Runny Eggs & Salty-Sweet Burgers Trump Fish Cakes & Pizza in February [BOTM Review]
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 February’s BOTMs:
Triple D – BGR The Burger Joint
If you can’t get creative, then you might as well put some tasty shit together.
BGR’s Triple D won’t win any awards for originality, but its combination of bacon, egg and cheese –a meal in its own right– on a beef patty is damn delicious. What was once an off-the-menu, secret item, is no longer available any ol’ time and is instead back to a once-a-year monthly special. It’s a shame, though, as this is one of the tastiest burgers available at BGR, on or off the menu.
One of the keys to this burger’s success is the egg. It’s gotta be runny. No questions asked. There is no exception. (Mini-rant time: I still can’t understand the inclusion of well-cooked egg on a burger. It boggles my mind. It adds almost no taste, the consistency is distracting and, worst of all, the chalky, dry yolk saps away a burger’s juiciness. It’s god-awful and every place that serves over well eggs on burgers should be boycotted and shamed. End rant.) BGR knows what’s up. While not as pretty as sunny side up, the over easy chicken embryo on the Triple D gets the important part right– it’s runny. Ohhhhhh, so delightfully runny. With the slightest of pressure on the top bun, a wave of golden deliciousness is sprung from the its white-walled prison and flows over beef, bacon and anything else that gets in its yolky path. It’s a beautiful sight.
The Triple D’s other components, while not exceptional, were competently prepared to provide the necessary flavor profiles to play off the egg and well-seasoned beef. The bacon was OK –but could have been crispier– and I was on the fence over the inclusion of cheddar rather than American cheese. But the orange stuff was nicely melted and hooked up a sharpness that I appreciated, so I won’t complain.
There was one ingredient, however, that I still can’t make up my mind about. I’m a big fan of spice and I absolutely LOVED the inclusion of jalapeno on this thing. It wasn’t burn-your-lips-off kinda heat but it was enough that you’d be reminded of your meal later during potty time. It was great; the kick from the pepper was tremendous and brightened up each mouthful. The problem was the delivery method. Rather than round, manageable jalapeno slices –the ideal way to deliver them to your mouth as a burger topping– there was a whole goddamn pepper on my burger, sliced into just four quarters. With the length of each piece equal to the diameter of the burger, it was just so unwieldy that the giant jalapeno wedges were left intact, dangling from my mouth after every bite. This is an easy problem to fix, however, so hopefully BGR takes note.
Pepper malfunction aside, this burger is extremely tasty and shouldn’t be limited to a BOTM. It’s as good or better than anything else BGR has on their menu and if they’re smart, they’ll give it full-time status once again.
– Jody (@burgerdays)
BOTM Rating (out of 10):
Taste: 7.5; Creativity: 4; Overall: 7
The Canadian – Bobby’s Burger Palace
Whenever you think they’re going to zig, they zag. And just when you know they’re going to zag, all the sudden they zug! Which is an incredibly stupid way of saying I’d gotten used to Bobby’s Burger Palace churning out pointless burgers of the month, slapping unnecessary and incoherent toppings on their regular burger, which is pretty solid when left alone. Except this time…
OK, so is it the best burger they make? No. Is it the best monthly burger they’ve ever made? It’s a strong possibility, and not just because I’m predisposed to like things with Canadian bacon and sharp white cheddar. The salinity of the ham, the bite and salt in the cheese, the slight sweetness of the mustard, somehow it’s just slightly greater than the sum of its parts, which has always been the downfall of BBP’s monthly offerings.
Not everything was perfect. The cheese, an actual sharp white cheddar, doesn’t become a grease slick (something that happens all too often when you melt cheddar) but it doesn’t melt completely like American cheese or something properly processed to melt on top of a burger. Likewise, the Canadian bacon -a rounded slice of ham which could use more time on the griddle– eventually comes off the burger in a single bite, usually before you’re finished eating the rest of the burger. And the mustard, while tangy and sweet, doesn’t specifically taste of maple syrup, just of sweet mustard.
But even with all that, the burger comes together nicely. It doesn’t fight the properly cooked, properly seasoned patty. I was sold on it. Maybe they’ve found their stride. Maybe they just started tasting the monthly burgers before they send them along to their restaurants. Maybe they just got lucky..
– JEB (@jebgavin)
BOTM Rating (out of 10):
Taste: 7; Creativity: 6; Overall: 7
Patpong – Burger Tap & Shake
I’ll get this out of the way right off the bat– this is not a burger. It will not satisfy that inner craving for juicy beef and melted cheese. It won’t cure your chronic beef deficiency and will certainly not appease any beefy yearnings. In short, a fish-cake burger is not a burger; it’s a sandwich. In this case, a very good sandwich, but a sandwich none the less.
I don’t have a lot of experience with fish-cakes so I can’t say how well this stacks up against other aquatic offerings, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The salmon patty was crispy with a mild infusion of curry spice. For me, a little curry goes a long way, so while I appreciated the moderate seasoning, others might feel the cake lacked a little oomph. Although the patty might have straddled the line between mild and boring, the Thai chili sauce brought a sweet heat which melded nicely with the cucumber-shallot relish. The entire sandwich was very well thought-out and all of the flavors played very nicely together. Yet, something was missing with each bite.
As we sat at the BTS counter, my wife asked me what I thought of the sandwich, and I had trouble coming up with a reply. “I don’t not like it,” was the best I could offer at the time. In fact, even as I write this, I’m having a difficult time pinning down my exact thoughts. It wasn’t offensive or boring. The flavors were spot on and it was nicely constructed. It really was a good sandwich and, had I been sitting at the bar next door, this review would probably be a rave. Sitting at the BTS counter however, smelling the beef sizzling away on the grill, and watching everyone around me take one delicious bite after another of hot juicy meat…well…there’s just no way a sandwich can compete.
– Matt (@yaysaps)
BOTM Rating (out of 10):
Taste: 2 (as a sandwich: 6); Creativity: 7; Overall: 3 (as a sandwich: 6)
2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW | DC | burgertapandshake.com
Pizza Burger – Dogwood
There’s been a lot of pizza and burger talk lately from Papa John’s double cheeseburger pizza and Dogfish Head’s giant pizza burger to P.Y.T’s insane deep-fried Ellio’s creation. This month, Dogwood is serving their own burger-pizza hybrid which comes with pepperoni, tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil. The ingredients are listed in that order on purpose, from most to least prominent. Pepperoni lovers, this one’s for you.
After you get by the tomato sauce leaking out of the burger, the first thing you taste is the pepperoni. In moderation, the ‘ronis would go well with a thick sauce and mozzarella but Dogwood’s burger misses the mark by a bit. The cheese comes melted with basil sprinkled on top but it’s overpowered by the saltiness of the burger and pepperoni combo. A thicker, less-watery marinara would help balance the salt and really improve the burger.
When I think of a pizza burger, the same image of tomato, cheese, and pepperoni comes to mind but an actual pizza is more than that. There are other toppings out there and other ways to mix it up– maybe slices for buns or wrap the whole thing in dough and bake it. This burger is definitely best left to the pure pepperoni pizza enthusiast.
– Adam (@addc)
BOTM Rating (out of 10):
Taste: 5; Creativity: 3; Overall: 5
132 West Broad Street | Falls Church | dogwoodtavern.com