Campus Eats: B. Good
Could B. better — healthy, but taste is lacking
A burger is my default meal when I don’t know what to order at a restaurant — it’s usually the one item you can trust, and when done right, burgers are so good. Yeah, they’re a quick waay to clog your arteries, but I’ll take my chances and continue looking for a patty of juicy cow meat (sorry, vegetarians) overflowing with toppings any day.
B. Good, a local restaurant chain with a catchy name, is making big promises. The restaurant was started by two friends who love fast food, but hate the greasy and overfull feeling that often comes with it. They decided to start a restaurant that would fill the need in the Boston area for healthy food offered quickly and inexpensively.
I headed over to the Harvard Street location, near Coolidge Corner, on a recent dismal, snowy day with two friends. The restaurant is in a converted garage with exposed brick walls and a cement floor — making things a little drafty on such a cold day.
The menu includes burgers, sandwiches, salads, fries, and shakes. In every burger or sandwich, you’re offered the choice of a beef burger, a turkey burger, a veggie burger, or an oven-baked chicken sandwich. We all chose the beef burger — who could resist after reading the description: “house-ground, hand-packed, American Black Angus beef.” All burgers were served on a toasted wheat bun.
We sampled the imaginatively dubbed Cousin Oliver and West Side burgers. The Cousin Oliver, named by a customer for a Brady Bunch character, is your basic burger, with lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles — I added bacon for an extra 49 cents, because of my philosophy that any meal is improved by bacon. Unfortunately, the burger I had requested to be cooked medium was dry and appeared to be well-done.
The West Side was heavy on toppings — avocado, cilantro, tomato, and chipotle salsa. “It makes me feel healthier!” one of our group exclaimed. But while the different add-ons complemented one another, the chipotle salsa could have been a little spicier; it was hardly noticeable.
Other combinations include the Adopted Luke, a burger with mushrooms, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, and barbecue sauce, and the El Guapo, a burger with bacon, jalapeno-ranch, lettuce, tomato, and onion. If I paid B. Good another visit, I’d try a salad, too: the Hatchback has baby spinach, arugula, blue cheese, dried cherries, dried apples, almonds, and balsamic dressing.
My favorite part of the meal? The Real Fries. Hand-cut and oven-baked, they were crispy and sprinkled with salt and chili seasoning. They make a perfect snack, and it’s nice knowing they’re not fried in oil like in other fast-food places. The Sweet Potato Fries were less impressive; they arrived slightly charred, and one friend described them as “flabby, and not salty enough.”
B. Good was decent, and lived up to its promise of “Real Food. Fast” — our order was out in less than 10 minutes. But it’s a little expensive ($6-$7 for a burger or salad, $2.19 for fries, $4.59 for a large shake), and to be honest, when I want a burger, I’m not so worried about how healthy it is.
Amy Laskowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.