This is another of what I hope will be frequent departures from my usual review of barbecue joints throughout New England and New York. My first love was and always will be the burger, in all its forms. For this mission, I had the pleasure of joining Richard of Boston Burger Blog, who reviewed the Beehive burger the next day. It was fun just chewing the fat and comparing notes on burgers, chefs and the blogging process.
I was expecting a very snooty, too-hip-for-itself vibe, but the Beehive was comfortably casual with some old school charm and a little funkiness. There's a main level with its bar unto itself, plus another level downstairs with two rooms, one of which had a bar at the end.
This was a powdery number about halfway between standard wheat and ciabatta for both sturdiness and flavor. I generally prefer something a little softer, but there was enough flexibility to get the job done.
A thick patty with glistening edges had a nice char that I didn't see, but I could taste it in about every third bite. Fortunately, that char added to the experience without taking over the flavor and without compromising any of the suppleness or moistness of the tender interior. Ordered medium rare, the burger may have been cooked a little under that, but it was close enough. Each bite made the already flowing juices run even more. I didn't detect any of the aging that might be in play (according to Grub Street) or any exotic beef blend, but the fat level was high and the flavor was very pleasant.
Bacon and cheese (choice of Cheddar or Gorgonzola) are $1 additions, and I went with my usual bacon and Cheddar. The bacon was thicker than average and longer than average, perfectly cooked to a mahogany crisp while still maintaining some give and chewiness. It definitely added some saltiness (always welcome) that made it hard to tell how salted the patty itself was, but the cumulative total was ideal. Cheese was abundant and melted nicely. A few stray partially melted pieces revealed that they're probably using shredded cheese, which is a good and rarely used choice.
These weren't fries per se, and not potato chips, but a morphing of the two. The generous pile of sliced potatoes were about 1/4" thick, with skin on, fried just long enough to crisp and fully color the exterior. Just like the bacon (and they even looked a little like bacon), there was plenty of give and chewiness to contrast that crunch. Salting was uneven but mostly good. Whatever you want to call them, the potatoes were a big hit and probably among my favorite burger accompaniments.
The Bottom Line
A surprisingly good burger that I'll be sure to revisit.
Boston Burger Blog's review of the Beehive
Yelp reviews of the Beehive
Urbanspoon reviews of the Beehive