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Burgers in DC


DTBarton
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I guess my only comment has to do with demand.

Is there really that much pent up demand for a hamburger in D.C.? Or the whole region, in general? I sure don't have any idea, but there are some things to think about.

Face it, we're not talking cheap here-certainly generally inexpensive, but not fast food cheap and the mid priced food market, especially on the East Coast in the corridor, is not exactly short on options already. Were I an investor, especially in the current economy, I would take a long, hard look at the usual vexation for all restaurants-location, location, location. If these guys are putting burgers in places that people are going to have to travel to, for any distance at all, really, I would think twice about it. People are generally creatures of habit anyway, and given current economic considerations, unless they happen to be burger freaks (and there are certainly some of those around! :biggrin: ), they aren't driving 10 miles to try out yet another "betta' burger." They'll just keep going to whatever place is conveniently located near them.

And, if these guys are hitting the serious money, higher priced market, they might want to take a look at the recent news about Starbucks closing 600 stores. The problems that the burger guys will incur with overexpansion are exactly the same ones that Starbucks is incurring right now.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Judging from the buzz that results whenever anyone opens a new burger place, there is a demand for burgers in the DC area.

I have never been a big fan of Five-Guys, mainly because as noted in in the sidebar to the article, they are too inconsistent. Of the places described, I've only eaten at Z-Burger and Urban Burger. (Disclaimer, my son works at both Urban BBQ and Urban Burger, so I've tried their burgers many times.) It should also be noted that Michael Landrum of Ray's the Steaks, has opened a place called Butcher Burgers right (known on the street as Ray's Hell-Burger) down the street from Ray's the Steaks that serves only burgers, and 10 ouncers at that. Everyone seems to be very excited about it.

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Great article; thanks DT Barton.

I really like Five Guys, at least the one in the Courthouse area in Arlington, Virginia. I've always gotten hot, juicy burgers and great fries there. However, these new places featured in the Post sound very promising indeed. Like Mayhaw Man said, I'm not inclined to travel too far for a good or even great burger. But lucky me :biggrin: in that I live in Arlington near two of these places: Big Buns Gourmet Grill and Michael Landrum's (owner of Ray's The Steaks) new place, Ray's Butcher Burgers.

Back to Five Guys. I recently wrote them that a) I really liked their burgers and fries but b) I had a three suggestions on how to bump up their menus:

- Shakes (what's a burger joint without shakes?)

- Onion Rings (I like fries but I LOVE well-made onion rings)

- Chili (Five Guys sells hot dogs but no chili--HERESY I say! :shock: )

In other words, I find their menus too limited and even though I didn't mention it when I wrote them, they really should start offering some additional, higher quality cheeses. What will get me into these new places are location, a menu that goes beyond the Five Guys basics, and being able to order my burger cooked medium if I want.

One of the other places the Post mentioned initially sounds wonderful; I mean who could argue with this at Mark Bucher's BGR: The Burger Joint in Bethesda, Maryland:

Bucher at the two-month-old Burger Joint sells grilled burgers made from a dry-aged mixture of chuck, sirloin, hanger and brisket from cows raised at a single Midwestern farm, where the feed can be strictly controlled.

Sounded Heavenly until I read this article posted in a link by a someone posting in the comments section for this article:

Mark Bucher's Alleged Shady Background

His burgers may be divine but something may be a bit rotten about this guy if he's in the habit of stiffing small business people.

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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When it comes to Five Guys, they were a great place to get burgers when there were only about five restaurants. However, they have exploed in their expansion, now have over 100, as far as NY, and they are inconsistent. I've had a great burger at the DC store, and a horrible one at the Aspen Hill store. The next time it was just the opposite.

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Great article; thanks DT Barton.

I really like Five Guys, at least the one in the Courthouse area in Arlington, Virginia. I've always gotten hot, juicy burgers and great fries there. However, these new places featured in the Post sound very promising indeed. Like Mayhaw Man said, I'm not inclined to travel too far for a good or even great burger. But lucky me :biggrin: in that I live in Arlington near two of these places: Big Buns Gourmet Grill and Michael Landrum's (owner of Ray's The Steaks) new place, Ray's Butcher Burgers.

Back to Five Guys. I recently wrote them that a) I really liked their burgers and fries but b) I had a three suggestions on how to bump up their menus:

- Shakes (what's a burger joint without shakes?)

- Onion Rings (I like fries but I LOVE well-made onion rings)

- Chili (Five Guys sells hot dogs but no chili--HERESY I say! :shock: )

In other words, I find their menus too limited and even though I didn't mention it when I wrote them, they really should start offering some additional, higher quality cheeses. What will get me into these new places are location, a menu that goes beyond the Five Guys basics, and being able to order my burger cooked medium if I want.

One of the other places the Post mentioned initially sounds wonderful; I mean who could argue with this at Mark Bucher's BGR: The Burger Joint in Bethesda, Maryland:

Bucher at the two-month-old Burger Joint sells grilled burgers made from a dry-aged mixture of chuck, sirloin, hanger and brisket from cows raised at a single Midwestern farm, where the feed can be strictly controlled.

Sounded Heavenly until I read this article posted in a link by a someone posting in the comments section for this article:

Mark Bucher's Alleged Shady Background

His burgers may be divine but something may be a bit rotten about this guy if he's in the habit of stiffing small business people.

I feel it is only fair to post the link to the owner's response here

disclosure: I don't know the guy, and I've never been to the restaurant. I just am a cynic, especially when it comes to media and the news..

Hey guys, Its mark, one should never trust what they read in the press, unless both parties are part of the story. This was cleary a slam job, no one from the gazette ever tried to contact me. We love what we do at the Burger Joint, all of our suppliers are thrilled and we are comittied to putting out great food one customer at a time.
Edited by squids (log)
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I've eaten twice at Five Guys and hope never to do so again....cooked gray and topped with a sad parody of real cheese, they don't impress.

I did, however, drop in to Michael Landrumm's new venture, known colloquially as Ray's Hell Burger and officially as officially as Butcher Burgers. Landrumm, the "improprietor" of Ray's the Steaks and Ray's the Classics did indeed look a little satanic when I dropped into Hell Burgers the other night, with stubbly little beard that might have been patterned after that Deviled Ham guy's and glint in his eye that seemed driven by the thrill of tempting the masses, or maybe he was channeling the ghost of the topless dancers who once work out of that Arlington strip mall location (same one as Ray's the Steaks). Outside of my own kitchen, it seems to be the only place in town where you can get A stinky slab or proper Taleggio on your bacon-cheeseburger (as well as "Merkin, aged Vermont white cheddar, imported Swiss, imported Gruyere, aged Danish Bleu/Italian Gorgonzola, smoked mozzarella, Monster, Brie, pepperjack)... [and a] a changing selection of specialty and artisinal cheeses..., Epoisse, Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue, Queen Anne Stilton, Pa Noble Cave Aged Amish Cheddar, Chimay a la biere, Taleggio, and Bel Paese."

Lines were long but the burgers were worth the wait -- immense, properly cooked and excellent meat, by the same provider who supplies his other restaurants.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I read the article twice. I searched it with FireFox Browser. As far as I can tell, not one mention of french fries. When talking about a Five Guys style burger place the quality behind the fries is just as important as the burger. Five Guy fries are fresh cut, but average, at best.

All too often burger places focus just on the burgers - fresh special blend ground beef, hand formed, loosely packed, lovingly grilled to order. That's nice. But then they serve it up with a side of frozen shoestring fries that have been lingering under the heat lamp for ten minutes.

So many places just don't get it.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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  • 1 month later...
I read the article twice.  I searched it with FireFox Browser.  As far as I can tell, not one mention of french fries.  When talking about a Five Guys style burger place the quality behind the fries is just as important as the burger.  Five Guy fries are fresh cut, but average, at best. 

All too often burger places focus just on the burgers - fresh special blend ground beef, hand formed, loosely packed, lovingly grilled to order.  That's nice.  But then they serve it up with a side of frozen shoestring fries that have been lingering under the heat lamp for ten minutes.

So many places just don't get it.

Holly, we ate at the new one here in Voorhees (NJ...sorry; I forgot I was in another regional forum), and while the burger absolutely satisfied a craving, I wished the fries were just a tiny bit less well-done. In addition, my boyfriend is very sorry he ordered the Cajun fries. I tasted one and was gagging, and his stomach was upset later on from them. Had to be the spicing. I would go back, though (until I find something that appalls me).

Here's how his looked:

2810457749_f5c52b5ec1_m.jpg

Edited by harriet1954 (log)
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