Restaurant Review: Burnam's

It is a place comfortably stuck in the past. And I love it.


Aka Burnam’s Supper House

Aka Burnam’s 1742 Manor

Aka Dan’s

366 Pleasant Street

Ashland, MA 01721

(508) 881-1742

Burnam's gets the pleasure of this reviewer visiting as least once a week.  I love the place and for all the wrong reasons.

You see, 111 Chop House in Worcester and Abe and Louie's in Boston have waiters in starched butcher jackets.  Burnam's has owner Danny Giargiari in a t-shirt.

111 Chop House and Abe and Louie's have extensive menus. Both offer varied fish dishes, with 111 Chop House having some of the same entrees as Sole Proprietor. “I do a few things well my customers appreciate, and fish goes bad,” says Dan.

111 Chop House and Abe and Louie's have extensive wine lists. Burnam's has a handful of house wines.

111 and Abe’s have bars known as “pick up” bars. At Burnam's, the bar is an old bowling alley. And on the other side is Dan, his wife Lorraine, and - Thursday through Saturday - Chris waitresses.

So why do I like the dark horse so much?

It’s an old fashioned guys’ place. It’s dark, with a couple TVs on, with the oldies playing on the same receiver (yes, receiver) Dan bought in the 70s. It is a place comfortably stuck in the past. And I love it.

If you haven’t been to Burnam's lately, and you are from the area, you probably went to Burnam's as a child. Burnam's has a large homestyle restaurant attached, although the base of operations shifted to the lounge years ago when the train came to Ashland and the Ashland Station opened adjacent to the restaurant. Having some of the best private “T” parking in MetroWest ($60/month) afforded the owners of Burnam's to downsize in place to a limited menu, served in the lounge at the bar or at one of the folding plastic tables. Yes, folding plastic tables.

You see, while Burnam's serves a limited menu comprised solely of red meat in a dark old-style environment, its success is doing a few things well and without pretense. Dan cooks the food over an open flame right in the lounge…you get to see it all. There are two great sides…the green beans and the “dels”… cooked diced potatoes baked with white sauce and shredded cheese. Dan’s salad is the same one my parents made…with just the right (oil and vinegar based) salad dress, a hint of garlic and sweet peppers.

And while a long stretch for a successful first date, it is a comfortable place for locals to grab a bite Tuesdays through Saturdays after 4.

Burnam's doesn’t do take out and only accepts reservations for really large parties. My suggestion is to either come early or avoid on the weekends, instead sampling Tuesday through Thursday. You don’t see many young children at Burnam's, as the atmosphere is “lounge.” 

I often have whatever Dan's t shirt is advertising...a Cheeseburger or a sirloin. If Dan's not busy - try a Gary Burger...a Dan creation of a burger, served open faced on toast "bun"points, with a grilled onion smothered in three kinds of cheeses. Hmm.  While fabulous, Weight Watchers doesn't even bother assigning points.

Burnam's gets a

       Yellow Light – Use caution

About the scale

       Green Light – Go and enjoy

       Yellow Light – Use caution

       Red Light – Save your time and money


The Author

Gary Kelley has lived in Westborough since 1994. His reviews are what he would tell friends, and are not an academic analysis.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kennedy | Ferris Communications November 09, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Green light, go from our family! We grew up going to Burnam's when Evelyn and Armando were in the kitchen and Danny continues to do a great job. It's so nice to go to a restaurant with great history and good food. We love Burnam's!


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