The current exhibit at the Peabody EssexMuseum, “Golden: Dutch and Flemish Masterworks from the Rose-Marie and Ejik van Otterloo Collection”, was a must-see for me. The show lived up to – and even surpassed – the hype that had surrounded its opening. It was gratifying to be able to stand before such masterpieces as Jacob von Ruisdael’s “View of Haarlem” and Gerritt Dou’s “Sleeping Dog”. And as I’ve noted before, viewing art always makes me hungry. One of my companions suggested a newly opened spot around the corner, The Green Land Cafe. The cafe is focused on sustainabilty and to that end uses local and organic products; the name references the bounty of the earth. The space is comfortable, the centerpiece being the beautiful bar of reclaimed wood. The beverage menu features a great list of classic and signature cocktails; an impressive selection of bottled and draught beers – many local – and a bistro-style wine list featuring organic and sustainable wines. The food offers a well thought-out array of interesting sandwiches, salads and entrees. Of course, I zeroed in on the burger.
The menu description
10 oz. Prime Beef Burger
served with house-cut fries
To accompany my burger, I ordered the Nitro Left Hand Milk Stout.
The burger arrived and I was momentarily stunned – it was truly a whopper of a burger and this is how it went down –
+Most apparent from the photo, the size – I should have brought a scale. This truly was 10 oz. which leads to the second plus –
+Value. Down the coast in Boston, this would be one of those notorious $20 burgers; in Salem just $11.
+The garnish. The burger was graced with a leaf of romaine, freshly sliced red onions – they hadn’t been sitting around the kitchen all day in a six- pan – and the tomato. I always look at out-of-season tomatoes with trepidation. However, this one was of good high quality.
+The house-cut fires were quite tasty.
+The meat had a great beefy tang; the patty well-formed.
–Temperature. I ordered the burger medium rare and it came rare.
–The fries, though tasty, weren’t crisp but limp.
–The bun could have been fresher or toasted to freshen it up.
–The caramelized onions I added on weren’t caramelized but somewhat pallid.
OVERALL ASSESSMENT – B+
When I began this post, I cautioned myself against using specious witch jokes vis-a-vis Salem. However, I did find this burger quite bewitching.
The Green Land Cafe 87 Washington St. Salem MA