The Burger Beat | Jon Mael – The Boston Globe

One in a series on good burgers in the region that will run until Labor Day.

The year-old Medford restaurant Snappy Pattys is a small space with 36 seats, and the signature creation, also called Snappy Pattys, are petit as well. But they make up for it in freshness, fun, and flavor. Co-owner Nicholas Dowling says he developed a taste for sliders as a kid when taking road trips with his parents, where White Castle was a mandatory stop. He insists that Snappy Pattys aren’t either patty melts (see related story, Page G4) or sliders, but fall into their own category.

White Castle may have inspired Dowling, but don’t expect fast food here. The patties are griddled to order, shaped with grass-fed, hormone-free beef from Illinois. Dowling seasons the chuck and sirloin mix with only salt and pepper so the quality of the juicy burgers shines through. There are five varieties of Snappy Pattys, including Texan, with “bacon secret sauce,” and Mexican, with ancho cheese and pico de gallo (both $6.95), which are
available nightly (but not at brunch) come three to an order.

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The two share equal popularity, but another Patty, called BBQ, is a standout. Gooey, tangy Colby cheese from Cabot surrounds the beef, and the only other topping is an addictive sweet bourbon barbecue sauce that takes Dowling 24 hours to make. The sauce is finished with plenty of pickled onions. And now to the crowning glory of these patties: Snappy Pattys’ house-baked olive oil brioche. Dowling, who spent months perfecting the recipe before opening, says he usually bakes three batches daily in miniature loaf pans. Two small slices are griddled in clarified butter to a crispy golden brown before they bookend the burgers.

A side of buttermilk fries is a must. Though made from frozen, the fries arrive hot, crispy, and well seasoned. What exactly that seasoning is, Dowling and company will not say. But the trio of miniature burgers with the classic accompaniment and superstar brioche toast adds up to outstanding.



454 High St., Medford, 781-214-4440,