A Meaty, Greasy, Boozy Haze AKA Burger Days 5: St. Beef Paddy’s Day
Burger Days 5, D.C.’s epic collision of meat and alcohol, was a monumental success as the Crew trekked around the District inhaling beef and boozers with gusto.
This week we’ve been slowly detoxing from the severe amount of beef and alcohol consumption, but now that it’s (mostly) out of our systems, we’ve been able to piece together the hazy, blurry memories of St. Beef Paddy’s Day.
The adventure started off in Foggy Bottom at Lindy’s Red Lion, a small, cozy dive where the lineup of burgers runs just shy of 30. The Crew took to the upstairs loft and ordered a round of pitchers and burgers, and by 11:15 a.m., Burger Days 5 was officially in full effect.
Our goal, the same on every Burger Day, is to maximize intake, so while Lindy’s offers up double-pattied versions of each of their burgers, we just about universally opted for singles…..just about. One zealous member of the Crew went balls out with his premiere order, a two-pattied, hot dog topped creation with BBQ sauce and pickles known as the Burl Ives.
Also taken down at Lindy’s were the Robert, Davy Crockett, 2006 Golden Ring, Black and Bleu, a regular cheeseburger and handful of others. Some fared better than the rest, with the Davy Crockett, a burger topped with BBQ sauce mixed with bacon and fried onions, earning high praise, while the Golden Ring served with a single onion ring and a smear of ranch from a bottle, left a lot to be desired. The burgers as a whole were solid, if unspectacular, and would have been helped out with a heavier hand on the salt shaker.
But even with the under-seasoned beef, we enjoyed our time at Lindy’s and wouldn’t mind going another round or two in the future. The joint has that divish charm we love, and with a selection of burgers as robust as theirs, there’s plenty more we still need to tackle. But perhaps the best part of the whole deal: with the exception of the Burl Ives and the crab cake-topped Preakness, every single-pattied burger on the menu is five bucks or less. We can most definitely get jiggy with that.
Keeping the beef train rolling, we dipped out of Lindy’s and made a beeline for our next burger stop on the day, one of the Crew’s faves: Burger Tap & Shake.
We’ve already spit out our thoughts on Jeff Tunk’s burger joint, so we’ll just run down our burger intake: multiple Big Daddies, Southern Comforts, Six Buck Chucks, a Tejas and Apache Sweat Lodge or two entered the bellies of the Crew and gave us a solid two burger notches on the belt and it wasn’t even 2 p.m. Once again, the Southern Comfort and Big Daddy came up big, turning a blue cheese hater into a blue cheese believer and reinforcing the fact: all green tomatoes should be fried.
As for the booze, naturally copious amounts of beer were downed and on the sweeter side, the Evil Empire, BTS’s milkshake with vanilla vodka and Red Wing coffee liqueur was a popular and much-lauded choice. (If we weren’t counting burgers, that beautiful combination of ice cream and sweet alcohol was the all-star of the day.)
Post-BTS, our original intention was to head over to Bobby’s Burger Palace, but wiser(?) heads prevailed and rather than plow straight into our third burger, we opted for a beef breather and decided to introduce a booze buffer into our systems. This took us to the Bottom Line where we mixed it up with pitcher upon pitcher of green beer, whiskey and, of course, a round of car bombs. The perfect Burger Days pit stop.
After getting our full –at least for the moment– of booze, it was BBP time, and we made our official debut at the Food Network star’s joint on K Street.
Rolling deep, we filled up the plastic lacquered bars (it was remarked that the decor belonged in a casino somewhere rather than K St.) near the kitchen and awaited our burgers while sipping on some neon pink frozen cactus pear margaritas.
We admit, we’ve given BBP kind of a hard time. With a burger on the menu named for just about every other major city in the country save for D.C., we’ve been imploring them to add a District creation to the mix. While we still wait for that day, however, we’ll be more than happy feasting on their existing burgs.
We’d heard many a mixed opinion of the place, though it seemed most of the less-than-glowing reviews came when the joint was bustling. But on St. Patrick’s Day and in the middle of March Madness, with no TVs and a limited number of booze options, the place was just about empty. And if that was the only reason we got hooked up with the good burgs, so be it, because Bobby’s Burger Palace was praised by the entire crew.
The beef was smartly seasoned, fresh, flavorful and cooked to a tee, the soft and squishy burger buns were excellent and the topping combos we got hooked up with were the best we had on the day. The Buffalo Style Burger with blue cheese dressing, buffalo hot sauce and fancy watercress was set off with a pair of crispy, salty strips of bacon and a do-it-yourself number with lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon and goat cheese was deemed “nothing short of top shelf.” Even the plain and simple Crunchburger, with double American and potato chips, was a hit, though we felt the chips at BBP need an upgrade. Ditch the Lay’s or whatever weak-ass chip used and go for a heftier, crunchier kettle-style chip.
Right after Bobby’s we trekked over to DuPont, in hopes that being surrounded by the plethora of burger joints in the area would equate to another two or more down the hatch before the day was through but alas, despite our best intentions, multiple more burgs would not be in the cards for the Crew.
After a stop at Shake Shack for the fourth on the day, a fork was stuck in our burger consumption.
Maybe it was the booze –ok, it definitely was the booze– but after a round of ShackBurgers, Shack Stacks, pitchers of ShakeMesiter Ale and yes, even a bottle of Shack wine, theÂ culminationÂ of the day’s alcohol consumption sent us into straight-up binge drinking mode.
We ditched the rest of the beef and capped off the day with runs to Lucky Bar, Cafe Citron (really?) and Big Hunt where the whole thing just turned into a sloppy, meat-sweat infested shit show. This was not necessarily a bad thing…
Now, while actual Burger Days tend to lend themselves more to drinking and revelry than to the proper burgerÂ dissection and review we take on every other day of the year, we still come away with valuable lessons learned.
On the first, and what should be, annual St. Beef Paddy’s Day, we discovered:
1) For $5, Lindy’s can compete, dollar-for-dollar, with many its higher priced burger brothers. It’s a hole-in-the-wall that can fill you up with cheap burgers and beer and there sure as hell ain’t nothing wrong with that. In fact, two BD Crewmembers picked it as their favorite spot of the day.
2) For all the shit we’ve given Bobby’s Burger Palace, it really is legit. The meat, the bun, the toppings– they’re all top-notch and the joint tied for best burger during Burger Days 5.
3) BTS is already an all-star on the D.C. burger scene. Not even a year old, the spot’s burgers, beer and booze-filled shakes are tasty as all hell and the mix of it all made it the co-champ of BD 5.
4) Shake Shack is Shake Shack. Those of us that love it, love it and those that don’t like it, despise it. You know our feeling– it’s one of the best around. But all the hype it gets, coupled with the simplicity of its makeup, make for one of D.C.’s most divisive beef sandwiches. Whatever– we’ll still eat the shit out of it.
5) There’s an explicit moment on each Burger Day when the alcohol takes over the forefront of our thoughts and burgers get relegated to the backseat of our alcohol-soaked brains. This time, that moment came a split-second before we decided to order a Cabernet Franc at Shake Shack.
After five officially sanctioned Burger Days events in the can, this was by far our most successful run ever, hitting record numbers for participants, burgers swallowed, drinks downed and joints visited.Â And since all involved survived to wake up the next
morning afternoon, we can’t wait for the next one.
We tremble with anticipation for what Burger Days 6 will bring.
The Burger Days 5: St. Beef Paddy’s Day journey:
Lindy’s Red Lion | 2040 I Street NW | DC | lindysredliondc.com
Burger Tap & Shake | 2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW | DC | burgertapshake.com | @burgertapshake
Bottom Line | 1716 I Street NW | DC | thebottomlinedc.com
Bobby’s Burger Palace | 2121 K Street NW | DC | www.bobbysburgerpalace.com | @bobbysburgerpal
Shake Shack | 1216 18th Street NW | DC | shakeshack.com | @shakeshackfans
Lucky Bar | 1221 Connecticut Avenue NW | DC | luckybardc.com
Cafe Citron | 1343 Connecticut Avenue NW | DC | cafecitrondc.com
The Big Hunt | 1345 Connecticut Avenue NW | DC | thebighunt.net