EXPLORING THE SOUTH SHORE ONE BITE AT A TIME
Back to Basics at T.K.O. Malley’s
There’s something about a burger. I don’t mean the free range, Kobe beef, grass-fed, massage-the-cow kind of burger that’s been featured at the trendiest of eateries lately. I mean something midway between designer gold and “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese”—preferably with crispy fries and a cold beer—hold the attitude please.
That was the mood my husband and I were in when the weather precluded outdoor chores one recent rainy Saturday. The house was clean and the laundry done, but since sitting down to watch a cable movie before noon seemed a touch too slothful, we decided to go out to lunch.
Celebrity spots serving ground beef are all the rage, but we didn’t want the crowd or the hype. So after perusing the Internet to determine where we could get a good burger for under $10.00, we ended up at T.K.O. Malley’s, on Front Street in Scituate.
At T.K’s, a family-friendly sports bar with a seasonal porch overlooking the harbor, there are few surprises, but that can be a good thing. With a menu serving the appetizers, soups, salads and desserts you’d expect at a place that bills itself as a “full service dining room, sports lounge & bar” you’ll find a selection of chili, nachos and wings. Entrees include steaks, turkey tips, and shepherd’s pie. The sandwiches menu lists fish tacos, a triple decker turkey BLT, hot pastrami with Swiss, and a Reuben.
As for burgers, well, TK’s menu offers eleven of them and other than the TKO Burger (sautéed peppers and onions) all the patties are named for local universities. Choose from “Harvard Burger,” (a classic hamburger), a BC Burger (bacon and cheese), a Main Black Bear-ger, (barbeque sauce, bacon, cheddar and sautéed onions), a UCONN Husky Burger (pepperoni slices and Jack cheese) or a UNH Wildcat Burger (chipotle barbeque sauce, Jack cheese and jalapenos).
My NU Bleu Burger (blue cheese), arrived a little past the medium I’d ordered it, but juicy enough. TK’s nice touch is to add actual blue cheese to the burger itself, and serve it with a container of blue cheese dressing on the side. The Harpoon IPA I ordered with my meal complemented the pile of medium-thick fries I couldn’t finish. On a raw, windy day, my filling lunch was just what I’d wanted. In the end, my husband didn’t order a burger at all. He chose a grilled chicken sandwich, coated with optional Buffalo sauce. “It wasn’t a standard deep-fried Buffalo sandwich,” he said, “but it did the trick.” He enjoyed a Smithwick’s Ale on the side.
T.K. O. Malleys is a place to go when you seek a dose of solid fare in an unpretentious environment. On the cold spring Saturday we were there, a steady stream of families strolled in, ostensibly looking for the same thing. On a hot summer weekend though, when the porch is opened, be prepared to wait for a seat.
T.K.O. Malley's Sports Cafe - 194 Front Street, Scituate Harbor, (781) 545-4012, www.eattkomalleys
Liza Carens Salerno is a freelance writer from the South Shore with a love of great food. Her work has appeared in Boston Globe Magazine, South Shore Living, Adoptive Families Magazine, Writersdigest.com and the Mariner newspapers. She also writes marketing materials for small businesses and uses her extensive background in HR to develop client resumes. Find out more at www.lcswrites.com, or read Liza’s blog at www.middlepassages-lcs.blogspot.com.