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Jan 30, 2013 01:56 PM

Looking for a Good Burger & Scotch

Any suggestions to take a Londoner out tonight for good food, but not fancy...thinking a burger, along with a nice bar.

Not feeling ESK tonight, but willing to travel anywhere within Boston Proper/Cambridge

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  1. I recently tried the Craigie burger; the burger was very good though the fries left something to be desired; I wonder if they were prepared in animal fat. Craigie's burger has a national reputation, and the bar is nice.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cambridgedoctpr

      At some point they switched from a shoestring type of fry (even less than that, really) to the steak fry style, a move that i think was a bad one.

      1. re: cambridgedoctpr

        Agree that Craigie makes a great burger, and has a pretty good selection of whiskeys.

      2. I thought ESK before I clicked on the link.

        Russell House has a good burger and a respectable scotch selection. Unfortunately, the last time I had that combo there my Lagavulin was presented in a red hot glass straight out of the dishwasher. YMMV

        Maybe Citizen oyster bar?

        5 Replies
        1. re: Gabatta

          Update on Russell House. I met friends there for drinks the other night before they went to a show at Sinclair and I went back home to change diapers. Sure enough my Caol Ila was served to me an a hot glass straight out of the dishwasher. The bartender was occupied for a bit after that and my time was limited so I drank it anyway. When it came time for the next round I asked for a room temp glass and he asked if I just wanted to keep the same glass. Unfortunately the bar tending here which was once promising is a bad joke.

          Someone else in our party ordered a bunch of apps for the bar. While their choices were not what I would have ordered, I was surprised at home underwhelming the food was:
          - Grilled Prime Rib Knuckles: Chunks of fatty, chewy meat. I wouldn't have fed these to the dog.
          - Lamb Toast: Not much lamb flavor in this dish. I tasted more of the dressing than anything and actually had to ask what the dish was.
          - Pizza: thin but tasteless. meh.
          - Brussell Sprouts: I didn't taste any of the chili which was supposedly in these. In addition they were overdone and mushy.
          - Devlied Eggs: these are really overdone as kitschy bar food at this point. I was disappointed not to have the excellent crispy poached egg instead.

          While I didn't go there to eat, I was surprised at how far the food seems to have slipped. Hopefully this place isn't trending toward becoming more like their Grafton Street location.

          1. re: Gabatta

            That's interesting. I actually had some excellent cocktails at Russell House last week and thought that the bartending had vastly improved. So I guess it's just very uneven? That food sounds awful, though.

            1. re: maillard

              Where you at the upstairs or downstairs bar? I was at the upstairs bar, which is where I've had issues several times in the past.

              1. re: Gabatta

                I never sit at the upstairs bar, only the downstairs, and I've never had the "hot glass" issue that seems to come up with them every once in a awhile. See if the Birdman is working the downstairs bar, he's awesome, used to be the bar manager at Commander's Palace in NOLA.

                1. re: Gabatta

                  Aha, maybe that's it. I was in the downstairs bar area. I've definitely had some less-than-great drinks upstairs.

          2. Great feedback, quick.

            Thanks so much ....

            1 Reply
            1. re: meeps2002

              i've had excellent burgers at jm curley's.

            2. Worthwhile burger and decent whiskey selection:

              The Citizen
              jm Curley
              Russell House Tavern

              Haven't had the burger at Hops N' Scotch or the slider trio at Saloon, but they both have nice whiskey lists.


              6 Replies
              1. re: MC Slim JB

                The slider trio at Saloon is often excellent, but I'd check first to see what they're serving right now, as it changes frequently and is sometimes more worthwhile than others.

                1. re: Boston_Otter

                  Wow, surprised to hear this - I respect your opinion but I found the sliders dry, dull and stale. For me, my biggest Saloon food fail (bubble and squeak was the biggest win). I only tried them once, so maybe an off night.

                  1. re: enhF94

                    I find that sliders in the bar/restaurant sense (i.e. not a true white castle style slider) almost always are dry, dull & stale

                    1. re: enhF94

                      Yeah, I've had them three or four times, and the first two times they were just killer... they had a bacon jam and marrow on top, I remember. The last time I was there, a friend got them and they were pretty plain. Dry and stale, not at all, but I guess sort of dull.

                  2. re: MC Slim JB

                    I'll definitely second the Catalyst rec. One of my favorite burgers in town, with a McDonald's like thin/salty fry. They serve it with housemade ketchup, mayo and mustard too.

                  3. Tavern at the End of the World on the Charlestown/ Sonerville line has a great burger and great whiskey... Both a few dollars less than most.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: phatchris

                      Second the Tavern. But just between us. I like to be able to get a seat at the bar.

                      1. re: phatchris

                        Really! Wow, that's very funny - I used to work right near the Tavern, but I've never been inside. I guess I shouldn't have judged the book by its cover.

                        1. re: asaw780

                          No, you shouldn't. Suprisingly decent food & quality beer list. Live music, etc.

                          I dig their chipotle burger