BOTM Review for June: Tatanka, The Q, Caesar & Taco Burgers

We’re champions of creativity here at Burger Days– it’s one of the reasons we highlight the area’s special monthly burgers with our BOTM posts. Not content with just reading about them, we also make it our mission to seek out and throw each of these creations into our faces. The latest BOTM review comes via Matt (@yaysaps) who gives the run down of June's burgers.


The “Q” (aka White Trash Burger) - BGR the Burger Joint

What it is: Pulled pork  and coleslaw on the top, pickles on the bottom and certified prime burger in the middle What it was: I’m going to be slightly more critical of this burger than the others for a couple of reasons. The first is simply because BGR is such a solid burger spot, I tend to hold them to a higher standard. The second is because this burger concept falls right into my wheel house; transforming something from a meal to a condiment. See that bowl of chili over there? Cover a burger with it, and it becomes a topping. That’s a nice breakfast platter you’ve got there...throw it on a burger and it's no different than lettuce and tomato! When it works right, the meal / topping transmogrification is pure magic (see Granville Moore’s Sunrise Burger). The trick however, is clearly identifying the roles between the featured act and the supporting cast. The reason Cincinnati style is the prefered chili topping is because a thick, hearty chili would distract from whatever meat lay beneath. In BGR's case, the pulled pork used to top the burger was a bit too thick and hearty to serve as a condiment. While the pulled pork and BBQ sauce was really quite delicious, it was too much of a spotlight hog. Was this a BBQ sandwich with a burger topping, or a burger with a BBQ topping? BOTM Rating (out of 10): Creativity: 7; Overall: 8 9 Locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia |  


Tatanka - Burger, Tap & Shake

What it is: American bison burger, buffalo mozzarella, tobacco onions, chipotle BBQ sauce What it was: I don’t think I’ve ever adequately posted my feelings on BTS, so let's just make it official; BTS is my favorite burger spot in the city! OK, now that my BTS bias has been well established, I will say the Tatanka was not only my favorite BOTM, but it’s a leading candidate for my BOTY. Often there’s a whimsical novelty factor when it comes to Burgers of the Month - a mad scientist "tinkering" which may result in some fun creations, but rarely anything that I’d order on a regular basis. Not the case with this bad boy, no sir....this burger deserves a place in the spotlight. The Tatanka gets it started where it counts-- with the meat. The bison patty was full of flavor, and despite being a more lean meat than your standard ground chuck, it was super juicy (ordered medium rare, and it came out on point). While the buffalo mozzarella was a fun choice and the onion straws were a nice, the real star of this burger is the chipotle BBQ sauce. Smokey, sweet with just the right amount of heat...if the Tatanka doesn’t make it into the full-time rotation, BTS needs to at least hook us up with the sauce. Everything comes together to create a truly desirable burger. I had the Tatanka twice during the month, and as I write this, my tummy is growling for a third. BOTM Rating (out of 10): Creativity: 7; Overall: 10 2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW | DC |   


Caesar Burger - Bobby's Burger Palace

What it is: Romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressing mayo (and beef, of course). What it was: Another solid albeit unspectacular burger offering from BBP, this month's BOTM gets high marks for delivering a burger that really did taste like Caesar Salad on a bun but lost points where it matters most....the beef! The Caesar mayo was actually quite good, and the crisp lettuce gave a great crunch against the soft sesame seed bun. But the beef.....the beef was just kind of lost in there. The burger looked great when it came out and it was super juicy, but ultimately under-seasoned and underwhelming. And that's kind of my take on BBP in general; creative menu, great looking burgers, and a great pedigree, yet I've never been blown away by any of my visits. I'm a big fan of Chef Flay, and I really want to dig hits burgers, but they can't keep slinging bland beef, no matter how well they pull off the rest of the toppings. BOTM Rating (out of 10): Creativity: 8; Overall: 7 2121 K Street, NW | DC |   

dogwoodtacobotm - Copy

Taco Burger - Dogwood Tavern

What it is: Taco seasoned beef with pico de gallo, avocado and crispy tortilla strips What it was: Of all the BOTMs on the list, this was the one I was excited about the least. I just couldn't see how they could pull off the taco concept, and I really wasn't sure how a taco flavored burger would even taste. We'll, I'll tell you how a taco flavored burger tastes like a taco. It tastes EXACTLY how it sounds. The key to this burger's success is that the taco seasoning is actually mixed in with the ground beef rather than just sprinkled on top while the burger cooks on the grill. Now, maybe they went a little heavy handed with the taco seasoning, but if you're gonna miss with a BOTM, tis better to err on the side of flavor. This is exactly the kind of mad scientist creation I mentioned earlier; Tacos...good...Burgers....gooood....put em together? Why the hell not?! I enjoyed every salty bite, not just because of the taste (which really was good), but because they actually pulled off something I didn't think was possible. I can't remembered the last time I had so much fun eating a burger. Hilarious and tasty, the taco burger delivered something I really wasn't expecting, yet exactly what you'd think. BOTM Rating (out of 10): Creativity: 10; Overall: 8 132 West Broad Street | Falls Church |   June BOTM Rankings:  1) Dogwood Tavern - Taco Burger (9) 2) Burger Tap & Shake – Tatanka (8.5) 3) BGR The Burger Joint – The "Q" (7.5) 4) Bobby's Burger Palace – Caesar Burger (7.5) May's BOTM Review  

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