The Boston Phoenix
January 14 - 21, 1999

[Food Reviews]

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Literary lush life

On the Cheap by Jason Weinzimer

With black-clad, multiply pierced bartenders serving more than 100 kinds of beer, and with a loud and funky soundtrack by bands who will never play MixFest, Bukowski's is a welcome relief from most of upper Boylston Street. The name might sound a bit contrived, but this cheap, laid-back bar named after a famous boozer is the real thing -- a fun, unpretentious hangout that happens to be as serious about its food as it is about its music.

Six-ounce burgers arrive perfectly cooked, and a plain one is just a buck between noon and 4 p.m. weekdays. Toppings range from typical (cheddar) to bizarre (peanut butter); the bacon-blue cheese ($6.25) is especially yummy. Also try the Buk ($6.25), a soon-to-be-classic that tops roast beef, turkey, or ham with melted cheddar, horseradish cream, and French fries, all sandwiched between two slices of buttery garlic toast.

Four-cheese mac and cheese ($6.25), studded with either chopped linguiça or mushrooms, tastes (almost) like something from Mom's kitchen; more-adventurous diners might like veggie kebabs over basmati rice ($6.95) or smoked-salmon carpaccio ($7.50). The Bukowski Banger ($5.95), a veal-and-duck-sausage specialty, comes with sauerkraut or spicy apple chutney.

With a full menu available until 1:30 a.m. and what may be Boston's latest last call, Bukowski's is a great late-night find. Its extensive beer list includes all the fussy microbrews as well as "Cannery Row" -- old standbys such as Schlitz, Pabst, and Genesee, for only $2.25.

Bukowski's, located at 50 Dalton Street, in Boston, is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Call 437-9999.

The On the Cheap archive