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British Beer Company’s Turkey Burger

The Turkey Burger from British Beer Company on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, MA

For those of you familiar with Shrewsbury Street, you will know that there’s a relatively new kid on the block taking over where the old Coral Seafood and the Urban Kitchen used to reside. That restaurant would be the British Beer Company (or BBC for short). Those of you who might remember both spots would recall that both were kind of bland in the decor category and somewhere in between average seafood eatery and wannabe-sophisticated overpriced dining. The new BBC is neither of these things. As soon as you walk in, you can’t even believe it is the same space! The stained glass windows, the uniquely British colors and decor around the restaurant and bar, and a second floor that wouldn’t have even been imaginable in the previous restaurant spaces are all captivating from the time you enter until the time you leave.

Wanting some privacy, we were escorted to a booth which was very comfortable and adorned with soft leather seats. The area did a great job of keeping outside noise out so you could enjoy a nice conversation at a decent decibel level. Thoroughly famished from a long day at work that saw me ingest two cups of coffee and a small bowl of soup, I was ready for my burger!!! Trying to steer clear of the usual suspects on the burger menu (a lot of flavor combinations I have had before), I decided to branch out ever so slightly…I ordered my first turkey burger. *collective gasps, women fainting, the whole nine yards* But hysterics aside, this burger was a house made turkey patty which was grilled, and topped with caramelized onion, smoky bacon, bourbon sauce and fresh avocado on a grilled brioche bun ($11.99).

Now turkey can tend to be very dry and can easily be overcooked if not kept an eye on. In this case, the turkey burger held up surprisingly well. The meat was sufficiently cooked, and the grill was a nice touch; lending some smokey, charred notes to the meat. There was evident sweetness coming from a combination of the caramelized onion and bourbon sauce. The sauce was more like a glaze, and I wish I had more of it. The bacon did what bacon does and rocked out. Nicely crispy and rich, the bacon helped add flavor to the turkey, because if there’s one thing The Hangover Pub has taught Worcester, it’s that everything is better with bacon.

The avocado was the surprise of the dish though. It’s creaminess helped cut through a lot of the rich flavors that this burger packed. Plus it made me feel better about myself, eating something that is relatively “healthy.” You were really looking for the smooth texture against the sauce and the crunch of the bacon and the burger meat. Then again, saying that is kind of like getting fast food and ordering a Diet Coke to help ease the pain. The fries were delicious and crispy, as all fries should be. They were hearty and cut larger than most fries that you would get at other restaurants. Fried golden brown, they were a nice break from the delicious burger.

Finishing my Sierra Nevada Summerfest and watching the All Star Game on one of the many TVs around the establishment, gave me time to reflect on where I’ve been and the many delicious burgers I’ve eaten. Taking in all the British beer signs and looking at the enlarged photo of Buckingham Palace hanging from one side of the room to the other, made me happy that I lived so close to a city that is beginning to take pride in itself. Taking pride in the products that they offer, from farm to table establishments, small breweries and pastry shops, local favorites, and countless watering holes, Worcester certainly has come a long way in the last few years.

Knowing that my next burger is not too far off, I leave BBC full and satisfied. With many different offerings from across the pond, it gives diners on Shrewsbury Street a different dynamic that transports them to Great Britain. Where will my burger quest take me next? Have suggestions for my next burger, tweet me @EDioufUC5 and your suggestion just might make the list. Until next time…

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Chicken Mole from Mezcal Tequila Cantina

Chicken Mole from Mezcal Tequila Cantina on Major Taylor Boulevard in Worcester, MA

Chicken Mole from Mezcal Tequila Cantina on Major Taylor Boulevard in Worcester, MA

Más Mezcal Recently moved from a small Shrewsbury Street location to a newly renovated space in downtown Worcester across from the DCU center giving Worcester residents and convention attendees some desperately needed variety in the downtown dining scene. My first thoughts were to how large the new space was. Más Mezcal’s new space a former night club space in a parking garage, leaving the owners plenty of space for their restaurant. The new location allowed to a complete remodel and the owners attention to detail and style were apparent. One downside to the new space was it seemed a little loud due to the hard finishes and space. The flip side is there is plenty of seating and the space can accommodate large groups.

After reviewing the menu and looking at the vast options and choices I was drawn to the Chicken Mole. Described as an all natural chicken with maple smoked bacon, sundried tomato, caramelized onion, jack stuffed Murrays Statler Breast. It was served over a bead of creamy polenta and came accompanied by a side of garlic spinach sauté with a tequila Argo dolce drizzle. The chicken was more along the lines of a half of a small chicken or game hen and was perfectly prepared with a crispy exterior and moist interior. The mole sauce was a complex blend of flavors and spices that leant itself perfectly to the dish. Paired with the spinach greens and polenta the dish was an enjoyable combination of flavors and textures that complemented each other. The Tequila drizzle offered an nice little surprising bit to the dish. I did seem to miss or not really taste the bacon, jack, caramelized onion flavors of the dish. Overall the dish was well prepared, complex and enjoyable as I would expect from this group.

Más Mezcal should be a good addition to the downtown dining scene; hosting convention goers and office workers during the day and being a destination dining location at night. I look forward to seeing what the lunch crowd is like and would definitely recommend dining here again. There guacamole bar and variety of different guacamoles are worth further exploration as well.