Burger Day’s 2012 Burgers of the Year
Another year gone by and, once again, the Crew has left a path of greasy destruction in its wake.
The year of 2012 has been 12 months of beef, buns, booze and a whole lotta fun. We’ve had burger highlights (SoBe, BD V), burger lowlights (the VI, the Z-Burger Curse) and a hell of a lot in between. After all’s been said and done, we’re a year older, arguably a year wiser and, undoubtedly, a year (or two) fatter. But all that weight and cholesterol gain has not been in vain, as we’ve accumulated another 365 days of burger knowledge and made some amazing new burger discoveries in the D.M.V.
Just like in 2011, we asked each member of the Burger Days Crew for their favorite beef-and-bun experience from the past year. Now keep in mind, we’re not calling this one of those ubiquitous “Best Of D.C.” lists that you’ll find at every other online site. No, these selections –our Burgers of the Year— aren’t necessarily the Best of D.C., but each one was our favorite burger that we ate during the last 12 months. And knowing our resume and how many burgers we throw into our face on the regular, you better damn well believe that counts for something.
So, without further delay, Burger Days’ 2012 Burgers of the Year:
Mad Fox’s Cowboy Burger
Mad Fox Brewing Company | 444 West Broad Street | Falls Church | madfoxbrewing.com | @madfoxbrewing
Adam (@addc) says: In the last year I’ve had the full gamut of burgers, from frozen White Castles microwaved at 2 A.M. to a $19 Steak Burger at Bourbon Steak. For me, the Burger of the Year needs to stand out and make people hungry when you describe it. It needs to be a combination of everything that makes a burger good: bacon, cheese, sauce, grease, and of course, delicious meat. Naturally, my BOTY has all of these things and some of them twice. Say hello to Mad Fox’s Cowboy Burger, a double-pattied, double cheese, double bacon burger with a BBQ brisket stuffed beer battered onion ring in the middle and horseradish BBQ mayo. This thing was everything I’ve ever wanted in a burger and then they doubled it. Creative, delicious, greasy, meaty. All it needs is a regular spot on their menu.
Other Notable 2012 Burgs: Standard’s off-menu Pulled Pork and Coleslaw Cheeseburger, Bourbon Steak’s Steak Burger
Adam’s 2011 BOTY: BGR’s Red, White & Blue Burger
Shake Shack’s Double ShackBurger at Nationals Park
Shake Shack at Nats Park | 1500 South Capitol Street SW | DC | shakeshack.com | @shakeshack Wipps (@wipps) says: When Shake Shack first opened at Nationals Park I was giddy (like a 9-year old on Christmas Eve) with excitement. At my first game that season I dragged my wife out to center field to stand in the long line to get our first taste of what I had been told was the best burger around. I was sorely disappointed. The burgers had obviously sat out, the flavor was missing and we were not happy. Fast forward a year and just like the Washington Nationals, Shake Shack at the stadium put it all together. Maybe it was the pennant race, maybe it was the aura of good feelings throughout D.C. in early fall, but when I went back to Shake Shack in September I tasted the simple greatness that Shake Shack provides. The juices were overflowing, the potato roll held in all the components with perfection and the burger was pure bliss. A friend of mine tried Shake Shack for the first time that night and for nine innings all he spoke about was the burger. The Nationals clinched their first ever playoff spot that night, but the entire trip home was spent reminiscing about two beef patties that hit a meaty home run.
Other Notable 2012 Burgs: Market Burger, Z-Burger
Wipps’ 2011 BOTY: Black Squirrel’s Burger
BGR’s Chili Mac
Murph says: I still love the spice, and 2012 offered a few new spicy favorites such as the Popper from the new Del Ray joint, Holy Cow. However, if I had to choose one burger to eat before the end of the world (hopefully not tomorrow– silly Mayans), I’d choose the Chili Mac Burger from BGR. The only problem is that I can’t have it whenever I’d like, because it’s only offered one month a year as the BOTM, maybe that’s why I crave it so. I love the crunch of the Fritos; Ben’s ain’t got nothin’ on this chili; and you can’t go wrong with the shredded cheddar. Add some fresh jalapeño and I’d probably call this my favorite burg ever! In the words of Frito Bandito, Ai Yi Yi Yi, that’s nice!
Other Notable 2012 Burgs: Holy Cow Del Ray’s Popper Burger
Murph’s 2011 BOTY: Burger Tap & Shake’s Apache Sweat Lodge
Granville Moore’s Sunrise Burger
Granville Moore’s | 1238 H Street NE | DC | granvillemoores.com | @granvillemoores
Shabazz (@yaysaps) says: I am not a big fan of runny eggs, but one bite of Granville Moore’s Sunrise Burger made me take a hard look at my longstanding “over hard” policy on all fried eggs. On paper, this burger* topped with aged cheddar and applewood smoked bacon on a potato kaiser roll reads like a real winner, but what to do about that sunny-side up egg? As soon as our waitress placed that beautiful beast in front of me the answer was clear; the burger looked so good and juicy I just needed to go for it. And boy howdy, am I glad I did! Every bite of this burger is an amazing combination of savory beef, salty, sweet bacon and creamy egg. This burger did more than simply fill my belly with brunchy glory, it changed my entire eggy ideology. Available only on the weekend brunch menu, this burger is one of the District’s “must eats.”
Other Notable 2012 Burgs: Dino’s Burger, 2941’s Beef Burger
Shabazz’ 2011 BOTY: Stoney’s Texas Burger
*While the menu says bison, the patty was beef on the day I ate this beautiful beast
Bobby’s Burger Palace Bacon & Goat Cheese Burger
JFly says: This year I ate burgers. LOTS of burgers. I had some of the most creative burgers I have ever wrapped my teeth around. This year had many stand-outs that could have been BOTYs– I could have chosen the burger served up between two fluffy Belgian waffles or maybe the burger in England topped with blood sausage on it. But no, neither of those could top the one I had on K Street. During our boozy romp on BDV: St. Beef Paddy’s Day, we stopped at Bobby’s Burger Palace and I found my soul mate. I stared at the menu for a few minutes and then it hit me. I needed to combine two of Bobby’s creations into one worthy of JFly’s palate. I went with a Bobby’s Blue Cheese and Napa Valley Burger hybrid and came away with a burger with goat cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato. I took the first bite and the second I tasted that warm melted goat cheese I knew it was a winner. I made short work of my tasty creation and thought strongly about ordering another but the day was young…and more burgers were on the agenda. Though none that day –or any more during the year– have measured up for this guy.
Other Notable 2012 Burgs: 2941’s Beef Burger, Granville Moore’s Sunrise Burger
JFly’s 2011 BOTY: 1905 Burger
2941 ‘s The All American
Jody (@burgerdays) says: First off, I’ll get this out of the way– I am excluding Shake Shack from all future BOTY consideration as that heavenly ball of bliss would take the crown every time if I let it. So, cross that off the list. But, I tell you what, the burger I had from 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church this year was so damn close to perfection, that it may soon find itself in Shack territory. Honestly, I was f**king flabbergasted when I bit into the coarse-ground, 70-30 mix of short rib, chuck and brisket from Chef Bertrand Chemel. I had no idea a swanky, fancy-ass joint like that could do a burger so right. Now, I’m not gonna lie, his duck burger is phenomenal (and better), but when it comes to beef, bun and cheese* –a burger in its purist form– 2941’s is one of the best I’ve eaten. Ever. If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor and get your ass to Falls Church and check it out ASAP. And say what’s up to the horde of freakishly large goldfish while you’re there too.
Other Notable 2012 Burgs: Dino’s Burger, Ted’s Bulletin’s Southwest (West Virginia) Burger, The Big Board’s Ciao Bella
Jody’s 2011 BOTY: ShakeShack’s Double ShackBurger
* Don’t even think of topping it with the supplied lettuce, tomato and onion.