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Alert: Great Burger at Black's Bar and Kitchen

j
John Galt Sep 18, 2006 02:07 PM

Black's Bar and Kitchen, in Bethesda, MD, has received much praise on this board in recent weeks. In my several visits, I would agree with most, although not all, of that praise. The raw bar and the steak (with chimmichurri) have been stand-outs.

Yesterday, I had the biggest stand-out yet. The menu names it Black's Famous Hardwood Grilled Hamburger. And, whether or not it really is famous, it is delicious. Alarmingly so. Like, wake-up-and-take-notice-how-good-this-is. Hard-to-concerntrate-on-conversation good.

Better than Palena. Better than Colorado Kitchen. Better than Sign of the Whale. Better than anything I've had in the DC area. And, any burger anywhere in recent memory.

I had mine medium-rare.

Beautiful ground beef. A woody, smoky char on the outside. Lucious, beefy, fatty, meat on the inside. A slice of perfectly melted, sharp, salty, cheddar. And a soft roll that doesn't interfere, but just gets the hell out of the way of the starring ingredient.

Two pieces of advice: (1) Try it first without any condiments. It didn't need any. (2) Don't try to order it at dinner in the main dining room. I tried to do so once before and was declined, as it is only on the bar menu, the lunch menu, and the brunch menu. Perhaps they will fix this glitch.

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  1. c
    cleveland park RE: John Galt Sep 18, 2006 03:04 PM

    For years Blacks has had IMHO the best burger in dc metro area. The thin fries to go with it are great too. Before the renovation they had different styled burgers, I noticed that with the renovation they simplified the options. But after all this i wanted to completely agree with you on Black's burger. It's amazing

    1. s
      Steve RE: John Galt Sep 20, 2006 09:07 PM

      Black's serves an elegant burger, beautifully cooked. It is a fine burger for refined tastes.

      But that's not necessarily what I'm looking for in a burger, so I was not nearly as impressed with it. I prefer burgers that are smaller (more crust to interior ratio), and more 'beefy' flavor.

      I've been to Colorado Kitchen twice, the first time I was almost knocked to the floor with the flavor. Second time was very good but not nearly as the first. Still, that's more what I'm looking for.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Steve
        j
        John Galt RE: Steve Sep 20, 2006 09:24 PM

        "I prefer burgers that are smaller (more crust to interior ratio), and more 'beefy' flavor. I've been to Colorado Kitchen twice, the first time I was almost knocked to the floor with the flavor. Second time was very good but not nearly as the first. Still, that's more what I'm looking for."

        Now this is a real puzzle. The main thing I DIDN'T like about the Colorado Kitchen burger was that it was too bulky! Perhaps the size varies at Colorado Kitchen, because mine was like a grapefruit, with a crust-to-interior ratio that you would not have enjoyed at all. In fact, that was one of the things that I specifically preferred about Black's. Black's wasn't at all bulky, so it had lots of crust. Perhaps the size at Black's is variable, too. I'll be back this weekend to check. For the good of research, of course.

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