re: hiddenboston

        I really like the Blackjack: cajun-spiced meat, spicy mayo and jack cheese.

        I don't care for the potato wedges here. They are too big to get really crispy and the portion is just ridiculous (especially considering the size of the burger). I usually skip them and nosh on my dining companion's plate or ask for a half order.

        1. re: LeoLioness

          Second the blackjack - eschew fries for rings - now you're talkin'!

      2. Hi,

        My personal favorite burger on that menu is the Black and Blue, which is rolled in cracked black pepper and smothered in Blue Cheese. If you are a Blue Cheese fan, it's fantastic.

        In the winter, I've ordered the soup to try it. It was tasty and seemed like it was at least partially homemade. The fries are good, but generally I'm too full or feeling too guilty from clogging my arteries, to order anything else there.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mwk

          I wish they would just use real crumbled bleu, that would make the black and bleu even better. For some reason, I thought they used to use it. The bottled blue cheese dressing they use now doesn't taste all that great to me, although I do like dipping the fries in it too.

          1. re: Dax

            Oh no...I haven't been there in a year or so. Don't tell me they use dressing now? It used to be a mound of actual blue cheese.

            Why oh why do these restaurants think that they can get away with doing something so lame? Do they really think nobody would notice?

          2. re: mwk

            Yes, the Black & Blue is the way to go and it comes with half fries, half rings so you can try both. The trick is to ask for some of the "tangy radish sauce" (the topping on the Radish Burger) on the side so you can dip your fries/rings.

            Menu here:

          3. I know this sounds lame, but sooo many burger places have replaced real blue chees with dressing, that whenever I'm in the mood for one, I bring a chunk of my own cheese for the kitchen to use.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Bostonbob3

              You seriously bring your own cheese? And the restaurant takes it from you to make a burger? Why? Wouldn't it be easier just to make a burger at home?

              1. re: Bostonbob3

                not a bad idea with Formaggio being reasonably close.

                1. re: Dax

                  Bingo, Dax.

                  And yes, gini, I actually bring my own cheese. I DO make my own burgers quite a bit, but if I'm going out with friends specifically for a burger and I feel like blue cheese, it only takes a second to grab a chunk before I leave. Or, as Dax points out, if I'm near Formaggio's, to buy a bunch of cheese and cut off a hunk when I get to the restaurant.

                  Told you I'm lame. :)

              2. Are there many BYOC restaurants out there? Learn something new every day...

                One other item that is good at O'Sullivan's is the steak tip sub. Their tips aren't quite as good as, say New Bridge, but they are pretty tasty.

                1. Ha! I only do it with blue cheese, since most places don't use cheddar or swiss salad dressing. BTW, I've never had a place say no to using my cheese. (Hmm, that somehow sounds obscene.)

                  1. I've posted before about how much I love this place...and here I go again! Just ate there last week and it was as delicious as always.

                    I had the "Paddy-O Melt" which is a burger with cheddar and sauteed onions. I am not a fan of their fries, but love the onion rings.

                    My friend had a cheeseburger (American cheese) with lettuce and tomato and loved it. She did not love the fries but was happy that I would share my rings!

                    My BF never strays from the Blackjack which he LOVES.

                    Boneless buffalo wings are good as are the potato skins. But, if you get an appetizer don't be surprised if you can't finish your burger!

                    My brother once had the tuna salad sub and he raved about it.

                    I look forward to reading your review. Enjoy!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: heathermb

                      I'm with you on the potato skins. Don't much care for the big potato wedges, HATE those giant onion rings, but those potato skins? They spend some quality time in the fryer, that's for sure! Mmmmm.

                    2. I love o'sullivan's and go fairly often. I am not a cheese and burger person (I know, but I'm lactose intollerant so I just can't handle it) so I usually go for either mushrooms or onion. I don't think you really need a lot of toppings there as the actual burger is really tasty. I even usually share a burger with whomever I go with as it is huge. And definatley get the onion ring/fries option so that you can taste both and decide. I like them both but I think it's just a preference issue as the fries are wedges. Plus they usually have a good beer selection which always goes well with a burger

                      1. O'Sullivan's is highly overrated. The burgers aren't fatty enough, the cooking is not reliable (i.e. your medium rare may end up medium rare or not), and they don't season the meat.

                        Also, the fries are once-fried and totally dried out. Onion rings cost extra. The "house root beer" is some high-fructose corn syrup crap with a custom label on it. The "boneless rib-eye" was one of the poorest steaks I've ever had in a restaurant. The fish and chips wasn't cooked all the way through, with uncooked batter oozing out. Etc.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Luther

                          I was disappointed on my last visit there (about 2-3 months ago IIRC). The meat wasn't at all seasoned and sheesh that made me mad. I shouldn't have to salt every bite! I think A Fish Called Wanda had mentioned being unimpressed because of the seasoning issue in the past, too.

                          Lately I've been having the burgers at the Druid at least 2-3x per month. They season the meat really well, including fresh herbs, and it's a great value for $8! Good fries, too.

                          1. re: MB fka MB

                            I'm with you on this, exactly. I was disappointed with my O'Sullivan's burger for the same reasons you were, and I ADORE the Druid burgers - and their fries! I think some people like more flavor/seasoning in their burgers (Druid), and some prefer the more unadulterated meat (O'Sullivan's). Mmmm, I need to get over to the Druid for a burger soon.

                            1. re: MB fka MB

                              I stopped in last night for dinner there with a friend after reading all of these recent posts about the Druid. The burger with the meat well-seasoned (including lots of fresh basil) was very good but more medium than medium rare as ordered. Hand cut fries were quite crispy and lightly coated with various seasonings.

                              The beef stew blew the burger out of the water. A ton of very tender beef, broth soaked potatoes, crisp green beans and carrots, and lots of mushrooms. My friend ordered this and couldn't eat all of it but I nearly licked the bowl clean after I had already finished the burger.

                              1. re: Dax

                                Not to get too far off topic, but the steak tips at The Druid are about the best I've had. They are up there with New Bridge...

                                1. re: Dax

                                  Also forgot to mention that they lightly grill the onions which come with the burger. Excellent touch. Note that they have one burger option which typically comes with cheddar, and lettuce tomato and mayo. I got them to hold the mayo and just used ketchup and mustard. They have a very tasty yellow mustard that doesn't just taste like yellow mustard.

                                  1. re: Dax

                                    Ok, last night was my first O'Sullivan's experience, tonight will be my first Druid experience. If anyone else is there tonight, look for me in a blue button down shirt, navy slacks, short black hair, and crutches (busted foot!).

                            2. The burgers are good, but not the ultimate burger like I've read. The boneless buffalo strips are pretty darn good, and the onion rings are great.

                              1. Ok, here's my review (drum roll please):

                                Based on the comments in this thread, I decided to go for the Paddy-o-Melt with rings subbed for fries. I decided to stay on the relative simple side in terms of toppings in order to get a better sense of the burger itself.

                                So the burger was really good: it was fresh, it was tasty, it was juicy (I really cannot understand the comment that the meat is not fatty enough), it was expertly cooked. But I prefer a smaller burger. I was not surprised by the size of the burger given what I had read on this board. I ate it ("wolfed it down" is a more accurate description) and enjoyed it very much, but I did not enjoy it as much as, say, a Bartley's-sized burger.

                                O'Sullivan's does, of course, have some significant advantages over Bartley's. Bartley's is painfully cramped and uncomfortable, whereas O'Sullivan's is a warm, friendly, neighborhood pub. And as such, their beverage selection is far superior to Bartley's (although notwithstanding the large beer selection -- in bottles and on tap -- I did not find the selection to be all that interesting).

                                As for the rings, although I have never met an onion ring that I didn't like, I did not find O'Sullivan's rings to be particularly special.

                                I feel like this review is coming across as more negative than I mean it to be. O'Sullivan's burger is an excellent burger, and I definitely will return. It just doesn't win my personal best-of-Boston award.