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May 13, 2008 07:29 PM

Villa Mexico; UBurger

Well, I did get to head to Villa Mexico (in Grampy's Gulf on Cambridge Street in Boston) this evening for dinner. What a place! A little superette-type deal in the back of a convenience store that is part of a gas station. The people were extremely nice (they kept calling me "my friend," and actually seemed to mean it) and the chicken burrito they made for me was excellent. Maybe not the best I've had, but really, really good, and a relative bargain at about $6.00 or so. I was tempted to get a tamale with it, but held back, knowing I would be trying this place again over the next couple of weeks.

Met up with some folks afterwards in downtown Boston and eventually ended up at UBurger in Kenmore Square for another dinner (I have no idea how that happened, but I'm not complaining). We hung around there for awhile at one of their outdoor tables, munching on their outstanding griddled burgers and enjoying the tasty onions rings. I also ordered fries, but they disappointed a bit this time around--they were very bland compared to the fries I had there a few months back.

And now for meal #3 (Tums).....

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  1. There's definitely something wrong with the fries at UBurger. The fries at In-N-Out Burger, which UBurger copied, are consistently color and consistently good and consistently crunchy.

    11 Replies
    1. re: joebloe

      Well, the fries are hand-cut so that's what the color may not always be consistent. In fact, sometimes, you can watch them cut the fries as you stand at the register!

      1. re: joebloe

        That's a first! I'm a huge UBurger fan and have never seen anybody say anything bad about the fries at the U. Personally, I find them addictive.

        1. re: Bob MacAdoo

          I found them addictive the first time I went; this time, however, they were pretty tasteless. Not sure what went wrong, but I'm guessing it was just an off-night for their fries.

          1. re: hiddenboston

            I thought the fries at UBurger were just OK. For real, In 'n Out style fries, get thee to Flat Patties.

            1. re: winedude

              You guys are funny.... here in California most CHers I know (me included) think In N Out fries suck.

              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                Aw, say it ain't so! I've mostly been to the In N Outs in the Bay Area, which are newer, so maybe they're trying harder. But the fries are great, like Mickey D's was when I was a kid and they actually made them fresh to order. Real potatoes, freshly cut, piping hot fresh oil, plenty o' salt. It ain't brain surgery, but it seems surprisingly hard to get right, judging on results. And don't get me started on Sysco frozen fries . .

                1. re: winedude

                  I, too, like the In N Out fries (I was there 2x in LA in October). Not a big fan of their burgers, though. If you go on the CA board, it seems like the overwhelming opinion is that the fries there are not crispy enough...I found just the opposite...go figure.

                  1. re: bakerboyz

                    IN N Out fries are the type we would like to like up here (made from fresh potatoes, okay oil etc.,)... but tell you the truth I would be surprised if you found a majority of CHers here who think In N Out are better than McDs.

                    That is just at the Chain level... if we are talking about the best fries... I don't think In N Out would be anywhere in the Top list... it would be places with handmade fries that use specialty fats like rendered lard, or duck fat etc., and special varieties of potatoe.

                    Honestly, I think In N Out burgers are just okay... but when I stop there (usually on my way from SFO after 10 PM)... I don't even bother with the fries.

                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                      I take your point on In N Out fries not being the "greatest", as I've also had amazing fries in oils that I only found out later were exotic--lard (in Kansas City, at Arther Bryant's BBQ), duck fat (at Duck Fat, in Portland, ME), and horse tallow (in Montreal). But I can only imagine what it was doing to my arteries.

                      At our local joint, Flat Patties, they're using only 100% peanut oil, and, though not the lowest in saturated fats, they taste darn good to me, without having to stop by my cardiologist on the way home.

                      1. re: winedude

                        Sorry to break it to you... but whether your fries are cooked in Peanut, Canola, Olive, Lard or Duck... its not going to make any significant impact on your need for a cardiologist. If you eat plenty of beans, fruits & vegetables you can fry in palm oil and you will be healthy... if you are idea of fruits & vegetables are the potatoe, and the slice of tomato, pickle etc., in your burger / sandwich (as believe it or not is the case for the "Median" American diet) then you can fry in Fish Oil or whatever the case may be and you are still going to have heart disease.

            2. re: hiddenboston

              I'm a fan of their fries, but they can be a little bland or oversalted. Normally I'm not a fan of smothering fries in anything, but I think these are best hot with a fair amount of ketchup. Or just do what I do and stick with the onion rings (phenomenal).

        2. Villa Burrito is the best!!!!

          1. I went to UBurger when it first opened and the place was gross, their burgers reminded me of school lunch it was foul. Ill probably never eat there again I was also unimpressed with their fries, mine werent hot and were served at room temp and half the fries seemed like they were double fried cuz half the basket was inedible i thought my teeth were gonna break biting into them.

            1. I never knew UBurger was an In-n-out clone. Are the fries to order, and can you get them "well done"? Grilled onions? Did they copy that yummy relish-y mayo stuff?

              5 Replies
              1. re: nfo

                Uburger is not an In-n-Out clone, and I don't think they're trying to be. It's a perfectly fine burger place -- one of the better burgers in a generally crap town for burgers, I think -- but don't set your expectations for something it isn't.

                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                  When they first opened, there was much talk about them being a In-n-Out clone, including in a Globe article about them. But, as BFP mentions, they're not a clone, and they're just OK. Again, I'd say that Flat Patties in Harvard Sq. is much closer to the In-n-Out model, and more "user friendly", as well. I'd bet they'd make your fries and onions as requested.

                  1. re: winedude

                    I think Flat Patties is probably the most consistently excellent burger place in the area, personally.

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                      Just curious but if you consider beantown a "crap town for burgers", where do you consider a better place? I have had burgers at the Burger Joint at the Parker Meridien in NYC, considered by many as one of the tops in NYC, and I have found many in Boston just as good. I loved the Grille Zone burger, too bad they closed.

                      1. re: bakerboyz

                        Er...I shouldn't get started on this topic again. There are many other threads already. Suffice to say that I'm not really a fan of the pub-style burger, which is dominant locally. Although Cafe D does a pretty good version of that style.

                        Yes, Grille Zone was briefly the top burger in the city. Too bad they couldn't make a go of it.