I loved Ernie Diamond's recent post in the latest burger thread (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/... -- Ernie's post is near the top) about his favorite burger at Shay's in Harvard Square, so I gathered a few friends there recently to try it out. My verdict is: not bad, but I prefer Ernie's post to the actual burger. But I can see that its simplicity is appealing.
The good: This is *definitely* a hand-formed patty. Or possibly paw-formed -- it's a bit misshapen and not quite rounded. But that's a good thing. It's also a seriously *solid* piece of meat -- seemingly more so than other burgers of similar size. It felt like it had some weight to it. Finally, they got the doneness right -- medium-rare was exactly that, and they also got friends' medium and medium-well correct.
The not-so-good: My primary complaint is that it just wasn't all that well-seared -- for a fairly thick burger like this one, I think it's key to have a contrast between the salty outer crust and the meaty inside, but this didn't have much of that contrast. It also wasn't salted enough generally. Moreover, the meat itself just wasn't super-flavorful -- heavy, yes; moist, yes; but really beefy? not so much.
Anyway, thought I'd report on it -- I can see how it would be appealing in its clod-of-meat way, and I'd certainly eat it again if I were at Shay's, but I wouldn't go there specially for it. Anyone else tried it?
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