Friday, September 1, 2017

Red Apron Burger Bar Food Review

El Jefe (r) and Red Apron Fries at Red Apron Burger Bar

I have good news and bad news about Red Apron Burger Bar. First the bad... They're moving out of Dupont Circle (this Sunday, September 3) and into sister location Eatbar in Barracks Row. The good news is, today's late lunch was yummy enough to warrant a return trip crosstown. Lucky for you (and me) it reopens Tuesday the 5th.

Neighborhood Restaurant Group's GBD closed last year after a successful three-year run at 1323 Connecticut Avenue, NW. Red Apron Burger took over, but lasted a mere seven months before calling it quits. Perhaps the rent's too high, or maybe the space is cursed. Who knows? Either way, the fast-casual scene in Dupont Circle has lost one of its brighter stars.

Ambiance: Brighter isn't the first word that leaps to mind re: Red Apron Burger Bar. Like big brother Red Apron Butchery, it's relatively dark inside, but cool & sexy (for a burger restaurant.) The music is hit or miss (Hit: A Tribe Called Quest, Miss: The Morlocks.) Tables are comfy, and I especially like the cozy counter area by the front window, which provides some much-needed natural light.

Food: The fries are a tad pricey ($3.50) but delicious, cooked in beef fat with generous doses of roasted garlic and rosemary. They're nice & crispy, and require no additional seasoning. I could literally devour three servings, without batting an eye. The El Jefe is equally endearing, featuring spicy chorizo over standard issue beef. Worried it's too spicy? Fear not, there's creamy avocado to cool things down, in addition to smoked chimichurri and pickled red onions for crunch. Sour cream is available also, but it's soft enough already.

Service: No-nonsense, but friendly and quick (with a smile.)

Value: $8.75 for a chorizo burger (with premium ingredients) is a steal, and the fries are worth every penny. That said, I still had to leave a $5 tip which brings the bill dangerously close to 20 bucks for a burger and fries (with no drink.)

Overall: When you eat as many burgers as I do, it's nice to try something different (and delicious.) The fries rank near the best in DC, and the friendly/timely service keeps you coming back for more. Hate to see it go; but it's good enough to hop onto the Blue, Orange or Silver Lines to get to.