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Anywhere in Boston to get a hamburger where they grind their own beef?

winedude Jan 10, 2010 04:15 PM

After recently watching Food, Inc. (highly recommended), I've vowed never to eat another hamburger with ground beef that comes from one of the big packing houses, so it's "grind your own" or nothing for me. I know that in California, In 'n Out grinds their own, but I don't know of any place around here that does. Any suggestions?

  1. almansa Feb 4, 2010 02:06 PM

    Houston's. They grind it daily, and whatever doesn't sell becomes staff meal at th end of each day.

    4 Replies
    1. re: almansa
      nsenada Feb 4, 2010 03:23 PM

      and they are pretty tasty burgers, despite the brioche bun.

      1. re: nsenada
        hotoynoodle Feb 5, 2010 05:38 AM

        i was not wowed by the houston's burger and it had more than a few shards of cartilage or who-knows-what in it.

        1. re: hotoynoodle
          nsenada Feb 5, 2010 05:50 AM

          At least they were "hand ground" mystery shards. I wouldn't put them on par with Craigie or Toro, and I'm not sure they are worth $15, but I thought the standard burger was pretty good. Last time I had it, the hickory burger was gross, with a big rubbery slab of Canadian bacon on top, that just made it hard to eat.

          1. re: hotoynoodle
            nsenada Feb 5, 2010 05:51 AM

            Now that you mention it, I got some nasty cartilage in their rotisserie chicken sandwich, which was otherwise very good.

      2. p
        Parsnipity Feb 4, 2010 11:11 AM

        Gargoyle's- one of my favorite burgers. I think most upper-tier restaurants probably grind their own. It's the pub-level places like John Harvard's and Joe Sent Me where the rest of the food is mediocre at best and a burger would often be my standby that I really wonder about. I've read a few articles in the NYT lately about the ammonia-laced slurry that makes it into low quality ground beef and have also made this vow. (By the way, Whole Foods grinds all their own beef in house if you're looking to make your own burgers.)

        7 Replies
        1. re: Parsnipity
          nsenada Feb 4, 2010 11:16 AM

          Yep, I'm basically on the same slurry-induced boycott of mystery ground meat. My high school friends would get a good laugh out of that, as I was known to ingest the diciest of ground and processed meats, including some "dumpster dares." I finally bought a freezer and got in on some grass-fed beef. Hopefully, the uburger opening up nearby won't cause my determination to waver.

          1. re: nsenada
            Parsnipity Feb 4, 2010 11:18 AM


            1. re: nsenada
              twentyoystahs Feb 4, 2010 02:35 PM

              i thought i remember reading that uburger did grind their own beef? no?

              1. re: twentyoystahs
                Bob MacAdoo Feb 5, 2010 08:35 AM

                They do, a mix of chuck & sirloin. I've got to hit UB one of these days. It's been too long.

            2. re: Parsnipity
              winedude Feb 4, 2010 11:27 AM

              I'll have to check on Whole Foods grinding their own beef. I'm still hoping for one cow, one burger (not a huge gross mixture), but at least they won't have the "slurry", which is so disgusting as to be almost unbelievable that they permit it into US foodstuffs.

              1. re: Parsnipity
                hondodog Feb 4, 2010 01:47 PM

                John Dewar in Boston/Brookline/Wellesley grinds their own meat and I've been told, after serving a grilled BBQ from their meat, that the burger was the best they've ever had. The reviewer was a 9 year old, but she is picky and you have to figure that kids know burgers.

                Their burger meat is some top grade blend with wonderful beef flavor, and being loose packed, is juicy and and just darn feels good in the mouth.

                I don't know what percentage fat the meat is...I suspect it's low because it wasn't too greasy (and I like grease).

                1. re: Parsnipity
                  phatchris Feb 4, 2010 02:12 PM

                  Thats interesting seeing as when coleman beef had a recall for ground beef, whole foods was mentioned. Is this a new practice?

                2. d
                  debo Feb 4, 2010 10:41 AM

                  Four Burgers in Central Square. Excellent - great grilled flavor with a nice slightly salty exterior.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: debo
                    jgg13 Feb 4, 2010 11:09 AM

                    But even after 2 years they haven't figured out how to consistently cook a medium rare hamburger. They have one thing on the menu, burgers, and they don't even know how to cook it properly.

                  2. Bob MacAdoo Jan 11, 2010 07:14 AM

                    UBurger. Belond of Chuck & Sirloin. Better than Flat Patties IMHO.

                    1. hotoynoodle Jan 11, 2010 04:37 AM

                      smith & wollensky, radius, craigie st.

                      1. 9
                        9lives Jan 11, 2010 03:46 AM

                        Sounds like you're looking for a restaurant and I'd guess Craige does, especially given the variety of cuts used.

                        You'll have to cook it yourself but Sulmona's Butcher Shop on Parmenter in the NE grinds their hamburger to order. Really a huge improvement over supermarket ground beef.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: 9lives
                          winedude Jan 11, 2010 03:50 AM

                          I'm glad to hear that Flat Patties grinds their own--I know they're working on an In n' Out model, but I've always gotten the chicken sandwich there. I wish they were somewhere else besides the Garage.

                          I'm actually looking for any suggestions in both restaraunts and more casual places, but also really appreciate the tip on Sulmona's. I had an old Italian butcher shop near my house in SF, and they ground hamburger to order--I didn't know anywhere out here that did it. Any others?

                          1. re: winedude
                            cpingenot Jan 11, 2010 04:40 AM

                            B.Good, a small local chain grinds their own. They have a couple of locations- in Harvard sq, and there's one in brookline, fairly close to Clear Flour.

                            1. re: cpingenot
                              nsenada Jan 11, 2010 06:03 AM

                              Also one near the Back Bay MBTA station. Wild Willy's has a grass-fed Hardwick Beef burger, though I don't know if they grind it themselves. I think Fuddrucker's may grind the beef fresh daily.

                              1. re: cpingenot
                                twentyoystahs Jan 11, 2010 07:40 AM

                                too bad the b.good burgers have no flavor...

                              2. re: winedude
                                Dea Jan 11, 2010 06:49 AM

                                You're going to get your wish, winedude. They're moving to the space formerly occupied by Calliope (children's clothing store) on Brattle Street, next to Brattle Florist. I've confirmed this fact with the owner of Crema Cafe, who is the daughter of the owner of Flat Patties. I don't know how long renovations will take at the new site, as Calliope didn't have kitchen facilities as far as I know, but I can tell you many of my colleagues are thrilled with this move.

                            2. Luther Jan 11, 2010 02:57 AM

                              Celebrity Pizza, Watertown

                              1. r
                                robertlf Jan 10, 2010 06:35 PM

                                Flat Patties in Harvard Square, Cambridge.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: robertlf
                                  Luther Jan 11, 2010 02:58 AM

                                  ...which also has my vote for the best "well-done" style burger in town.

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