A burger is a poor man’s steak. An excellent classic burger needs a decent quality ground beef with adequate fat marbling cooked to perfection — served between some sort of soft white buns.
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Nearly a year ago, I compiled a list of best burgers in DC. For the last couple of months, I have been eating more burgers in Washington DC metro to update DC’s best burger list – at least that was my excuse for eating all those burgers. Everywhere I ordered some sort of cheese burger cooked “medium rare”. If I got my burgers cooked medium, which most of the times it did, I considered it perfectly cooked.
I would like to point out the presented photos are photos of the real burger served to me during the visits, snapped on the spot without any props. They should be more realistic depiction of the burgers – unlike highly decorated publicity photos found in ads and other media.
My list is divided into the best burgers and some of other memorable burgers in DC.
Best Burgers in DC
Here’s my line up of some of DC’s best burgers. The best aspect of burger joints are highlighted inside the parenthesis.
Ray’s Hell Burger [Best Burger]
Good Stuff Eatery [Best Fries & Sauce]
Z-Burger [Best Onion Rings]
Big Bun [Great Burger Salad]
Elevation Burger [Best Quality Ingredients]
Five Guys [Best Chain Burger]
Lindy’s Red Lion [Creative Burger Menu]
Rogue States Burgers [Closed Now, Best Late Night Burger]
Closed now. Hopefully they open in new venue soon.
The late night kind of burger is Rogue States Burgers because there isn’t any other place where you can get similar quality of burger that late in night. I didn’t know it even existed until a Dupont resident kept on marveling about how late it opens. I ended there just before it close its door, after one of those over extended happy hours. Burgers were cooked to order and fries were good but not as memorable. There were burgers with different flavors, however, the hot burger was too hot for my preference.
Other Burgers in DC
Here’s my line up of some of the other memorable burgers in DC. The reasons they are memorable, both positive or negative, are stated with them.
The Cheesecake Factory
Posted in: Travel and Food | Tags: Best Burgers, Best Burgers in DC, Best DC Burgers, DC burgers, DC's best burgers, Washington DC Burgers
A steakhouse named Medium Rare is pretty witty. Like many foodies, it has been my pet peeve when people order an expensive steak well done – at least go with the medium well.
What is medium rare?
Image based on photo by Naotakem
The Restaurant – Medium Rare
The one prix fixe entrée for $20 in the Medium Rare restaurant consists; French country loaf (Pain de champagne), mixed green salad, and sirloin cap steak.
However, there is a food runner who brings you a second portion after you are done with the first.
The steak came smothered with a warm brown homemade sauce. The sauce was mildly sweet, slightly creamy, and look similar to gravy. I loved the sauce while my dining partner didn’t enjoy it much – maybe serving it on side is a better idea.
Vegetarian Option at Medium Rare
The main attraction of the Medium Rare restaurant is its highly affordable prix fixe steak entrée, convenient location, and the causal atmosphere. The restaurant is already quite busy – without reservations, it took us nearly 45 minutes to 1 hour to get dinner on weeknight. The wait was worth the dinner.
Posted in: Travel and Food | Tags: Dry-aged Sirloin Cap Steak, Medium Rare Carrot Cake, Medium Rare Cleveland Park, Medium Rare DC, Medium Rare DC Review, Medium Rare in DC, Medium Rare Review, Medium Rare Steaks, Medium Rare Steaks DC, Medium Rare Washington DC, Pain de champagne, Second Portion Steaks
If above Jalebi video does not play, click here.
Everyday in Delhi, I ate Jalebi from a roadside stall close to where I was staying. Jalebi is a thin pretzel shaped pastry made from leavened fried dough dipped in sugar syrup. Similar are dessert are also found in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya and is known as Zlabia.
The Jalebi stand was setup in front of a local mithaiwala’s (pastry chef) dessert store selling hundreds of Indian desserts – most shinny silver wrap and all made from flour, butter, milk, sugar, and pinch of spices. The video clip shows making of Delhi Jalebi.
Jalebi is an evening time snack in Delhi, India. In Kathmandu Nepal, where it is known as Jeri, it is considered a breakfast food often served with a thin deep fried flatbread called swari. Both go well so together that people normally get them together and referred to the dish as Jeri Swari. Most of Kathmandu roadside Jeri (Jalebi) stalls serve a simple Jeri. While in India, there is tendency of serving spiced up Jeri.
Often one can even find a pretty good quality Indian dessert in the United States – thanks to huge exodus of talented Indian pastry chefs. However, I have yet to find even edible Jalebi in the United States. There is a simple reason behind it – Jalebi is not served fresh in the United States. Jalebi is a fresh dessert – fry batter, soak in sugar syrup and bite into crispy warm dessert – all done within a few minutes.
Often many mithaiwalas (pastry chefs) prefer serving cold Jalebi made in a big batch since it is cheaper to make. They try to beat the flavors of fresh Jalebi by adding other flavors such as saffron, cardamom or adding bright food coloring. Here’s the news for them – a simple Jalebi fresh off the fryer beats any of stale concoction any day.
The small Jalebi stall in a regular neighborhood of Delhi served the best Jalebi I ever ate in my life. The stall was not in a famous tourist or commercial district or had decades of history behind it. They simply made fresh Jalebi.
The flour batter for Jalebi was fermented few hours before in morning. Jalebis were fried to order. The batter was put in cheesecloth and dispensed through a small hole to make a desired shapes (see video). After fried golden brown, it was dipped in sugar syrup for few seconds and put in colander to remove excess syrup. The resulting Jalebi was thin crusted goodness – such a simple thing in life can bring such a big joy.
After nearly two weeks of eating Jalebi everyday, the Jalebiwala (Jalebi maker) gave me his recipe for what I consider the best Jalebi in world. Many us will disagree on where is the best Jalebi in the world. However, those who disagree also have a easy consensus that a good Jalebi or Jeri or Zlabia is always fresh and often simple.
Here’s the simple recipe for Jalebi from the Delhi Jalebiwala.
Maida (substitute all purpose flour) 300
Let it stay for at least ½ hour to few hours.
Fry in medium heat.
Dunk in sugar syrup.
To see more photos including photos of the same Delhi Jalebi with the flash, go to DesiGrub’s Facebook Page.
Posted in: Cooking - Travel and Food | Tags: Best Jalebi, Easy Jalebi Recipe, Indian dessert, Indian Recipe, Jalebi, Jalebi in Delhi, Jeri Dessert, Jeri Kathmandu, Jeri Nepal, Jeri Swari, Nepali Recipe, Newari Recipe
The Homestead welcomed its first guests a decade before the American Revolution on 1766. Since the beginning, food and dining have played integral part of stay at the Homestead for the entire family.
For a place older than the country, serving a classic American dishes without being boring cliché is challenging. Many regular guests prefer nostalgia of the classic dishes they had been enjoying for decades as well as a unique dining experience.
The fundamental question here is how to change some of the classic to new classic? The new executive chef, Mark Gallaudet, hired by the Homestead seemed to have done good job balancing act.
Here’s a sample meal from the Homestead.
The Homestead Soup
New Age Vitello Tonnato / Crispy Capers Harvest Salad
Grilled Beef Rib Steak / Coca Cola Red Eye Gravy Buttermilk Potatoes / Brussel Sprout-Pancetta Succotash
The Homestead Dessert
For four course meal, all the portions were perfect. The food portions were big enough to be full but not humongous to feel bloated.
The executive chef Mark Gallaudet has successfully made classic dishes with playful twists – both with the food and its presentation. For example, the soup was served in a teacup with marshmallow, the dessert featured chocolate art with a fried donut, and the succotash in the main dish was served in a miniature classic cast iron skillet. In short, his dinner was successful at balancing nostalgia of age-old American dishes with demand playfulness of modern palate.
Posted in: Travel and Food | Tags: Brussel Sprout Pancetta Succotash, Buttermilk Potatoes, Crispy Capers Harvest Salad, Grilled Beef Rib Steak and Coca Cola Red Eye Gravy, Homestead food, Homestead resort food, Homestead Soup, miniature classic cast iron skillet, New Age Vitello Tonnato, The Homestead dessert, The Homestead entrée
Food at El Zarape was exquisite and the salsas were amazing. My favorite sauce was the roasted tomato sauce. If I go there next time, I would order two of Eric’s other suggestions, chile relleno burrito and carne asada tacos. I didn’t get to try the other two places suggested by him, Cuatro Milpas and Cantina Mayahuel. According to him, servers in Cuatro Milpas don’t even speak in English – you order in Spanish for ridiculously great Mexican food. Cantina Mayahuel is supposed to be a quaint little tequila bar with great food, especially Tasajo style torta.
I learned about the Gaslamp quarter in downtown San Diego from a stranger while waiting at the airport. The Gaslamp district got its name from ubiquitous gas lamps used in San Diego from the late nineteenth to the early part of the twentieth centuries.
Meat is usually marinated beforehand and is also flavored by adding onions and tomatoes on top of it. Maybe we were hungry at that time, but the homemade chicken shawarma was succulent and had a great flavor. One of the best shawarmas!
Dick’s Last Resort
A meal of deep fried alligator bites and some other fried stuff went smoothly with their 24 oz Miller Lite drink special. Our server tried to be rude and funny, although sometimes it came out offensive, but we still tried to have some fun with him. I can see that some people had funnier servers. Surprisingly, the service was decent even though they were supposed to be rude. It’s a fun place, but not for everyone.
Kono’s Café had the longest line for breakfast in Pacific Beach. They were serving amzing looking sub-five dollar egg burritos.
After that snack, we went to another Mexican restaurant for a meal. The restaurant remains nameless. However, being a Mexican restaurant in a border town, I was expecting a decent meal. Sadly, I have to report that it was one of the worst Mexican meals I ever had. Maybe it was a fluke but I was disappointed.
Next on the list was to try some of the west coast chains.
Their taco salad and quesadillas were decent. Most importantly, I was surprised by their frozen alcoholic Margarita. It was better than I expected – maybe because I like margaritas with a slightly higher volume of tequila.
New York style Chinese food
Posted in: Travel and Food | Tags: Cafe Coyote, Cantina Mayahuel, Chicken Shawarma San Diego, Cuatro Milpas, deep fried alligator bites, Dick's Last Resort San Diego, El Zarape, Gaslamp district, Gaslamp quarter, Gator bites, In-N-Out Animal burger, In-N-Out burger, Kono's Café, La Salsa Margarita, La Salsa San Diego, New York style Chinese food, Places to eat in San Diego, San Diego taquería, Sultan Shawarma, Tasajo style torta, Yard house draft beers, Yardhouse