Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bolt Burgers Food Review II

Marinated Chicken Breast Burger

When Bolt Burgers first opened last November, I was a tad skeptical about their self-service concept; but super excited to try their burgers, fries and onion rings. After all, DC Outlook is all about the food. My first visit was a home run... A good burger, amazing onion rings and sterling customer service. What more could I ask for? Well, french fries for one. Fried green beans for another. Time for a return trip.

As before, I received a warm welcome immediately upon entering (Customer service hasn't slipped one bit... Bravo.) It's also still immaculate inside... part diner, part upscale fast casual. Ordering remains... interesting, given Bolt Burgers' many options to do so. Three kiosks, 10 tablets, servers and (of course) a trusty cash register. That doesn't count one table, where the customer ordered via his laptop. Call me old-fashioned, but I like to keep things simple. To each their own.

Bolt Signature Fries

It doesn't matter how you order your food; so long as it remains delicious. I wanted to try their Marinated Chicken Breast Burger (Create Your Own, with fiery chili, cumin & paprika rub) with Bolt Signature Fries and Crispy, Crunchy Green Beans (both $3.50) and a Strawberries and Cream Smoothie ($6.) Ordering was a breeze (cash register) and wait times were practically non-existent (most burgers take less than four minutes to prepare.)

My smoothie came out first... a decadent flute of pink deliciousness with fresh strawberry wedges on top. I make my own breakfast smoothies almost every AM, and this isn't anything like mine. Sweet cream, vanilla and fresh strawberries = a liquid strawberry shortcake, so delicious... I almost went back for another one. It's hands down, the best tasting smoothie I've ever had; but I reckon, it's not the healthiest. For those folks in search of a boring milk shake (they're not on the menu, at least not yet) drink this instead: It's 10x better.

Crispy, Crunchy Green Beans

On to the sides. Fries and green beans arrive (piping hot) in Bolt's trademark-cute, mini frying baskets. I liked the fries (fries are fries) but they jump up a notch when dipped in Bolt's Killer Ketchup (as good a ketchup as you'll find anywhere in the DC area.) I actually preferred the green beans to the fries, especially when paired with habanero, cilantro & lime mayo. They're greasier (not a bad thing) and a whole lot messier (most literally pop out of their crunchy batter exterior.) You taste batter first; but wait a second or two and you'll find the green bean. Very nice.

Strawberries and Cream Smoothie

As for the main event... it's definitely worth waiting for. Bolt's Prime Angus Beef burger was really good; but it doesn't come close to matching its Marinated Chicken Breast compadre. Don't be afraid to go spicy (fiery chili, cumin & paprika) - the results are nothing short of spectacular. The chicken breast is already marinated to perfection; but the extra spice sends it into another stratosphere. Coupled with a scrumptious brioche bun, lettuce and tomato... it matches Ruby Tuesday's Buffalo Chicken Burger (on pretzel roll) for best chicken burger in town (while staying infinitely healthier.) Relishes (Crunchy Asian Slaw, Sweet Pepper, Onion and Olive Oil) are served on the side, and wind up being unnecessary (at least with this particular burger.) On a side note, ask for the Black Bean, Corn & Onion... it's great all by its lonesome (a la a side of cole slaw.)

Welcome to the 21st Century

Visit #2 confirms what I already knew... Bolt Burgers is here to stay. Located just two short blocks from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, it's only a matter of time before this place is packed all day (and night.) As is, it fills up with hungry office workers come lunchtime... all of whom, can expect top-notch service and tasty food. I can't wait to see what the future holds. Visit #3 won't be far off: I simply must have another Chicken Burger and Smoothie (Peach Punch, next time.)