The Ollieburger, 31 years later
After a 31 year hiatus, I finally had another Ollieburger. I wasn't avoiding it; I just didn't have the time.
I spent my high school years in Miami Beach, where we had a Lum's down the street from my school as well as an Ollie's Trolley on the same block (!). I have a very distinct memory of how the Ollieburger is supposed to taste. Nowadays, there couldn't be more than three left in the country. I had a burger from the Ollie's Trolley at 12th and E Sts, NW.
Conclusion: it is defintely as greasy a burger as you're likely to find. And it does not taste exactly like the Ollieburger of old. But this marinated burger sure is tasty, easy to eat despite it's size, and I am not letting another 31 years go by until the next one.
A guilty pleasure to be sure.
PS - No, I didn't try the fries. Counting calories, y'know.
The Ollies at 12th and E has changed owners at least twice since 2006 and what they're selling as an Ollieburger in no way resembles the Ollieburgers of old. Plain frozen beef patty with American cheese on a doughy roll with NO Olliesauce. The fries just had a little pepper on them; no spices apart from that. And the building was always a little dingy, but when I went the place was filthy. Utter disappointment.
Ah, an Ollie burger and a hot dog cookes in beer at Lum's. That is a restaurant I haven't thought of in over 20 years.
The (defunct) Ollie's Trolley behind Wilson Blvd was better than the 12th Street location ONLY because it was free standing. Hopefully 12th Street will stick around for many years as it's always good to consume a bit of nostalgia.
I tried to cook an Ollieburger as many years ago my self after going to the Lum's in Va. I loved the sauce and fries too. I tried the kraft French then 1000 island stuff. Then added Lemon Peper to that, and tried other stuff. Cheeze Wiz, a combination of em. Never could get that sorta odd Ollies taste just right. Close was lemon peper "Just after" cooking and on the bun, then add warm sauce. Maybe add some "more" seasoned salt. If I had it I may have tried some Zateran's or that kind of thing to give it that odd Ollies Spiked flavor.
When I went back to the DC Ollies, they had one by the Post Pub, and the one down on 12th street. They didnt taste the same as the old Lum's.
Like the old Double R burger you have to just enjoy it while you can. If you can find em.
re: Marty L.
I went there this weekend, and think it's a great choice compared to what else is around, especially for the prices. Certainly not a "destination restaurant," but a tasty (very) marinated burger, and I like the seasoning on the fries. The one close to us in Arlington closed down soon after we moved here (and Whitey's fell not too far after that, not that we were regulars), but too bad, if I was local to it, I might make it a more regular lunch option. Maybe not good for my cholesterol, but...
re: Marty L.
It was in fact founded by a guy named Ollie, and was going to be expanded into the next McDonalds by John Y Brown, the guy who made KFC into a national chain. The chain didn't make it, but a few independents such as our local outpost and the others you mentioned still hang on as independent operations with local variations. Maybe that's why the "famous Ollie sauce" in our local one tasted like bottled sauce to me--no central Ollie sauce factory any longer! Anyway, it's still a fairly good burger--worth a detour if not a journey.
I work off E street and we've gone there off and on for the past few years.
The burger is good, but the thing I love about it is the fresh bun, lettuce, tomato and red onions that they stack with the burger. It's not all mushed down like a Five Guys burger.
The steak and cheese is good too. They grill the roll so it's got a nice crust on the outside. Get the deluxe with the green peppers and mushrooms.
And for G-d sakes get the fries at least once. They're not earth shattering, but they're really well seasoned and fried up nice and crisp. You can afford the calories - you skip the greasy stir-fried noodles at Chinatown Express - go for it!
Having worked two blocks away for 15 years, about 2 months ago I finally went, and agree it isn't a bad burger at all. However, the much-touted secret Ollie sauce didn't taste like anything special. In fact, IIRC it tasted pretty much like Kraft 1000 island dressing. The fries weren't anything special either--I don't recall now whether they were frozen or not, but nothing special anyway. But the burger is worth a stop if one is in the 'hood.
BTW, are you the "real Steve?" (lol)