Posts Tagged ‘Hell Burger’

Daily DC Item: If Obama Likes Hell Burger- Maybe I Do Need To Give It Another Try

Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg / pool / Getty Images

Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg / pool / Getty Images

“Definitely just saw Obama at Ray’s Hell burger. F Yes.”

Those the words I saw yesterday afternoon on Clinton Yates’ twitter account.

As I read those words I thought about dropping my things and running over to the Rosslyn establishment from my Court House office, however logic kicked in: Hell Burger is typically busy on a normal afternoon, what kind of place would it be if Barack Obama and Joe Biden walked in and had lunch? I wouldn’t of gotten anywhere close. At least I’m sure it wasn’t anything like the time a fictional Bill Clinton visited McDonald’s. I do have to say that I am at least jealous of my co-worker Kristen who was coincidentally next door at that time.

Linda Feldman over at the Christian Science Monitor has the best account of Obama & Biden’s last minute lunch out.

According to the daily guidance lunch was supposed to be, “in the Oval Office, closed press.”

But around 12:30 PM the White House Press Pool was assembled and put into a motorcade that took them to Rosslyn. It looked like Obama and Biden wanted to go somewhere new for lunch.

Feldman describes Hell Burger as, “a joint so new it still doesn’t have a sign up.” Ray’s has been opened since July 2008 which made me wonder if it will ever get a sign now that Ray’s The Steaks moved to Court House.

Courtesy AP/Huffington Post

Photo by AP/Huffington Post

Obama and Biden walked in the front door, the press came in the back; and I could only imagine the look on a patron’s face when they see the President & Vice President wait in line with you to order a burger. In what could only be described as classy, Obama turned to the Press Pool and offered to buy everybody lunch and just like a good Commander-in-Chief does, he delegated Caren Bohan of Reuters to take everyone’s orders.

After warning that they were going to order food for here and to-go, Obama let Biden toss in his order: a Swiss cheese burger with jalapeno peppers and a Root Beer. Obama then ordered a basic cheddar cheeseburger with mustard (spicy mustard if you got it), lettuce and tomato. When he inquired about fries he learned what many Hell Burger patrons already knew: they don’t do fries.

I wonder if the President asks for fries, do you just make fries?

Luckily the manager pitched him on the tater tots and he agreed on that instead.

They both paid for their orders in cash- with Obama picking up the tab for the pool.

“We’re paying, or these people [the pool] are gonna write about how we’re free-loading,” Obama said when the management offered to pick-up the bill.

Obama also threw a five-spot into the tip jar.

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Photo by AP/Charles Dharapak

They were then served at a table by the chef (curious how there was magically a table free when usually the place is packed at 12:30, but then again when you are the President things can be arranged…), if you take a look at the video they had table tent #42- too bad #44 wasn’t available.

They were back a little after 1:00 P.M- a very efficient lunch if I may say so myself.

Now after remaining on the fence on Hell Burger– I guess I should give it yet another try now that it’s been Obama-approved. However Hell Burger was popular enough pre-Obama, will it go the way of Ben’s Chili Bowl now that it’s been graced by The President?

Daily DC item: City Paper Presents Best Of DC

bestof_cover_2009I noticed this week that the Washington City Paper recently came out with their “Best of DC 2009” list. Some of the categories were pretty typical (Best Burger, Best Singles Bar); others appeared invented to allow the paper to give someone an award (Best Book Festival- is there really a lot of competition there?)

Here are a couple of the items featured in this year’s list:

  • Best Burger: Five Guys (Readers Choice)/Ray’s Hell Burger (Staff Pick) – I feel a little bit better seeing that Five Guys gets is the people’s choice in DC. While I did enjoy my recent Hell Burger experience I still am on the fence.
  • Best Book Festival: National Book Festival – No surprise to me here, and like I just wrote, is there that many book festivals out there? Well the paper did take a minute to recognize GMU’s Fall for the book festival as a close second place finisher.
  • Best Adult Novelty Shop: Pleasure Place (Reader’s Choice) – Now here’s something I’ve been wondering for awhile, where’s the best place to get my kinky sex toys. While I’ve actually never heard of Pleasure Place, I’m kinda intrigued that it’s actually a chain with multiple locations. I guess sex does sell.
  • Best Congressional Vending Machine: Hot dog vending machine below Cannon HOB – Now this is just a silly category but I did find it funny that our lawmakers are able to get a dog at all hours, you have to keep them fueled during a long legislative session after all.
  • Best D.C. Safeway: Chevy Chase – Thank goodness that they recognized that the words best and Safeway aren’t usually in the same sentence. But hey at least it’s not Food Lion.
  • Best Caps Player: Alex Ovechkin (Reader’s Choice) – Really? Was there any doubt?
  • Best Place To Smoke Weed: Home – I don’t know if I can stop laughing to write anything about this category.
  • Best Place To Relieve Yourself: Your own bathroom – Aw man after I looked at the previous category… I do have to say the bathrooms at Mie and Yu are really nice…
  • Best Local Twitterer: Ana Marie Cox – The founder of Wonkette is still popular on the interwebs in Twitter form. I would of loved to see best politician Twitterer, because I think Claire McCaskill would win hands down.
  • Best Local Blog: Jim Newell, Wonkette – Two very classy outlets and they are very entertaining blogs. There’s no way I would ever tell you we were the best, but I do have fun writing anyways!

Giving Hell Burger A Heck Of A Try

courtesy of Personal Wine Buyer

courtesy of Personal Wine Buyer

Type in Hell Burger into Google and you’ll find nothing but great reviews of the place. So I don’t need to write another review on how great the burgers are.

However I did want to try it for myself- and I did last month. My friend Mike and I went down to Hell Burger and took burgers home to enjoy before The Oscars.

The place was exactly as described, an unmarked building next near the old location of Ray’s The Steaks (it’s now across the street from my office in Courthouse.)

We walk in and see the B-Movie posters, the line of fans (even on a Sunday night), and the shots of hot chocolate which are as advertised- to die for.

I ordered the BIG Poppa and I did enjoy the burger. It was a mess to eat but I enjoyed every bite. I ordered the Mac & Cheese side and it was ok but the main attraction was the burger itself.

While the burger as a whole package was delicious- I found the spice crusted burger too spiced up for me to really judge the meat. I hear that the burgers and made from leftover cuts from Ray’s The Steaks and so I wanted to taste what DC’s best burger tasted like. I needed a repeat visit.

That visit happened last week where I ordered the Soul Burger Number One… and now I’m still on the fence.

Don’t get me wrong- I think Hell Burger is great and I’m going to go there again, but maybe I need a third try to really sort my feelings out on the place.

What do you guys think- is there a favorite burger there I should try next?

Ray’s Hell Burger
1713 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22209
(703) 841-0001

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