Burlington: (11/01/14) (04/18/15)
Chestnut Hill: (04/16/15)
I'm sure they know what they're doing, but Del Frisco's Grille seems like it can't figure out what it wants to be. Some aspects look like a swanky steakhouse and others look like a Chili's with better furniture. But it's modern, comfortable, and most importantly, close to shopping and movies at both Burlington and Chestnut Hill.
While the Del Frisco's Grille menu takes an all-things-to-all-people approach, there's just a bit of a sexist vibe to the space. Above the open kitchen is the slogan "Do Right and Feed Every Man," which can be off-putting. And all of the servers are attractive young females in short skirts and eye-catching hosiery. Service is friendly and professional.
The Burger Presentation
Bonus points for presentation that mixes the playbooks of upscale (fries in a cylinder) and fast food (burger in a wax paper pouch). Ketchup arrives by mini squeeze bottle and most likely has departed a few times by purse.
Some might call it brioche; I call it a slightly elevated play on the typical fast food bun. Although the Grille Prime Cheeseburger is patterned after a Big Mac, there's no middle piece and the bun is a little less dense, though more dense than brioche. Or at least the brioche I think of as brioche—there are so many different permutations being called brioche these days that it's hard to know who's talking about what when praising or bashing. But there's no praising or bashing here; the Del Frisco's Grille bun is neither a plus nor a minus.
What really impressed me on my first try of the burger in Burlington was how thin the patties are but how well the kitchen was able to hit a perfect medium rare with juiciness that never sacrificed outer crusting. Less impressive was the flavor, which was fairly generic and not much of a step up from the actual Big Mac. On my second try in Chestnut Hill, the meat was darker, a little drier and closer to moist than juicy. Flavor was about the same but perked up by vigorous salting. A return visit to Burlington nearly duplicated the first, approaching perfect doneness (maybe a little over) even with no wiggle room.
Hard to tell where the American cheese ends and where the "Sloppy Sauce" begins, as both are orange. There's a good melt to the cheese and faint spiciness to the sauce. Slices of raw onion can be a welcome treat for some and a bit much for others. Pickles get stacked high—again, a treat for some, a distraction for others. When all is said and done, the toppings work well and present a nice sandwich even if the beef isn't as prominently featured as I'd like.
A nice package, easily compactable, with softness throughout; it feels right, as long as you're comparing it to a Big Mac.
The Fries (and Such)
Del Frisco's Grille changed suppliers recently, but both versions I tried were an ordinary, obviously frozen product, served warm and crisp at least. What I thought were newer ones at Chestnut Hill had a mashy, tater tot feel inside—I haven't decided whether that's good or bad. The subsequent return to Burlington found similar fries to the first.
Same bun, more flavor (moderate by lamb standards), Mediterranean flavors (tzatziki, roasted tomato, arugula), better bite (slightly thicker patty) and more juiciness (ditto). Another nice overall package even if the toppings again get more attention than the protein.
Did I mention that all the servers are attractive young females in short skirts and eye-catching hosiery?
The Bottom Line
Go for the convenience most of all, but the burger here is at least respectable and pretty much succeeds at what it's trying to be. When you need that something-for-everyone place within minutes of the mall or the movies, Del Frisco's Grille fits the bill with a better burger than the chains you grew up with and a nicer environment than fast casual.
Yelp reviews of Del Frisco's Grille Burlington
Yelp reviews of Del Frisco's Grille Chestnut Hill
Urbanspoon reviews of Del Frisco's Grille Burlington
Urbanspoon reviews of Del Frisco's Grille Chestnut Hill
Tabelog reviews of Del Frisco's Grille Burlington
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