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First Time at UBurger

hiddenboston Dec 11, 2007 03:52 PM

Well, I finally got to UBurger this evening, although honestly I hadn't been planning on going there (plans I had in Kenmore Square were canceled). Anyway, it was pretty crowded when I got there, but emptied out a bit just as my order came up, so I was able to grab a seat.

I went for a basic cheeseburger cooked medium well (I know, I know), and an order of fries. The burger was very nice--griddled to perfection, with fresh, tender beef and cheese on a basic bun. I thought the fries were better than the burger, though, as they were heavily salted, fried enough so that they were brown and crispy, and it seems like they were handcut as opposed to being out of a box.

I think tamerlanenj called UBurger a high-quality fast food place awhile ago, and I would probably have to agree with that assessment. Nothing spectacular, but a terrific alternative to McDonald's, BK, etc. Prices are a bit higher than those places, but still pretty cheap at $4 to $6 for a burger.

  1. u
    usmc0621matt Jun 13, 2008 03:10 PM

    They are average at best. If I really wanted a good burger I would go to RF O'Sullivans in Somerville. That being said, if you are stuck in Kenmore Sq. it's not a terrible choice.

    1 Reply
    1. re: usmc0621matt
      marcusnaz14 Jun 14, 2008 05:48 AM

      In my opinion I think Bartleys was wayy overrated. Maybe my expectations were way to high but it was just okay to me.

      The best burger I have ever had is at Neptune Oyster in the North End. It is topped with 2 fried oysters, cheddar cheese, and mayo. The fries there are also some of the best you will ever have.

    2. j
      JCWH Jun 9, 2008 02:16 PM

      I've tried most (if not all) of the burge joints in the Boston area. The number one for me is the new place on Mass Ave called Four Burgers. Since they opened i have had a basic burger plus other burgers they offer - delightful. Fries are v tasty too.

      1. d
        drewinmrblhd Jun 9, 2008 12:14 PM

        Do they have Turkey burgers? I really prefer a good Turkey burger. Fudruckers has terrible turkey burgers, they are always tasting like freezer burn.

        3 Replies
        1. re: drewinmrblhd
          Bob MacAdoo Jun 9, 2008 01:09 PM

          Nope, just burgers made fresh daily (they grind the beef inhouse and every burger is cooked after you order.) They make chicken sandwiches, which have gotten some fair reviews on CH.

          1. re: Bob MacAdoo
            fmcoxe6188 Jun 10, 2008 10:40 AM

            Ive had pretty good luck with the turkey burgers are Bartleys actually...

          2. re: drewinmrblhd
            autopi Jun 9, 2008 01:20 PM

            if you want good turkey burgers, try zon's in JP.

          3. e
            Elyssa Jun 9, 2008 09:13 AM

            I came home to visit my parents this weekend and go to the Red Sox game with my Dad on Sunday. Instead of sweating into a Fenway Frank we decided to grab a burger in the well air-conditioned UBurger.

            This was my first time eating there, although I've heard a lot about it, and I really enjoyed my burger. It's amazing how you could taste the quality of beef. It was totally ungreasy, including the fries, and just a solid burger. I had sauteed mushrooms and swiss cheese on mine. I was also very pleased with the yummy fries! I'm definitly a fan. The burger tasted more like a restaurant or home-cooked burger then most fast food (even local chains in DC, where I'm from) places I've been to.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Elyssa
              tamerlanenj Jun 9, 2008 09:37 AM

              Ungreasy? yuck

              1. re: tamerlanenj
                Elyssa Jun 9, 2008 11:12 AM

                You prefer you burgers greasy?

            2. chef nate Dec 14, 2007 11:27 AM

              I had first gone to Uburger after I saw it on the Phantom Gourmet. I think they got the Frappe, Onion ring and make your own burger thing down! Service was ho hum, not super special, but good enough! I moved to NC in the summer, but when I vacationed back up north, I made the trip to Kenmore square, and loved everybit of it!

              7 Replies
              1. re: chef nate
                bostonron Dec 15, 2007 07:56 AM

                How do you compare Uburger to In n Out burgers

                1. re: bostonron
                  Gabatta Dec 16, 2007 11:38 AM

                  Uburger and In-n-Out are not even in the same league. In-n-Out is head and shoulders better than Uburger (both the burgers and the fries).

                  1. re: Gabatta
                    BarmyFotheringayPhipps Dec 16, 2007 12:23 PM

                    You're entirely right, of course, but until In 'n' Out opens a store in Kenmore Square...

                    1. re: Gabatta
                      hiddenboston Dec 17, 2007 05:05 AM

                      Right. Some people would walk a mile for a Camel (I'm dating myself again); I'd walk 3,000 miles (to San Diego) for an In 'n' Out Burger. If only they would come to the East Coast...

                      1. re: hiddenboston
                        heathermb Dec 17, 2007 05:08 AM

                        One can always hope...

                        1. re: heathermb
                          hlerm2 Dec 19, 2007 09:41 AM

                          First time there yesterday, not bad, not much better than a 1/4 pounder from the golden arches. too bad

                      2. re: Gabatta
                        Mr.Og Dec 19, 2007 12:48 PM

                        I never thought much of In-n-Out's fries, they taste WAY too much like potatoes

                  2. pamalamb Dec 14, 2007 09:18 AM

                    I've said it before, but I think it's worthy of repeating: the chicken at UBurger is fantastic. I don't know what's in the marinade, but it's awesome.

                    Also, the salads are always fresh and crisp.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pamalamb
                      maillard Dec 15, 2007 07:13 AM

                      I think the secret to the marinade is lots and lots of salt. :) That's what makes it so juicy. I do like those chicken sandwiches, though.

                      I just had a burger at U-Burger for the first time in quite a while the other day. The last few I'd had were dry and overcooked, but this one was back like the first few I had when they opened. Fairly juicy and just a tiny bit pink in the center. I still tend to get sucked into Popeye's whenever I'm in Kenmore for a cheap dinner, but I might try harder to resist and make it over to U-Burger next time...

                    2. Bob MacAdoo Dec 13, 2007 04:17 PM

                      IMHO, U Burger is the best "it is what it is" burger in the city.

                      I don't seek it out like I do a fine meal at any of Boston's better eateries.

                      I don't think of it when I'm in the mood for a satisfying bite (as I might seek out Uncle Pete's or M& M's ribs, Red Bones' brisket, an eggplant parm from Sessa's, the veal schnitzel at ESK, any number of places in Chinatown and my old time fave, La Taq in Union Square.)

                      But when I'm near Kenmore, and don't have time for ESK, I find my mind drifting to the U and its fresh meat, fresh cooked burgers. They are always hot, always fast, always moist, and they take me back to a place in my childhood that I can't quite place (maybe the Vallee's fast food burger joint on Rt. 1 in Maine just over the draw bridge across from Portsmouth.)

                      The key for me at U Burger is freshness and consistency, all delivered in 8-10 minutes. Not to mention those fresh cut fries. Mmmmm.

                      1. b
                        Boston Scene Dec 13, 2007 08:46 AM

                        I love UBurger- it is what it is, a very good fast food burger joint and they do that well : )

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Boston Scene
                          hargau Dec 13, 2007 08:55 AM

                          Ive never been but the conversations around it puzzle me.. Far as i can tell its a $4-5 fast food burger, better then wendy's or mcd's as the OP said. Yet whenever anyone mentions it, conversations of "the best" burger in town start up and everyone starts comparing apples to oranges. $9 Bartley burgers or $17 burgers are not the same category imo.

                          1. re: hargau
                            yumyum Dec 13, 2007 09:05 AM

                            You're right. I've been to Uburger and recently to Flat Patties (thought they were both fine, but much prefer FP) and they aren't the same animal as the Bartley's burger, or even Druid's very good burger. I like the burger at Miracle of Science and I've got to assume that it's like the Audobon version. Need to try the ESK burger and revisit Gargoyle's. Woe is me.

                            1. re: hargau
                              hiddenboston Dec 13, 2007 09:23 AM

                              I agree. It's tough to compare burgers when you are talking about griddled, flame-grilled, broiled, etc. I'm guilty as much as others in doing that, as I love burgers so much that I feel the need to talk about the ones I like best. But no, you can't really compare UBurger, O'Sullivan's, and the Bristol Lounge to each other.

                              1. re: hargau
                                BarmyFotheringayPhipps Dec 13, 2007 10:47 AM

                                Those conversations often start because there are those -- like me -- who consider the UBurger/Grille Zone/Flat Patties style of burger far superior to the orbs at places like Bartley's and the pubs.

                                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                  hargau Dec 13, 2007 11:37 AM

                                  Im with you. Didnt want to admit it here but i hate rare / red burgers and am not a fan of thick meatball burgers either.

                                  1. re: hargau
                                    bakerboyz Dec 13, 2007 11:57 AM

                                    At 1/2 lb and very thick and delicious is the Grille Zone burger so you probably wouldn't like it.

                                    1. re: bakerboyz
                                      BarmyFotheringayPhipps Dec 13, 2007 12:38 PM

                                      The Grille Zone patty is hefty, but it's not a slightly squashed softball laden with grease, in the manner of the pub burgers, so it's a far superior burger. Personally, I think GZ is tied with Flat Patties for best burger in the area.

                            2. t
                              tamerlanenj Dec 12, 2007 07:01 AM

                              I actually think uburger kinda sucks. The dried out well done burgers are a deal breaker for me. Fries are good.

                              31 Replies
                              1. re: tamerlanenj
                                hiddenboston Dec 12, 2007 07:21 AM

                                Really? You liked it at first, didn't you? Where would you go for a burger around Kenmore? I remember you saying that Rhett's wasn't quite up to the level of UBurger. Is Grille Zone the place to go around there?

                                1. re: hiddenboston
                                  tamerlanenj Dec 12, 2007 07:23 AM

                                  Grille Zone is certainly better than UBurger for meat, but the fries aren't as good.

                                  You know, I've never really had a great burger in Boston. Bartley's is still probably tops. I also like flat patties.

                                  1. re: tamerlanenj
                                    hiddenboston Dec 12, 2007 07:43 AM

                                    I've had some burgers that have bordered on greatness in the Boston area (Bartley's, Zon's, 75 Chestnut, The Druid, O'Sullivan's on a good day), but none approach the one I had at Hodad's in Ocean Beach, CA. Juicy, fatty, greasy slabs of heaven at that place. God, I gotta get back there...

                                    I may be going to NYC this weekend (the first of several trips over the coming weeks for me). Maybe I'll scope out a good burger joint down there to see how it compares to those in Boston.

                                    1. re: hiddenboston
                                      bakerboyz Dec 12, 2007 08:01 AM

                                      Check out the Burger Joint in the Parker Meridien, very good and a good value for Manhattan but I still prefer Grille Zone and Flippin Burgers.

                                      1. re: bakerboyz
                                        heathermb Dec 12, 2007 08:35 AM

                                        Burger Joint is great (love the fries too), as is JG Melon on the Upper East - my two go-to places when I'm in NYC.

                                        My favorite burgers in Boston are O'Sullivans, Monday Club Bar @ Upstairs on the Square, Bristol Lounge and 75 Chestnut (although I haven't had that one in quite some time).

                                        1. re: heathermb
                                          lissy Dec 12, 2007 09:53 AM

                                          I second Burger Joint and Melon's though I prefer Melon's since it means I can sip a bloody bull (or three) with my burger!

                                          1. re: heathermb
                                            twentyoystahs Dec 12, 2007 03:00 PM

                                            Another vote for Burger Joint though from what I can remember, their burgers are more in the Uburger vein (i.e grilled thin patties, not necessarily cooked to order by temp)....
                                            The best burger in Boston was undoubtably Tim's Tavern. Now that it's gone, Coda serves an OK one, I still really like Costello's, Bartley's, JJ Foley's has a decent one too. O'Sullivan's is certainly tasty but a little too fat for me. The Bristol Lounge burger is also excellent but not at all worth the $17 (or whatever it is) that they charge for it.

                                        2. re: hiddenboston
                                          tamerlanenj Dec 12, 2007 08:19 AM

                                          Corner Bistro

                                          1. re: hiddenboston
                                            Bostonbob3 Dec 13, 2007 10:58 AM

                                            Oh, sweet Jesus, Hodad's. Sloppy greatness in every juicy bite.

                                            'Nuf said, McHidden.

                                            1. re: hiddenboston
                                              Bostonbob3 Dec 13, 2007 11:02 AM

                                              Oh, and Marc, when you're in NYC, check out the burger at Peter Luger. I believe they only serve it until 4:00 or so, but it's quite outstanding.

                                              After that, you can have dinner there. "Steak for 4!"

                                              1. re: Bostonbob3
                                                hiddenboston Dec 13, 2007 01:03 PM

                                                Based on the road conditions out there, no Peter Luger for me tomorrow. I may be there again next week, but we'll see. Thanks for the suggestion! Never thought about a burger there...

                                                I'm really hungry right now, and for some reason, I really seem to be craving a couple of burgers and fries from UBurger. I wish the weather weren't so bad...

                                                1. re: hiddenboston
                                                  steinpilz Dec 14, 2007 09:48 AM

                                                  I got a craving for a burger after reading this thread, went to Flippin' Burgers in Newton Centre... not as rare as I would have liked, lousy fries. My opinion of this place is declining, oh well.

                                                  1. re: steinpilz
                                                    bakerboyz Dec 14, 2007 10:30 AM

                                                    I had a burger there last week, really enjoyed it, just the right size at 1/3 lb, ordered 1 medium and 1 medium-well, both came out medium- well so I understand your comment about not being rare enough. You are right about the fries, they are frozen and pretty bad.

                                                    1. re: bakerboyz
                                                      steinpilz Dec 14, 2007 10:35 AM

                                                      I ordered rare and got medium. Not so unusual, it happens all the time in fact, but it is nice when a place does get it right.

                                              2. re: hiddenboston
                                                lasiciliana Dec 18, 2007 11:06 AM

                                                Hodad's...that's the one I saw on the Foodnetwork last night that got me excited to have a good burger and fries!

                                                man that looked SO good!

                                                and the words "paper diaper" didn't steer me away from wanting to eat their food!

                                                1. re: lasiciliana
                                                  hiddenboston Dec 18, 2007 11:14 AM

                                                  I can't begin to tell you how good the burgers at Hodad's are. And driving to the Sunset Cliffs after dinner to watch the sun go down over the Pacific just caps off the experience.

                                              3. re: tamerlanenj
                                                maillard Dec 12, 2007 08:01 AM

                                                Have you tried the burger at Washington Square Tavern? Bartley's was my favorite until I went there...

                                                1. re: tamerlanenj
                                                  steinpilz Dec 12, 2007 03:25 PM

                                                  "You know, I've never really had a great burger in Boston. Bartley's is still probably tops."

                                                  I sort of agree with this, Bartley's was my favorite but I've come to agree with the arguments that their juicy/fatty quality isn't great. UBurger and Flat Paddies are both just ok, Casablanca's burger isn't bad. I think a great rare, not too juicy, charcoal grilled burger would probably win me over.

                                                  1. re: steinpilz
                                                    Joanie Dec 13, 2007 04:04 AM

                                                    Have you had the burger at Audobon's? It's always served on the underdone side, good size, good grilling.

                                                    1. re: Joanie
                                                      steinpilz Dec 13, 2007 05:31 AM

                                                      Thanks, I'll try Audobon's burger next time. I usually get the pot sticker box there, partly out of habit but it's also pretty tasty.

                                                      1. re: Joanie
                                                        lissy Dec 13, 2007 08:53 AM

                                                        I like Audubon's burger too but will also say that the one at Eastern Standard is usually really good and juicy.

                                                        1. re: lissy
                                                          heathermb Dec 13, 2007 08:59 AM

                                                          I like the burger at ESK but I'm not crazy about the bun they use. Plus, the grilled cheese is just amazing!!

                                                        2. re: Joanie
                                                          C. Hamster Dec 14, 2007 11:02 AM

                                                          Will Audobon give you real ketchup now? They used to only have their homemade, which sucked unless you love cloves.

                                                          1. re: C. Hamster
                                                            Joanie Dec 14, 2007 11:46 AM

                                                            Probably, it's all about mayonnaise for me.

                                                            1. re: Joanie
                                                              Bostonbob3 Dec 14, 2007 11:49 AM

                                                              Oh, Joanie...how could you?

                                                              Putting mayo on a burger is like putting Chris Farley on Jessica Alba.

                                                              1. re: Bostonbob3
                                                                hiddenboston Dec 14, 2007 12:12 PM

                                                                Now that's a nice visual. (The Farley part, not the mayo part.)

                                                                I think mayo goes well with just about anything. Well, maybe not anything--I wouldn't use it as a mixer with scotch, but just about anything else is fair game.

                                                                1. re: Bostonbob3
                                                                  Joanie Dec 17, 2007 05:15 AM

                                                                  Another mayo hater??? I also need it for my fries.

                                                                  1. re: Joanie
                                                                    Bostonbob3 Dec 18, 2007 09:42 AM

                                                                    I like homemade mayo. I despise that mass-produced puss in jars.

                                                                    It's literally the one thing I won't eat.

                                                                    Give me Burmese python in blood gravy any day.

                                                                    1. re: Bostonbob3
                                                                      tamerlanenj Dec 18, 2007 02:16 PM

                                                                      Hellman's even? it' one of the world's great foods!

                                                                      1. re: tamerlanenj
                                                                        Bostonbob3 Dec 19, 2007 05:16 AM

                                                                        Yeah, even Hellman's. I just hate the thick, pussy consistency of the mass-produced stuff. Mayonnaise should be a sauce, not a glutunous glop.

                                                              2. re: C. Hamster
                                                                Gabatta Dec 14, 2007 08:03 PM

                                                                Audobon has always had real ketchup. You just need to ask for it, and they will bring it out without any issue if you do not carefor the homemade ketchup which they normally serve with the burger.

                                                    2. w
                                                      Win Dec 12, 2007 01:51 AM

                                                      Exactly. UBurger is much better than McDonalds. It avctually tastes like a fast foood burger, not cardboard. But, why in the world would anyone settle for it. There are so many great places in boston/cambridge serving real hamburger meat, properly cooked... and delicious (once in a while).

                                                      Uburger has found a hopeful niche. Kids who realise that McD's is not real food...that there is something else beyond that...and they are beginning their chowhound search for REAL food.

                                                      FWIW, River Gods in Cambridge has the ultimate burger. A perfect burger, which can be had in 3 or 4 other places, with the best fries anywhere. Thats the deal maker here. The aoili with the fries turns a simple, perfect burger into heaven on earth.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Win
                                                        hiddenboston Dec 12, 2007 04:28 AM

                                                        Sounds good. How busy is River Gods on a typical Tuesday or Wednesday night?

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