Saturday, November 17, 2012

BGR: The Burger Joint Food Review

Hardly to Die For

BGR: The Burger Joint claims to offer "One burger YOU MUST HAVE before you die." Those are pretty strong words that could bite you in the a*s, if you don't have a great burger to back it up. After trying BGR for the second time earlier today, I think it's safe to say I can die unhappy having had two of the most unmemorable burger experiences ever.

I realize my words must sound harsh, but given BGR's reputation as one of the best burgers in town, I had a certain level of expectations. Ideally located just north of Dupont Circle at 1514 Connecticut Avenue, BGR disappoints the moment you step inside. For starters, BGR is dark (creepy during daylight hours, if you ask me.) The space is tight with a long, narrow entrance to the register. Things started to look brighter, once I was greeted by a cheerful cashier. I ordered "The Burger" with regular fries and a fountain drink. $6.99 for the burger, $2.89 for the fries and $2.29 for the pop. Total with tax... $13.39 (pricier than most.)

You get one of those annoying pagers when you order, the kind that makes a big racket when it goes off. I navigated yet another narrow aisle to a table near the front, when I noticed an annoyed looking character sulking about the restaurant. It turns out he works there: Go figure. He walked around a couple of times before settling near the grill... Not tidying up or anything, just "hanging out." The same guy could be heard carrying on with his fellow workers a few minutes later... loud enough that I could easily hear them clear across the room. Very unprofessional... More of a playground atmosphere, than a place of business.

My pager went off some time later, and I picked up my food. The presentation was blah, as were the plentiful fries, which were big and tasteless... many with burned edges. My burger was cooked properly (medium) but its charred exterior gave it an undesirable crispy taste. Each bite pushed the burger further and further apart, making it difficult to handle. Grilled onions (I prefer raw) were tasty enough, but messy... making it even harder to hold. Before I was done, my hands were covered in grease and onions. Not cool. On a positive note, the bun was delicious (even though it was a little too small for the burger.)

Sodas are dispensed via one of those cool, new Coca Cola machines... Points! Unfortunately, eating a so-so burger and lousy fries in a dark, narrow cave isn't my idea of a good time.

Atmosphere: D- (Between the noisy employees, darkness and tight fit, I'd have to say... lousy.)
Burger: C- (Must-have? I don't think so.)
Fries: D (Burned edges are practically inexcusable.)
Price: C- (Must-have burgers don't come cheap.)
Service: C- (My cashier was awesome, but the rest of the staff...)
Overall: D (I just don't see what all the fuss is about. Maybe I need to explore some of the zestier options... The Cuban, The Greek, because the basics just aren't getting it done.)