EAST BOSTON – To work in the restaurant business, sometimes you have to be a Renegade to deal with the hours. So when industry lifer Peter Ackerman and his team were coming up with their newest place, they figured why not pay homage to their hospitality workers and name the pub Renegade’s.
Located in the Orient Heights section of East Boston, Renegade’s Pub is not only a place Peter named for his fellow restaurant employees, but it is a place he and his colleagues like to hang.
“We opened it up because we wanted a place just like we want to go to after work. We work long days, 13, 14, 15 hours a day sometimes. We want a location that serves the kind of beers, had the kind of atmosphere, and had the kind of food that we wanted when we go out after work.”
So they designed a space with rustic wood touches, homey decor, a comfortable dining room, and a beautiful bar where you can enjoy an ever changing local craft beer list. When they were coming up with the menu, they decided to include all of the foods they loved.
“We wanted a location that the menu appealed to a large group, and the kind of things that we really like to have when we go out,” Peter said. “Keep it simple, keep it appealing to people, and do it the right way. That was our motto.”
The star of their menu? The ultra-affordable 4-ounce burgers.
“They’re great for people to share, and the price is right for people to just come in, grab a burger and a beer and enjoy themselves,” Peter explained.
Grilled on the flat top for that ultimate char, and served on a squishy potato roll, these juicy patties are topped in a variety of ways.
There is the simple but satisfying Renegade Burger topped with Muenster Cheese, Arugula and Red Onion Jam; or for something more over the top, order the Bennington piled with a spicy chorizo patty, avocado, bacon and a perfectly cooked sunny side up egg.
“When you push that bun down and that yolk breaks and it starts dripping all down the sides of that burger, that’s how you know we’ve done it right,” Peter described.
There is the Bandit Burger, topped with fried onion rings, housemade bourbon barbecue sauce, and smoky bacon.
“You taste the bourbon. You taste that barbecue tang to it, a little bit of sweetness. You taste the saltiness and smokiness from the bacon. All that comes together in an incredible experience.”
For a little heat on your meat, get the Ladder 21, named in honor of the local fire department and loaded up with fried jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, chipotle aioli, and some avocado to soothe the burn.
If burgers are not your thing, Renegades offers an over the top Fried Chicken sandwich that is almost too big to wrap your mouth around.
“It’s an all-natural chicken that we bread ourselves,” Peter explained. “We soak that in buttermilk for a day. Then we fry jalapeños, we fry onions, we fry a couple of pickles to go along with that. It’s an incredible sandwich.”
Of course, what is a sandwich without some sides? At Renegade’s, they have got you covered with ultra-addictive wings, crunchy fried pickle spears, crispy pork cracklins and a big tray of fries called the Engine 56.
“Engine 56 fries come with a local smoked bacon that we cut into chunks. We take jalapeños and we fry those jalapeños. We fry that bacon, and we put that on top with some local blue cheese and some Renegade Sauce all over those French fries,” Peter listed. “It’s unbelievable.”
Another way to get your fry fix is to order the Renegade Tater Tots, a version that goes way beyond what you had in your grade school cafeteria. These sensational spuds are spiked with cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, along with spicy chorizo.
“It’s an explosion. It’s tough to understand because there’s so much going on,” Peter said. “When you bite into that you taste chorizo and you taste cheese. Then you say, ‘Oh my God, there’s actually potato in this thing also.’ That’s what makes it special.”
The onion rings are definitely something special, because at Renegade’s, they do things differently.
“We make them with red onions,” Peter revealed. ”The onion is the star of the show. It’s just a little bit of breading. They come out very, very crispy. It’s one of my favorite things that’s on the menu. I think just about everything on our menu is one of my favorite things, because we built this menu based off of the things we like to have when we go out to eat.”
With burgers topping out at eight bucks, customers can’t say enough about the food or the prices.
You can Renegade’s at 1004 Bennington Street in East Boston, and online at renegadespub.com.
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