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B. Good coming to Brookline

BobB Apr 30, 2007 07:51 AM

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?

  1. a
    aranthe Oct 16, 2007 02:55 PM

    As has been commented b good just isn't that good. The burgers are bland and the buns are akin to cardboard. I know you can get wonderful whole wheat buns so I'm really astounded that b good can't. I've eaten from there 3 times - they even managed to make my avocado taste dry. Anyway the new thing I wanted to add was in regards to lean burgers:

    Lean burgers can be bursting with flavor - but you cannot overcook them or they will taste horrid and lifeless. Combine that fact with lean meat being easy to overcook and if you aren't careful...well its not pretty.

    The one place I really miss, when trying to marry healthy with fast and wonderful food, is O'Naturals - which sadly closed its Davis Square location (since becoming a bocaloca which I find underwhelming). They got it right - healthy options that tasted good.

    ~A

    1 Reply
    1. re: aranthe
      p
      po_boy Oct 16, 2007 03:53 PM

      Funny you should mention Boloco - when I found out that B Good was linked to Boloco, I gave up any desire to give it a try. The comments here have confirmed my suspicions.

    2. w
      wontonton Oct 16, 2007 01:32 PM

      Saw a B good sign on Newbury a couple days ago. Looks like one is opening in Back Bay also. I've never tried the food but somehow it looks completely unappealing to me.

      1. BarmyFotheringayPhipps Oct 13, 2007 12:39 PM

        We finally stopped in here this afternoon. I had a craving for a chicken sandwich and ordered the buffalo chicken. What the menu description does not tell you is that despite the smug claims of "real" food, the chicken on the chicken sandwiches is not a proper grilled breast as one would expect, but a flat little processed, breaded thing that tasted nothing like chicken and was overpowered by a flat, one-dimensional "buffalo" sauce that I'm fairly certain was just undiluted Frank's Red Hot. Easily the single nastiest thing I have eaten in quite some time, probably since that horrifying side dish of mushrooms at Grotto.

        In retrospect, we should have just walked over to Grille Zone. Not making that mistake twice.

        By the way, I happen to know Robbie Rist. Next time I speak to him, I'll be sure to ask if he allowed them to use his likeness for their "Cousin Oliver" burger.

        6 Replies
        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
          l
          lergnom Oct 13, 2007 03:33 PM

          My wife also hated the chicken thing. Couldn't get through it. They do have a proper veggie burger, which my daughter eats, while Grille Zone doesn't. Better food in every other way but not the veggie burger.

          1. re: lergnom
            b
            burgereater Oct 13, 2007 07:24 PM

            Begging to differ, but Grille Zone does indeed have a "PROPER" veggie burger. Theirs is made from real veggies that you can see and not a bean burger or a hockey puck like most others.

            1. re: burgereater
              l
              lergnom Oct 14, 2007 08:14 AM

              When did they change it from sauteed vegetables on a bun? I'd like to be able to take my daughter there but she refuses because of her bad experience with the stuff on a bun pretender?

              1. re: lergnom
                a
                another_adam Oct 14, 2007 09:15 AM

                We tried out b.good about a month ago (not having noticed the warnings on this board) and although the veggie burger was a pattie, we found that it, too, was dry and unthrilling, just like the regular burger. Even the fries were coldish and not very edible.
                The whole experience just made us feel melancholy, and we consoled ourselves by going to Audubon the next day for a better veggie burger. (It's a bean burger, but I wouldn't really call it a meat pretender, just a veggie offering that happens to be pattiform and on a bun) Good to know that Grille Zone has one too--we'll be trying that next!

            2. re: lergnom
              Kip McSkipster Oct 14, 2007 08:04 AM

              Yup, the veggie burger at Grille Zone is terrific. But to stay on topic, I also tried that buffalo chicken sandwich at B good, and it was truly disgusting. The "chocolate" milkshake only detracted from the meal, it being a watery, barely-flavored (and artificially-flavored) mess.

              1. re: Kip McSkipster
                t
                twentyoystahs Oct 16, 2007 08:11 AM

                Interesting. I had one of their chocolate milkshakes a few months back and thought it was great; in fact, probably one of the best things on the menu. It's made with skim milk and low fat (non-fat?) yogurt as well as chocolate syrup, but I thought it was delicious for what it was. Was it a thick, decadent frappe? Well, no, but sort of like a chocolate milk on steroids, which was a pretty good substitute, with about 1/2 the fat and calories as a true "frappe.."

          2. Dr.Jimbob Apr 30, 2007 10:12 PM

            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
              t
              twentyoystahs May 1, 2007 07:10 AM

              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
                hiddenboston May 1, 2007 07:48 AM

                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!).

              2. k
                kbw18 Apr 30, 2007 11:57 AM

                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
                  p
                  psora Apr 30, 2007 04:54 PM

                  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
                    finlero Apr 30, 2007 05:47 PM

                    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
                      k
                      kbw18 May 1, 2007 08:19 AM

                      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
                        p
                        psora May 1, 2007 09:26 AM

                        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. finlero Apr 30, 2007 10:14 AM

                    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
                      l
                      lergnom Apr 30, 2007 06:52 PM

                      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. t
                      tamerlanenj Apr 30, 2007 09:31 AM

                      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. re: Joanie
                        t
                        tamerlanenj May 1, 2007 06:51 AM

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

                        1. re: Joanie
                          t
                          tamerlanenj May 1, 2007 07:03 AM

                          For the record:

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

                          1. re: tamerlanenj
                            Allstonian May 1, 2007 08:50 AM

                            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. Luther Apr 30, 2007 08:15 AM

                          Oh hooray, another retail chain in Coolidge Corner.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Luther
                            Joanie Apr 30, 2007 08:24 AM

                            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
                              lissy Apr 30, 2007 08:29 AM

                              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
                              BobB Apr 30, 2007 08:28 AM

                              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
                                l
                                lergnom Apr 30, 2007 09:11 AM

                                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
                                  BobB Apr 30, 2007 11:10 AM

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

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