Monday, August 16, 2010

The Burger Joint

I feel like every time I turn around another burger place pops up. The greater DMV spawned the mighty Five Guys, Chef Spike’s Good Stuff Eatery and the internationally-known Ray’s Hell Burger. We just received word that New York’s famous Shake Shack is setting up shop in Dupont. I think you could be eating burgers and fries for days– the list of burger places just goes on and on. Down the street from my office stands the original location of another DC burger “chain,” BGR – The Burger Joint. BGR originally opened its classic-rock-memorabilia and kitchy-mosaic-table-filled restaurant in Bethesda. But in the past year or so, the concept has expanded to Alexandria, Dupont Circle and Arlington with another one on the way in Clarendon. The owner, Mark Bucher, clearly wants to make sure that he is a force to be reckoned with in this burger town.

BGR aims to master the basics – burgers, fries and milkshakes, with a few surprises thrown into the mix. The burgers are made with a mixture of premium meat, served on a toasted brioche bun and made fresh to order. If you are looking for a traditional burger, you really can’t go wrong with “The Burger” or the BGR sliders. The meat is able to retain most of the flavor without making that light and perfectly crisp bun too soggy. During the summer months, you can also grab what the Washingtonian has dubbed the best lobster roll in DC. I haven’t had many lobster rolls in this city since arriving here 6 years ago. Then again, I'm a midwesterner; I shouldn’t be considered an expert. Yet, I can accurately tell you that the claw meat was fresh and flavorful and was complemented beautifully by the crisp lettuce and fresh bun. 

You can’t have a burger without fries (and if you are feel like going all out – a shake). BGR offers regular and sweet potato fries. The last time I had them, I wished that I had asked for them extra crispy but it wasn’t an egregious error by any means. When it comes to shakes, BRG does the classics (i.e. chocolate and vanilla) very well. They are thick and creamy and make the perfect treat on a warm summer day. Each location also offers a new “limited-edition” milkshake on a monthly basis. I had July’s peach shake and it was just only so-so. I could have used a bit more peach flavor a little less graham cracker. Is BGR a burger destination? Sadly, it isn’t. But if you are around one and need to eat lunch or dinner or just have a snack, you won’t be able to go wrong. You will leave full, happy and you won’t be able to get that classic rock music out of your head. 
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  1. I've been once, didn't love it - but I DID like the sweet potato fries & the shake!

  2. I saw ANOTHER burger place going in on Conn. in Dupont Circle, where O Salad Mio used to be, near Luna Grille and within spitting distance of Rogue. I think it's call Go Burger.

  3. You had a fresh bun?! I'm jealous - mine was served on three fused slider rolls. Not altogether appetizing...