Tag Archives: burgers

Bobby's Burger Palace Coming to DC, Bethesda

21 Oct

To continue the trend from yesterday’s burger review, now comes news that Bobby Flay will be expanding his Bobby’s Burger Palace chain to Bethesda, DC, and Baltimore.

According to Nation’s Restaurant News, Flay has a dozen or so locations planned to open up over the next year.

But does the DC area need yet another burger joint? Flay, and more importantly, his personality, seem to think so:

The “better burger” market is very crowded now, Flay said, “but I feel we have an advantage. When I open a restaurant, people come.”

“That doesn’t mean they’ll like it,” the chef noted. “It doesn’t guarantee anything, but it gives us a shot.”

Well now, I guess because Bobby Flay has his name on the restaurant, it MUST be good, right?

We’ll reserve judgment once his Burger Palace actually opens in the area, but in the meantime, dude really needs to keep his ego in check.

UPDATE – The Washington Business Journal reports that Flay will be opening his Burger Palace in two area locations. The first will be in College Park, Maryland at The Varsity, a luxury student housing complex. An opening is slated for September 1.

The second location will be located in DC proper at 2121 K Street NW. It is tentatively scheduled to open later this year.

UPDATE IIMetrocurean is reporting that the DC location of Bobby’s Burger Shack is expected to open on Tuesday, August 16.

Fresh Grill: A Better Burger in Bethesda

20 Oct

While burger places in the area have come (BGR: The Burger Joint) and gone (Crossfire), Fresh Grill quietly opened this past summer and perhaps offers the best patties yet.

Rachel and I have been meaning to try this place for awhile as bloggers and Yelpers alike have raved about the beef that is currently being served up on the corner of Fairmont and Woodmont Avenue.

We arrived in time for their Happy Hour, which runs from 5 to 7pm. Appetizers were half off as long as you purchased a beverage, which themselves were offered at a 25% discount. We started the evening off with an order of “Mini Me” grilled chicken sliders as well as a couple of bottles of Dogfish and UFO.

Fresh Grill already gets some points in our book for offering some excellent microbrew selections, and for $4 per bottle during Happy Hour, I dare you to find a better deal for some 60 Minute IPA.

The ClassicBack to business, the real reason we were here was evident: the burgers. Fresh Grill offers plenty of pre-constructed options that start at $9.95, or one can build their own burger for $7.95.  All preparations come standard with lettuce, tomatoes, mayo, and a side of their house-made chips.

I was debating between the Dragon’s Breath (pepper jack cheese, red onions, charred jalapeno peppers, fire sauce, coleslaw) and The Hangover (sunny side up egg, cheddar, and bacon… very similar to the Gus Burger at The White Spot in Charlottesville), but decided to keep it simple and ultimately went with The Classic.

The burger featured applewood smoked bacon and cheddar cheese, but I also added sautéed onions as well (one of several toppings that can be added for an additional dollar or two). I also asked to exclude the mayo (I’ve just never liked mayonnaise on burgers, ever) as well as to have it cooked medium.

The order was complete in no more than ten minutes when I picked up my plate and noticed a steak knife punctured right in the middle of a beautifully stacked patty. Crafty presentation, I have to admit.

The Domo BurgerI placed the top half of the bun on the burger and took my first bite. My word was it delicious! The half pound of cooked Angus beef was incredibly juicy while the mixture of the bacon, cheddar, and onions made me not wanting to put it down. I could’ve devoured it without any toppings whatsoever just because I was so impressed with the quality of the meat itself.

Now, Rachel has never herself been a burger fan. Many times when we go out, she will opt for a veggie or turkey burger, or even a hot dog. Growing up, she just never really enjoyed the taste of hamburger meat. However, she also felt this way about many different vegetables and types of fish that she now loves, and even prefers most nights.

So, when going to an establishment that prides itself on quality hamburgers, she decided to take the plunge and actually get a burger, instead of their “world famous chicken sandwich” or “world famous fish sandwich”, or even their special veggie burger of the month.

She decided on the Domo Burger, which had a soy sauce glaze, topped with caramelized onions and portabella mushrooms. And I think it’s safe to say, Rachel enjoyed her burger.

The only trouble is, Fresh Grill may have set the bar fairly high for other burgers to come, but we have no problem heading back there very soon to try a different kind.

Fresh Grill on Urbanspoon

Taste of Bethesda 2010: Brett's Take

4 Oct

You could not have asked for a better day for this year’s Taste of Bethesda. The weather was perfect, there were new restaurants to explore, and most importantly, we didn’t have to worry about parking.

Fresh Grill: Our first stop was Bethesda’s latest burger entrant, Fresh Grill.They have received some praise over on Yelp since their recent opening, so I decided to check out what they had to offer. I usually shy away from using tickets on samples of a slider, but I have to admit, I walked away impressed.

Fresh Grill slider

The bun was fresh, the bacon was thick, and the beef was juicy. Now I want to know what an entire cheeseburger tastes like from this place. Good stuff (and no, I’m not referring to Spike’s).

Bistro Provence: This was supposed to be our next stop as I was very much anticipating Yannick Cam’s French cuisine, but much to our dismay, the bistro’s kiosk was nowhere to be found! Quite a disappointment as they were originally advertised to be a part of Taste of Bethesda. They were even listed on the map handouts!

Nest Café: Nest has proven time and time again that they are one of the most underrated venues in Bethesda. Not only were they offering an array of higher-end options at their booth, but they had separate lines dedicated to each of the entrees they were serving up.

Nest preparing musselsNest preparing BBQ brisket Nest and their BBQ brisket

The left line featured mussels which were being freshly prepared in what looked like a delicious broth.  I opted for the line on the right, which was not a sample mind you, but an entire serving of their “Drive by BBQ”.

Customers had their choice of meat (brisket, chicken, pulled pork) as well as sauce (I went with the brisket and Texas molasses-blend sauce), and let me tell you, it basically represented my lunch for the day and rendered all other tickets nearly useless.Nest's BBQ Brisket Sandwich

For the cost of four tickets, which is essentially five dollars, customers received an overstuffed sandwich full of brisket, drenched in sauce, all atop a hearty bun. I had to sit down at a nearby table to consume all of it, but once again, Nest delivered.

In comparison, the same sandwich would cost you $13.95 at a table inside Nest, excluding the accompanying fries and coleslaw. Basically, it’s downright refreshing to see restaurants such as Nest actually take the time to offer a full portion of their menu’s offerings during Taste of Bethesda for such an unbelievable value.

Morton’s of Bethesda: For one careless reason or another, I decided to waste two tickets on their petit filet mignon sandwich.  Between the meat being well done (if you could even find it), and the oversized potato roll, this was a poor decision and even worse sample. For such a high-class establishment, I would have expected better from them.

Yamas: The newly-opened Greek restaurant was offering samples of gyros and falafel, so I went with the latter since I had already had my fair share of meat for the day.

The chick peas were fresh, crispy, and overall had good flavor. Not as tasty as Amsterdam Falafel, but I liked it. The size of the portion was fairy generous as well. My only pet peeve was the use of whole wheat pita. It just did not taste nearly as good as regular pita bread. The texture, dryness, and overall bland flavor just takes the entire dish down a notch.

Olazzo: I decided to use the last of our tickets at a neighborhood staple, Olazzo. I went with the Penne Rose with meatball for a cost of three tickets. Unsurprisingly, the dish was excellent. The rose sauce was thick and creamy while you could taste all the wonderful spices the house-made meatball was prepared with. The two together made for a great combination.

Penne Rose from Olazzo

Overall, I’d say the entire day was a success. While there was only one misstep (Morton’s), the rest of the venues I tried were solid choices. Now if only people wouldn’t take their enormously-sized dogs that could carry small children on top of, I’d be a happy man.