Until their recent relocation, Flat Patties had been my favorite burger in Boston. I generally ordered their regular cheeseburger, which comes with lettuce, tomato, American cheese, and special sauce. I sometimes add their thin-sliced raw onions and pickles which are at the condiment bar, and to their credit, sliced super thin to complement and not overpower their flat patties. I always had liked their bun, which in the past had been a semi-brioche, i.e., ever so slightly more buttery and sweeter than a regular supermarket hamburger bun but not tothe 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.
But the new Flat Patties, while the location is definitely an upgrade, just isn't the same. On my recent visit on a busy pedestrian-packed Saturday afternoon in Harvard Square, I noticed two big changes:
1. Cheese on the cheeseburger is now some type of cheddar, a step backward in my opinion. Just didn't have that nice gooey fill-in-the nooks and crannies of the patty meltedness of American cheese.
2. Bun is too chewy. Size is the same, but I found myself still chewing on the bread long after the rest of the elements of the burger had been chewed enough to swallow. Not good. Also, when biting into the burger, there was too much resistance trying to get through the crust of the bun with my teeth. A good bun should be squishy and airy with fine aeration, not the big buttery bubbles that were in this bun.
The overall burger construction was inconsistent as well. One time, the patty was on the bottom, and the second time the patty was on the top. Patty on the bottom was much better, since the beefy flavor hits your tongue first. With the patty on top, all I tasted was bread from beginning to end. I hope they will change their bun back to the original and reinstate regular old supermarket American cheese, because on the flipside, their patty itself is still a marvel. Every time I have gone there, including my most recent visit at the new location, they managed to get a beautiful sear on both sides while keeping the interior of the patty itself nice and pink, a rare feat for a patty this thin.
81 Mount Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138