With creative juices focused on our Halfway To Halloween party, the SexyBurger Six took the opportunity to enjoy some of the other burgers the Boston area has to offer. First stop was the stylish Luxe Burger Bar in Providence, followed by the all too modest Boston Burger Company in Somerville, MA. I'm going to break these two down Dr. Jack style to make the most objective decision a burger fanatic such as myself can do.
This category is very near and dear to SexyBurger's heart. Besides the burgers, atmosphere is the most important thing. It is all encompassing, lasting from the initial vibes you get when you walk through the door, escalating through the meal and ending with a bittersweet feeling the experience is over when you walk out the door. Atmosphere is all about the staff, the menu, and the decor, and can only be measured by the degree of salvation that rises in your mouth when you see other tables get their food. I could probably write a whole post about these two restaurants alone but I don't want to waste your SexyTime or mine so my goal here is to give you the Sparks Notes version [it's a lot like CliffsNotes for everyone who was in school prior to the interweb].
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia
Sorry, I mean "Location, Location, Location", sometimes I mix those two up. First time visitors to Providence might have a hard time finding The Luxe Burger Bar because it's hidden next to a bridge but I think by the time that visit is through you'll actually appreciate its locale. Luxe is connected directly to a parking garage where you can get your ticket validated and pay only a little more than you would for a meter in Boston. This way you don't have to dig through your grandma's change purse to take out a loan on your birthday quarters for the next ten years. On the other side of the same bridge that hides Luxe from street view is a pleasant little bay where you can just imagine an ideal summer night hangout for the Providence Water Fire. The interior of Luxe is very swanky; the only other word I could use to describe it is sexy but I won't go that far ;) There's a nice little living room area for the inevitable line that comes at dinner and a gorgeous fully stocked bar that stretches the length of the restaurant. There are Warhol-esque portraits featuring burgers accompanied by jazzy tunes that are backed by techno beats. Their "Build Your Own Burger (BYOB)" menu is one of the best ones that I've seen. I'll touch on this more in Round 3 but it should be noted that a pad of paper and golf pencils are left on each table, a la sushi restaurants. Like I said, very swanky.
The Boston Burger Company was a very different experience. If Luxe is your rich friend with the beach house that you lobby to get invited to in summer months, then Boston Burger Company is your friend with the sweet party van that you've contemplated moving into on the occasional blurry nights. Situated in thriving Davis Square in Somerville, the Boston Burger Company has an ideal location for this type of business. We thankfully got there minutes before the dinner rush and were able to snag a table. The unlucky few who came after us formed a line that eventually left the restaurant and stretched out into Davis Square itself. The weather was crappy and rainy and cold but still they waited; that probably tells you everything you need to know right there. The atmosphere in The Boston Burger Company was very snug and cozy. I know that sounds like a nice way of saying cramped but that's honestly how I felt. I will be straight with you however, the restaurant is very small; about 10 tables, an area for the line to form, and a tight little kitchen make great use out of a prime and pricey Boston real estate location. The reason I don't say cramped is because they could have fit 12 tables in there but they didn't. Even though Luxe had a major size advantage I felt more involved with my neighbor's conversation in Luxe than I did at BBC. This can be further emphasized by the fact that Luxe had thumping electronica and BBC had some chill ass tunes from The Beatles, Wilco, etc. And finally, here's what I really loved about the Boston Burger Company: It was run by 6 people! Yes it's true! 2 Waitresses, 2 cooks, 1 hostess, and 1 foodrunner. I think I may have caught glimpse of a prep guy/dishwasher downstairs too? The point is, The SexyBurger6 could really open their own restaurant and run it without having to hire a single person! Sure it's small, but guess what? The lot next to BBC has opened up and now that they have an established clientele they can knock down the wall and expand! We wish them and their burgers the very best of luck! You are truly inspirational Boston Burger Company, God Bless You and God Bless Your Burgers!
EDGE: LUXE BURGER
The full bar really pushed Luxe ahead in the atmosphere category. It gave the people who were waiting a nice place to relax while making the restaurant feel like a real "happening" place.
Round 2: Pre-Meal Jitters