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Looking for a Good Burger & Scotch

meeps2002 Jan 30, 2013 01:56 PM

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

  1. Niblet Feb 1, 2013 06:34 AM

    I love this question so much that I had to look to see if was me that'd asked it!

    Some of my most enjoyable burger-and-scotch experiences have been at the Green Dragon, also one of the oldest bars in Boston. It's an old-school burger with smokiness that you want, and the old wood bar has the right vibe. Stainless steel just won't do. An odd recommendation as many consider it a tourist spot, but there you go.

    1. t
      teezeetoo Jan 31, 2013 04:56 PM

      A little late for your posting but my husband likes JJ Foley's: he can get a good burger, a good drink, and he's always liked the service and the vibe.

      1. p
        Posenose Jan 31, 2013 12:57 PM

        What about The Haven in JP, if that's not too far afield? A Scottish pub --good place for scotch, and their burgers are excellent!

        1. b
          Blumie Jan 31, 2013 09:58 AM

          Other Cambridge options:

          The Druid
          Lord Hobo

          1. g
            Gordough Jan 31, 2013 07:58 AM

            How about the Gallows in the South End? I always feel like their burgers don't get enough respect. I'm a beer and martini guy so I can't comment on the scotch selection but the burger is very good.

            1. p
              phatchris Jan 30, 2013 04:41 PM

              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
                powerfulpierre Jan 31, 2013 07:53 AM

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

                1. re: phatchris
                  asaw780 Jan 31, 2013 09:36 AM

                  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
                    jgg13 Jan 31, 2013 10:30 AM

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

                    I dig their chipotle burger

                2. MC Slim JB Jan 30, 2013 02:15 PM

                  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
                    Boston_Otter Jan 30, 2013 05:26 PM

                    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
                      enhF94 Jan 31, 2013 06:42 AM

                      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
                        jgg13 Jan 31, 2013 07:10 AM

                        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
                          Boston_Otter Jan 31, 2013 12:17 PM

                          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.

                          1. re: Boston_Otter
                            enhF94 Jan 31, 2013 04:22 PM

                            I'll give another try.

                      2. re: MC Slim JB
                        mkfisher Jan 31, 2013 07:38 AM

                        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. m
                        meeps2002 Jan 30, 2013 02:06 PM

                        Great feedback, quick.

                        Thanks so much ....

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: meeps2002
                          hotoynoodle Jan 30, 2013 02:15 PM

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

                        2. g
                          Gabatta Jan 30, 2013 02:04 PM

                          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
                            Gabatta Apr 6, 2013 10:02 AM

                            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
                              maillard Apr 7, 2013 08:33 AM

                              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
                                Gabatta Apr 7, 2013 08:07 PM

                                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
                                  kimfair1 Apr 9, 2013 11:36 AM

                                  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
                                    maillard Apr 9, 2013 12:03 PM

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

                            2. c
                              cambridgedoctpr Jan 30, 2013 02:01 PM

                              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
                                jgg13 Jan 30, 2013 02:08 PM

                                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
                                  David Kahn Jan 30, 2013 03:48 PM

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

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