Friday, September 14, 2012

Burger, Tap & Shake Food Review

Fries, View Boost BTS

I love burgers. Almost everyone loves burgers: That's why DC is full of places to get them. Despite the apparent surplus of options, I always get excited when I learn of a new entry in DC's burger wars. After visiting my Aunt Nessa at George Washington Hospital (yes, she's fine... her surgery was a great success!) I discovered Burger, Tap & Shake (BTS) right across the street, just off Washington Circle on Pennsylvania Avenue.

As with most places, I'm a little late to the party. BTS opened for business last year, and I assumed that it was part of the swankier District Commons. It turns out I was partially correct: BTS and District Commons are both part of the Passion Food Restaurant Group (Acadiana, Ceiba, DC Coast) but BTS makes for a better choice (especially when you're wearing shorts and a polo.)

Ideally located, BTS is an inviting space with several tables available outside (if you like to eat alongside a well traveled driving circle.) Inside, the atmosphere is pleasing and tables spaced neatly throughout (in addition to a few booths towards the back.) It's order-at-the-counter, seat yourself fare, but my order taker (Celia) couldn't have been nicer. I kept it basic for my initial order (Six Buck Chuck, fries and a fountain drink... 6, 3 and 2 dollars respectively) but you can choose burgers made from chicken, falafel, pork & veal... even Texas Chili. My pager went off minutes later, and I picked up my order served neatly on a metal sheet pan (no plate.) A manager-type was chatting with guests at the bar, but still took the time to greet me and confirm my order.

I had a late lunch (2:40) but appreciated the buzz inside and out. It wasn't too crowded, but the panoramic view of a bustling wrap-around sidewalk was great to look at. The food (ah yes, the food) was better than average. Fries are hand-cut (a little small for my taste) but seasoned perfectly and delicious. The burger (ordered medium) was cooked a little unevenly (almost well-done on one end) but tasty. The bun was soft (I like mine crispy off the grill) and the condiments (lettuce, onions and tomato) generous and fresh.

I'll definitely return to test another burger and try one of their $5 shakes (black cherry, yum.) The after-5 crowd will appreciate a wide assortment of ales and lagers ($5 during Happy Hour) as well as wine and canned beer (Bud, Miller Light.) Earlier this year, BTS tried their hand at breakfast, but switched to early lunch in August: Too bad, as breakfast at the hospital cafeteria didn't exactly take my breath away yesterday.

Atmosphere: B+
Burger: B-
Fries: A-
Price: B
Overall: B