Wild about Willy's (Restaurant Review)

7:07 PM

There are endless lists of blogs, reviews, and guides on finding the best burger in town. People are crazy about burgers. I've even heard of people going on "burger crawls" (the ground beef equivalent of a pub crawl). I'm by no means claiming to be one of these burger connoisseurs. But I know a good burger when I've tasted one. And I can confidently say there are good - no, make that really good burgers at Wild Willy's.

Boston has its fair share of tasty burger joints - Bartley's Burger Cottage, Uburger, Four Burgers, Krazy Karry's Backyard Grill. And new to the New England burger scene - Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I have yet to try all of these places, but will tell you why we enjoy Wild Willy's so much as a family.

Quality: Willy's burgers are char-grilled to order, made with 1/3 lb of certified Angus Beef and your choice of fixings. All burgers are served on a buttered, grilled bun. You also have your choice of ordering your burger with grass-fed beef for an extra couple of bucks. Willy's menu offers over a dozen different burgers with names matching the western theme. You'll need lots of napkins while eating your burger, especially if its fully loaded - but I see that as a sign of a quality burger. And their hand-cut fries, with the skin still on, are satisfying in a hearty-but-no-crisped-to-oblivion way. They also offer other items such as salads, chili, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, and grilled cheese. But it is really about the burger, isn't it?

Casual but not fast food: The western-style atmosphere is clean and laid-back with plenty of large booths, four-tops and counter seating. The open kitchen and made-to-order burgers signal that you're not at your usual fast-food joint. The western theme is a little on the cheesy side, but not over-the-top like so many other national chain restaurants. You place your order with the cashier, who then gives you a number to place on your table. Food runners bring your food on plastic trays to your table when ready. Patrons clear their own tables. Just the right amount of self-service when you are wrangling (pun intended) your kids.

Family-friendly: Willy's has plenty of high chairs and booster seats. And the open, casual dining room is very forgiving of restless, sometimes loud young patrons. Kids love the real saddles as stools at the counter. They even have children's books for families waiting for their food after placing an order to-go. You know it's a family favorite when you see families with kids still in their soccer uniforms, belly-up at the counter to place their order fresh from a game.

Wild Willy's has 6 locations, or outposts as they like to call them. Crawl, run, skedaddle, (enter cowboy cliche here) to one soon. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Wild Willy's
46 Arsenal Street
Watertown, MA 02472-2604
(617) 926-9700
Wild Willy's Burgers on Urbanspoon

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