Monday, July 12, 2010

BGR: The Burger Joint- Bethesda, MD

Went with the bf to try the highly acclaimed BGR The Burger Joint. I've heard such great things about their burgers, and they've been on TV numerous times, so we have finally checked it off our list. We stopped by the Bethesda location, which has metered street parking and garage parking a couple blocks away. The closest metro stop is Bethesda on the red line.
They have a couple tables outside for dining on a nice day. We opted to sit inside because it has been too hot recently.

This is about the entire size of the place minus the window stools that are cut out of the photo.

Music-themed place with super loud blaring music, paintings of famous albums on the walls, colorful table tops, and a flat-screen TV on the wall.

After you order your food, you receive a pager that will go off once your order is ready for pick-up.

Now about the food! They offer 11 kinds of burgers (blend of Prime, aged, all natural, hormone free, grain fed beef, seafood, veggie and turkey options), 3 kinds of fries, onion rings, milkshakes, drinks (alcoholic, non-alcoholic) and desserts.

Their milkshake menu consists of 4 flavors, one of which changes monthly. Unfortunately, the staff didn't know what the Milkshake of the Month was until the 3rd or 4th person chimed in. It happened to be Peach, but we opted for 'Strawberry' for $4.99. The approx. 16oz drink tasted like a McD's strawberry milkshake, which tastes good, however not at that price. It was also melting on the counter since no one told us it was done and we were 1 of the 2 parties in there.

I'm a huge fan of sweet potato fries, so the bf and I shared an order of 'The Orange Standard (Thin cut, Idaho Sweet Potatoes soaked overnight in our secret process. Double fried to order.)' for $3.99. They had a softer consistency rather than crispy because they were cut thicker. I didn't think they were seasoned enough.

For my burger, I ordered 'The Wellington (Deep roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, garlic, and black truffles, with a touch of mustard seed and blue cheese all atop our burger. Served on a fresh toasted buttery brioche bun with our mojo sauce.)' for $8.99. I ordered my patty medium. It was a very tender burger. The toppings were very strong in flavor but I liked that. I did take a bite of the patty without the toppings and the meat tasted of charcoal because they open flame their meat.

The bf ordered 'The Southwestern (A 10oz burger, infused with southwestern influences, like chipotles, poblanos, onion and chilis. Topped with Pepper Jack and served atop a black bean relish including: cilantro, onions and roasted corn. Served on a fresh toasted buttery brioche bun with our mojo sauce.)' for $8.99. He ordered his patty medium-well and thought it was a good burger, smoky-tasting, spicy enough, but nothing special.
My overall experience did not live up to the hype. Service was awful because it was clear the staff did not care about that place. Dirty tables, lack of ANY customer service, over-filled trash cans, staff chilling at the tables watching Food Network... I'll stop ranting now, but I could go on. The food was good, but not memorable. The prices are a bit expensive, but comparable to my favorite places Ray's Hellburger or Fresh Grill. On a positive note, I like how they have non-beef burger options and unique food items like asparagus fries, and The 9 Pounder burger challenge.

4827 Fairmont Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 358-6137
BGR: the Burger Joint on Urbanspoon

Monday - Saturday 11am-10pm
Sunday 11am - 9pm


Anonymous said...

Good review.

Their burgers have a slight petroleum-like taste that I believe comes from creosote in the fuel they use.

Creosote is a natural resin in wood and charcoal.

I am not talking about the delightful normal char flavor that comes from open flame cooking but a taste that reminds you of lighter fluid or kerosene.

Marie said...

Thanks for the comment! I'm glad someone else noticed that kerosene flavor too. I didn't know why it tasted like that, but now I do, haha. My readers are awesome =)

Anonymous said...

I'm almost positive that their grills are GAS and not charcoal...always a no-no for real burgers. I too had high hopes for this place, but their operation skills/care blows.