Posts tagged bun

Notes

Ray’s Hell Burger 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 Mack” at Ray’s Hell Burger in the Clarendon neighborhood  of Arlington, Va. Our burgers were topped with sauteed mushrooms,  lettuce, beefsteak tomatoes, red onions, dill pickles and a slice of  American cheese. The burgers were served on toasted brioche rolls with  “Ray’s Heck” sauce. Price for burger: $7.99.
Results - (1 is worst, 10 is best)
Patty: 8 - Ray’s burger maestros hand-shape their house-aged ground beef  into gigantic patties that make for a hot, juicy mess. Hell Burgers are not for eaters seeking a quick, neat snack. These monsters are  full-fledged meals, and will require their consumers to pack the  requisite bib. We asked for pink centers in our patties, which was  fortunate, because at 10 oz. each, our burgers would have taken half an  hour to cook “well done”.
Bun:  6.5 - Such a hefty burger requires a sturdy bun to keep it in check,  and Ray’s toasted brioche rolls almost do the job, almost. Our burgers  were dripping off the plates before we even started in on them, but the  buttery, crisp-edged buns held up very well to all the moisture. We  would have preferred a slightly more spongy bun instead of the firm,  starchy rolls that held our burgers, as this might have helped us hold  onto our burgers better.
Toppings:  7 - The folks at Ray’s Hell Burger don’t skimp on their bountiful  selection of toppings, which is both a blessing and a curse. In our  case, the blessing came in the form of rich, meaty tomatoes, sharp red  onions, thick, pucker-inducing pickle wedges, and a smattering of  earthy, sauteed mushrooms. The curse was trying to get the burgers to  our mouths without half of those toppings spilling out all over the  table. You might need a fork and knife for this hellish mess of a  sandwich.
Fries: 6.5 -  The fries at Ray’s are a nice accompaniment to their giant burgers, but  don’t really stand out on their own. Our order of sliced, fried potatoes  were hot and crispy, but with a dash less salt than we’d have  preferred. We were also missing a gourmet condiment that Ray’s used to  offer to those who dined in. The sweet, chunky, home style ketchup that  made their average fries oh so much more interesting has been replaced  by the boring, and no doubt less expensive Heinz variety.
Service:  7 - The folks behind the cash register were pleasant enough, even if it  was obvious that they were in a hurry to get the ever-persistent crowd  through the line as quickly as possible. On the up side, the staff does  hand deliver customers’ meals to their tables, and one especially  friendly employee checked in with us as she was clearing a nearby table.
X-factor:  Besides giving all customers the choice of a dozen free toppings, Ray’s  also gives members of the Armed Services an awesome discount on their  food. Tasty and patriotic!
For more info about Ray’s Hell Burger, check out their Web site: www.rayshellburger.com, or follow them on Twitter @RealHellBurger

Ray’s Hell Burger 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 Mack” at Ray’s Hell Burger in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, Va. Our burgers were topped with sauteed mushrooms, lettuce, beefsteak tomatoes, red onions, dill pickles and a slice of American cheese. The burgers were served on toasted brioche rolls with “Ray’s Heck” sauce. Price for burger: $7.99.

Results - (1 is worst, 10 is best)

Patty: 8 - Ray’s burger maestros hand-shape their house-aged ground beef into gigantic patties that make for a hot, juicy mess. Hell Burgers are not for eaters seeking a quick, neat snack. These monsters are full-fledged meals, and will require their consumers to pack the requisite bib. We asked for pink centers in our patties, which was fortunate, because at 10 oz. each, our burgers would have taken half an hour to cook “well done”.

Bun: 6.5 - Such a hefty burger requires a sturdy bun to keep it in check, and Ray’s toasted brioche rolls almost do the job, almost. Our burgers were dripping off the plates before we even started in on them, but the buttery, crisp-edged buns held up very well to all the moisture. We would have preferred a slightly more spongy bun instead of the firm, starchy rolls that held our burgers, as this might have helped us hold onto our burgers better.

Toppings: 7 - The folks at Ray’s Hell Burger don’t skimp on their bountiful selection of toppings, which is both a blessing and a curse. In our case, the blessing came in the form of rich, meaty tomatoes, sharp red onions, thick, pucker-inducing pickle wedges, and a smattering of earthy, sauteed mushrooms. The curse was trying to get the burgers to our mouths without half of those toppings spilling out all over the table. You might need a fork and knife for this hellish mess of a sandwich.

Fries: 6.5 - The fries at Ray’s are a nice accompaniment to their giant burgers, but don’t really stand out on their own. Our order of sliced, fried potatoes were hot and crispy, but with a dash less salt than we’d have preferred. We were also missing a gourmet condiment that Ray’s used to offer to those who dined in. The sweet, chunky, home style ketchup that made their average fries oh so much more interesting has been replaced by the boring, and no doubt less expensive Heinz variety.

Service: 7 - The folks behind the cash register were pleasant enough, even if it was obvious that they were in a hurry to get the ever-persistent crowd through the line as quickly as possible. On the up side, the staff does hand deliver customers’ meals to their tables, and one especially friendly employee checked in with us as she was clearing a nearby table.

X-factor: Besides giving all customers the choice of a dozen free toppings, Ray’s also gives members of the Armed Services an awesome discount on their food. Tasty and patriotic!

For more info about Ray’s Hell Burger, check out their Web site: www.rayshellburger.com, or follow them on Twitter @RealHellBurger

Notes

Burger Face-off: Five Guys 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 “Bacon Cheeseburger” at Five Guys in Old Town, Alexandria,  Va. Our burgers were topped with bacon, grilled onions, grilled  mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes and two slices of American cheese. The burgers  were served on sesame seed buns with mayonnaise. Price for burger:  $6.59.
Results - (1 is worst, 10 is best)
Patty:  7.5 - The centerpiece of Five Guys’ no nonsense bacon cheeseburgers are  two, ugly, crumbly, lopsided, beef patties that taste like little,  greasy slabs of heaven. If you’re in search of a beautifully symmetrical  burger, cooked exactly to your specific temperature requirements, look  elsewhere. Five Guys only cooks their burgers one way, “awesomely done.”   Actually, our patties were technically “well done” with slightly crisp  edges that lent a nice crunchy texture to the overall burger. Whatever  “it” is, these burgers have it.
Bun:  6 - We were so lost in the flavor explosion that was the bacon  cheeseburger that we sort of forgot the bun was even there. The sesame  dotted rolls were soft, spongy and slightly yeasty. They held up very  well under the weight of all the toppings on this hefty burger, and  undoubtedly benefited from the chain’s policy of cooking their patties  “well done” (less moisture to soak up).
Toppings:  8 - Bacon! Seriously, if you’re ordering a cheeseburger without a  couple of these crispy, sizzling, coronary-inducing, pork strips, you’re  missing out on one of life’s true delights. Our slices were the right  combination of crispy, chewy and salty. Hooray! The other toppings were  slightly less amazing, but then how do you compare lettuce to bacon? The  grilled onions had just the right crunch, the lettuce was crisp, the  tomatoes tasted farm fresh, and the grilled mushrooms were subtly  buttery.
Fries: 7.5 - A  small placard on the wall informed us that the fresh-cut fries we were  eating came from potatoes grown on small Idaho farm. They could have  just come out of the ground from how fresh they tasted. Our  lightly-salted fries were perfectly cooked; like tiny, crispy, baked  potatoes. The cholesterol-free peanut oil Five Guys uses to cook their  fries enhanced the earthy flavor, and gave the edges a nice golden glow.  This is the way fries should be made.
Service:  5.5 - Our interaction with Five Guys employees was relatively straight  forward and pretty impersonal. We placed our order, they made our meal  and called our number, and we picked up our meal. We cleaned up after  ourselves after we ate, and left without any employee interacting with  us in the meantime. On the up side, the cashier was pleasant and helpful  when answering my questions about how Five Guys prepares their burgers  and fries.
X-factor:  Five Guys will gladly accessorize your burger with any of their 15  available toppings (besides bacon) at no additional charge.
For more info about Five Guys, check out their Web site: www.fiveguys.com, or follow them on Twitter @Five_Guys

Burger Face-off: Five Guys 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 “Bacon Cheeseburger” at Five Guys in Old Town, Alexandria, Va. Our burgers were topped with bacon, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes and two slices of American cheese. The burgers were served on sesame seed buns with mayonnaise. Price for burger: $6.59.

Results - (1 is worst, 10 is best)

Patty: 7.5 - The centerpiece of Five Guys’ no nonsense bacon cheeseburgers are two, ugly, crumbly, lopsided, beef patties that taste like little, greasy slabs of heaven. If you’re in search of a beautifully symmetrical burger, cooked exactly to your specific temperature requirements, look elsewhere. Five Guys only cooks their burgers one way, “awesomely done.” Actually, our patties were technically “well done” with slightly crisp edges that lent a nice crunchy texture to the overall burger. Whatever “it” is, these burgers have it.

Bun: 6 - We were so lost in the flavor explosion that was the bacon cheeseburger that we sort of forgot the bun was even there. The sesame dotted rolls were soft, spongy and slightly yeasty. They held up very well under the weight of all the toppings on this hefty burger, and undoubtedly benefited from the chain’s policy of cooking their patties “well done” (less moisture to soak up).

Toppings: 8 - Bacon! Seriously, if you’re ordering a cheeseburger without a couple of these crispy, sizzling, coronary-inducing, pork strips, you’re missing out on one of life’s true delights. Our slices were the right combination of crispy, chewy and salty. Hooray! The other toppings were slightly less amazing, but then how do you compare lettuce to bacon? The grilled onions had just the right crunch, the lettuce was crisp, the tomatoes tasted farm fresh, and the grilled mushrooms were subtly buttery.

Fries: 7.5 - A small placard on the wall informed us that the fresh-cut fries we were eating came from potatoes grown on small Idaho farm. They could have just come out of the ground from how fresh they tasted. Our lightly-salted fries were perfectly cooked; like tiny, crispy, baked potatoes. The cholesterol-free peanut oil Five Guys uses to cook their fries enhanced the earthy flavor, and gave the edges a nice golden glow. This is the way fries should be made.

Service: 5.5 - Our interaction with Five Guys employees was relatively straight forward and pretty impersonal. We placed our order, they made our meal and called our number, and we picked up our meal. We cleaned up after ourselves after we ate, and left without any employee interacting with us in the meantime. On the up side, the cashier was pleasant and helpful when answering my questions about how Five Guys prepares their burgers and fries.

X-factor: Five Guys will gladly accessorize your burger with any of their 15 available toppings (besides bacon) at no additional charge.

For more info about Five Guys, check out their Web site: www.fiveguys.com, or follow them on Twitter @Five_Guys

Notes

Burger Face-off: Elevation Burger 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 “Cheeseburger” at Elevation Burger on Waterfront St. in National Harbor, Md. Our burgers were topped with caramelized onions, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and a slice of cheddar cheese. The burgers were served on white buns, with the restaurant’s special “Elevation” sauce. Price for burger: $3.99.Results - (1 is worst, 10 is best)Patty: 3.5 - Elevation claims their tiny patties are made with 100% USDA-Certified Organic, grass-fed, free-range beef, but our burgers were more reminiscent of the reheated meat pucks found at fast food burger chains, than of the similarly pedigreed burgers we’ve tried at other places. Instead of crafting signature, high-end burgers that cater to discerning eaters, this budding chain appears to be more interested in mass-producing cheap chow for the same crowd that expects a toy to come with their meal. $3.99 is not a value, when you can get about the same, mundane thing for a buck at any major chain. Serious let down.Bun: 3.5 - For a burger joint with such a lofty title, and an insistence that “Ingredients Matter”, we had high hopes for the bread they use to contain their adjective-laden beef patties. Here too, our were spirits dashed. The starchy, yeasty buns were exactly what you’d expect to find next to the grill at one of your friend’s backyard barbeques, which is not to say they were bad, just completely forgettable. Toppings: 4.5 - No one can mess up fresh tomato, crisp lettuce, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese and a pickle, right? Unless, of course, the tomato is a crushed soggy mess, the lettuce is limp, the onions are ambiguous, gelatinous strands, and the cheddar is a sweaty blob of grease. Good news, the pickles were fine.Fries: 3 - These shoestring-style fries may be hand-cut from whole potatoes on site, and cooked to order, but all that manual labor is no match for poor preparation. Our fries were bland, mushy and swimming in oil. They would have been a bigger disappointment, but we had already tasted our burgers. We were going to split a small basket, but ended up leaving half of it behind.Service: 7 - When the best thing about a place that claims to specialize in burgers and fries is neither of those items, owners and managers should be concerned. The bright spot in our entire visit was our interaction with one particularly engaging employee. The young woman greeted us with a smile, came out to see how we were enjoying our meals (we didn’t have the heart to really tell her), and even cleaned up our half full trays after we had finished. Thank you for giving us at least one nice to say about Elevation Burger.X-factor: This restaurant is located within the National Harbor resort complex, which means if you can’t find street parking (good luck) you have to pay at least $3.00 to park in the nearby garage. Elevation burger doesn’t validate parking, so just go ahead and plan on adding an additional $3-$5 dollars to the total price. Bye-bye value meal. For more info about Elevation Burger, check out their Web site: www.elevationburger.com, or follow them on Twitter @eat_elevation

Burger Face-off: Elevation Burger 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 “Cheeseburger” at Elevation Burger on Waterfront St. in National Harbor, Md. Our burgers were topped with caramelized onions, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and a slice of cheddar cheese. The burgers were served on white buns, with the restaurant’s special “Elevation” sauce. Price for burger: $3.99.

Results - (1 is worst, 10 is best)

Patty: 3.5 - Elevation claims their tiny patties are made with 100% USDA-Certified Organic, grass-fed, free-range beef, but our burgers were more reminiscent of the reheated meat pucks found at fast food burger chains, than of the similarly pedigreed burgers we’ve tried at other places. Instead of crafting signature, high-end burgers that cater to discerning eaters, this budding chain appears to be more interested in mass-producing cheap chow for the same crowd that expects a toy to come with their meal. $3.99 is not a value, when you can get about the same, mundane thing for a buck at any major chain. Serious let down.

Bun: 3.5 - For a burger joint with such a lofty title, and an insistence that “Ingredients Matter”, we had high hopes for the bread they use to contain their adjective-laden beef patties. Here too, our were spirits dashed. The starchy, yeasty buns were exactly what you’d expect to find next to the grill at one of your friend’s backyard barbeques, which is not to say they were bad, just completely forgettable.

Toppings: 4.5 - No one can mess up fresh tomato, crisp lettuce, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese and a pickle, right? Unless, of course, the tomato is a crushed soggy mess, the lettuce is limp, the onions are ambiguous, gelatinous strands, and the cheddar is a sweaty blob of grease. Good news, the pickles were fine.

Fries: 3 - These shoestring-style fries may be hand-cut from whole potatoes on site, and cooked to order, but all that manual labor is no match for poor preparation. Our fries were bland, mushy and swimming in oil. They would have been a bigger disappointment, but we had already tasted our burgers. We were going to split a small basket, but ended up leaving half of it behind.

Service: 7 - When the best thing about a place that claims to specialize in burgers and fries is neither of those items, owners and managers should be concerned. The bright spot in our entire visit was our interaction with one particularly engaging employee. The young woman greeted us with a smile, came out to see how we were enjoying our meals (we didn’t have the heart to really tell her), and even cleaned up our half full trays after we had finished. Thank you for giving us at least one nice to say about Elevation Burger.

X-factor: This restaurant is located within the National Harbor resort complex, which means if you can’t find street parking (good luck) you have to pay at least $3.00 to park in the nearby garage. Elevation burger doesn’t validate parking, so just go ahead and plan on adding an additional $3-$5 dollars to the total price. Bye-bye value meal.

For more info about Elevation Burger, check out their Web site: www.elevationburger.com, or follow them on Twitter @eat_elevation

2 Notes

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

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

1 Notes

Burger Face-off: BGR 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 “Wellington” burger at BGR on Washington Ave. in the Old  Town neighborhood of Alexandria, Va. Our burgers were topped with  roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, garlic, a touch of mustard seed, a  hint of black truffle and a slice of American cheese instead of the  usual crumbles of blue cheese. The burgers were served on toasted  brioche buns with BGR’s special “Mojo” sauce. Price for burger: $8.99.
Results - (1 is worst, 10 is best)
Patty:  8 - This is a big, juicy burger that will require more than a couple of napkins and/or a bib to keep in check. Our burgers were perfectly-cooked (we asked for medium), smokey, fresh, beef patties that held their own flavor-wise when paired with the luxurious toppings.
Bun: 6 -  Buttery, sesame seed crusted bun that complimented the overall flavors,  but did not hold up well to all the juices in the burger. Bottom bun  disintegrated halfway through the meal, becoming a soggy, although  edible mush.
Toppings:  6.5 - All toppings were well-mated to the overall burger, but most of  the flavors were so subtle that they were overshadowed by the patty.  Roasted mushrooms and truffles were the standout toppings, the former  adding nice texture, the latter a rich earthiness.
Fries:  7.5 - Crisp and made-to-order, these golden Yukon Potato fries were the  perfect accompaniment to such a rich burger. Not too salty. Only  downside, they begin their day inside a plastic bag in BGR’s freezer.
Service:  8.5 - Fast, friendly service with attentive and good-humored staff. The  same gentleman who cooked our burger came out and asked how we were  enjoying our meal. These folks seem sincerely concerned that their  customers enjoy their dining experience, and the only reason we didn’t  give them a 9 is because they forgot the lettuce and tomato I asked for.
X-factor:  The select-a-drink digital soda fountain machine let us choose from  dozens of carbonated and uncarbonated drinks, and offered additional  flavors of popular soft drinks, like raspberry, lime, and vanilla. Cool  and fun!
For more info about BGR, check out their Web site: www.bgrtheburgerjoint.com/, or follow them on Twitter @BGRBurgerJoint

Burger Face-off: BGR 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 “Wellington” burger at BGR on Washington Ave. in the Old Town neighborhood of Alexandria, Va. Our burgers were topped with roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, garlic, a touch of mustard seed, a hint of black truffle and a slice of American cheese instead of the usual crumbles of blue cheese. The burgers were served on toasted brioche buns with BGR’s special “Mojo” sauce. Price for burger: $8.99.

Results - (1 is worst, 10 is best)

Patty: 8 - This is a big, juicy burger that will require more than a couple of napkins and/or a bib to keep in check. Our burgers were perfectly-cooked (we asked for medium), smokey, fresh, beef patties that held their own flavor-wise when paired with the luxurious toppings.

Bun: 6 - Buttery, sesame seed crusted bun that complimented the overall flavors, but did not hold up well to all the juices in the burger. Bottom bun disintegrated halfway through the meal, becoming a soggy, although edible mush.

Toppings: 6.5 - All toppings were well-mated to the overall burger, but most of the flavors were so subtle that they were overshadowed by the patty. Roasted mushrooms and truffles were the standout toppings, the former adding nice texture, the latter a rich earthiness.

Fries: 7.5 - Crisp and made-to-order, these golden Yukon Potato fries were the perfect accompaniment to such a rich burger. Not too salty. Only downside, they begin their day inside a plastic bag in BGR’s freezer.

Service: 8.5 - Fast, friendly service with attentive and good-humored staff. The same gentleman who cooked our burger came out and asked how we were enjoying our meal. These folks seem sincerely concerned that their customers enjoy their dining experience, and the only reason we didn’t give them a 9 is because they forgot the lettuce and tomato I asked for.

X-factor: The select-a-drink digital soda fountain machine let us choose from dozens of carbonated and uncarbonated drinks, and offered additional flavors of popular soft drinks, like raspberry, lime, and vanilla. Cool and fun!

For more info about BGR, check out their Web site: www.bgrtheburgerjoint.com/, or follow them on Twitter @BGRBurgerJoint