Dozens, possibly hundreds of us working in or around Cambridge’s Central Square recently bid a bittersweet farewell to a mostly unknown joint called Four Burgers. The aptly named restaurant featured four types of burgers: turkey, salmon, black bean, and grass-fed beef. While the food was of great quality, it was a bit overpriced- a typical lunch time order of rosemary chips (which were, admittedly, nothing short of fantastic), a double cheeseburger, and one soda cost a dime under $15 without tax, and they never advertised any specials to my knowledge. So with a shrug, we watched them shutter their doors.
It wasn’t long before the murmurs and whispers of a new burger joint rose above the collective din of grumbling office worker tummies. A co-worker came to me asking if I had heard of the popular food truck from Scarborough, Maine, that was going to permanently park its business a few streets over. When I learned the name, the grumble didn’t come from my stomach.
The “Mainely Whatever” thing. Can that stop and go away forever please? It might coax a chuckle from a tourist the FIRST time, but as someone who lived in Maine for five years, this bit gets old fast. Sadly, just like so maine-y things in this region of New England, it’s time for change. But hey, then again, I’m a city slicker now- maybe I just can't wrap my head around the way life should be.
this is in central square?
At first glance, MAINELY BURGERS felt suspiciously like a rebrand of Four Burgers, but I succepted to the ruse after taking in the restaurant’s wood-panel-everything décor, which was strangely comforting- like the square womb of a Tolkien Ent. There’s also a nice mural of the food truck driving from Portland to Central. All in all, the simple and polished atmosphere is a welcome juxtaposition to the Square.
Two items on the list quickly caught my eye. The first, THE BEAST. On a list of menu items like the MB CLASSIC, THE SHROOM & SWISS, and THE ARRIBA!, this one seemed like the only choice for a Fat Guy Food Blogger. Also, the name reminded me of my favorite autumn themed protagonist- THE BEAST from Over The Garden Wall. Look it up and thank me later!
First thing’s first, THE BEAST. A burger with BBQ sauce, sautéed onions, cheddar cheese, pickles… and the much needed ingredient to make it seem substantial, bacon.
The most important thing, as I learned from reading many a FGFB post before I joined in, is the preparation of the only supplemental ingredient that would justify its name. This ingredient is, of course, the bacon, which was expertly cooked in my meal on at least two different occasions. The combo of crispy and chewy is surely enough to blow any so-called connoisseur of this sweat meat treat right into the middle of Mass Ave, to be quickly run down by an indifferent bus driver.
Everything else in the Beast fulfilled its expected it role in a satisfactory manner except for the sparing use of BBQ sauce. This is the second review in a row I've had to critique lacking condiments, but if there's no sauce on the table or at least packets in the bag, it's totally justified.
Which leaves the unexpected usurper to the Mainely Burgers claim o’ fame- grab something stable- BRUSSEL SPROUTS.
That’s right haters! Leave your ill-conceived notions in the 90’s cartoons your feeble belief system was conceived in! Doug Funnie and I will look upon your helpless husks and cackle! YOUR WRAITHS ARE DOOMED TO HAUNT A CROOKED PAST FOR ALL ETENTINTY, NEVER TO SEE THE FRUITS OF TRUTH TO BE BORN PAST THE INCEPTION OF YOUR WICKEDNESS!
Much like the Loch Ness, aliens, and Bigfoot (sorry Josh), it’s time to lay this urban legend to rest because FINALLY and WE NOW HAVE IRREFUTABLE PROOF (gotcha there tho) that brussel sprouts, when prepared CORRECTLY, are A TOP TIER AND FGFB NOTEWORTHY VEGETABLE. Suck it kale! You've had your day, now go back to whatever San Francisco vegan bistro and weed dispensary you crawled out of.
This gluten-free breadwinner (I assume? Who knows anymore) commands the delicious flavors of garlic, brown sugar, and one unseeingly yet unmistakable overpowering other. The distinct taste of soy sauce adds the necessary salinity to deem this veggie snack-worthy, and yet I feel it was too heavy-handed, and distracted too much from the distinct brussel sprout flavor that distinguishes this snack from any other lightly-fried green vegetable. That being said, these were absolutely delicious, and I look forward to having them within walking distance on a lazy-afternoon workday then I do a hundred cheeseburgers.
The Beast: B-
While this was surely a well-crafted sandwich, it didn’t do enough to satisfy the savage urges one naturally feels when indulging upon a good-sized cow-puck. Two patties are an absolute must, which takes money from my wallet and points from my grade. However, all the usual flavor superstars come together to save the day, which left me with enough satisfaction to ward off buyer’s remorse.
Brussel Sprouts: A
Baby cabbages overshadowing meat is no small feat. This one truly earned the A.
Despite the slightly underwhelming burger, I’ll be headed to Mainely again soon. There’s a few other eye-catching items on their menu I’m keen to try- the Coop burger, their “truckmade” chips (we're supposed to believe a truck is driving these down daily?), and… here's another odd one- fried cauliflower?! Hey, like I said, they nailed the sprouts. Might as well see if they can glamour up another healthy food. My doctors would be so proud of me if I told them I ate two vegetables in the same week!
Review by sl33zy
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