Friday, October 28, 2011

Table for 1: Bobby's Burger Palace

So I don't really eat beef. Any of my friends would tell you, I rarely order steaks and when I go for a burger its usually of the turkey or veg variety. But lately I've been all about a good old hunk of ground red meat. Maybe it has something to do with the iron supplements I never take or maybe its just my new culinary obsession - who could forget the DC Noodles phase? I would've given them my first born.

For my weekly date, I decided to check out Bobby's Burger Palace on K Street at 21st. For weeks now, I've been passing by this place and shaking my head at its gaudy, colorful sign thinking it was a cheap food court style buffet not our city's newest celebrity chef locale.

Once inside, my mistake is made obvious as the swanky interior and mouth watering menu is far from anything a food court would offer. The menu is deep , starting with the basics - burger or cheeseburger- followed by an array of specialty choices that use high end ingredients (like goat cheese and watercress) to spruce up the common burger. Each option is available with angus beef, ground turkey, or chicken breast. BBP also offers a few sandwich and salad options, sides, and malted milkshakes. The part that really got me excited was the short but solid beverage list that includes beer, wine, and adult milkshakes.

For my first attempt at the palace, I decided to go for the Dallas Burger with angus beef - a spice crusted patty slathered in BBQ sauce and topped with coleslaw, jack cheese, and pickles. For a beverage I chose a bottle of Anchor Steam beer and I had to get a side of fries (to review of course!). The burger was tasty but very messy. My beef craving was satisfied, but all of the toppings and fixins really hid the taste of the beef. The fries were nothing exciting - thin cut like I like them but not enough flavor of their own. I had to make heavy use of the sauces at each table.

The one thing I can say really got me excited on my date was the pickle. Holy mackrel, what a pickle. I have spent way to much time and money trying to buy "the perfect pickle". Salty, garlicky; fat with a distinct crunch... Bobby Flay has my pickle! With God as my witness I will hunt down this pickle supplier like I hunted for the maker of my favorite TJ's discontinued veggie bruschetta (I wept for that bruschetta).

Evaluation: Cool atmosphere, exciting menu, but not awe-inspiring fare. I will have to visit again before I can judge accurately.


So I went back, this time with the boyfriend so I got to try two burgers. He went for the Burger of the Month for September - the Caroline Burger which was an angus patty topped with onion rings, Applewood bacon and smoked cheddar. I ordered the turkey version of the Napa Valley Burger - we're talking Meyer lemon honey mustard, watercress, and a huge dolop of goat cheese.  We also got a side of sweet potato fries and a couple beers to wash it all down.

This time, BBP really impressed me. The Napa Valley burger was practically MADE for me. I eyed it on the menu during my first visit but I was all about the beef and thought the Napa's toppings would better suit the turkey or chicken options. The combination of oozy cheese and the tangy mustard went perfectly with the turkey burger, but it would certainly complement the angus beef too (as we learned when my boyfriend starting dunking his burger in my sauce). The sweet potato fries were much better than the regular fries (also great in the mustard sauce) and the pickles are always and forever divine.

EVALUATION 2: If you like a burger just for it's beefiness, you're better off visiting Elevation Burger, but if you want yummy toppings and a beer to go with it, BBP is for you.

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