Pulled Pork Burgers Top All Others in June’s BOTM Lineup

18
Jun
2014

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.

And now, we’re hitting you with the reviews while THESE BURGERS ARE STILL AROUND, so you can actually find out which of the BOTMs you should eat…or avoid.

Our review of June’s BOTMs:

btswatermansideshot

Waterman – Burger Tap & Shake

Let’s get this out of the way up front: BTS’ June Burger of the Month is not a burger. No way, no how. It’s not even one of those ambiguous ground-meat creations that, while technically not beef, could still pass as a burger in some circles. Without a doubt, the Waterman is a sandwich. Nothing more, nothing less. It IS a very good sandwich, but it’s a sandwich all the same.

Since, like Old Gregg, I’m a fan of all things that are good, I thoroughly enjoyed the soft shell Waterman, despite its burger poser status. The crab was a large, ample-sized sucker that came to the counter hot and fresh out of the fryer with a batter that evenly coated the crustacean, spindly legs and all. The legs were neatly tucked under the body which was slathered in an Old Bay remoulade that hit the palate with the classic herb-and-spice blend that’s become ubiquitous with crab eating in the area. The combination of the light, crunchy batter, sweet and delicate crab meat and spice of the seasoned sauce, all wrapped up in BTS’ excellent brioche bun, made for a quintessential summertime sandwich.

And as a sandwich, this one deserves top scores. But since we rate these things based on their success as burgers, it cannot achieve Burger Days greatness. In the end, the Waterman is worthy of eating, but not of great marks.

If this were Sandwich Days, however…

– Jody (@burgerdays)

BOTM Rating (out of 10):

Taste: 8; Creativity: 3; Overall: 4.5

Verdict:

putitinthewaste

2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW | DC | burgertapandshake.com

 

bgrwhitetrashtwobrighter

Pulled BBQ – BGR The Burger Joint

When the calendar flips over to June, you can expect a few things: warmer weather, unbearable humidity, people standing to the left on Metro escalators and the BBQ burger from BGR (OK, so maybe it was May in 2012 but I’m already on a roll).

The Pulled BBQ burger is an excellent BOTM choice and I’m never sorry to see it come around again. Yet with any burg, getting the temperature right is key. What’s the point of ordering medium if it comes out more done than the medium-well the person with you ordered? However, the good thing about this burger is, even if the patty isn’t right, you’ve still got some bomb-ass pulled pork and coleslaw to enjoy. BGR has evolved this creation over the years, easing up on the sauce and getting the balance of slaw right.

BOTM repeats like the Pulled BBQ may not get points for creativity, but this isn’t Top Iron Burger Chef DC, it’s Burger Days. You don’t mess with a good thing and this is definitely a good thing.

– Adam (@addc)

BOTM Rating (out of 10):

Taste: 8; Creativity: 3; Overall: 8

Verdict:

putitintheface

11 locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia | bgrtheburgerjoint.com

 

dogwoodbbqburger

BBQ Burger – Dogwood Tavern

The last time I took on a BBQ topped burger I was conflicted. BGR’s offering (consumed almost a year ago to the day) went a little too heavy with the pulled pork topping and I had a difficult time parsing the beef from the pig. Worst of all, it left me wondering whether it was possible to shove too much meat between two buns…and that made me feel like a rational, clear-thinking adult. And that’s just not cool.

Dogwood’s take on the burger-BBQ-pork hybrid managed to strike a more traditional balance with the pork taking its rightful role as topping, not the main course. As a result, the full flavor of the burger was allowed to shine through and, boy, did it sparkle. Always well-seasoned and packed with beefy flavor, Dogwood serves up one of the best tavern burgers in the area. I gobbled up every juicy, cheesy, BBQ-y bite without feeling confused over which meat deserved top billing. This left me free to resume thinking about un-adult things like dinosaurs and robots.

Maybe a little balance and harmony are good things.

– Matt (@yaysaps)

BOTM Rating (out of 10):

Taste: 8; Creativity: 6; Overall: 7

Verdict:

putitinthewaste

 

132 West Broad Street | Falls Church | dogwoodtavern.com

Photo: BBP

Photo: BBP

Napa Valley – Bobby’s Burger Palace

Napa Valley is an alien place to me. Anywhere you haven’t been is alien, for all the reasons laid out by Robin Williams’ character in “Good Will Hunting.”

I can read about what’s local, what’s fresh this time of year, what you’d think would top a burger such as to define it as quintessentially “Napa Valley,” but having never been, this is all guesswork. Bobby Flay tells me it’s chèvre, watercress and Meyer lemon honey mustard and I am to believe him because I have no firsthand knowledge. It jibes with what I think I know about California cuisine, but I couldn’t say one way or another it’s accurate. I can tell you, though, chèvre overpowers everything else on a burger with its salty creaminess, and not in a good way (what is it with burger places trying desperately to hide the flavor of their meat?). The watercress could be any other green, and not properly cut it comes off in a big wet wad like someone plopped cud on top of the cheese which you have to compress because it’s in puck form (I guess that’s more authentic than not?).

Finally we come to the dressing– a Meyer lemon honey mustard. Here’s the thing: mustard, lemon, honey all work stupidly well together. But Meyer lemons, grown in Napa Valley, are sweeter than your average lemon, making the honey all but redundant in the sauce. Not to mention it’s so watery and weak you get a bit of lemon flavor, a hint of mustard and a soggy bun. Not worth the effort. Needs less cheese, more punch from the greens, more zip in the sauce. At least, to make a good burger.

Maybe Napa Valley likes pointless lunch fare.

– Jeb (@jebgavin)

BOTM Rating (out of 10):

Taste: 4; Creativity: 3; Overall: 3.5

Verdict:

putitintheface

5 locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia | bobbysburgerpalace.com

 

JUNEBOTMrankings

2014YTDBOTMrankingsJune

 

 





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