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Mar 29, 2007 12:48 PM
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Uburger --recent thoughts

I was craving a burger and fries at lunch today so I hit up my favorite fast-food burger joint in Boston, Uburger. I know the merits of a "uburger" have been debated quite a bit on this board, and I think today sort of solidified my opinions on this spot. As I've stated before, the crispy, piping hot, hand-cut fries are excellent here, and certainly worth a visit on their own. The burger is tasty, but tasty more in the vein of a really good "fast-food burger" vs a "premium burger" tasty....does that make sense? [though still, not yet ready to stand up to an In N Out burger] The flat patty had a solid beefy flavor, and certainly was ok-tasting, but there was no discernable juicyness at all --certainly due to the fact that they cook those li'l patties to a solid well done.....there wasn't a trace of pink in my burger. The bun was good, the fries, again --no question they are indeed the highlight of the meal..... A combo special --just a plain cheeseburger with fries and drink was $7 and change...and it more than satisfied me. But here's the thing. As I drove away from Uburger and made that Uturn going the other way on Comm Ave,...I passed Eastern Standard and had a fleeting thought --why didn't I just go here for lunch? It would have cost me a few bucks more, for sure.....but no doubt, for a much better burger.....the fries, however, might be negligible....they're delicious at both places.... When I got back to the office, I did some quick research --$12 for a burger at Eastern Standard...so, with tip, you're looking at a little over double the cost of Uburger meal..........so..certainly a sizeable difference....My verdict --.these are both worthy destinations --it really just depends what you're looking for...a quick trip where you can be in and out in 15 minutes and have a fairly satisfying meal....or a tasty premium burger you can sit down, savor, and spend the time to truly enjoy....since I eat burgers so rarely, I'm thinking next time I might be leaning more toward the latter, but I can appreciate the void a place like Uburger fills......

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  1. Though I am loathe to start up the Uburger doneness debate again, I did notice that my last burger from there was definitely pink in the center. Anyway! I also love the fries and their onion rings are my favorite in Boston. I like that they're a happy medium between the super-skinny kind at Bartley's and the fat breaded gross (to me) rings that many other places have.

    5 Replies
    1. re: maillard

      There was definitely no pink in my burger...
      I really enjoy picking up a burger, taking a bite and letting the juices dribble down my chin (not so sure that my DCs enjoy that as much, but I digress)
      This doesn't happen at Uburger, it doesn't even come close, which makes it more of a fast food burger spot vs a true premium burger spot.

      1. re: twentyoystahs

        Did either of you ask for your burger done any particular way? I'm curious to know whether they've started paying a little more attention, and by default you get a rock-hard well done patty, whereas asking for medium or rarer gets your a little bit of pink.
        Then again, in my few experiences there, asking never made a bit of difference (and they seem to have been getting progressively *more* overdone, and less flavorful). Might just be luck of the draw? I had pretty much come to the same conclusion that they're not worth it, but maybe if they can work things out a bit...

        1. re: another_adam

          I was under the impression (due to all the discussion about it on the board) that they did would not cook your burger at anything less than MW. So I didn't bother asking.

          1. re: another_adam

            No, I've never asked. Guess I'm just lucky? :)

            1. re: maillard

              OK, thanks for the info! (I also knew they wouldn't cook less than MW but ask for medium rare anyway. Usually they just say "OK" (but don't do it) or "OK, medium" as if it's the same thing. No matter, I've gotten it quite well done--I just wondered if not asking gets you extra well done or something. But evidently there's no connection!

      2. I had the exact same thoughts on my way out of Uburger on my one visit. If I worked nearby and needed a quick, inexpensive lunch, I might go to Uburger again. Since I don't, if I'm ever in the neighborhood again and craving a burger, I will without question pay a few extra bucks and sit at the bar at Eastern Standard.

        BK

        1. I know they try to market themselves as similar, but just to be clear, Uburger is not even in the same universe as In-n-Out. IMO they will never be ready to stand up to In-n-Out.

          I agree with your comment about ES. My opportunities to clog my arteries are few and far between these days. I want the best burger experience I can. Uburger does not cut the mustard. Though I would probably love it if I was a BU undergrad.

          1. I think for the sort of burger you are looking for, you may have to go out to Watertown:

            http://www.deluxetowndiner.com/home.html

            They do a fine regular burger, then a fancier Kobe burger for a bit more, I've tried both and not really discerned a difference. They also draw a huge weekend breakfast crowd, which we have never felt like braving.

            1. I agree with 20oystah's assessment that UBurger fills the void of the really good fast-food burger. In fact, I would rate it as really, really good, especially when you take the fries and rings into consideration. In my two visits, the place has been crammed full of students and young adults, so I'd say there was/is a pent up demand for a fresh, fast food burger joint in the city. I do look forward to the day when I try the In N Out burger, if only to form a reasoned comparison with UB's fare. :)