Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Cambridge, MA

Sadly, Cojo went back to California before I did, but Murph and I carried on and went to Mr. Bartley's.  Bartley's has been a part of Cambridge for around 50 years.  The restaurant has family style seating and the walls look like a frat house. It's chaos, and all in good fun. If you know me, you know I don't like strangers, but Murph loves to talk to strangers and she struck up a conversation with the father and son duo seated uncomfortably close to us. (She's so brave!) All their burgers are named after pop culture phenomenons and politicians. I chose the Joe Biden burger, and Murph went with the Bill Clinton. Joe Biden comes with American cheese, bacon and BBQ sauce; Bill comes with BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese. (There's a sex joke in there somewhere...)

Murph got sweet potato fries and I got onion rings so we could mix and match. They didn't provide anything but ketchup, and we all know a proper dipping sauce is key or I'm not interested, so our waitress brought out a blue cheese dressing which was the perfect companion for the fried treasures. She did warn me this dipping sauce would cost extra- Bartley's is a little pricier than Flat Patties, but I think you're paying for the name and heritage as well. The sides come piled next to the burgers, the burgs are probably 3-5 inches high, and they stack the sides as high, if not higher. It is 100% too much food.

It was delicious: rich, salty, filling.  We were starving, my blood sugar was super low and we probably waited 30-40 minutes for the burgs to come out, but we scarfed them down in half that time.  We were so gung-ho at first and then your brain tells you you're full, but you keep eating because its tasty, and then your brain threatens you, "If you eat one more bite I will make you puke." And your tongue is like, "Fuck you, Brain." It's a bitter battle. Your stomach is the real victim, it doesn't have a voice.  

If you go to Boston, or if you're an Asian over-achieving tourist checking out Harvard, don't miss Mr. Bartley's.  You would be doing your tongue a disservice to skip the politically charged fare.

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