Tag Archives: Burger

Cheap Eats: Shake Shack

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First off, today is Frugal Foodie’s one–year anniversary! Super exciting, and the year has gone by super–fast. I certainly have a lot more to do in the kitchen so here’s to many more!

Let's rewind the clock a year, remember baby Ajax? One of the best things about this bog, I'm sure.

Let’s rewind the clock a year, remember baby Ajax? One of the best things about this bog, I’m sure.

Speaking of stuff to say about food, The Russian and I went to Shake Shack, finally, last week.  Everybody lost their minds when it came to Boston from my hometown of New York City, and I waited to go (since I’ve been to the one back home, it wasn’t as exciting), and I finally got my butt over there.  It was delicious, just what I needed (though I have to say, Tasty Burger is still my #1).

It's a close second, though.

It’s a close second, though.

We got a couple burgers, some fries, and a peanut butter shake and the ShackMiester Ale, the signature beer made by Brooklyn Brewery. We got a little of everything, and man, it was awesome.

So awesome.

So awesome.

The burgers were super juicy, the fries were crispy (and crinkle cut, which rock when done right), and the shake was so thick we needed a spoon.  Everything in you want in a lunch, at a causal spot with a lot of sass.

These let you know when your meal is ready

These cuties let you know when your meal is ready

It cost about $15 a person, and we went all out, so it’s definitely worth a trek up to Chestnut Hill.

-L

 

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Welcome 2014!

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It’s been a while, guys. It’s been a crazy new year.  I hope it’s been awesome for everyone, and I’m back now, and have plenty more food–related fun to share.

For New Years, The Russian and I traveled to Maine for some serious R&R.  We rented a small cabin in the middle of nowhere..

Pictured here.

Pictured here.

(middle of nowhere pictured here)

(middle of nowhere pictured here)

..and enjoyed the sounds of the crackling fire.

Pictured here.

Pictured here.

The cabin we stayed at (thanks, Airbnb!) was on the property of a farm, and I was able to buy farm fresh meats, eggs, and maple syrup.

CRW_7752It was incredible, as I have never had farm fresh products like this before.  I needed to make something simple to showcase the beautiful meat, so I decided to make some tasty pork burgers. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

Ground pork [$5]

Buns [$3]

Cole Slaw mix [$2]

Milk [$1.50]

Mayo [$2]

Apples [.50 cents]

BBQ sauce [$3]

Directions:

Form the pork into patties and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  I put the patties in a pan with some leftover compound butter I had made the night before, so there was a lemony flavor and some parsley on the patties.  I also threw some garlic cloves in the pan also to just lend some flavor to the meat. These items are not necessary, but they add some flavor.

It really makes a difference, folks.

It really makes a difference, folks.

While the patties are cooking (they take about 5 or 6 minutes per side for a 1/2 lb patty), I made some simple cole slaw by taking about a 1/4 cup each of mayo and milk and a dash of vinegar and whisking it with the mix and some julienned apple.

To make the burgers, I topped each with some BBQ sauce and some of the slaw. The crunch of the slaw with the juicy burger is a good flavor combo, and the BBQ adds just enough smokiness.

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Sorry this isn’t the best picture, but you get the idea.

-L

 

Battle of the Burger a.k.a. my first Sous Chef experience

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So as I mentioned yesterday, the Executive Chef at my job asked me to be one of his Sous Chefs for the Battle of the Burger, hosted by Boston Magazine.  Eighteen of the city’s best burgers under one roof, with 1,000 attendees to judge and vote for the winner.  Can I cook for it without any restaurant experience? I figured this would be a great way to find out if I could ever really work in a restaurant, or if I should maybe hone my skills and take a cooking class or two in hopes of maybe opening my own place one day.

I started my day by helping prep. I figured I might as well look the part:

burgerbattle3

Then it was time to get to work. I started prepping olives while Chuy, the other Sous, chopped some parsley and made burgers (not gonna lie, he did most of the prepping.  Being a home chef means I don’t normally move too fast in the kitchen, but the guys were understanding and helpful).

burgerbattle4 burgerbattle1

I really did to a lot of olives though.

Or at least, a decent amount.

Or at least, a decent amount.

After we prepped, we headed to the venue, the BlackFalcon Pier in South Boston. We set up our station:

which had a nice board explaining the burger to attendees

which had a nice board explaining the burger to attendees

I set up my mise en place

it was so pretty before the chaos began

it was so pretty before the chaos began

and then we got to work.  We made about 600 burgers. My job was to top the burgers with a greek style salad and the Tzatziki sauce (see description below).

burgerbattle8 burgerbattle10

That's me, putting the salad on top of the lamb burger, and Chef Antonio, looking somewhat happy with my job

That’s me, putting the salad on top of the lamb burger, and Chef Antonio, looking somewhat happy with my job

I have to say, the hours melted by.  I had a blast! It was a rush, and at the time I was feeling pretty sweaty while plating those salads on the burgers, but I was incredibly focused on getting every burger done and looking great.  I felt like I was on Top Chef, guys.  We all know that’s my dream.

The burgers came out pretty great, also.  Fresh ground lamb sliders topped with homemade Tzatziki and a salad of shredded romaine, tomatoes, feta, olives, onion and parsley on top.  Yes, that was hard to get that salad to stay put on the burger, but I think we pulled it off.

Look how pretty these burgers turned out

Look how pretty these burgers turned out

Chef Antonio said he was happy with my work as well, and would be willing to give me some more pointers around the kitchen.  Score.

I totally deserved one of the beers given to us by the Amstel Light sponsors

I totally deserved one of the beers given to us by the Amstel Light sponsors

Since this was a competition, however, I totally had The Russian running around trying out the burgers for me while I worked.  When there was a bit of a lull, he brought me around to the stalls he liked the best so I could try some of the best burgers at the battle.

Here were some of our faves (other than the lamb burger, of course):

burgerbattletrade1

The Trade burger from Trade.  Nice pickle, guys, and the burger was really well cooked.  Simple and tasty.  They also had burger shaped macaroons. Clever.

and very cute.

and very cute.

The Vermonster from Boston Burger Company.  The apple slaw and bacon brought it home.

sweet, but not overpowering

sweet, but not overpowering

I was excited that I got to try Shake Shack’s burger also.  It was really awesome, just a perfect simple burger made well.

burgerbattleshake

The BBQ burger from Joe’s American Bar & Grill  was also really nice, and they put pork belly on their burger.  Pork belly.  Way to think it through, guys.  They were a popular choice, and placed in the top three of the competition.

burgerbattlejoes

The Russian also loved the burger from Tommy Doyle’s, and I liked the blue cheese on the burger and the slice spice from the jalepeno.

burgerbattletommy

I also loved that it was called the corky pig

So, overall, I had a kickass time last night, and I hope this is the start of my culinary experience on the restaurant side of things.  Top Chef, here I come.

-L

 

 

Cheap Eats: Boston Burger Company

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Exterior of Bolyston street location

Exterior of Bolyston street location

This weekend The Russian’s best friend came in from New York City, so we went out for the ultimate in guy food: Burgers.  Now, I love burgers. I love making them and going out to eat them, and I wanted to try something new, so we went to Boston Burger Company on Bolyston street.

The first thing you notice is the huge list of burgers. It’s overwhelming. It’s also good to notice that most of the burgers are under $10 and include sides of homemade chips and coleslaw or baked beans– a good amount of food for the money.

I couldn't even get all of it in the photo

I could hardly get all of it in the photo

Oh man, what to choose? I ended up going for the ranch burger, because I love ranch dressing. Love it.  It was topped with american cheese and bacon and it was wonderful.

Yay

Yay

Mine was perfectly cooked, nice and pink on the inside.

hooray

hooray

Others were not as lucky, however. The Russian got a make–your–own burger topped with cheese, bacon and a fried egg.  The burger was good, but overcooked.

Looks good

Looks good

this is over med rare, more like med well. whoops.

this is over med rare, more like med well. whoops.

My friend who came along with the three of us got the Artery Clogger. A deep fried burger topped with BBQ sauce, bacon, and American cheese. He loved it, ate it in all about one bite.  Afterwards, all he could say was “My arteries are clogged.” He really enjoyed it.

bbcartery

The Russian’s best friend was starving, so he got a buffalo salad and some wings with the golden bbq and teridactyl sauces.

bbcsalad

bbcwings

“The salad was good, but I didn’t enjoy the flavor of the sauce on the wings,” he said. “The teridactyl wasn’t for me, but the golden bbq sauce was better.”

Personally, I liked both of the sauces.  They were both sweet and flavorful. The chicken on the buffalo salad was tasty, but the lettuce for me was a little lacking.  I prefer mixed greens to iceberg lettuce.

The service was very good, and as a waitress I appreciated that. I also enjoyed the beers they had on draft, nice selection. Overall, I enjoyed my evening at Boston Burger company, but I still enjoy Tasty Burger more. I love the creativity of the burgers, I just think they stumbled a little on the technique. The price was certainly right, as well. A great meal for less than $20 a person, even with The Russian’s best friend ordering a bunch of food.  A worthy contender for one of the tastiest burger spots in the Back Bay.

Boston Burger Company

1100 Boylston St,
Boston, MA 02215
(857) 233-4560

Handicap Accessible

Closest T stop: Hynes Convention Center

 

Cheap Eats: Tasty Burger

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I almost don’t want to write about this, I don’t want to spill my secret.  Tasty Burger is one of my favorite spots for cheap food and an awesome atmosphere. Being right down the street from my apartment, it is pretty safe to say the staff at the hip burger joint should know me by name.

Tasty Burger Stock - Bingham-4

It’s usually busier than this

Also their burgers are INCREDIBLE.

Tasty Burger, being awesome, has this incredible special called the Starvin’ Student, available dine-in only. A burger, fries, and a beer for $10. REALLY?!!?

Yeah, Really

Yeah, Really

For someone who is a starving student, this is the holy grail of deals.  I can’t even begin to describe how incredible these burgers are.  Simply cooked, super juicy, topped with cheese and lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle.  There’s a saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  Tasty Burger isn’t re-inventing the wheel here, but their burgers are the kind of burger that stays in your head forever.

I would marry this if it was legal and socially acceptable

I would marry this if it was legal and socially acceptable

Me and The Russian stop by all the time for a cheap date night with awesome food.

Tasty Burger also has an awesome take-away window, where you can get a similar deal (with a soda instead of the beer) for about $7.  I get it all the time for lunch, then run home and eat it in my home alone so no one can see how quickly I devour it. The take-away window is open til 2 am for the crowds of kids on their way home from the bars, so I wouldn’t recommend heading there around that time unless you like waiting for a while.  I can’t even blame the students though.  I’m usually there around 1 am too (even after having Tasty Burger for lunch).

Tasty Burger does more than just a regular burger as well.  They have a whole bunch of varieties for under $10, including a burger with Vermont butter.  It’s like heaven.

Tasty Burger, you know the way to my heart.

Cheers to that

Cheers to that

Tasty Burger

1301 Boylston Street Behind Fenway
Open daily 11 am- 2am617.425.4444

Exterior of Tasty Burger photo: (cc) Eater Boston