On Monday night, Carlos and I visited a Cambridge, MA institution. Not Harvard University or MIT. No, it was Mr. Bartley's Gourmet Burgers. Even though both Carlos and I have been to Harvard Square countless times we have never been to Mr. Bartley's which is an utter shame considering many famous people have frequented this legendary 50 year-old burger joint.
Their menu is enormous. Lots of burgers, wraps and sandwiches to chose from. If you look at their wrap menu, each wrap is named after a famous person who has visited Mr. Bartley's. Names include Jackie O. , Al Pacino, Dennis Leary, Adam Sandler, Owen Wilson, John Malkovich, Bob Dylan and more. They have a standard burger menu as well as one in which each burger has a clever name. The burgers have themes or are named after famous people and they always come with a funny tag line. For example, The Tom Brady burger comes with cheddar, guacamole, lettuce, tomato and red onions and the menu proclaims that ladies will want to make a pass at this! Ha! This makes looking through the menu a lot of fun but you'll be there a while before you'll be able to make a decision. It's quite overwhelming.
Carlos is having a difficult time deciding himself!
Mr. Bartley's interior is covered in kitschy art. My favorite piece was this cartoon of Hardy (of Laurel and Hardy fame) holding up a newspaper which has a headline that reads "Depression Declared". I just had to snap a photo.
The service is pretty good and we didn't have to wait long for our meals. Here Carlos is devouring The Obama burger which comes with feta cheese, red onion, lettuce and tomato and a side of fries.
Here I am about to devour a Guy Fieri burger. Guy Fieri visited Mr. Bartley's a couple of years ago and since then they have devoted a burger to his honor. It comes with russian dressing, muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato and red onion. And I have to say it was absolutely divine. I know the picture above with the dripping muenster isn't terribly attractive but I didn't care. I happily devoured the entire burger (with one or two bites shared). Next time I go, I'll ask for well-done instead of medium-well. Medium-well came out medium and I don't care for medium cooked meat. Blech. But with all the delicious toppings, this didn't really matter.
So if you are in Harvard Square and you are wracking your brain for an idea of where to eat (this happens often, Harvard Square doesn't have the best selection of restaurants), try Mr. Bartleys for a good old-fashioned burger with a unique twist.