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Boston's Top Restaurant & Food News of the Week

By Scott Kearnan | June 20, 2014 By Scott Kearnan  |  June 20, 2014

It was a good week for the local burger scene. Three area patties found their way on to The Daily Meal's list of "The 101 Best Burgers in America": The burger at jm Curley (#90), the Big Tasty at Tasty Burger (#88), and the Craigie Burger at Craigie on Main (#43). Not to be left out, Alden & Harlow saw its Secret Burger land on a Food & Wine list of the "10 Must-Have Burgers of 2014." ("There is no burger on this list that has more magnificent meat," the recap glows.) Some well-deserved accolades, to be sure. Now here's a chance for you to chime in: We're taking votes for the Best Burger in Boston, and you can find all the nominees here. Get to taste testing and click on over. (The Daily Meal; Food & Wine

It was also a good week for food trucks, following the release of an Institute of Justice report that showed food trucks and carts have significantly fewer health and safety violations than restaurants. At least based on six of the seven cities studied, of which Boston was one. The only outlier in the study was Seattle, but even there the news was good; food trucks and carts still received fewer violations than brick and mortar restaurants, the difference was simply not considered "statistically significant." Check out the full report here. [Institute for Justice]

And because studies are fun, particularly when they reflect well on us, it's worth pointing out that this week Boston was dubbed the third best "Foodie City" in the country by Livability. Among date-driven criteria considered was the frequency at which families eat at locally owned restaurants, number of James Beard recognized chefs, and accessibility to local produce, as determined by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (Livability)

This week the second part of a New York Times series on entrepreneurial female chefs featured Oleana toque Ana Sortun. Sortun offers an insightful interview and is the subject of a comprehensive video bio (which also features some fun before-they-were-star-chefs photos). You can find the Sortun feature here. Last week the NYT series featured Rialto and Trade grand dame Jody Adams (pictured); her feature is here. [New York Times]

Among the week's new openings: Loretta's Last Call, which opens today in the former La Verdad space by Fenway. The restaurant trades tacos for Southern fare and a copious collection of whiskey and moonshine. It will also host live country, bluegrass and folk music for all your boot-stompin' hee-haw'in needs. You can scope the full menu in our look here. Lulu's Allston also debuted this week, bringing that neighborhood some quirky comfort foods (like wild game Frito chili pie), and because restaurants with women's names are apparently on-trend, it came out this week that hospitality guru Seth Greenberg (the man behind the soon-to-open Bastille Kitchen) will bring the small upscale Italian chain Serafina to Boston. It will take over the space that formerly belonged to Michael Schlow's Radius. [Zagat Boston]

In the wide world of round-ups, this week we our Best Summer Ever series rolled on with a look at the 8 Best Hot Dogs in Boston. Our latest neighborhood guide swings over to Cambridge, so study up on this list of Where to Eat & Drink in Harvard Square that includes a mix of the old (landmark burger joint Mr. Bartley's) and the Nubar. And we included a look at 8 Must-Try Dishes at Chefs in Shorts, the annual Seaport cookout that goes down tonight with more than 50 participants - the most in the event's history. Even if you can't make it over, check out the list; it includes a sneak peek at upcoming outposts of Bar Boulud and Earls Kitchen + Bar.

Places Mentioned

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Tasty Burger

Burger Fenway/Kenmore
Food22 Decor15 Service18 Cost$14
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Tasty Burger

Burger Cambridge
Food22 Decor15 Service18 Cost$14
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Tasty Burger

Burger South Boston
Food22 Decor15 Service18 Cost$14
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Craigie On Main

French Cambridge
Food26 Decor22 Service24 Cost$90
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Alden & Harlow

New American Cambridge
Food25 Decor24 Service24 Cost$49
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jm Curley

American Downtown
Food24 Decor21 Service22 Cost$27
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Nubar

American Cambridge
Food16 Decor19 Service18 Cost$41
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Mr. Bartley's

Burger Cambridge
Food23 Decor14 Service18 Cost$16
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Oleana

Mediterranean Cambridge
Food27 Decor22 Service26 Cost$61
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Rialto Restaurant

Italian Cambridge
Food26 Decor25 Service25 Cost$64
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Trade

Mediterranean Waterfront
Food22 Decor22 Service20 Cost$44

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