I love a good hamburger, almost (gasp) as much as I love a good cup of coffee. Horrible, I know, but to me, a hamburger is the perfect food. You have protein and veggie held together with enough carb so that you don’t get your fingers dirty. I love that too… I can eat a hamburger with my hands and it’s perfectly acceptable and not nearly as messy as a bucket of wings.
Needless to say, if I’m out and about and there’s a burger on the menu, I’ll try it. If there’s bacon and guacamole, I’ll load it up. And, as long as it’s a “real restaurant,” I’m usually happy. I’m not a fan of Fuddruckers, but enjoy Red Robin. Fast food restos need not apply. Even 5 Guys, to me, is average. My husband grills better.
So, with my own set of expectations and an appetite, I stopped in The Burger Joint today for lunch. It’s long and narrow with some of the original brick left in places otherwise painted with bright colors. The chandeliers are created from triangular PVC connectors and multi-colored light bulbs and the decor on the walls is sort of rock and roll kitschy. Televisions run music videos and a friendly face stands waiting for our order because burgers here are made to order just the way we want them. No short cuts, no heat lamps, no hurry.
The menu isn’t long, but it’s overwhelming because of the choices. Other than the natural, aged, grain-fed beef, there’s also Ahi tuna, turkey, veggie, lamb, and even lobster burgers available. Honestly, I’d love to try one of each (except may be the veggie), but after today’s burger, I don’t know if I ever will. I ordered the daily lunch special, The Box Set, that came with a regular burger, fries, and a drink for just $8.99.
I chose my burger medium done with lettuce, tomato, Applewood smoked bacon, and blue cheese on their classic brioche bun with Yukon Gold fries, then quickly ran to claim the last table as I saw a line form behind me. My daughter ordered the same burger (copy cat), but with onions. Good choice… they were caramelized!
There aren’t waiters here, but it doesn’t matter. They’ll call your name until you hear them and head up to the long counter to fetch it. And then all conversation will cease anyway because you’ll be so entirely wrapped up in the eating and savoring experience that the only sounds are an occasional squeal of delight, mmmm, or the sound of a napkin catching a tomato juice drip from your chin.
My burger was huge – you know, one of those burgers that you have to hold with two hands and then squish down enough so that you can actually take a bite and then you’re still wishing that you could unhinge your jaw like a snake and gobble it all up, it’s that good. That Applewood smoked bacon is ROSEMARY applewood smoked bacon with beautiful rosemary leaves sprinkled on it and so packed with flavor. The blue cheese, heavenly. The tomato wasn’t one of those anemic things that you often see thrown on a sandwich. This one was 1/2″ thick, bright red, extremely delicious, and juicy! The burger was so intensely flavored that it didn’t cower to all the other amazing flavors, but stood its own as the star of the show and allowed the others to complement it.
The fries were good. They offer sweet potato fries, onion rings, and grilled asparagus spears with parmesan cheese, but in my rush to order I stuck with the standard potato. They’re good, but I will try a different fry next time. Needless to say, the entire meal here was heavenly, so much so that I got lost in the eating experience and never managed to snap a photo with my real camera.
I can say with complete certainty that this is the best burger that I’ve ever eaten and I’m pretty sure my caramelized onion eating daughter would concur. I can also say that there’s very little chance that I will try any other restaurants at Dupont Circle now that I know this one which is sort of sad, but worth it. I love this burger. The really great thing is that there is more than one AND if you wanted to eat one of these daily, you could even open your own.