Sometimes all you want is a great burger and the beverage that goes alongside it isn't too important. But other times, access to a wide variety of awesome beer is equally crucial to eating a delicious burger. For those times, we've compiled a list of a few favorite spots across the nation to simultaneously satisfy a craving for an exceptional pint and a delicious beef patty. Click through the slideshow to see all of our picks.
'Washington DC' on Serious Eats
Like all good burgers, Red Apron's Original doesn't waste effort or stomach space with superfluous flourishes. The burger is simple, familiar, and the better for it.
Last month, Bobby Flay won the "Amstel Light People's Choice Award" at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival with his Green Chile Cheeseburger. Available just last week at all Bobby's Burger Palace (BBP) locations to commemorate his win, the cheeseburger is made with the customary griddled beef patty, queso sauce, roasted green chiles, pickled red onions, and Flay's signature layer of "crunchifying" potato chips.
Palena Cafe's cheeseburger is understated, balanced, and packed with such dense flavor, it might catch you off guard (in a good way).
Earlier this month, Smashburger brought its signature clobbered burgers to the Washington, D.C. area with a location in Fairfax, Virginia, along with a special regional burger, The Capital Burger.
Thunder Burger bills itself as an "edgy, rock & roll dining experience" and in some respects, that's exactly what it does. From neon pink highlights to a gothic rock dungeon aesthetic (think metal-studded leather and mythical creatures) and an assortment of non-standard burgers (like elk and bison), Thunder Burger puts in a lot of effort to deliver on edge. But none of that really matters if the eponymous burger isn't any good. Thankfully, Thunder Burger delivers a solid burger that's not all flash.
Bourbon Steak's $19 burger may be expensive (you're in the Four Seasons, after all), but after your first bite, that buyer's remorse is gone.
As a neighborhood nexus, Busboys and Poets succeeds. But while the local food/cultural performance space aesthetic is a worthy goal, the burger offering at Busboys' flagship location falls far short in satisfaction and flavor.
After a move up the street and some brand tinkering, Rogue States returned this past summer as Black & Orange and is grilling hormone-free, veggie-fed beef that's ground fresh daily. Problem is, you're going to have to pay more than you'd expect an average burger to cost for that peace of mind.
Since the beginning of the month, BLT Steak in Washington DC has been offering a rotating lunch-only line-up of political burgers, including these Occupy movement-themed burgers: the 99%, a patty melt made of a 6-ounce Angus beef patty topped with American cheese (and onions, I'd assume) on Wonder Bread for $9.99, and the 1%, a burger made of an 8-ounce Kobe beef patty, braised Kobe short rib, foie gras, gold leaf, and Grey Poupon for $58. You can see photos of the burgers at Washingtonian.
It might have been that I stopped in D.C. during the bottom half of a long day of driving and eating. It could have been that I'd already been to a half dozen family-owned, personality-packed, awesomely tasty pizza and sandwich shops in Trenton, Philadelphia, and Baltimore earlier in the day and the bar was set high. It could also have ben that I expected more from a burger concept run by former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn, a guy who seems to be seriously into this kind of food. Whatever the reason, Washington, D.C.'s Good Stuff Eatery was at once promising, tasty, and soul-crushingly, maddeningly, frustratingly terrible.
Washington, D.C. locals used to flock to Stoney's on L Street in NW for good burgers, cheap beer, and a motley cast of characters. Reinvented in a new location in 2007, the new Stoney's Lounge is a dive no longer, sporting a pub menu with some traditional American fare and about ten taps of microbrews and popular craft beers. While I didn't meet many characters, I did encounter something I wasn't expecting: a complicated but tasty pub burger.
At first glance, RFD in Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown looks like just another tourist bar and grille. Maybe it's the reflection from nearby Fuddruckers and Hooters restaurants in the windows that help hide this local standout. A step inside isn't inspiring until you reach the bar area, where RFD (standing for "Regional Food and Drink") sports a few dozen of its hundreds of beers ready for your palate.
Today's AHT reader recommendation comes from Ben Roode in Washington, D.C. He's previously shared his rec for Hard Times Cafe in Alexandria, Virginia. Learn more about Ben from his website/podcast Ben Goes Outdoors (not burger-related, but you have to burn...
We sent AHT reader Erin M. on a mission to try BGR's September-only Snooki Burger. Here are the results. (Erin, we apologize for any psychological damage the burger may have inflicted.) [Photograph: Erin M.] Taken as individual ingredients, the elements...
[Snooki photograph: mtv.com] For their September Burger of the Month, Washington DC-area burger mini-chain BGR will honor everyone's favorite/loathed realty show star by serving the Snooki Burger ($9.99) topped with grilled jalepenos, cream cheese, and a fried pickle. Why...
In case you've lost track, they have locations in New York City in Madison Square Park, the Theater District, the Upper West Side, the Upper East Side, Citi Field, and have plans to open one in Battery Park City next year. They have locations outside New York City in Miami and Saratoga Springs. For more information, visit shakeshack.com.
Today's AHT reader recommendation comes from Ben Roode in Washington DC. He shares his appreciation of the outdoors on his website/podcast Ben Goes Outdoors (not burger-related, but you have to burn those calories somehow!). You can follow him on Twitter...
Ray's Hell Burger 1725 Wilson Blvd, Arlington VA 22209 (map); 703-841-0001 Cooking Method: Grilled Short Order: Juicy, flavorful burger lives up to expectations. It now has a spot on my list of favorite burgers. Want Fries with That? There...