Today at work my boss told me to take the corporate BU credit card to Barnes and Noble in Kenmore to get some company gifts.
"Get yourself lunch while you're there, too. Put it on the card."
Swish! My mood immediately brightens, as the Barnes and Noble is right near U Burger, the new, generally liked fast food burger joint in Kenmore Square.
With no monetary constraints, I go for the gold. Double U Burger with extra spread and extra pickles, onion rings, and a coke. This feast comes to a reasonable $8.50 ($7.50 for just a single).
"Cooked Medium Rare, please." I say. Now, a poster on chowhound recently reported that U Burger does not cook the burgers to order. But, written in huge chalk letters above the menu are the words, ALL BURGERS COOKED TO ORDER. Surely, this gent was just misinformed by a new employee. In fact, on a previous trip to U, while they were still in their soft opening, an employee had confirmed for me that they would cook my burger medium rare.
Register guy nodded, swiped my card, and handed me my receipt. As I waited, I noticed that the recent did not have any temperature indicator.
"Excuse me," I said. "You forgot to put in the medium rare part...will they get that back there?"
"Sorry. ALl our burgers are cooked to medium well"
"It says you cook them to order."
"We do. But they're all to the same temperature."
"Uh. That's not cooking to order, then."
"Yes it is. We cook them to order, just not to requested temperatures other than medium well."
I decide to turn on the snark to see if I can get anything accomplished.
"I don't want to eat a medium well hamburger."
"Trust me. It's good."
"No it's not. No one with any taste could possibly like a well done hamburger."
"Come on, man. I want a nice juicy burger, not a dried out hockey puck."
"How are they juicy if they're well done? Why can't you just take mine off a couple minutes early."
"It gets too complicated if everybody gets to request a temperature. We need to cook them fast. It's a fast food model."
"I can get a medium rare burger at In 'n Out!" I am bluffing. I have no idea if you can or not.
"OK, let me see what I can do for you."
He goes to the back to talk to the cooks, but we all know what "let me see what I can do" means. It means kiss off.
So I get the burger and the rings. And it's good...but absolutely no pink at all...and I mean, MAN it could be great if it was a little bit less dry. As it is, you REALLY need the extra spread to make the burger work. The spread mixes with the griddle juices to create this yummy layer of moisture that compensates somewhat for the overcooking.
The onion rings are very good, if you like onion rings. They need to be salted, but they are light, crispy, and the batter is almost airy. However, they are not as good as the sublime fries, so unless you can get a 50/50, I recommend going with the latter.
I have to say, that while it is good, if UBurger does not correct this ridiculous and misguided policy, I will seek the majority of my burger fixes elsewhere. My current favorite is at Solas in Copley Square. Maybe they wil let me bring in an order of U Burger's awesome fries with me.