The problem with having two authors is that occasionally they disagree. Sometimes they disagree a lot. No... no... we're not breaking up. But, we did have two starkly different opinions of the burgers at 8 Oz. Burger Bar on a recent visit.
First, the good news. Angela liked it.
We'll get to the bad news in just a moment.
The Melrose location of 8 Oz. is one of three for the franchising company, with other outposts in Miami and Louisiana. The Burger Bar is a neighborhood pub at heart, with artisanal brews flowing freely and a hormone-free blend of beef comprising their burgers. Their burgers are highly customizable, but I thought for my first visit I'd stick to the signature burger and take it exactly how they were serving it.
Perhaps it's my fault for ordering incorrectly. But if ordering the recommended burger that bears the restaurant's name is incorrect, well... you can see where I'm going with this. I was struggling to find anything about the 8 oz. Burger (below, house blend, iceberg, pickles, tomato, white onion, 8 oz. special sauce) that I liked. The meat - whatever its quality - gets lost in a dollop of the "special sauce" (Thousand Island?), but the heaping pile of iceberg lettuce is the real ship-sinker. Take my words with a grain of salt - I hate iceberg lettuce on a sandwich, so this may have been the wrong burger for me. But then there is the matter of the bun - a bland piece of bread that couldn't bail this burger out.
On a positive note, the sides we ordered with our fries were fantastic in contrast. The roasted baby broccoli and fried pickles went down easy alongside our meals in lieu of fries. Angela went with a special for the evening in the Wild Boar Burger (below) - to its credit - a burger that Angela was relatively pleased with. The Wild Boar came free of any offensive sauces, and offered arugula in place of iceberg. Angela enjoyed the strong flavor of the boar, the relative juiciness of the burger, and the crispness of the accompanying bacon.
I'd like to think there's a better burger to be had at 8 oz. Even though I failed to find it, I have friends who swear by this place. Looking through the selections on their menu I can't help but notice the fried mozzarella, cucumber raita, poblano relish, sunflower sprouts and charred escarole. I think I could make a pretty mean burger pairing the right ingredients. Next time?