Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA--Burgers

Since I figure that I will ultimately work my way through most if not all of the Harvard Sq. burger joints (tho I may well just skip Boston Burger Co. on uni’s say so), I thought I’d start a thread for these akin to the North Shore roast beef thread where I’ll just add them in as I go. Please feel free to chime in with your own reviews or thoughts on any of these places!

I’ll start with Flat Patties, as I had lunch there today. (I also went to Tasty Burger last week when my Cafe Sushi lunch got postponed and liked it very much, but will wait for a return visit for a proper review as I forgot my phone in the office that day.)

The cheeseburger (this will be my standard order for comparison’s sake) here was fair–seasoned well but not really cooked medium, as it ultimately leaned much more towards well done. The tasteless tomato pictured here was taken off after one bite but the supermarket iceberg lettuce provided some crunchy contrast and overall the sandwich had good flavor. (Aside: I have probably opined on this before, but I think iceberg lettuce doesn’t totally deserve its bad reputation. Yes it has no flavor, but for an industrial vegetable the texture and moisture that it can provide is sort of underrated, imo). The hand cut fries were pretty good and I’m sure a fan of the Flat Patties condiment bar with its caramelized onions and jalapenos and such.

The restaurant is nice enough inside and has decent seating upstairs, on the first floor and there’s a couple tables on the street, too. Had no problem finding a place to sit even at lunchtime on this the first day of summer. Oh wait, it’s still May it was just almost ninety degrees…

Reminder: please include [State, City, Neighborhood] in your post title above.


That looks like (too) high bread/meat ratio

I like high bread to met ratio.

I don’t think my photo does it any favors, but yeah. It was a little bready.

I love hamburgers and I’ll be following this thread religiously. Only problem is, I make better burgers than most of those I can get elsewhere. But I’m always hopeful! One that I missed is the pastrami burger that a French restaurant in Boston, whose name I cannot find, used to serve. Does anyone remember this burger? I read about it on Chowhound. Was the pastrami laid on top, or was it ground in? I lay some pastrami on the burgers I make, but the pastrami we get here in Zurich is a far cry from what Katz’s in New York produces.

Good idea for a thread.

I agree that flat patties tends to have a higher bread to meat ration than I think is ideal. I also haven’t found their meat “beefy” enough, unlike Shake Shack whose strength (in NY at least) is the beefiness of its burger. I’d be curious what your opinions are on this beefy question as your quest progresses.

If I have burger I want to taste the beef as the main component not the bread

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Yeah, but these days, too many burgers have these tiny buns which barely enough to hold on the ingredients.

What’s wrong with Boston Burger Co? I found their burgers interesting and tasty.

It’s not good and pricey to boot. I think I wrote a review here at one point, but I can’t immediately find it to post the link. I had tried the Davis location and was let down, but gave the HSQ location another shot when it opened due to proximity. From what I can immediately remember the burger itself was dry and under seasoned and the fries average were frozen (confirmed by our waitress). For the amount of the bill, we could have eaten at Tasty Burger 3 times. If the burger itself isn’t good, the marketing hype of “the artery clogger” etc. really does nothing for me. Bartley’s just down the street does a great job with themed burgers.

There are too many good burger options in the neighborhood for me to bother with Boston Burger Company.

The patty melt at Park is pretty tasty.


good one. 2nd Park for sure!

another spot is Charlie’s kitchen. their outdoor beer garden is a great spot.

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made a second visit to Tasty Burger last week. So far this is my favorite Square burger, especially if you go to the downstairs, comfortable part with table service–because everyone tends to overlook this, as was pointed out in the previous Harvard Sq. thread. It’s generally cool and somewhat empty down there even at lunchtime, which is fantastic. The burger pictured below is the Big Tasty–I normally do not go for the lettuce/tomato burger, but for some reason I really like this one! It’s all balanced pretty well between vegetable/bun/meat/cheese and it works great together as a sandwich. Bread to meat ratio is way better here than at Flat Patties. The single slice of melting salt riddled orange American cheese is also a major plus in my book.

Fries are good here too. Things are salty, so you’ll need like a gallon of water after lunch. But that’s OK.


Tasty Burger is such a great value too.

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