National Hamburger Week Day 1: Mad Fox Brewery, Falls Church


The Mad Fox Burger.

It's here! The beginning of National Hamburger Week has arrived and we kicked it off today with a trip to Mad Fox Brewing Company in Falls Church. We've posted on Mad Fox's burgers in the past and the consensus from the crew has been this: quality ingredients, but consistently overcooked. So when we hit them up this afternoon for Mother's Day brunch, we were hoping they had improved upon their burger cooking skills. I ordered their signature Mad Fox Burger which comes with tomatoes, caramelized onions and shepherd's blend cheese on their in-house baked bun. And you know we don't sleep on the pork here at Burger Days, so of course I added some bacon to the mix. As was said before, all of the ingredients they use at the Fox are on point. The thick wedges of oven-roasted tomatoes were soft, juicy, sweet and quite literally bursting with flavor and the small mound of caramelized onions added a little more tart, sweetness to the mix. The Nueske's bacon was great as usual with crispy edges and soft strips of smoky, salty flavor running through each piece. And the homemade bun was really nice –light and airy with a great buttery taste– and it fit the 8 oz. patty very well. Now on to the beef.

Oh it looks so good.

The top of the burger was covered with the completely melted cheese which had filled the many beefy nooks and crannies. The outside of the patty had a slight crisp to it and I got some nice flavor from the bits of char speckled over it. Based purely on aesthetics, the burger looked delicious. But looks can be deceiving, and, unfortunately, so was the case here.

Damn the grillmaster's heavy hand. Damn it.

Once I bit through to the center, I was met with the same problem I've had way too often when ordering a burger from Mad Fox. The meat was just too overdone. The medium-rare order was served slightly past medium and the resulting patty was dry and severely lacking flavor. What a bummer. Pile on all the top-of-the-line ingredients you want, but it's not going to make up for a sub par patty. On the plus side, we really enjoyed the fries. They come crispy, well-salted and seasoned and the house-made ketchup served with them is incredibly good. It really pains me to write this because the rest of our experience at Mad Fox has been stellar. We love their beers (the Molotov Hoptail is soo good), the pork belly is a sweet, delicious slab of heaven, we could eat a mountain of their frickles and the cheese-stuffed, grilled chicken panini is one of the best sandwiches we've had in recent memory. Regrettably, however, we can no longer consider Mad Fox as a go-to spot for a burger. Until they manage to cook them up as ordered consistently, there's just too many other options on their menu that we enjoy more. (And as burger lovers, that's saying a lot.) On a positive note, we see no reason why they can't fix this stubborn problem-- everything that makes up their burger is great, they just need to be a little quicker on the grill. Mad Fox Brewing Company | 444 West Broad Street, Falls Church | 703.942.6840 |

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