I Beg To Differ

Having just returned from Elevation Burger (422 S. Washington St. Falls Church,VA) I feel compelled to say that I disagree with Bridge’s rave review. Maybe we’re looking for different things in a burger joint, maybe it’s an East Coast/West Coast thing, I don’t know, but to my wife and I Elevation Burger was a real let-down.

While the place has a nice family-run atmosphere (from 14 year-old Tommy taking orders to Grandma sweeping the floor) and yummy milkshakes. Everything else about it was really lacking when compared to the other DC area burger options. The burgers at Elevation may be made with kobe-style beef but to us they kind of tasted like liver. The french fries are thin and crispy style (which can be nice) but they tasted too much of the oil they were fried in and not enough like potatoes. In fact half way through our lunch we caught ourselve gazing longingly at the hole-in-the-wall skank tavern across the street with it’s old, chipped, hand-painted sign promising “Texas style Chili and down home country-cooking” thinking we’d get a tastier burger in that dive than the one we were forcing ourselves to finish because the $7 was too much too waste.

Comparing Elevation to Five Guys is really what does in Bridge’s review of this place. There is no comparison other than to say Five Guys is much much better. Rolls, patty, toppings, fries – Five Guys blows Elevation away. And that’s not to say I am an unreasonable devotee of Five Guys either. In fact in 2000, before Five Guys started franchising out the wazoo, my buddy Chris and I had the great DC burger blow-out in which we compared our fav DC area burger joints. His, Five Guys, came out as the best burger sans accoutrement while mine, Lindy’s Bon Appetit ( 2040 I Street NW), came out as best messy burger with their Burl Ive’s Burger – two 1/2lb patties slathered in BBQ sauce topped with a fried hot-dog. Needless to say I love me some good burgers and those two burger stands out-do Elevation completely.

I was very excited about Elevation, obviously I went there immediately after reading Bridge’s write-up, but unfortunately I left disappointed and with a bad taste in my mouth.

5 Comments so far

  1. Tom (unregistered) on February 18th, 2006 @ 4:55 pm

    I loved the thin and crispy fries, with their richness of olive oil, so much better than the starchy bland fries at so many different spaces in DC. The burger I felt was much improved at Elevation with a little mayo and the excellent elevation sauce that is some wonderful concoction that is close, but not, to thousand island dressing.

    Is it a perfect burger? No, that honor goes to Burger Bistro in far away California, but for what it is, I’ll drive to FC for Elevation before walking down the hill and across King St. to 5 Guys.

  2. Tiff (unregistered) on February 18th, 2006 @ 5:03 pm

    How strange that you had the completely opposite experience we had… I suspect that their burgers are better messy-style, but I enjoyed my standard cheeseburger very much. I didn’t notice the overwhelming taste of olive oil in my fries, but I hardly ever cook with any other kind of oil, so that could just be my high tolerance for it in play. (I have a similar thing about garlic- I’ll barely notice it when other people eating the same food just can’t get past the overwhelming garlic taste.)

    My chocolate strawberry shake was awesome, though could have been a bit more liquid when I got it… I had to wait for it to melt before I could drink it.

  3. darpino (unregistered) on February 18th, 2006 @ 5:05 pm

    Very funny. The shakes were the one thing that I thought rocked!

    Greta wanted more liquid in the shake also, but being a former profesisonal shake-maker I love them super thick like that.

  4. Tiff (unregistered) on February 19th, 2006 @ 12:48 am

    I like a good thick shake, but this was so thick I couldn’t get it through the straw to my mouth. Which, you know, kind of defeats the purpose. When I got it, it was less like a shake and more like a cup of soft serve. Which is tasty, but requires a spoon.

    Once it did melt though… MMMM.

  5. Greta (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2006 @ 3:48 pm

    I don’t know, there was something funny about the way the beef tasted, and it was a little too solid/dense.
    Maybe I should have gotten the elevation sauce.

    The fries were fine, I didn’t notice any particular olive oil taste, but I also cook exclusively with olive oil.
    The shake, hmmm, it really didn’t do it for me. It seemed like they didn’t use any milk at all…more like slightly softened super rich ice cream, which would be fine if I had wanted ice cream.

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