Zagat’s ‘Must-Try’ Fancy-Ass D.C. Burgers

Zagat published an article today listing their "must-try, upscale" burgers in the D.C. area. It's a decent list (we had four of the seven spots on our Burger Days map), but a couple of their definitions seem out of whack.

Central's beef burger. (Photo: Zagat)

First off, I have no problem with burgers at fancy-ass restaurants-- in fact, one of the better burgers I've eaten in D.C. was the excellent 837 Club burger at the Palm. If caviar, truffle oil or a gold-chipped aioli spread with a hint of dill comes on your burger, then fine. I'll eat that stuff up no problem. Just don't go too crazy... No, my beef is with their definition of "upscale." Palena, Central, Morton's? Ok, I'll give you those. But BGR? Really? A spot that has '80's-themed knick-knacks and pop art covering the walls and serves up a nine-pound meatloaf-y glob of ground beef can't be that upscale, can it? But whatever, one man's yellow mustard is another's Grey Poupon. My real problem is with their definition of "burger." Most of the burger aficionados I know are strident believers in beef burgers-- the strictest of them require their burgers to be 100% beef. I'm a bit more lenient as I'll give a patty my burger approval as long as it contains some beef  --if it's a combo with pork, venison or some other four-legged animal meat, it'll usually get a pass from me. (The brat burger from Birch & Barley/ChurchKey with veal, pork and beef, and Ragtime's Big Bayou burger with pork, beef and shrimp are a couple choice examples of these) But on Zagat's list, they include several "burgers" that are nothing of the sort. They correctly list the beef burger from Bourbon Steak but then they crush their credibility with also including the restaurant's turkey, veggie and, ugh, Korean salmon burger. The article also includes the lobster "burger" from Citronelle. Come on, maaaannn.... Those sandwiches are probably all great, but they should not be classified as burgers. Thanks for the list Zagat, we've added a couple of the joints to our map, but Burger Days will be sticking to the four-legged meat burgers, we'll pass the fish and poultry sandwiches on to you. 'Must-Try Burgers in DC' via Zagat

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