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Iron Chef: Bobby Flay

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay chooses Burlington for his Massachusetts debut.

You may know him from hit TV shows such as “Iron Chef America” or the Food Network’s “Throwdown! with Bobby Flay,” but Burlington residents will soon know him as the man behind the absolute best burgers in town.

In January, Flay, who is also a notable restaurateur and cookbook author, cut the ribbon on his newest Bobby’s Burger Palace (BBP) restaurant inside the Burlington Mall, occupying about half the space of what used to be an Eddie Bauer store. While the Bobby’s Burger Palace chain is the more casual of Flay’s well-known restaurants (he also counts Mesa Grill, Bobby Flay Steak, and Bar Americain in his portfolio), this isn’t your typical “fast food” experience; the service is personalized and friendly, and there’s a cool, contemporary ambiance highlighted by a serpentine dining counter with vivid green leather seats.

So what’s the big deal about a restaurant devoted solely to burgers? The answer is everything, and after one trip here, you’ll know why. “At any time of year, my favorite thing to eat is a cheeseburger,” says Flay, “and at BBP, we celebrate America’s variety of flavors, styles, and cultures surrounding this staple.” Choose from such unique delights as the Miami burger (pressed with ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and mayo) or the Santa Fe (queso, pickled jalapeños, and blue corn chips), among other delicious options. If you’re friends with a non-burger-lover, don’t worry; vegetarians in your party will happily make do with the Crunch Salad or a grilled cheese and a side of sweet potato fries.

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 4.27.31 PMAs for drinks, there’s a good selection of beer, wine, and sodas-though the ultimate choice is definitely one of the milkshakes or malteds, served with or without real whipped cream. (Tip: “Spiked” milkshakes are available, too.) The result of this creative menu is a simple yet distinctive dining experience that both kids and adults can enjoy.

“At BBP, you can really customize the experience to exactly what you’re in the mood for,” Flay says. “Whether it’s a hamburger, a turkey burger, a breadless burger, or crunchified with chips, you can really specify your burger to your tastes, and I find a lot of diners enjoy that.”

Of his choice of a Burlington location, Flay says: “The Boston area has a very forward-thinking food community. People in this area are demanding quality food at every level, even when it comes to burgers, fries, and shakes.” And if you’re wondering if you can expect to catch Flay at his newest outpost, the answer is yes. “I always enjoy being very involved in each of the restaurants. I especially enjoy attending the opening of each BBP and greeting customers, getting behind the grill, and taking part of the excitement,” says Flay.

Finally, what’s the celebrity chef’s go-to order from the restaurant’s menu? “True insiders know that you should crunchify your burger, and definitely order the pistachio shake,” he says.  -D.S.