BEEF BRIEF: Mad Fox’s The Bacon Jam

During our day-to-day adventures, we plow through so many burgs and we fail to share a lot of them here at Burger Days. We think that's just wrong. So in an effort to spread more beefy goodness, we introduce Beef Briefs, short, brief looks at more of the burgers we take to the face. Where's the beef? It's right f**king here. 

It's no secret we love the bacon jam. Our obsession dates back to March of last year when we took on a healthy dollop of the stuff with one of Mad Fox's burger specials and each and every time since we've tangled with the sweet, bacony goodness, we've been left wanting more. The problem with all of our feening, however, was that Mad Fox's bacon jam was not always available-- every time it popped up, it was strictly a limited time deal. While there are a few other places around D.C. that have the jam on the permanent menu*, Mad Fox's take on the stuff has always been our favorite. Imagine our panic when we got word Chef Russel Cunningham was leaving Mad Fox; we feared the bacon jam we'd come to know and love would also be out the door. Well, we've got some good news and bad news. First the good: much to our elation, new Mad Fox Executive Chef Andrew Dixon has not only kept the bacon jam tradition alive, he's made it a permanent addition to the menu. The Bacon Jam burger (blue cheese, caramelized onion mayo and bacon jam) is now available on a full-time basis. Let the porky rejoicing commence. But..... now the bad news.

The magic is gone.

The jam of old was a sweet and salty gelatinous mix of bacon and onions that would cut through with just the right amount of flavor with each bite. It was a spot-on compliment to the savory beef. During the course of our meal, if a glob oozed its way out from the bun and fell to our plates, we'd grunt with ravenous delight as we scooped up the AWOL jam and shoveled it into our faces with our fingers. It was so good, we deemed it magical. Unfortunately, the new stuff is more this guy than David Copperfield as it doesn't come close to resembling the bacon jam we fell in love with on that special, greasy night last year. This new recipe is far less tasty, lacking in the sweetness that made the old stuff so successful. The only flavor we got from the jam was, in fact, bacon, but even that was so muted we couldn't taste it through the burger's blue cheese. It was completely and utterly lost in the mix. On the plus side, the burger as a whole was actually pretty damn good. There was a strong beefy taste to the meat and a tasty bit of char on the patty. We're assuming our burger was cooked to the requested doneness as it was plenty juicy but we still can't seem to get even a hint of color in the middle of our medium-rare orders. The strong, pungent and creamy blue cheese was nice, and if the thing wasn't called The Bacon Jam, we'd call it a winner. But alas, it IS called that and it IS, no matter what our taste buds tell us, topped with the stuff. We suggest either a burger name change or a switch back to the bacon jam of old. Naturally we prefer the latter. Some other notes about the menu changes at Mad Fox. First, the burger lineup is now only two-deep; alongside The Bacon Jam is The Mad Fox with sharp cheddar, caramelized onion mayo and crispy onions. Gone is the ham, BBQ sauce and onion ring-topped Texas burger and the popular Blackened Blue burger with its Cajun spiced-rubbed patty. Also gone is the Bibb lettuce and the delicious oven-roasted tomatoes that accompanied the burgers. Now it's a run-of-the-mill tomato slice and leaf lettuce. We are happy to report the house-made ketchup we love so much is still in full-effect. Mad Fox Brewing Company | 444 West Broad Street | Falls Church | | @madfoxbrewing * Boundary Stone and Helix Lounge both have full-time bacon jam burgers.  

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