Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ollie's Trolley Food Review

Ollie Burger and fries

Fries Steal the Show at Ollie's

The word character doesn't exactly leap to mind when discussing DC's culinary scene. Sure there's Ben's Chili Bowl and perhaps Old Ebbitt Grill for old school Washington insiders; but outside of that, how many places look and feel like a piece of history? Allow me to offer (for your humble consideration) Ollie's Trolley at the corner of 12th and E Streets, NW... a quirky DC landmark (am I taking liberties?) that's been serving burgers and fries for over 30 years.

Before you get too excited, Ollie's isn't the type of place you want to take a hot date, your boss or anyone else you're trying to impress. No, Ollie's is where you go to get in touch with your nostalgic side. Known affectionately for its famous Ollie Burger, I prefer to think of Ollie's as home of the best french fries in the world.

You read correctly. I've yet to taste any fry that trumps Ollie's 26 herbs and spices concoction. In fact, they're so good, I usually order nothing else but fries. Trick is, DC Outlook is all about the burgers, so I ordered both earlier tonight before heading over to nearby Landmark E Street Cinema for a preview screening of Deadfall.

The service is rather robotic at Ollie's, void of emotion. Not exactly rude per se, but almost Soup Nazi-esque in nature. The atmosphere is great, but I've had to deal with some of DC's pushier homeless on more than one occasion here... but thankfully not tonight. After a bit of a wait, my number was called and I picked up my order. The burger was cooked perfectly (medium, as promised) and surpassed my overall expectations. It's not the biggest patty (1/3 lb.) but it's pretty substantial and tasty. The bun fits the burger like a glove, and gets bonus points for being nice and toasty.

The fries are without equal. Available in two sizes, I can't imagine ordering anything less than the large (which costs $3.89.) I'd do just about anything to get my hands on their recipe, but I'm guessing this is one secret that never sees the light of day. Ollie's may not be the friendliest spot in town, but their fries alone are worth the trip.

Atmosphere: B (It's like traveling back in time.)
Burger: B (One of their better efforts in recent memory.)
Fries: A+ (Best in the world. See for yourself.)
Price: C+ (Just under 10 bucks for a burger and fries, no drink.)
Service: C (They weren't that busy tonight... Lighten up guys: You're selling burgers and fries.)
Overall: B (Solid as they come, Ollie's is a must for their fries... Just don't expect anything too fancy.)