BRIGHTON – On Western Ave in Brighton, there’s a colorful new place that’s part cocktail bar, part hipster hangout, and part really good neighborhood restaurant. It’s called Article 24, and there are probably 24 hundred reasons why you might want to try it.

“High energy, fun, creative, relaxing,” said Chef Mark Allen. “It’s fun food. It’s very approachable food. And there’s a ton of flavor in all our dishes.”

Mark is the highly accomplished chef behind Article 24’s tempting, and rather unpredictable menu. The choices coming out of his kitchen run the gamut, from Reubens to Ramen, breakfast burritos to marinated skirt steak. But it all seems to come together and somehow, it just works.

“The wait staff is great; the cooks are great. Everybody works together and it’s a great atmosphere. It feels like you’re going to have a great meal.”

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And you do, regardless of what you order, according to General Manager Randy Parker.

“Your basic burgers, fries, dogs, chips, nachos, but we don’t really want to focus on doing a fancy twist on it. Twists usually ends up being expensive. And we just want to make honest to goodness American food taste good, with just focusing on the ingredients and preparation.”

You can start with an outstanding plate of nachos, piled with fresh-smashed guacamole for just six bucks. Their chicken wings are brined for twenty-four hours and marinated for another six, before they’re roasted and finally fried. And just about every table gets an order of their signature Mac and Cheese Fritters with spicy mayo.

Mac and Cheese Fritters at Article 24 (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Mac and Cheese Fritters at Article 24 (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

“They’re crispy on the outside, but then there’s just this cheese lava flow explosion coming out of them once you bite into them,” described Randy.

Some people come here for comfort food, and others come for more trendy dishes, like homemade steamed pork dumplings, or the restaurant world’s latest culinary obsession: Avocado Toast.

“We have a toast section, and one of the toasts is an avocado toast. And it’s a thick-cut piece of sourdough bread that’s been grilled, and that’s topped with sliced avocado, a fried egg, and then some spicy mayo,” Mark explained.

Avocado Toast  at Article 24 (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Avocado Toast at Article 24 (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

If you do want to indulge, you can go for the Burger made with ground sirloin, cheddar cheese, grilled onions, and bacon on a brioche bun. If you’re on your best behavior, check out the No Noodle Veggie Lasagna, layered with zucchini, mushrooms and peppers, with a bit of ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella mixed in there as well. So there’s Italian cuisine, Asian, American, and even some Mexican-street food inspired fish tacos.

“Big portions of locally-caught cod. Lightly batter them; lightly fry them,” Randy said. “We gotta use double tacos on each once because there’s so much fish in them. Cover them with a little ancho chili mayo, pickled cabbage, they’re fantastic. Probably the best fish taco I’ve had outside of San Diego.”

Fish Tacos  at Article 24 (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Fish Tacos at Article 24 (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Believe it or not, they also serve one of the best bowls of Japanese Ramen Noodle soup in Greater Boston.

“We make a ramen style chicken stock, so the stock comes out really thick. And then we add grilled shrimp to it, some soy, kimchee, and then the ramen noodles,” Mark listed. “It’s a great thing to have on your menu. It’s healthy. It’s fun. This is a great ramen. You couldn’t make this in your house.”

Ramon Noodle Soup  at Article 24 (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Ramon Noodle Soup at Article 24 (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

So where does the name Article 24 come from? It’s a reference to the 24th article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which aims to provide all of humanity with the, “right to right to eat, drink, and relax.” That’s exactly what they provide here, especially on the weekends during brunch. That’s when you can get what could be the region’s most insanely over-top-the-top Bloody Mary, topped with shrimp, bacon, eggs, and even a mini-burger. Then there’s the so-called Bad Kid Pancakes, which are even more intoxicating.

“Pancakes batter that’s mixed with Kahlua, Bailey’s, and then we also make a whipped cream that comes with it that’s mixed with Kahlua and Bailey’s. And then we put a syrup on it that’s made with whiskey and maple syrup. So it’s a lot of alcohol,” Mark said.

“You absolutely have to be 21 to order them,” Randy added. “The alcohol will not cook out of these.”

Big Kid Pancakes  at Article 24 (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Big Kid Pancakes at Article 24 (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Just like the menu, the atmosphere is certainly unique as well. It falls somewhere between an art gallery and an auto body shop, along with a touch of Hunter S. Thompson, and a sprinkle of Alice in Wonderland. But the most eye-popping aspect of Article 24, is the value.

“We want guests to be able to come in here, have a great meal, have it be a good value so they come in two or three nights a week,” Randy said. We don’t want to have people just have one drink for $10. We want you to be able to have a second drink for $5 and stick around and meet your friends after work and have a good time.”

You can find Article 24 at 458 Western Ave. in Brighton, and online at article24boston.com.

Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.

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