Saturday, December 8, 2012

Black & Orange Food Review

Black, Orange & Delicious

In a city plagued by its lack of late night dining options, Dupont Circle's Black & Orange stands out as a great place to chow down at four in the morning. My days of staying out late/partying are (for the most part) sadly over, but it's nice to know there's somewhere worth going if I get the itch.

Formerly Rogue States, Chef Raynold Mendizabal's burger joint is open until 5:00 AM Friday & Saturday, 3:00 AM Wednesday & Thursday, and 11 PM Sunday through Tuesday; but it ain't too shabby during daylight hours, as I discovered late this afternoon. When I walked in around 5:15 PM, there was only one other customer waiting for a carry out order. My cashier was polite, yet reserved; and took my order for a welterweight (quarter pound) Rogue State burger with beer battered onion rings. I grabbed a complimentary cup of water from the grill station (6 oz. plastic cups... Wish they'd spring for bigger, so customers wouldn't have to get up multiple times for refills) and took a seat near the front.

It didn't take long for a super nice associate to deliver my food (now, I felt special.) As good as the food is at Black & Orange, they need to work on their presentation. The burger is delivered wrapped in foil and the onion rings in a small container. That's it. The least they could do is put it on a tray or something. It's a shame really, since the burgers are a thing of beauty. Mine was cooked perfectly, and came loaded with great quality toppings. The 1/4 lb. fits the bun perfectly, but I couldn't help but want more (1/3 lb. would be ideal... You could call it a super welterweight.) The beef literally comes bursting with flavor (house spice blend, chipotle, cilantro) and is unrivaled for taste (sorry Thunder Burger & Bar.) The bun is good, but nothing special. The rings are light on batter (usually beer battered means thick) and onion. The result is a solid, but rather dull onion ring. Definitely go for a dipping sauce (they offer four... plain, chipotle, Old Bay and wasabi) which immediately bumps them up a letter grade.

The Rogue State with Onion Rings

Black & Orange isn't perfect, but I can imagine what's it like at 3:00 AM after a night of drinking. Their burgers are superb: I can't wait to try No Burger, No Cry... which is house jerk blend, red onion and habanero peppers. It's also nicely priced: My burger and onion rings came to $9.45 + tax (lunch combos... welterweight/fries/soda are available for $8.95 between 11 and 4.) Great burgers, good price... Top five burger joint.

Atmosphere: B (Nice music, not too loud.)
Burger: B+ (Best flavor in town.)
Rings: B-
Price: B
Service: B
Overall: B (A+ for a late night hunger attack.)