Eagle’s Deli, Brighton, Mass.
It’s about time we had a burger place here, and what better choice than to go with the lone Boston location that I’ve visited? Eagle’s Deli, located in the Boston suburb of Brighton, is known for doing burgers and doing them in a big way. Right across the Chestnut Hill Reservoir from Boston College (that’s where the Eagle’s name comes from), this place has been a tradition for the students of the northern-most ACC school for years, which is why they’ve been visited by Man vs. Food and claimed No. 21 on the Chowdown Countdown.
What makes Eagle’s so beloved is not that they do burgers big, they do them right. Every burger is flame-grilled to perfection and topped with whatever you’ve chosen to devour. Sure, they have the standard toppings, but they’re very willing to throw some specialty burgers up there for your pleasure.
The Cowboy Burger, for example, features bacon, grilled onions and a healthy dose of barbecue sauce. The Ranch Burger, which I chose to go with, gives a new flavor to the standard bacon cheeseburger by using ranch dressing instead of mayonnaise. Want to try a version of Philly on a burger? Order the Bianco, with onions, peppers and mushrooms. There’s a lot of options available.
Of course, this being a deli, Eagle’s also shines in their sandwiches. Turkey, roast beef, ham and chicken pesto are just some of the high-quality ingredients that dot Eagle’s menu. Want breakfast? They’ve got you covered there too. There’s something for everyone here.
What takes Eagle’s to the next level, however, is their mammoth burgers. Eagle’s is home to the legendary undefeated Challenge Burger, born out of the restaurant’s idea that hungry college students consistently want to eat more and more. Originally, the restaurant’s non-specialty burgers were the King Kong and the Godzilla. The King Kong weighed in at a half-pound, while the Godzilla was a full pound. Sizable, but not insane.
That was what the Boston crowd thought, too. So Eagle’s upped the ante, introducing the Cowabunga Burger, a two-pound cheeseburger with two pounds of fries. Not even that satisfied everyone, so Eagle’s added another pound of burger and created with the challenge.
The rules were simple and made the challenge unbeatable. If anyone could finish Eagle’s Challenge Burger, that burger would be named after the person who completed it, and Eagle’s would add another pound to the new challenge.
Today, as a result, you can order a Reilly Burger (3 pounds) or a Paul Jones Burger (4 pounds). The menu hasn’t been updated, but recently, someone finished the 5-pounder, making the new challenge a 6-pound burger. Oh, and just to make the challenge more fun, they throw in five pounds worth of fries. No big deal there.
But these burgers don’t need the size to be incredible. They’re grilled to perfection, given just the right amount of char to juiciness, with a perfect complement of toppings that create burger bliss. No matter how hungry you are, a visit to Eagle’s is always a good idea.
Time to go: They serve breakfast, but the burgers are the best thing about Eagle’s. Given the choice, I’m coming for lunch.
Wait during my visit: Get ready. This place is famous and you’re going to be waiting a while for your meal. The BC crowd loves this place and will be there at any time of day that it’s open. I waited with my brother Zach for 40 minutes when we went…and this was on a Sunday afternoon when the New England Patriots played a playoff game the night before. Be patient, it’s worth it.
Location: Eagle’s is at 1918 Beacon Street in the Boston suburb of Brighton, Mass., right across the street from the Cleveland Circle T stop on Boston’s transit system.
Parking: Even though it’s Boston, you can find parking here. Just be ready for a short walk from your car to Eagle’s. You won’t be able to park next to the restaurant unless you’re really lucky.
Cost: Most burgers are under $10 and come with fries.
Website: Eagle’s Deli
Signature items: Burgers