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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, May 25, 2024

Munching with Max: Max on the move

Max ventures beyond campus, trying a few Davis Square classics.

column graphic for Max Druckman's "Munching with Max" column
Graphic by Rachel Wong

Recently, a reader of this column suggested I try off-campus dining options. To whoever that was: I appreciate your request.

You don’t have to ask me twice to go on an edible expedition.

There are great restaurants nearby, so I thought I would highlight some recent Davis Square dining experiences. So, sit back, relax and enjoy (and then go to the restaurants).

First up, a breakfast/brunch option. With some Daily colleagues, I visited Davis Square Donuts & Bagels. Unfortunately, when we arrived at 3 p.m., they had run out of donuts and most bagel varieties.

Nonetheless, being a committed food reviewer, I ordered an onion bagel with cream cheese. Hailing from New Jersey, bagels are my jam.

This bagel was, overall, fine. It had a sufficient but not overpowering onion flavor, was firm and didn’t wilt under the excessive cream cheese. It might as well have been cream cheese with a bagel.

Overall, a solid bagel, considering I ordered late in the day. I would go back, preferably for a donut.

Next on my culinary crusade was Boston Burger Company, which was featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” (2007–). 

I ordered the Hot Mess burger, cooked medium. Featuring bacon, sweet potato fries, thousand island dressing, pickles, red onions, jalapeños, lettuce and American cheese, it was a hefty undertaking. It lived up to its name — my hands were smothered with dressing and lettuce.

The burger was perfectly cooked, the cheese was delicious and the toppings meshed perfectly. The pickles added a savory kick, the jalapeños contributed spice, the fries added heat and the bacon added crispiness. I don’t typically order bacon on burgers, but the Hot Mess made me a bacon believer.

The best part was the Thousand Island dressing. Sweet, spicy and sour in one — a superb burger dressing.

Despite the many choices at Boston Burger Company, I highly recommend the Hot Mess.

My last dish was a staple. Dave Portnoy, Barstool Sports founder and prominent internet food reviewer, recently visited Davis’ Dragon Pizza. His video went viral — not for the pizza, but rather for his interaction with the shop’s owner.

As a business-oriented reviewer, I focused solely on the pizza. A proper pizza for evaluation is a singular, plain slice. So, that’s what I ordered.

Having tried most pizzerias in central New Jersey, in my experience, a slice shouldn’t cost more than $2.50. Therefore, I was shocked by the $4 price.

It passed the first hurdle: floppiness. Having no flop whatsoever, the under-crust remained firm and was easy to fold and hold. Upon my first bite, the dough caught my attention. It was perfectly cooked.

Unfortunately, the takeout bag had soaked up the grease, leaving none for dipping. The cheese was hot and well-spiced with sprinkled-on parmesan, but had too much salt. The amount of cheese was sufficient but not generous. The sauce was lacking, being obscured by the other elements.

The top crust was disappointing, as it was practically burnt and I couldn’t bite into parts of it. I would go back to Dragon Pizza, but with more cash.

As always, my gut reactions:

Onion bagel from Davis Square Donuts and Bagels: fine. Too much cream cheese.

Hot Mess burger from Boston Burger Company: amazing, especially the Thousand Island dressing. So good that I finished it in under two minutes.Plain slice from Dragon Pizza: 7.2/10. “Would order for a hangout” territory.

To all the Jumbos returning home for Thanksgiving, I wish you and your families a delicious holiday. There’s no better time of year to munch! Savor it, and share your dining delights. May the feasts be with you!