Getting Our Burger On in Beantown
Wherever we go, we look for burgers. It’s just a fact of our greasy, perpetually-hungry lives. And while our day-to-day adventures are through the streets of the D.C., when we head out of town, our mission doesn’t end at the border.
So when we found ourselves with a trip to Boston on the calendar earlier this month, it was only natural that we did a little burger research before we set off. Now, we were not looking forward to the prospect of wading through review after review of Beantown joints, looking for the one burger that stood out from all the rest, so we took the easy route and solicited the help of Richard Chudy (@bostonburger), the man behind the oh-so-aptly named Boston Burger Blog, for a recommendation near where we were staying.
He was quick to offer up Strip-T’s in Watertown, which, we gotta say, made our ears perk up because, well, because that’s just the kind of dirty, simple-minded people we are. However, much to our chagrin it is, in fact, NOT a gentleman’s club, but rather a small diner-style restaurant. Which, of course makes sense since that’s what we asked about in the first place.
Anyway, our main attraction, simply named the Strip T’s Burger, is not your average diner burger. There’s no cheese. No bacon. In fact, aside from the lettuce, you’d be hard pressed to find any of these fixings on any another burger around. It comes to the plate on a poppy-seeded brioche bun with smoked miso, lemon aioli and pickled red onion. Simple, but unique.
While we really dug the components of this burger, we were a bit let down by the beef itself. Our medium rare orders were left on the grill too long and came out medium and even then, one burger was plenty juicy while the other was lacking in the good stuff. Unfortunately, the inconsistency didn’t stop there, as the real standout from the whole mix, the lemon aioli, was unevenly doled out as well. One burger was done up with a healthy slathering, while the other had just a small dollop. It’s a shame too, because we really, really liked it. The aioli was bright, sharp and the acidity cut through the mellowness of the burger’s other flavors. It was such a great addition, that we openly lamented each bite that didn’t contain the stuff. It’s amazing that with all the burgs we’ve thrown into our faces over the years, this was the first time we encountered a condiment like that.
The bun was good, not overbearing, and maintained its integrity throughout the meal. We also dug the pickled onion, but completely missed out on the smoked miso– we couldn’t even tell it was there. As a complete package, the burger is solid, but not great. After all was said and eaten, we were left wanting more. Or perhaps less– at least when it came to time on the grill.
The accompanying gravy fries, on the other hand, were damn delicious and are a must-order. The spuds are expertly salted, crispy and lightly dressed with gravy, small cubes of cheese and some peppers give it a nice bit of heat– all together it makes for one knock-out order of poutine.
A jam-packed schedule prevented us from making it a double-burger weekend in Boston, but we did manage to take in several other phenomenal meals. Lobster, chowder and other New England dishes made their way into our bellies and, while this isn’t burger related, we strongly recommend the oyster sliders and lobster roe pasta at Island Creek Oyster Bar— they’re fucking fantastic.
Strip T’s | 93 School Street | Watertown, MA | stripts.com