282 Beacon St, Somerville, MA | Directions 0214342.383044 -71.112431
Neighborhoods: Ward Two
most overrated burger in the city – I previously wrote about hype involved in a restaurant, and fortunately, Bartley's passed that test, unfortunately, R.F. O'Sullivan's does not. While not boasting as many accolades as Bartley's, Sullivan's has its fair share as well, even Gourmet magazine recently did a piece on twenty burgers across the country to eat right now, listing O'Sullivan's among them. A giant sign outside of the pub boasts "Number 1 burgers," in which I couldn't help but think back to a Seinfeld episode, to paraphrase, I'm not sure how official any of these rankings really are. It was a Saturday night and there was a wait, not a problem, we're told it would be twenty minutes, and after said time the hostess comes out and says it will be a few minutes longer if we want a table, again no big deal. We finally settle in to the pub, which is quite smaller than I imagined it to be, very noisy, but charming, a nice atmosphere. The menu lists over twenty five different burgers, but predictably I order a regular old cheeseburger with bacon. (are we sensing a theme here yet?) A few things annoy me and set me off immediately and I can't seem to write down notes to myself fast enough. Here we go:
-additional charge for lettuce, onion, and tomato
-no free refills on soda
-a clear no cell phone sign is hung, but its so loud in here, who who want to speak on the phone?
-Phantom Gourmet approved, never a good sign
Now these may not seem like a big deal to most, but to me they are. For some reason the extra charge for the standard trio of lettuce, tomato and onion, and the no free refill rule on sodas bug me. If you're serving soda from a fountain at a pub setting, how can you not have free refills? Each sip I take is a race against time, so my drink doesn't become watered down. Its like they know they have been well received by critics, the press loves them, so they think they can charge additionally for these items, why don't you just make the burgers $8.75 then? They make note that the wait for a burger is twenty minutes. Really? It takes twenty minutes to cook 8 ounces of meat? Really? Unfortunately, it takes over thirty minutes to arrive, and yes I understand its busy, but its also a small place and orders aren't exactly flying in. To me, its more of a warning, "Attention, our cooks are very slow, please be patient." I know going in its lean ground sirloin, so I'm not expecting much (fat is flavor, or so the saying goes) and although it imparts a wonderful charred, grilled flavor, that's all I can taste. The meat is completely tasteless, completely unseasoned. The fries baffle me. Steak fries I understand, a little thicker but still fried. These are beasts, more like baked potatoes than anything, all I'm missing is some sour cream and chives to call it a day, and just like the burgers, completely unseasoned. I commend them for cooking the meat to desired doneness, but I forgot I even had bacon until Nick mentions it. Somehow I have one lonely pickle slice on the side, Nick gets three, Angela has four. So we can be stingy and charge for lettuce but we can't portion out pickles evenly? Above all, we're calling this a backyard burger, nothing that can't be done in a backyard in anywhere, U.S.A. The meat is tasteless, almost unidentifiable, but you can taste that's its grilled, but nothing beyond that. The reason I keep ordering the simplest burgers on the menu is that it should be the easiest thing to execute, its a burger, keep it simple. I'm afraid to even try something beyond that (teriyaki sauce anyone?) for a reason. Usually I find that other, more aggressive ingredients completely muddle the taste of the whole point of it all; the meat.
Best burgers – I was smitten with R.F. O'Sullivan & Son from the first time I eyed the 20+ burger list. The only drawback is that the burgers take 20 minutes to grace the table. For distraction, I dive tortilla chips into the Tangy Chili topped with sour cream and cheddar cheese. My pick is the Black & Blue Burger, a 1/2 pound of Sirloin, encrusted thick with black pepper, and smothered in sharp Blue Cheese. Wedge-fries and thick onion rings are a bonus. Luckily, a few beer selections are sized to match the burgers.
Cozy Somerville pub grills one of the city's best burgers and sports a straightforward, neighborhood feel. – With its warm-colored wooden walls and a horseshoe-shaped bar, O'Sullivan's feels like a neighborhood lodge. Young and old couples laugh and chat over pints of beer while watching sports on the two large hanging TVs. Reliable, affordable pub fare includes subs, steaks and seafood entrees. But the star is a juicy half-pound burger (with more than 25 toppings, including sauteed mushrooms and homemade Boursin spread). Sides include hand-cut fries, rings and slaw.
* "...you can see the grill and they start your order as ordered. so you have to wait 20 minutes for your burger. but it is well worth the wait..." (bleuemoon, Citysearch user)
* "I wouldn't go anywhere else (besides my own kitchen) for a great burger. The "black and blue" is my favorite..." (ashley001, Citysearch user)
* "...The only drawback was the size. O'Sullivan is your nieghborhood bar & grill so a large group is not recommended." (firstfriday, Citysearch user)
* "...the service was poor. I asked for a medium burger and it came back well done..." (marjoriecam, Citysearch user)
All I can say is YUMMY! – BEST burgers in the city. Period. Great atmosphere - they just recently renovated - great brews on tap. Monster menu - I think there are over 20 combinations of burgers on that menu! But nothing beats their steak tips. OMG they are sooooo good!
I HIGHLY recommend!
my favorite burger in town – o'sullivan's serves great burgers! okay, make it my favorite burgers! i'm a huge fan of their cheese burgers. they have like 20-30 different kinds of burgers. what can i say, i like my burgers to be simple and consistently good. you can see the grill and they start your order as ordered. so you have to wait 20 minutes for your burger. but it is well worth the wait. if the bar gets too crowded, i recommend getting it to go, but only if you are really craving the burger and can't think of any other food you want to eat.
i choose onion rings over french fries everytime. b/c although the fries are good, they are really huge chunks of a potato.
if you are in the neighborhood, and even if you are not, if you want a good burger, you gotta check this place out!
THE place for burgers – I wouldn't go anywhere else (besides my own kitchen) for a great burger. The "black and blue" is my favorite. Love the huge fries. Nice pub atmosphere but still feel fine bringing my baby to dine during the day.
Best Burger bar none – OK there are burgers and there'a an O'sullivans Burger all others pale in comparison ive been here several time and yes it takes a while but so does perfection..
dont miss out one of lifes true treasures...
Wish I had a double burger! – Went with a large crowd (8 guys). When you want a burger this place is a must. All types of burger creations on the menu and the server even challeged us to come up with someting they hed not thought of. Food was good. Beers were cold (good selection) The only draw back was the size. O'Sullivan is your nieghborhood bar & grill so a large group is not recommended.
Best Burger in Boston! – Their burger and beer selections are amazing, and we love that you can get burgers on the rare side (we're from the midwest). They do seem to often have problems with the beer (like it running out), and we've had some less-than-stellar waitstaff experiences. Most of the time if you just get aggressive about refills and getting napkins it's not too much of a problem. People get impatient about the food wait, but it takes time to make burgers this great! We've never had a wait to be seated. I love the half fries/half onion rings.
sub par service warm beer long wait – The first time I walked into osullivans I thought the place must be good with a line out the door. I found out when inside that the disorganized with orders and the service was poor. I asked for a medium burger and it came back well done. The wait for a warm beer was over 20 minutes, and it took another 20 minutes to get my bland black and blue burger back. I thought I would give the place a second chance. This time I found out that the poor service was not because they were bussy, just lack organization. They were under staffed and out of beer My friend wanted. Good luck with your business.
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