It was my usual scenario – after an exciting visit to the List Center for Visual Arts, I had worked up an appetite (the paradigm – viewing art = hunger). The two exhibitions at the List were wonderful; first, a recreation of a show Hans Haacke had mounted at MIT in 1967; and secondly, a synchronized installation of Otto Piene’s – longtime director of the List – light sculptures, Lichtballett. Truly, one of the best shows in Boston of the fall season. But enough art chatter – it was time to eat so I headed over to Firebrand Saints, which isn’t the name of an obscure British football team but a joint venture between Chef Gary Strack of Central Kitchen and MIT. (Time for the disclaimer – the GM of Firebrand Saints Morgan Bigley was the chef at our Sunday Night Supper Clubs.) Moving on – however,the art chatter isn’t over since the decor of the resto is ART! I have an ambivalent attitude about restaurant interior design – I always feel I’m being seduced into liking the eatery more than I might. Some do go for the sparkle and shine, glitz and glamour but as for me, it’s art. Anyway, there were three pieces at Firebrand Saints that enchanted me – a video installation above the bar, a video projection on an adjoining wall and an amusing piece of wall art/street art/post-graffitti in an alcove. When I finally checked out the intriguingly casual menu, I was pleased to see an entire section devoted to BURGERS. In fact, with the various enhancements to customize one’s burger, this section took up nearly half of the menu! (Just what is purple mustard?) In all, there are six burgers – four incorporating beef, pork or lamb in various combinations, the requisite mushroom burger and fried haddock. (I should have inquired about this fish “burger”, but didn’t.) Between gazing at the art and mulling over all my burger options and permutations, I finally ordered. My choice –
Lamb & Sirloin – spicy pickles, frizee & harissa aioli $9
From the excellent beer menu, I ordered a Pretty Things “St. Botolphe’s Town”.
- Appearance – as the photo shows, this is a neat, tidy burger with no frivolous garniture.
- Correct temperature – I ordered MR and so it came.
- Flavor – this was one tasty burger; when I quizzed my server about the resto’s meat purveyor, she told me that it was Savenor’s.
- Texture – the “frizee” and pickles contributed a nice crunch and chew factor.
- The spicy pickles and harissa aioli kicked in a bit of heat.
- And finally, a wonderfully toasted brioche bun.
(There were none.)
OVERALL ASSESSMENT – A (A s soon as I’d finished the burger, I wanted another – it was that good.)