Roughly two billion years ago, single-celled organisms engaged in the first intra-species competition for natural resources. Today, for the betterment of all carnivores, competing members of our species are engaged in a similar task: creating this city’s best hamburger. Through our investigation, the editors of this magazine (at least this one) have determined the finalists to be Terry’s Turf Club in the East End, and Gordo’s Pub & Grill in Norwood. But using this space to declare a “winner” would be presumptuous, so let me say this: Gordo’s JeanRo burger, named after chef/owner Raymond Gordo’s old pal Jean-Robert de Cavel, is one of the best hamburgers in the region. Inside the high quality meat goes a sweet onion compote, smoked bacon, fresh herbs, lots of black pepper, and a little blue cheese. Once cooked (on a flat-top grill), the burger is topped with a bit more blue cheese, goat cheese, shredded lettuce, succulent grape compote, and served on a fantastically chewy bun. It’s as good as Terry’s, and because of that I say we’re all winners. But consider, too, that Gordo’s salmon entrée—pan-seared then oven-roasted, topped with mixed herbs and a Dijon mustard cream sauce—was, no joke, among the best salmon I’ve had. And as long as we’re casting about superlatives, so were the green beans, _and the au gratin potatoes with a creamy Parmesan and asiago cheese. And who would guess that a landlocked bar would have top-notch crab cakes? That we washed down with a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA? (The beer selection here is stellar.) It was hard to believe that we were in a smallish, modestly decorated shotgun-style bar in Norwood. Who knows? Maybe there is such a thing as Intelligent Design.
Gordo’s Pub & Grill
4328 Montgomery Rd., Norwood
Lunch & dinner seven days
Originally published in the October 2009 issue.