Sandwich Burgers Are the Best to Put In Your Face This Month [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 March’s BOTMs:
Louisiana Burger – Bobby’s Burger Palace
Bobby’s Burger Palace has been quietly and steadily moving up our ranks of burger joints in the area. While we still won’t give Mr. Food Network a pass for snubbing D.C. on his menu, the BOTMs he’s been churning out recently have made our bellies happy. It’s a shame, though, that this month’s missed the mark.
On paper, this was the one burger I was looking forward to the most. The Louisiana tribute features a spice-crusted patty topped with pepper jack, tasso ham, a “spicy” remouldae and hot sauce. Meat on meat with cheese and some heat? Sign me up and give me two. But while the burger looked the part, coming to the plate drenched in hot sauce and covered in melted cheese, the whole thing tasted like one big salt lick.
I don’t know if the culprit was the spice-crusted patty or what, but all I could think about when eating this thing was how many blood pressure meds I’d have to pop after I was done. The beef itself was cooked to a tee; the patty was beautifully medium rare and gushing with juice but there was nothing to counteract the cumulative brininess of all the ingredients. The ham went virtually unnoticed and while I did get a wisp every now and then from the vinegary hot sauce, any sign of heat was nonexistent. The remoulade was the only borderline decent ingredient as the excessive and larger-than-expected chunks of diced pickles in the sauce provided a welcome distraction from the salt overload.
If you’re feening for a case of hypertension then, by all means, dive into this one. But if you’d rather shy away from a month’s worth of sodium in one meal, order something else.
– Jody (@burgerdays)
BOTM Rating (out of 10):
Taste: 5; Creativity: 6; Overall: 5
The Reuben – BGR The Burger Joint
More often than not, I start these reviews by complaining about what I don’t like. And this is no exception. A burger is itself a sandwich. Topping a burger with a sandwich is a nested sandwich. More often than not, it goes terribly. I mean, Red Apron makes a crazy good porkstrami sandwich, and a solid burger, but if you stack one on top of another, it’s overkill. Cut to BGR’s Reuben-style burger of the month. I liked it. I really liked it.
It’s not a sandwich on/in a sandwich. It’s the flavors and toppings related to a Reuben, but still very much a burger. (Not to mention, BGR has figured out exactly how to cook their burgers just right: perfectly medium rare, properly seasoned.) The corned beef is just two thin slices with a little bit of Russian dressing in between, some Swiss cheese, and a small handful of sauerkraut. Nothing’s overpowering, you can taste the burger and every aspect of the Reuben at the same time, in every bite. I actually don’t know what to do with myself, not having anything to complain about here. Not crazy about how they don’t season their sweet potato fries… but then I asked them to put salt on them, and they did, and it was just right right amount of salt, so yeah. BGR got it just right this time.
I wonder if this is the start of a trend, or an aberration.
– Jeb (@jebgavin)
BOTM Rating (out of 10):
Taste: 9; Creativity: 5; Overall: 8
Out Like a Lamb – Burger Tap & Shake
Spring is nearly here and Burger Tap & Shake is celebrating its (too damn) slow return with the seasonal Out Like a Lamb BOTM. Now, my experience with BTS’ burger was pretty consistent with the whole “in like a lamb, out like a lion” March saying, but with the exception of the last part. Immediately after taking my first bite, the burger’s black olive aioli hit my tongue like a large predatory cat with claws made out of…olives.
Goat cheese, lamb and oven-cured tomatoes –the other components of the burger– are all pretty delicate, mild tasting ingredients and complimented the arugula well. But the olive aioli’s intensity overpowered them all. Additionally, the burger suffered from uneven distribution of ingredients that plagues many component-heavy burgers like this. The entirety of the goat cheese was gone just two bites in and left the more than half of my burger cheese-free. A quick smashing from a knife could have helped balance the aioli that dominated the other ingredients.
When I first read what was on my literal plate this month, I was excited about the possibility of a very original, seasonally themed burger but in the end, this BOTM is more lion than lamb.
– Adam (@addc)
BOTM Rating (out of 10):
Taste: 3; Creativity: 9; Overall: 4
2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW | DC | burgertapandshake.com
March Madness Burger (AKA Fatty Melt) – Dogwood Tavern
I’ve enjoyed my previous encounters with the BOTM offerings from Dogwood as they really embrace the wild side of Burgerology (“let’s make a burger taste like a taco”). This month’s burger is no exception– a sanity-be-damned take on a diner classic: a patty melt with two grilled cheese sandwiches holding the burger in place. In truth the “Fatty Melt” isn’t all that novel a concept. I heard tales of this concoction years ago, and have been building my own melts at home (and tailgates) for a long time now. To see the Fatty Melt on a menu isn’t all that rare either as they seem to crop up from time to time and place to place (Stoney’s recently offered up their take). It is rare, however, to find a place that can pull off the Frankensandwich without a hitch. Often the grilled cheese portion adds too much bread and throws off the ratio (Texas toast versions especially) or the cheese isn’t melted enough or the burger is dry…for a multitude of reasons, it’s tough to find a good one. Dogwood manages to get it right. Well, mostly right.
The key to success for this rendition lay in that mystical burger-to-bun ratio. The bread used by Dogwood for the grilled cheese “buns” is thinly sliced, keeping the bread:beef mix in balance. Equally important, the slices were firm enough to prevent the grilled cheeses from deteriorating upon consumption, a legitimate concern given how juicy the burger was. Well-seasoned and cooked perfectly to my medium rare request, the burger patty portion of the sandwich was spot on. In fact, my only issue with the burger was that my grilled cheese wasn’t buttered before being placed on the grill (or maybe theu used a very small amount). That may sound like a trival fact, but I missed out on the golden buttery crunch that makes a grilled cheese so magical. It’s a shame, too, because everything else is solid. Had they been able to incorporate that buttery bliss, I think this could have been a 10.
– Matt (@yaysaps)
BOTM Rating (out of 10):
Taste: 6 (more butter and it would have been higher); Creativity: 6; Overall: 7 (best Fatty Melt outside my own kitchen)
132 West Broad Street | Falls Church | dogwoodtavern.com