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May 27, 2009 09:45 AM

Gourmet Mag/R.F. O'Sullivan's Burgers

Reading the June issue of Gourmet and Roadfood's Jane & Michael Stern include R.F. O'Sullivanin their nationwide 20 top burger experiences list. (only place in MA ).

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  1. I don't regularly read Gourmet, but I'm guessing that's a sign of the economic times: asking the Roadfood folks to do a feature on burgers.

    9 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      It was actually a good article -- Hoddad's and other legendary burger places were featured. I was surprised they included O'Sullivan's because I do believe there are much better burgers to be had in Boston. I think they were guided poorly by their sources.

      The roadfood folks (the Sterns) always do downscale food -- I don't see this as a departure for them.

      1. re: yumyum

        Love the Roadfood folks, didn't know they had a recurring feature in Gourmet!

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          Yep -- my recent favorite was their feature on roast beef sandwiches. They've also done fried chicken, cheesesteaks, BBQ.

          Keeping this somewhat Boston-centric, I wonder who steered them to O'Sullivans? Shame, really.

          1. re: yumyum

            Why is it a shame? Obviously burgers are a very subjective and divisive topic judging from the numerous threads with differing opinions on this board. There are several places in the Boston area top tier, all of which have supporters and detractors. There is no clear cut favorite which has been excluded here.

            These type of articles in national (and local) articles can be way off base and not representative of good local choices. I think this recommendation comes closer than most. While RFO may not be your favorite (or mine), many would agree with this article.

            1. re: Gabatta

              A shame in my opinion because we have better burgers to put up against legends like Hoddad's. I am well aware of the boston burger controversy, but I'd rather they'd been steered to one of MY favorites instead. :-)

              1. re: yumyum

                I've eaten at Hodad's a few times, I'll put them over RFO's any day.

                1. re: yumyum

                  Fair enough, though I am pretty sure we don't have anything that measures up to Hoddads.

                  1. re: Gabatta

                    I would have liked to see them review Craigie on Main's burger, although upscale is decidedly NOT what they were going for. Jane Stern would have *died* and gone to heaven for that one.

                    Best downscale (under $10) burger I've had lately was at Four Burgers, Central Square.

                    1. re: Gabatta

                      The closest place we have to Hodad's is about 3500 miles away in Ocean Beach, CA (oh wait, that is Hodad's--sorry). :-D

                      I have yet to find a burger as good as Hodad's. Having said that, I do like the O'Sullivan's burgers a lot, though it's not #1 on my Boston list (that would either go to Zon's, Mr. Bartley's, UBurger, or maybe even Five Guys in Dedham).

        2. Without dipping my toe into the RFO's controversy, since I haven't been myself, I will say that despite really enjoying the Sterns' columns (much better than their radio slots) I don't find them to be particularly critical. They're good at the anthropological side of things, and great at digging up unusual and cool places and dishes, but sometimes they seem to just love everything. Not a bad way to go through life by any stretch of the imagination, but something to keep in mind when reading their work.

          1. Man, I can't stand RFO burgers, they break all the rules of an excellent burger. Too thick, all sirloin, lousy bun and fries that are really a lazy man's baked potato. I think they get too much hype and as such people don't think twice and flock there. Let 'em! Leaves seats at the good places.

            3 Replies
            1. re: lola22

              Yeah, RFO burgers are like the kinds one's mom makes - giant meatball on the stop & shop bun.

                1. re: the modern serf

                  I know! Mine did, plus Dad would constantly squeeze them with the spatula to flatten them and thereby get all the juices out!