Reindeer Games, Chewy Bacon & a Not-So-Ultimate Burger [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 December's BOTMs: btsblitzen

Blitzen - Burger Tap & Shake

BTS keeps rolling out the alternative meats, and this month they served up one of Santa's tasty minions. While it's sad to hear the jolly fat man won't be able to make his global trek as efficiently, his loss is our gain as we continue to cross animals off our carnivorous checklist. Venison, like a lot of the alternative meats, tends to be more lean and therefore more prone to overcooking. Sadly, my burger came out a little on the med-well side, which usually spells burger failure. But thankfully, in this case, there was enough overall burger goodness to compensate for the extra seconds my patty spent on the grill. First off, they totally nailed the smokey and sweet balance with the Gouda and red onion marmalade. Long after leaving the counter I was still raving about the smoky Gouda. It made the burger. As for the lingonberry mustard, I actually felt a little short-changed with the amount of it on my burger, which is a crazy thing considering I DON'T LIKE MUSTARD. (Or didn't like mustard. It's a very confusing time for me.) Anyway, the lingonberry mustard was delicious, and fit right in with the wintery-holiday theme-- I just wanted a little bit more on my burger. In fact, everything about this burger was balanced: not too rich, not too sweet, not too smoky. If I'd been a smarter person I'd have ordered the burger a couple of degrees under (rare vs med rare), which would have put this burger out of the park. The overcooking holds Blitzen back from burger'fection, which is a shame because this was one of the most well thought out concepts of the year. - Matt (@yaysaps) BOTM Rating (out of 10): Creativity: 10; Overall: 7 2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW | DC |  

bppnovbotmBrunch Burger - Bobby's Burger Palace

Since I've started BOTMing on a regular basis, I've noticed a consistent pattern with their Bobby's Burger Palace's burger offerings. What BBP's lacks in creativity is usually made up for with their execution (save for one BOTM that missed on both). Bobby Flay is one of the top chefs in the country and because of that, I expect more from a restaurant with his name on it. Let me put it this way, a burger on his regular menu has watercress on it but the most creative he ever gets with a BOTM is wine BBQ sauce. I could also complain about the lack of a D.C.-themed burger and other mundane creations, but this month is all about the Brunch burger and it is one a tasty BOTM. It's hard to go wrong with the now classic (yet unoriginal) combination of a fried egg with bacon and cheddar on a burger and BPP's version doesn't disappoint. The soft and perfectly-runny egg dominated the taste, and while the crispy bacon took a back seat, it provided that needed crunch. This burger is best consumed while still recovering from a night out (as was my case) but don't skip it just because you stayed in and watched reruns of  "Frasier." It's a very good burger in spite of its pseudo passé composition. - Adam (@addc)
BOTM Rating (out of 10):
Creativity: 1; Overall: 8 5 locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia |  


Buffalo Bacon Bleu - BGR The Burger Joint

BGR's December burger is a play on Buffalo wings with a Frank's Red Hot-coated patty, bleu cheese, celery and some bacon for good measure. It's a tried-and-true flavor combo that, on paper, sounds like it should translate to a successful BOTM. Emphasis on "should." If you've ever ordered a plate of wings before then you're well-acquainted with the taste of buffalo sauce and bleu cheese. The tangy Frank's and mellow dressing played off each other well, but that's no surprise. The celery was a nice touch too-- the ubiquitous wing side adding a welcomed peppery crunch to the mix. The odd topping out, however, is the bacon. Now, bacon isn't an item you normally find paired up with Buffalo wings and I suspect its addition here was an attempt to match the crispiness of a fried chicken wing. The problem with the pig candy was not the flavor, however, but the execution. Not only did the strips fail to replicate the texture of a wing, the stuff was disturbingly chewy and an overall distraction from the burger as a whole. In addition, the beef was on the dry end of the juiciness spectrum and the bun was too dense. My advice? Pass on the bar-food hybrid, embrace your inner glutton and order wings AND a burger. - Jody (@burgerdays) BOTM Rating (out of 10): Creativity: 2; Overall: 5 9 Locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia |  

The Ultimate Burger - Dogwood Tavern

Perhaps the powers that be have redefined the word “ultimate” when I wasn't looking. For me, the idea of an ultimate anything, let alone ultimate burger implies a totality of that thing's essence crammed into every aspect of it. The most burgerly of burgers, if you will. And yet Dogwood's December offering for the Burger of the Month is more like a vaguely Southwestern afterthought, and in no way ultimate. The combination of roast poblanos, jack cheese, and Cholula barbecue sauce is a solid one, though not necessarily inspired. The burger, though, feh. Months ago when I had their Hawaiian burger, the burger itself was just right, if a little overcooked. Great grill marks, properly seasoned, worked perfectly with the toppings, and the Southwest burger (seems foolish repeatedly calling it "ultimate") doesn't fight the toppings, but the burger is disappointingly under-seasoned. The lack of salt makes the overcooked burger all the more apparent. It's not ultimate. It's just an OK bar burger with some good roast peppers on it. - Jeb (@jebgavin) BOTM Rating (out of 10): Creativity: 6; Overall: 3 132 West Broad Street | Falls Church |   December BOTM Rankings:  1) Burger Tap & Shake – Blitzen (8.5) 2) Dogwood Tavern – The Ultimate Burger (4.5) 2) Bobby's Burger Palace – Brunch Burger (4.5) 4) BGR The Burger Joint – Buffalo Bacon Bleu (3.5) November's BOTM Review October's BOTM Review September's BOTM Review August's BOTM Review July’s BOTM Review June’s BOTM Review May’s BOTM Review

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