A Real Burger

July 1st, 2008 · 3 Comments


I am sorry in advance for being a burger-tease, but I just have to share the news of the new burger place being opened in Arlington VA, by my friend Michael Landrum. Already the owner of a nationally acclaimed steakhouse, this is what he is bringing to the burger world:

“As those of you who were too foolish to heed my warning on Monday already know, Ray’s Hell-Burger (street name), aka Butcher Burgers (government name), is due to open today, Tuesday, July 1st.

We will be serving one thing only–10 ounces of our secret blend of premium and prime aged beef, char-grilled over an open flame. This is the same single-breed, farm-raised beef that we use at Ray’s The Steaks and Ray’s The Classics, aged in house ridiculously long, hand trimmed to the same exacting standards as all of our steaks, and ground fresh daily, several times throughout the day.

Free toppings include: sauteed mushrooms finished with sherry and brandy, grilled red onions, sauteed peppers, charred jalapenos, vine-ripened beefsteak tomatoes, roasted garlic, and dill or bread and butter pickle chips.

Applewood-smoked bacon (the same that we use for the grilled bacon app at Ray’s The Classics) and guacamole are available for an additional charge.

In addition to the regular quality cheeses on offer (‘Merkin, aged Vermont white cheddar, imported Swiss, imported Gruyere, aged Danish Bleu/Italian Gorgonzola, smoked mozzarella, Monster, Brie, pepperjack) we wil also be offering a changing selection of specialty and artisinal cheeses–currently, Epoisse, Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue, Queen Anne Stilton, Pa Noble Cave Aged Amish Cheddar, Chimay a la biere, Taleggio, and Bel Paese.

Throughout the summer, Hell-Burgers will be served with fresh, buttered corn on the cob and a slice of cold, juicy watermelon AT NO CHARGE!!!

Dominion root beer ON TAP and other great sodas and 8-10 flavors of MOOrenko’s ice cream for cones and floats (no shakes, maybe later–I don’t want to be the one to push shakes into the trite category, too many others stand eager to do so soon enough).

Ray’s Hell-Burger (imagine the “Hell” part in flamey letters) is located at 1713 Wilson Boulevard in the same strip mall as Ray’s The Steaks. We plan to open Saturday and Sunday from noon on and weekdays from 5 pm, for the time being, with expansion into weekday lunch hours possible, maybe.

The best part about all this, for me at least, is that since Ray’s Hell-Burger is located several doors down from Ray’s The Steaks, now whenever someone becomes tantrumishly nasty at the door due to the wait at The Steaks, I can kindly suggest an appropriate alternative destination to them.”

The price for all of this goodness, including corn on the cob, watermelon and gourmet cheese? $6.95. Are you kidding me?

Can you imagine if this kind of joint opened up in Vancouver? It really makes you think about the downright thievery going on at Vera’s Burger Shack, and the garbage they call “Vancouver’s Best Burger.”

The very fact that the prices for a Vera’s burger and one of the above is comparable is a terrible, terrible nightmare. In fact, you could even argue that a vera’s burger costs more, considering it doesn’t come with sides. Excuse me while I go light myself on fire.

Edited to add:

The early reviews in, and not surprisingly they are laudatory:

“At 5 PM tonight, a line had already formed outside of the unmarked restaurant. It’s worth it. The Diablo marinated burger with applewood smoked bacon, Dutch bleu cheese, and mushrooms, grilled “recommended,” was the best burger I’ve had in a long time. And then, to be told, “Oh, Michael’s not accepting money tonight.” Wow.”

“Mine was plain grilled, bacon, smokey bleu cheese, and mushrooms, grilled “recommended”. Well, ordered “recommended”, but it came pretty close to well done. Those were the first burgers off the grill, though, and the next few to arrive at our table got increasingly pinkish. But even at well done, it was incredibly juicy and flavorful. You have to eat quickly, before the bun disintegrates!”

“At 8:45-9ish the line wasn’t too bad. We ordered our burgers to go because we didn’t feel like staying, though tables were available. My burger was pretty good, cooked to a nice medium, juicy and covered with some good mushrooms and swiss. Best burger i’ve had in a while and probably the best i’ve had in DC in a long time, though for some reason my burger was a bit underseasoned. The seasoned bites were out of this world, the unseasoned bites, not so much. My wife had a burger with the smoky mozzarella cheese (me thinks), cooked to a bloody delicious medium rare. It was a true delight. The meat with the smoky cheese made for an A+ burger. Oddly, we got home and noticed my wife didn’t get corn on the cob. We probably should have checked before we left. Oh well. She stole mine and enjoyed it.”

My only consolation is that I will be there in about a month.

Tags: Burgers · News

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver // Jul 1, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Uh-oh, are you opening yourself up again to FLAMING?! (re Vera’s)

    LOL. ;D

  • 2 Jason // Jul 1, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    i’ve always been a flamer

  • 3 gerald tritt // Jul 2, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Thanks for the plug, I wish your buddy the best of luck.


    “You can’t beat Vera’s meat”

    voted best burgers in vancouver in every readers poll 2008

    Jason; wishing you an early happy July 4th

Leave a Comment