The debate constantly rages on the boards over who has the best burger in Boston, and proponents of various spots are fierce in their defense of this place’s juiciness or that joint’s superior buns. Because, of course, burger fandom all comes down to subtleties and personal preferences. For Mike5966‘s money, the Harvard Square location of Flat Patties wins the blue ribbon due to the following attributes:

* The onions at the toppings bar are sliced nice and thin, “to complement and not overpower their flat patties.”
* The bun, which Mike calls a semibrioche, “i.e., ever so slightly more buttery and sweeter than a regular supermarket hamburger bun but not to the point of being overpowering, and while I hate brioche buns in general for burgers, this one was delicious, and fit the patty like a glove.”
* The cheese, a basic white American that gives a “nice gooey fill-in-the nooks and crannies of the patty meltedness.” You took the words right out of our mouths there, Mike.

Of late, FP had taken to putting a slice of white cheddar on the burgs and using a different bun, which Mike decried as too chewy. But now things are back to just right again.

There are those who prefer the burger at Mr. Bartley’s down the street, but Mike doesn’t like that thick pub-burger style as much: “The Bartley’s burger is a messy stack of things sliding all over the place as you take a bite.” At Flat Patties, each “bite is uniform as the remaining burger stays together, and the beefy flavor comes through. I think architecture is important because it ensures that each bite you take includes all elements that you wanted the burger to have in the first place, instead of the onion having slid down to the far end of your burger by the time you take your second bite.”

That makes a lot of sense.

Flat Patties [Cambridge]
33 Brattle Street, Cambridge

Mr. Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers [Cambridge]
1246 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

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