Burger Face-off: brgr:shack on Flickr.
My buddy and I are taking to the Northern Virginia & D.C. streets to find out which hamburger joint serves the best burger. We’ve read all the major reviews, but want to try the signature sandwiches from some of the top contenders and decide for ourselves.
Today we tried the “melt:brgr” burger at brgr:shack on Fairfax Dr. in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, Va. Our burgers were topped with caramelized onions, red wine-sauteed mushrooms, crisp lettuce, tomatoes and a slice of Swiss cheese. The burgers were served on toasted, hearty, white buns with a side of brgr:shack’s special “Shack” sauce. Price for burger: $7.00.*
Results - (1 is worst, 10 is best)
Patty: 8 - Super moist, dry-aged prime rib burger that had an almost gamey taste to it thanks to the 100% grass fed beef that brgr:shack uses. A little on the “done” side for “medium” burgers (mine barely had any pink through the center), but that didn’t stop them from dripping their juicy deliciousness all over our plates, and shirts.
Bun: 7 - Savory, firm and subtly buttery, these buns played a nice supporting role to the boldly-flavored burger. They also held up fairly well against all of the sloppy fixins’. Our main complaint with the buns was there wasn’t enough bread to contain the overly well-endowed burger.
Toppings: 6.5 - Lettuce and tomatoes were not the standard accompaniment to the burger we chose, but without them the the sandwich would have felt all fried and no fresh. Don’t get me wrong the sauteed mushrooms and candy sweet onion strips were out of this world, but there’s only so much a person’s heart can take. The Bernese cheese was less a standout flavor than an homage to the burger’s play on a patty melt. It wasn’t bland, I just like a more aromatic punch from my Swiss-bred Emmental.
Fries: 6 - Like the shy girl hiding against the wall at a high school dance, brgr:shack’s fries don’t really stand out. Compared to the more voluptuous offerings on this burger joint’s menu, they’re pretty plain, and easy to overlook. A lot of thought and quality ingredients certainly went into preparation of these freshly cut potatoes, but at the end of the day they left about the same impression as the fries we buy from boardwalk vendors at the beach every summer. Yum, but meh.
Service: 8 - The staff members at this upstart burger boutique were pleasant and helpful when answering our questions about their ingredients.They served up our burgers super fast, and checked in with us to see how we were enjoying our meal.
X-factor: Bedsides the whole “grass-fed beef” thing, which we thought was very cool, brgr:shack has a hip garage door front wall that rolls up to give the place an open-air bistro feel.
*Groupon just happened to have a nice $4 for $7 deal going on the day we tried this restaurant, which made our deliciously artery-destroying meal a wallet-saving value!
For more info about brgr:shack, check out their Web site: www.brgrshack.com/, or follow them on Twitter @brgrshack