Boz's Burger Bistro in Charles Village mostly hits the spot

Boz's Burger Bistro

3101 St. Paul St., (410) 889-1718,

In Charles Village, on the corner of St. Paul and 31st, where Donna's used to be, Boz's Burger Bistro fills a burger-and-a-milkshake-shaped hole. I had missed the easy, greasy convenience of chains that I grew up around, like Steak 'n Shake, where you can get a just-OK burger and fries and a shake (hard to mess those up, honestly) for less than 10 bucks. Boz's, of course, is unique, not a chain. And although it currently still looks a lot like Donna's, Boz's manager Robert McDowell says that by next month the place will be outfitted with a few TVs, and guests will enjoy new happy hour specials, brunch, and open mic/spoken word nights on the weekends. On the current menu (which McDowell says they're expanding), there are a variety of salads, hot sandwiches, and quesadillas, but burgers are in the name—so I had to get the burger.

I first opted for the spicy kimchi burger ($6.95): two beef patties, slices of jalapeño, cheddar, and lettuce, atop a bed of kimchi and barbecue sauce on a bun. The jalepeno and kimchi play well together in that barbecue sauce, delivering a delicate balance of punchy spice and subtle sweetness, which was welcome, because the patties themselves were just a little on the dry side. My friend got the Saint Paul burger ($7.95), which is loaded with bacon, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, chipotle aioli, and Old Bay fries—and described it as "the next step toward lazy binge eating, but like, what else are burgers for?" On the other hand, I later ordered the Caesar burger ($6.95), which is basically like a baby Caesar salad atop the patties, offering me the necessary illusion that I had made a healthy choice. I sucked down an Oreo milkshake ($4.95) in between bites, grateful for a moment; sometimes you just need a fucking burger.

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