Dogwood Tavern’s "Big Chimney Build Your Own Burger"


Dogwood Tavern has been a welcome addition to Falls Church.

In the short time it has been here, it's already accquired a loyal bar and restaurant crowd that all previous 132 W. Broad St. incarnations over the years could not accomplish.

What makes Dogwood better than your average sports bar/watering hole is the food. A fairly diverse menu with items ranging from fresh, raw oysters and surf and turf sliders (ahem, mini burgers) to steaks and shrimp 'n grits.

Sans a pre-made burger option on the menu, Dogwood offers up their Big Chimney Build-A-Burger. Your burger choices are a beef, turkey, chicken or veggie pattie, seven types of cheeses and six other toppings.

No question with the beef, I opted for blue cheese, bacon and carmalized onions, I was trying to recreate the best burger I've had recently, the Bistro Burger at Matchbox. Like always, I ordered it rare.

The Dogwood burger was solid, if unspectacular. It was properly cooked to order, reddish-pink on the inside with juice galore.

The toppings, which should be the star of this build-your-own-burger, were just so-so. The bacon looked good, but just didn't have the bite or flavor that I hoped for. The carmalized onions, again, were there but the flavor was muddled and they didn't stand out. The blue cheese was, well, blue cheese— definitely the most distinct flavor of all, but that's not saying much.

In hindsight, I made a mistake keeping all the "free" supplied toppings on the burger (lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles), as they contributed to masking the flavor of the chosen toppings and kept them from standing out. I will definitely have to try this one again without them.

The bun was average to above-average. It was fresh and squishy, like I like, and maintained it's consistency and did it's job without falling apart.

You're given the option of waffle fries, coleslaw, side salad or veggie skewer with the burger and it's a no-brainer as to what was ordered. Dogwood's waffle fries are really good and a great accompaniment to any plate.

Comparing Dogwood's Bacon-Blue Cheese-Big Chimney Burger and Matchbox's Bisto Burger sees Matchbox win easily. The collection of parts (melted gorgonzola, applewood smoked bacon and one of the best burger buns I've ever had) from the Bistro Burger just outshine the ordinariness of Dogwood's offering.

Having said that, Dogwood's burger is a decent burger and definitely one I will order again. At less than $10 ($7 for the burger, toppings range from .50 to $1.50), it's a great price for a solid bar burger and, if you pair with a beer from Dogwood's great selection of boozers, you'll be more than pleased.

(yeah, the pictures suck, I apologize, I'll improve)

Dogwood Tavern, 132 West Broad Street, Falls Church, VA 22046, 703-237-8333

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