Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage
1246 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
I finally made it to Harvard! Okay, I am definitely not Ivy League material, but I just felt smarter even being around the 375 year old school. The air around Harvard just exudes intelligence. So I knew I would make the right choice when it came to food around here. That is why I picked Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage.
Mr. B's has been around for 51 years. Their goal when they opened their doors was to serve the perfect burger to Harvard students. Soon after opening they gained attention from the national and local press, and celebrities picked up on the great burgers here. Jackie Onassis, Bob Dylan, Katie Couric, and Adam Sandler have all swung by to eat here. Even now customers wait outside to grab a seat at this Cambridge Institution, so we wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
We got to Mr. Bartley's at about 8 on a Wednesday night. The place was jammed pack, but we grabbed a seat at the counter. Of course being across the street from the college, this place had a very young feel to it, at a very rushed pace. The young servers were running around, picking up drink orders, ice cream orders, and of course plates of hamburgers. Sitting art the counter we had a front row seat to all of this organized chaos. Let's see how our burgers came out.
We will start with my Viagra Burger. This burger was erected with blue cheese dressing, bacon, lettuce, and tomato. I really enjoyed this burger, but there could have been more dressing on this for my taste. Also, all of the bacon was clumped together, so it was not spread evenly throughout the burger. The meat was definitely the star of the show here. They use chuck, and it does make a flavorful burger. I opted to get the onion rings instead of the fries. I like a thicker cut of onion ring than these. They are a very simple onion ring, nothing I was wowed by.
Katie probably made her parents shutter when she ordered the Democrat Burger. This Reuben type burger came with grilled sauerkraut, Russian dressing, and Swiss cheese. Katie could not be more pleased with her burger. Eating this made her wonder why this is not on the menu at other burger places around the country. The bite that I had was very good. The condiments worked very well with the meat. It really was like eating a Reuben sandwich. We both liked the fries here better than the rings. The fries were salted and fried crisp.
Mr. Bartley's was all it was cracked up to be. I may have gotten the wrong burger, but there are so many more to choose from, that I am sure I could have no trouble finding one that I liked better. The restaurant itself was very cramped, and you will be eating very close to people that you do not know, but that is part of the charm of this place. The service was great. All of the servers were very focused and got the food out quick. Even as we were leaving close to nine o'clock, people were still coming in the door. I guess being this close to Harvard not only made me smarter, but made them smart enough to eat here too.
Out of five Crimson, (the nickname of the 41 sports teams of Harvard), five being best to zero being worst, Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage gets 3.5 Crimson.
For more information on Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage, click here: http://mrbartley.com/mrbartleys-home.html