• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
BigWyoming

DC's Best Burgers

32 posts in this topic

We all know 5 Guys is good when you just need to mainline some grease. But where do you go when you want to maybe sit and sip a glass of wine and tuck into a burger with toppings you have to sound out to pronounce correctly?

I had a great wagyu burger at Sonoma earlier this week with pancetta and gorgonzola and a tasty glass of Montepulciano to wash it down. This followed an almost as good, but slightly overdone, "natural beef" burger at the Belga cafe.

Where else can a burger lover expand his horizons in the D.C. area? I hear great things about the Colorado Kitchen, though I am a sworn enemy of all things Colorado. Any bars at the high end places have burgers that shouldn't be missed?

And, by the by, what's the deal with this wagyu beef? If it is supposedly as good as kobe, wouldn't it be a crime against nature to grind it like ground round?


Edited by BigWyoming (log)

<img src= "http://forums.egullet.com/uploads/photo-14279.gif"><p>You haven't had foie gras until you've had it in Big Piney, Wyoming...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We all know 5 Guys is good when you just need to mainline some grease.  But where do you go when you want to maybe sit and sip a glass of wine and tuck into a burger with toppings you have to sound out to pronounce correctly? 

I had a great wagyu burger at Sonoma earlier this week with pancetta and gorgonzola and a tasty glass of Montepulciano to wash it down.  This followed an almost as good, but slightly overdone, "natural beef" burger at the Belga cafe. 

Where else can a burger lover expand his horizons in the D.C. area?  I hear great things about the Colorado Kitchen, though I am a sworn enemy of all things Colorado.  Any bars at the high end places have burgers that shouldn't be missed? 

And, by the by, what's the deal with this wagyu beef?  If it is supposedly as good as kobe, wouldn't it be a crime against nature to grind it like ground round?  And, for the perfect burger, wouldn't you want a higher fat content than something like that should provide?

A lot of people swear by the burger at Palena, although I'm not a huge fan.

I do however like the burger at Morton's. And I haven't been since the kitchen shake up a while back, but I have scarfed many a mini-burger at Matchbox, despite their ubiquitousness.


Bill Russell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Bilrus that I haven't been blown away by the burger at Palena. I actually thing that their meat is too high-quality, ie, too low-fat. I don't know if it costs more than $10 but Old Ebbit can put out a decent patty and offer several manly reds to match, and the Palm burger is no slouch, either, especially if served with Palm Fries.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoy the burger at Palena, but it's small and tidy. If you want something bigger and sloppier yet still upscale, Firefly does a fine, fine job with theirs.


Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep wondering when somebody's gonna do a knockoff of Daniel Boulud's foie gras-stuffed burger somewhere around DC. Or did this already happen somewhere and I missed it? I did sample such a burger in Hilton Head, SC of all places back at the beginning of the summer.

Palena's burger is a favorite of mine, especially because of the roll, but it's not for everybody. Has anybody had a burger at CP Steak? (I thought I saw one on their lunch menu...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Old Ebbitt's got my vote. And, they ain't no sissies there. You want it rare? You got it. :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I do however like the burger at Morton's. 

Let me amend that. This thread prompted me to go to Morton's for lunch and it was disappointing.

The burger was dense, where previously it was loosely packed. It was a shade over cooked where previously it was a shade under cooked. It was darn near flavorless where before it tasted like a good steak.

But the oh so thin fries were still very good.


Bill Russell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Either the tuna burger or the lobster burger (when available) at Citronelle are hard to beat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now you're just playing lawyer games. :laugh: The tunaburgers, lobersterburgers and (on the west coast) salmonburgers of the world are no more true burgers than sweetbreads are bread or fennel confit is a true confit.

Not that there's anything wrong with them, mind you....


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both Smith & Wollensky and Sam & Harry's do a fine burger...a co-worker and I will sometimes splurge and split a burger for carry-out. (They're pretty huge!) I do prefer S&H to S&W, but usually go to S&W because it's less of a walk from my office when I'm short on time for lunch.


Edited by squids (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought that the actual burger patty at Harry's Taproom was excellent, but the fixins were cut too thick and the bun was soggy, so it was a waste.


-Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Now you're just playing lawyer games.  :laugh: The tunaburgers, lobersterburgers and (on the west coast) salmonburgers of the world are no more true burgers than sweetbreads are bread or fennel confit is a true confit.

Not that there's anything wrong with them, mind you....

Hey, the thread said "burgers" and also "fancy." How muchh more fancy can a burger get when it has no beef in it. Would a "bison" or "venison" burger not count as well?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Now you're just playing lawyer games.  :laugh: The tunaburgers, lobersterburgers and (on the west coast) salmonburgers of the world are no more true burgers than sweetbreads are bread or fennel confit is a true confit.

Not that there's anything wrong with them, mind you....

Hey, the thread said "burgers" and also "fancy." How muchh more fancy can a burger get when it has no beef in it. Would a "bison" or "venison" burger not count as well?

I find Mr. Nebergall's argument...delicious!

Matt Robinson

Prep for dinner service, prep for life! A Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Now you're just playing lawyer games.   :laugh: The tunaburgers, lobersterburgers and (on the west coast) salmonburgers of the world are no more true burgers than sweetbreads are bread or fennel confit is a true confit.

Not that there's anything wrong with them, mind you....

Hey, the thread said "burgers" and also "fancy." How muchh more fancy can a burger get when it has no beef in it. Would a "bison" or "venison" burger not count as well?

I find in favor of the bison-burger, and that the law includes a penumbra covering bison, water-buffalo, yaks, the lesser kudu, musk oxen and all other members of the family bovinae, resulting in their legal an proper inclusion in discussions of hamburger.

Venison, being a byproduct of the family cervidae, cannot therefore legally be the primary ingredient of a "hamburger." The court further rules that it's probably too lean, anyway.

The court also finds that the term "'burger", unless properly appended with a prefix indicating the non-bovine nature of the burger in question, refers to a hamburger prepared with the support of aforementioned bovinae.

Finally, the court also checked in at Old Ebbit Saturday night and found that the burger remains, indeed, quite tasty, especially with blue cheese and bacon.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David Greggory has good burgers with especially good bacon. I think I had a good burger at Poste, although I am remembering the fries more vividly than the burger. The burger at Sonoma is indeed quite good. Mark & Orlando's was also good. I like the burger at Palena, but wish the fry plate came with, instead of being an extra $9.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The blogsite Gridskipper (which I've never heard of until now) has had the gall to publish it's list of DC's Best Burgers without consulting me. No wonder they they included the overrated Palena burger (doomed by too-lean meat; burgers should not be health food) and the gimmicky mini-burgers at Matchbox and every other bar in the metro area. In addition, no human in the history of The Sign of The Whale has ever eaten a burger there and not been paying more attention to the quality of their buzz or the cutie at the end of the bar, so any praise is suspect. And Five Guys just sucks. These people are living in the 90s.

Worse, they dissed the $18 burger at Central (I haven't eaten it, but it Cannot be Ignored) and the excellent smoked-bacon-cheeseburger at the riotously cool -- if too often underpopulated -- Temperance Hall. Also Clyde's on a good day.

Anybody else got any shout-outs or put-downs?


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Burgers are so subjective and people are so passionate about their viewpoint, that giving an opinion is risky business. But here goes....

I like Mr. Henry's. I love the Blue Burger (with fried onions), the Bacon Cheeseburger, the 'shroom burger, and even the turkey burger. They also have great fries, which I wish you didn't have to order as a separate side order.

I try to NOT order them on Mondays, when they have their half price burger special. I don't think they are as good when they are serving burgers at the same rate of McDonalds.

But I also like Five Guys. On a recent visit to my in-laws' house in Queens, we found that they had expanded to NYC -- a few blocks from my in-laws' house. We stopped by for some burgers and fries for lunch, and I was sharing a table with 5 very happy New Yorkers who's usual opinion is that nothing coming from outside the five boroughs is worth consuming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I the only one who thinks once burgers get over six ounces, they're just unwieldy?

Anyway, the Washington Post Food Section analyzed a baker's dozen of DC burgers for our edification here.

Ranked in order:

Central

Palena

EatBar (Arlington)

BLT Steak

Charlie Palmer Steak

Morton's

Black's Bar and Kitchen (Bethesda)

Sonoma

Ardeo

DC Coast

Capitol Grill

Vermilion

Les Halles


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the opportunity to check out Urban Burger recently, and it was a pretty good piece of beef--juicy and genuinely beef-y tasting. It's way off the Pike in Rockville. Not sure it's a "special trip" burger, but if you're already in Rockville then it's definitely worth checking out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not much on the high end burgers but if you're in Bethesda and like 5 Guys, give Crossfire a try. They're pretty good!! Old Georgetown across from Safeway.


I thoroughly disapprove of duels...If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet retired spot...and kill him. ~Mark Twain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you had the mini burgers at The Source?


Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had the opportunity to check out Urban Burger recently, and it was a pretty good piece of beef--juicy and genuinely beef-y tasting. It's way off the Pike in Rockville. Not sure it's a "special trip" burger, but if you're already in Rockville then it's definitely worth checking out.

One of the best things about Urban Burger is that they will cook your burger the way you want it. Like it really rare, that is how you will get it. Want it charred to a crisp, they may wince, but it will come out charred to a crisp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bourbon - I don't eat a lot of burgers but I thnk this should be on the list of contenders. Topped with carmelized onions, on a bun that doesn't take itself too seriously and with a small silver cup (a la Blue Duck) side of duck-fat fries. Wonderful bar staff too.


"Food is an essential part of a balanced diet."

Fran Lebowitz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bourbon - I don't eat a lot of burgers but I thnk this should be on the list of contenders.  Topped with carmelized onions, on a bun that doesn't take itself too seriously and with a small silver cup (a la Blue Duck) side of duck-fat fries.  Wonderful bar staff too.

I have been to DC a few times and will be going back in about a week. Although I have not been to a lot of DC restaurants I have to give my vote to Capitol Grill for a very good burger. I plan on hitting them next week...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new burger at Vidalia. Best in Town.

Or the not quite as new burger at Ray's Hellburger. The other Best in Town.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.