The $10-or-Less Harvard Square Burger Index

The $10-or-Less Harvard Square Burger Index

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We ate them. We scored them. Here are the results.

10 Places
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    Thin, pallid, overcooked patties tasted like, well, unseasoned ground beef. Fresh lettuce and tomato helped matters, but a generic, barely toasted bun did not.
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    The patty boasted a salty (good) crust, but was overgrilled and rubbery; the sweet brioche roll broke apart easily. Out-of-season tomato slices are a given this time of year, but these bordered on translucent.
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    There was a smoky char on both bun and patty, and the pickles were deliciously spiced; it was the ruthlessly well-done patty and oversize, bitter-tasting roll that held this one back.
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    The neighborhood icon that tourists line up for skewed closer to meh than memorable. A waxy cloak of cheese, too-dry bun, and overall blandness undermined what was otherwise a supremely juicy, perfectly cooked pub burger.
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    A thoughtful, assertive array of elements got mired down in too much salt and grease; tartness and freshness via a dose of kraut or pickles would have been a key game-changer.
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    Untoasted sesame-seed bun, two griddled quarter-pound patties of Angus beef, American cheese, tomato, chopped iceberg lettuce, pickles.
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    The brioche roll held up surprisingly well to the thick, nicely grill-charred patty—which, on its own, was pretty flavorless and under-seasoned. A generous shmear of ketchup pushed it back into hearty, satisfying territory.
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    The beefy, sturdy patty was cooked to a perfect medium. Lots of toppings made for balanced flavors but a messy burger—and the lower half of the bun wasn’t quite up to the task of keeping it all together.
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    There’s a reason Danny Meyer’s cult-favorite chain is, in fact, a cult favorite: consistently gorgeous (read: Instagram-ready) burgers, with the flavor—a smoky patty with a caramelized crust and sweet-tart-spiced sauce.
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    Toasted house-baked potato bun, griddled house-ground quarter-pound patty, roasted-red-pepper-based house sauce, sharp cheddar cheese, tomato, iceberg lettuce.
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