Miracle of Science Bar and Grill (Cambridge, MA)

Last week I had to have a quick trip down to MIT for work, and have been craving a good burger. Luckily, Cambridge sports several burger joints that all have a good following, including Mr Bartley’s Burger Cottage (near Harvard, still on my hit list), Cambridge Common, Flat Patties, Four Burgers (which I almost went to this time), Craigie on Main, and Miracle of Science. I opted on the last of these, since the location is close to MIT (in the shadow of the Tootsie Roll factory, and kitty-corner from Toscanin’s Ice Cream).

Miracle of Science has the sort of personality you expect from a place by MIT, between the name itself, and how the overall menu is designed with some modest geek appeal (the menu is scrawled on a blackboard in the style of a periodic table, and characterized by color, and most of the seating is lab stools). It’s a little tacky, but it does give the place some ambiance, even if the actually crowd here is more the “business suit” crowd than the “geek” crowd, and the servers are more grumpy than anything else.

The menu itself is actually pretty sparse: burgers and skewers being the bulk of it. After looking at the various options, I settled on the Ronie Burger, with sports minced jalapeno mixed into the patty and pepper-jack cheese on top.

I’m not usually a great fan of items mixed into my burgers (having suffered through the 1980s craze of mixing onion soup mix into every damn thing imaginable), but this actually worked. The burger was nicely cooked, juicy, and had a nice, pleasant jalapeno bite throughout, leaving a nice mellow pepper tingle on my lips with each bite. The potatoes on the side were also nicely seasoned and served with a pleasant tomato chutney, in a way that was actually more satisfying than most run-of-the-mill french fries would have been. Despite some slight disappointment in the bun (the French-style bun got an odd sogginess to it, and seemed a bit bland), I’d easily get this again, despite the “novelty burger” nature of it.

Overall, I was quite pleased, and I look forward to another visit so I can try the skewers.

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