Sunday, July 19, 2015

3rd Annual DC BRGR Bash Photo Recap

Yesterday was my first (of hopefully many) DC BRGR Bashes. The third annual affair was everything a burger lover could hope for... 16 different burgers by some of the biggest names in the (burger) business, great beer and music, and clear skies (I arrived just after 1 PM, after the rain.) Tastings were divided up into four categories, called "Flights." I lucked out with Flight A, which included Big Buns, Medium Rare, RIS and the day's big winner (and defending champion) Willow Restaurant. Check out my mini reviews of each, along with our photo recap...

Big Buns: We loved 'em before (see our A- review here) and Big Buns certainly lived up its to name with the BIGGEST burger of our bunch. Wagyu beef, inside a tasty butter bun with a bonus sausage link on top... this behemoth could easily fetch full-price on their regular menu. Lots of shiitake mushrooms and a zesty dijon miso mayo too. Pretty good overall, but a tad overcooked.

Grade: B-

The "Freatom Fighter" from Big Buns

Medium Rare: This Cleveland Park (and Barracks Row) favorite never fails to impress, and yesterday's burger was no exception. In fact (surprise, surprise) it was our favorite. How can you argue with bacon-onion jam, 'Chups cherry ketchup and a shiny quail egg on top? MR's house blend of beef is to die for, and the buttered bun... scrumptious beyond words. The lone negative? Too small, especially the bun; but in regards to taste, an easy (to devour) A! P.S. How long before it's on the permanent menu?

Grade: B+

Medium Rare's unofficial breakfast burger

RIS: Bless Ris Lacoste's heart for offering two choices - A Cheeseburger with a trio of cheeses (Von Trapp "Oma," Mycella Blue and Brabander Goat Gouda) and my selection... a tasty RIS Burger (minus Prairie Breeze Cheddar) with secret sauce, bread & butter pickles and onion jam. One person's idea of plain is another's copy of near-perfection; and RIS finishes a close second with this well-seasoned, perfectly cooked burger. All that's missing, is the recipe for that secret sauce...

Grade: B

RIS Burger

Willow Restaurant: Hats off to Willow for repeating as champions; but despite looking better than everyone else, my sample was an absolute disaster. Start with "greasy to a fault," especially the deep-fried potato wedge, and finish with an almost raw burger. Blue rare, as in "spit-it-out right away." Obviously, it was a rare (pun intended) exception and not the rule; but it's advertised as medium-rare to medium, not blue. On a positive note, I totally dug the Saint AndrĂ© Truffle Cheese on the side (brilliant idea and very tasty.)

Grade: F

The Smokey Saint from Willow Restaurant

And our token goes to...


Rockin' with Jeff from Accounting


Appropriately BIG assembly line at Big Buns

Decisions, decisions at Medium Rare

Final touches at RIS

Repeat Champs: Willow Restaurant

Behind the scenes at Medium Rare