Savenor’s Butcher Shop of Cambridge, MA is not listed on any “Best Burger in Boston” list. You won’t find it on one of those sprawling “Best Burgers in New England” lists from some obscure blog that pops up on your Facebook feed. They don’t even have the best burger in America. What they do have, however, is this: Savenor’s has the best burger in the universe. And it’s only available on Fridays (and now Saturdays) from noon to 3 p.m.
We’re not kidding. We love burgers more than many things in life, and this is the best burger we’ve ever eaten in our lives, and we’ve eaten it five times so far. It’s the type of burger that after the first bite, you immediately realize its potential. After the second bite—taken much more slowly and gingerly this time—you start to wonder what makes this burger so darn good. Halfway through, you mentally rearrange the list of all the great burgers you’ve had and place Savenor’s in the top bracket. With two bites left, you start to get sad because you know that this transcendent eating experience is coming to a close. And as you savor the final morsel, you know that this is your life’s best burger and that Savenor’s is a very, very special place.
Taste memories of that burger haunt you all day: the luxurious texture of the beef, its perfect on-the-rare-side-of-medium-rare chewiness, the tang of the cheese, the crunch of the grilled bun. You wake up the next day, thinking about that burger and why you didn’t order a second one. Would it have been overkill? Too much of a truly great thing? More importantly, how quickly can I get back to Savenor’s to have another?
But what makes it so good? The key to the highest quality is their beef: it is USDA Prime, and it’s ground with butter. This is not a Wisconsin butter burger, which is cooked in butter then topped with butter. You can actually see the shreds of butter in the uncooked patties—which, of course, they sell to take home. The butter keeps the meat extra juicy, and they’ve even solved the problem of juices dribbling down your chin or on your shirt with the bun. It’s a homemade English muffin from Stone & Skillet in nearby Medford, and it perfectly absorbs the juices for a virtually unmessy meal.
The Classic boasts house pimento cheese mousse and smoked tomato aioli, while their Specials rotate weekly. One time, we had the 10-cheese blend, lettuce, tomato & onion; another time we enjoyed caramelized onions with gochujang & miso aioli. They also make noteworthy grab-and-go sandwiches: the pastrami (house brisket with bacon remoulade, provolone, sauerkraut) is excellent, as is their loose interpretation of a New Orleans muffaletta (bologna, mortadella, summer sausage, provolone with olive-cauliflower relish).
The only miss is their housemade pickles (which comes with each burger), which are nowhere near as scrumptious as those from local brand Grillo’s Pickles—which, sadly, they don’t carry. They do stock, however, sundry gourmet items, like Queen Charlotte Pimento Cheese from North Carolina, that’re sure to titillate your palate as much as their burger does.
Savenor’s Butcher Shop is open Tuesday thru Saturday, 11:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.92 Kirkland Street Cambridge MA 02138 617-576-6328 Savenor’s Butcher Shop’s Website Savenor’s Butcher Shop on Facebook