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Apr 30, 2007 07:51 AM

B. Good coming to Brookline

There's a sign on the funky old '30's-style abandoned gas station on Harvard St opposite Anna's Taqueria saying a B. Good burger joint will be opening there soon. I've heard of the one in Cambridge but have no experience with them. Is this a local chain? Something bigger? Or just the second location for them? How's the food?

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  1. Oh hooray, another retail chain in Coolidge Corner.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Luther

      I don't think of a small local chain in the same way as the Gaps and Foot Lockers that have taken over CC.

      BTW Bob, the first B Good is on Dartmouth St.

      1. re: Joanie

        I go to the b.good on Dartmouth Street and I like it for what it is, a healthier version of fast food. Their oven baked fries are decent and I like their burgers well enough, though they certainly don't replace a good, fatty, juicy burger, but I don't think they are meant to.

      2. re: Luther

        It is a chain, then? I wasn't sure. Though it's not actually in Coolidge Corner, it's closer to Comm Ave. What you should be fretting about (if you're not already) is the fact that Panera Bread is reportedly in negotiations to take over the old Zathmary's space. That's smack in the heart of Coolidge Corner.

        1. re: BobB

          There is nothing wrong with Panera moving into Coolidge Corner. The issue for that space is they need a zoning variance to demolish that ugly facade so they can recess it and install a sidewalk eating space. I think that would be great for Coolidge Corner.

          B. Good is taking over a space that's been a wasteland between the strip center with Starbucks and the old, in-line retail at JFK Crossing.

          Having restaurants, chain or local, is good. A more bothersome issue is the number of banks. They draw foot traffic during the day but they don't add life to the streets in the evening.

          1. re: lergnom

            I just hope they keep the existing structure, I love that weird old bomb-shelter-meets-Art-Deco look!

      3. It's a horrible local chain that sells dried out flavorless pieces of crap and tries to convince people that they are healthy.

        3 Replies
        1. A wendy's classic single has less calories than most b-Good burgers. The fries are pretty good though.

          1. For the record:

            b good burger: 468 calories
            Wendy's single: 420 calories

            1. re: tamerlanenj

              For the record:

              The b. good burger is topped with mushrooms, caramelized onions, and sauteed greens, so it's not an appropriate comparison to a Wendy's Classic single. (There's also no information on the b.good website to compare the size of the two burgers.) While even the plainest of the b. good burgers does have slighlty under 10% more calories than the Wendy's Classic single, it also has 40% less fat and and over 3 times as much fiber.

          2. Much like Knowfat, B Good is simply not a chowhound destination. It is a destination for those strange distant cousins of chowhounds: health nuts.

            I've commented before that both of these sub-species are similar in the near-religious attention they pay to the food they consume. However chowhounds are looking for supreme deliciousness in every bite, while health nuts are trying to micromanage their nutritional intake.

            Speaking as a chowhound at heart, but something of a health nut by day (I tend to save my calories for delicious dinners, when I have the time to enjoy my meal), I personally really like B Good for low-calorie, reasonably nutritious lunches that are actually enjoyable to eat.

            Can B Good's burger and fries win the Pepsi challenge against Bartley's/O'Sullivan's/insert-favorite-burger-purveyor-here? No way, no how. Is it a refreshing change of pace from yet another mixed green salad with grilled chicken and the dressing on the side? Absolutely.

            1 Reply
            1. re: finlero

              This is very unfair. Some people like to eat lighter food and others want vegetarian options. And many chowhounds are not searching for deliciousness but a cheap and sometimes greasy experience which they feel is authentic. That is as much a religion as anything else.

            2. b.good (why is everyone lowercase these days?) was started on Dartmouth Street in the South End. Their idea was to take the basic fast food menu and make it healthier and good tasting. When they first opened, I remember walking in and getting the impression that their goal was to own a chain. Coolidge corner would be restaurant #3, so I guess I was right.

              As for the food:
              The hamburgers are super-lean and ground in-house. Unfortunately, super-lean often means not too flavorful. I don't know anyone in love with their burgers.
              On the other hand, I think that they have the absolute best veggie-burgers in town. Ask for extra hot sauce if you get the Southwestern one. Chicken sandwiches are good as well.
              Baked fries are baked fries - an oxymoron - but the ones at b.good are possibly be best of the lot and dusted with Old Bay. They've improved over time, and may someday be a worthwhile alternative. Maybe not today.

              I guess that the verdict is that if you want health, it's one of the best choices I know of. And I'll admit to an addiction to their veggie burgers. They're that good.

              4 Replies
              1. re: kbw18

                What kind of veggie burgers are they - the ones that try (and in my experience) always badly fail to be good imitation of meat or the more unabashedly veggie ones that I've sometimes quite enjoyed. Thx.

                1. re: psora

                  The veggie burgers are homemade. They serve two types, a black bean and a white bean. I think they're pretty good, and actually fairly distinct; neither is pretending to be meat.

                  1. re: psora

                    Finlero had a good description of the b.good veggie burgers. Mostly beans, grains, and spices - although I'm not sure what the exact ingredients are.

                    I'm also one that prefers their veggie burgers to be unabashedly veggie and not pretending to be meat. I think that's why I like them so much. That, and a big ol' pile of pesto and garlicy greens on the Venetian-style one doesn't hurt either. Everything's good with pesto added.

                    1. re: kbw18

                      Ooooh. Not a pesto fan at all but garlicky greens sounds really good. Thanks to both of you for more info on the sort of veggie burger. I may have to give them a shot.

                2. I'm with the others in agreeing that B. Good is not the Borg (yet), and they're not the Evil Empire (yet). However, to a lesser extent, I'm also with the grumps in this posting in finding myself pretty badly disappointed by two burgers that I've tried at B. Good. Nothing totally awful, but as noted, the very-lean-meat approach makes for a burger that doesn't have a lot of juice and has the texture of a hockey puck. The oven baked fries are actually quite lovely, but I don't know that I'd go back repeatedly for the burger. Instead of eating mediocre but healthy hamburgers frequently, I'd opt for eating at Bartley's/R.F. O'S's/Gargoyle's/75 Chestnut less frequently and enjoying my experience more.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Dr.Jimbob

                    I agree completely.
                    The oven baked fries are pretty good, the burger nothing special. It's an ok place if you're looking for something quick and moderately healthy; definitely not a destination restaurant. I also think it's a better choice than it's other local competitor --Lofat Nofat...but again, would rather enjoy a juicy Costellos/Bartleys/etc burger a little less often.

                    1. re: Dr.Jimbob

                      I couldn't agree more with your view on b. good. The burger I had there was all right, but the fact that it had very little fat took a lot of the taste away. The more fat, the better, IMO, when it comes to a burger (though there admittedly is a limit; for instance, the burger at the Fifties Diner in Chicopee is amazing, but it has to be nearly 50% fat!).