Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Boston's Best Burger?

Every year, Bostonians anxiously await Boston Magazine's "Best of Boston" nominations for the best of everything in the area. We trust the magazine's opinions as though they are the truth handed down directly from the heavens, decrees of superiority determined in benevolence by the gods of judgement. I think we're all playing the part of the small fool because, in reality, the "Best of Boston" hoopla is most likely a revenue generating stunt for the mag, albeit a genius one, that produces superlatives based 30% on taste/quality and 70% on advertising dollars. It's a clever little trick, making it seem like they're cluing us in on a townie secret... Like, surprise, the best steakhouse is Grill 23! The best bakery is Flour! The best Italian is Strega! Okay, okay I'm being a cynic... and (yipes!) a hypocrite because, this year, I totally fell for their "best burger" choice...

After a friend kept insisting that the nod to Sel de la Terre's burger was so so so true, claiming she experienced a taste of mouth watering beefiness from her boyfriend's burger even though he surprisingly ordered his well done, a request that caused her a great deal of panic and anxiety and left her thinking "... is he really the one? Can I be with a man that orders beef and asks for all the juicy fatty goodness to be cooked out?" That is, until she asked for a bite. Even after this burger had been left on the griddle well past the pink medium center she prefers, she said the meat just melted the minute it hit her tongue and, full-mouthed, she stood right up and stepped up on her chair, waving the burger in her hand, and declared "Waiters, waitresses, servers that only bring over the wine, cooks, dishwashers, hostesses, fellow diners, this is the best burger I have ever had!"

Well, slight exaggeration there, but she did like it enough to convince six of her girlfriends to all order the burger on our recent trip to Sel de la Terre. So seven burgers were brought to seven girls accompanied by rosemary fries, each a little different - some without pancetta, some medium, some medium rare, but all absolutely delectable. I don't think I partook in any conversation until my burger was completely gone. It tasted like a sirloin burger met a filet au poivre and they had this wonderful little cheese-covered, bun-encased love child. I could probably have eaten the burger with nothing but a knife and fork and been just as happy.

And so, hats off to you, oh worthy editors and advertising sales persons of Boston Magazine. Good call on your "Best Burger" nomination for Sel de la Terre. I humbly applaud you.

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