Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Elevation Burger Food Review II

Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Fresh Fries

Elevation Burger claims their burgers are "above and beyond good," but sometimes a man has to put his foot down... and order chicken. After yesterday's Grilled Chicken Sandwich at their National Harbor location (yes, I travel) it may be time to update their slogan to include delicious chicken sandwiches (I'll let someone else come up with the actual slogan.) While they're at it, they might want to toss in a word or two about their Fresh Fries, some of the hottest, (olive) oiliest spuds on the market. In other words, Elevation Burger is back (way back) in my good graces.

Less than two years ago, I finally paid my first visit to Elevation Burger. Before that, all I'd heard were good great things from a myriad of friends and strangers alike. The term "Best burger in DC" was bandied about, and I was excited. Looking back, that first burger was a mini-disappointment; but I noted, "Elevation Burger has a few things going for it," and since then, the list of positives has grown longer and longer.

Chocolate Shake

That list starts with superstar service... the kind normally reserved for a food critic or some kind of actual big shot. Since they didn't know who I was (I don't travel that much) it's safe to say they treat everybody like this... and if that's the case, each employee deserves a raise or some kind of commendation. Tops on the list? Cashier Maria, who guided me through the order process with a friendly tone and plenty of smiles. She's not the only one however, as I counted at least five different employees who took the time to ask me how I was, or at least smile and say hello. Color me impressed.

Ditto for the food (the aforementioned chicken sandwich and fries) as well as a $4.95 Chocolate Shake. Maria asked if I wanted extra mix-ins, but silly me... I chickened out, and kept it simple. For the record, each shake comes with two free add-ons, including black cherries and Oreo cookies. Don't be like me: Live a little.

That's not to say it's not a good really good shake... It is. It's very chocolatey, and comes with a long spoon for the thick parts (assuming you drink it fast, like me.) I'm not sure any shake is worth five bucks; but this is plenty good, even without the extra bells and whistles.

Hmm... five paragraphs, and I haven't even gotten to the food yet. Shame on me. The chicken sandwich is affordable ($6.25) with healthy, zesty grilled chicken and a soft, tasty bun. In between, lettuce, tomatoes and jalapeños. It comes packed inside an attractive paper wrapper, and tastes as good as it looks. Great texture too, and I highly recommend adding jalapeños for the extra bit of kick normally missing from a comparatively duller sandwich (beef's better than chicken... just deal with it.)

Meanwhile, the fries are amazing all by themselves (I had a ketchup dispenser at my table, but I never once made a reach for it.) Warning: They're a little bit greasy, but that's the (healthy) olive oil, so don't feel guilty. Said oil turns these super spuds into super-duper spuds (this is why I don't write slogans) and odds are, you won't stop eating them until they're completely gone. My only complaint? They're not available in a larger size. I guess next time, I'll order two.

As I mentioned before, service is exceptional. Orders are delivered straight to your table... even ones upstairs, where I sat. Both levels were spacious and spotless; and tables were cleaned mere seconds after a customer left. Even the napkin/trash areas were extra tidy. Two goodbyes later, and I was out the door... delicious meal in hand tummy, and faith restored.

P.S. Eating at National Harbor can be expensive. Sometimes really expensive. This takes Elevation Burger up another notch. I'll be back soon, to review another hotel and restaurant; but mark my words, I'll be having lunch at EB! Oreo cookies, here I come.