HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >

Elevation Burger

Chownut Nov 19, 2006 03:01 AM

Anyone been there, done that? I was watching a food special on TV covering DC area feeding stops, and this burger joint in Falls Church supposedly offers Virginia Kobe Beef Burgers and french fries fried in olive oil.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Dennis S RE: Chownut Nov 19, 2006 12:18 PM

    Much, though most was a year or two ago. Generally not good for the hype and price. Avoid the special sauce.


    1. s
      Steve RE: Chownut Nov 19, 2006 05:36 PM

      The least tasty burger I can think of.

      1. m
        MikeR RE: Chownut Nov 19, 2006 06:27 PM


        Dry burgers, fries that are skinny and get cold too quickly. It might be good for you, but it's not a particularly tasty meal. Better to have a 5 Guys (or fancy-schmancy $15 steakhouse burger) once a month and enjoy it than feel like you can have a healthy burger and stay healthy. ;)

        I've had sticker shock at Elevation. Just a cheesburger and fries (no drink) is six bucks and small change. Add a soda and it's close to eight bucks, and make it a shake (which are actually pretty good) and your burger, fries, and shake is pretty near ten bucks.

        If Elevation isn't too far out of your way, however, give it a try. You might like the idea and find it tasty enough to enjoy.

        5 Replies
        1. re: MikeR
          Chownut RE: MikeR Nov 19, 2006 08:29 PM


          1. re: MikeR
            biscuit RE: MikeR Nov 22, 2006 12:38 AM

            Wrong, so very very wrong. It's the best burger in town. Better than 5 Guys? Are you kidding? 5 Guys is greasy and the meat has half the flavor of Elevation's. The fries get cold too quickly? Sounds like you eat too slowly.

            1. re: biscuit
              MikeR RE: biscuit Nov 22, 2006 10:40 AM

              I don't know what it is that you're tasting that's so good, but to me if a burger doesn't have some fat, it doesn't have any taste.

              As for the fries, well maybe I do eat slowly, but they do have a greater surface area to weight ratio than ones that aren't so skinny, so they DO lose heat faster. At 5 Guys, a small order is about twice the amount that I can eat, and the greater volume of hot potato in the bag helps to keep the ones I do eat warm. Sorry for the science lesson, but that's the way it works.

              No point in arguing about this though. I don't mind Elevation Burger, I just don't enjoy it as much as 5 Guys. Seeing as how I go to one or the other maybe once every month or six weeks (and I eat lunch out just about every weekday) I might as well eat at the one I prefer. If I went for a burger three times a week, I'd probably learn to get used to what Elevation serves because it might help me live longer while eating basically unhealthful food.

              1. re: MikeR
                biscuit RE: MikeR Nov 23, 2006 01:38 AM

                It's all about personal preference, really, but I've never found the meat at Elevation to be dry. It was plenty moist enough and the sauce was just fine. I've had my share of burgers, coming from Southern California, and this one tends to taste the best to me.

                Flavor should account for something. Are you really savoring it? It tastes as close to a good steak as I've yet tried in a burger. Fat alone doesn't do it and it seems to me that Five Guys has it in abundance. Fat, that is.

                I will say that I do enjoy Five Guys as well, but think it is inferior and suffers from franchise inconsistency. I'm sure I'll be frequenting the new location in Fairfax soon since Elevation is a bit of a haul. Hell, it beats the major chains hands down, so I'll take what I can get.

                1. re: biscuit
                  Dennis S RE: biscuit Nov 26, 2006 01:53 PM

                  Almost all (if not all) of the new 5 guys are franchises. For the most part they live up to the o.g., but not always, and of course not at first. It's been awhile for me since I've been to any of the originals, but the one in south Reston has been solid for some time now. I'm guessing the same owners are doing the new Ffx location, which would seem to bode well.

                  Since the ffx corner location is close enough to you, when you've got some extra time, shoot up to Jimmy's in Herndon for one.

          2. m
            mnadel RE: Chownut Nov 20, 2006 05:40 PM

            I've been there twice in the last month. The first time I really enjoyed the burger. The second time I thought it was dry and tasted funny.

            On the other hand, I think the fries are delicious -- better than Five Guys.

            Also, the shakes are outstanding.

            1. s
              svt RE: Chownut Nov 20, 2006 08:29 PM

              As much as I wanted to love this place, I wasn't impressed. The burgers were small and not overly flavorful. The fries were good. The wait for the food seemed much longer than necessary--it almost seems like each order is cooked before another is even started. I'll go back and try again when I'm in the area, but (in my opinion) this place doesn't have anything on Five Guys.

              1. i
                icejew RE: Chownut Nov 20, 2006 09:06 PM

                Five Guys is much better. Elevation seems focused more on the novelty than on the food, and a restaurant that loses focus on the food is of course a tragedy.

                2 Replies
                1. re: icejew
                  biscuit RE: icejew Nov 22, 2006 12:47 AM

                  Not novelty. Quality. Something that severely lacks in the inconsistency of the ever-expaning Five Guys empire.

                  1. re: biscuit
                    icejew RE: biscuit Nov 27, 2006 11:27 PM

                    I honestly don't believe the Elevation Burger to be a high-quality burger as a burger - it lacks the balance of beef taste, juiciness, and greasiness that combines with the toppings and buns for a good burger. I think that a burger like that at Five Guys, at least the originals, does have these qualities and is an overall better-tasting and more complete final product, which to me is quality. I would not call most fast food places high quality, but I think the original Five Guys burger chains keep in mind what taste works as well as using delicious fresh, beef. On the other hand, I haven't been to the franchises of Five Guys yet and it seems reasonable that they could have a drop in quality - but so could the new Elevation Burger franchises in 2007.

                    Crisp fries v thick fries is a matter of preference, and which I like depends on my mood, but I do think peanut oil works better than olive oil in general.

                    The point is that I feel like Elevation Burger thinks they can just do stuff like use grass-fed Kobe and olive oil and think that it means quality rather than considering the actual quality of a tasty burger. They just take too much for granted with the idea and the burgers are less satisfying than they could be.

                2. m
                  MacArthur Mike RE: Chownut Nov 21, 2006 01:17 AM

                  Five Guys is where its at, heck even Cheeburger Cheeburger is alot better than Elevation.

                  1. biscuit RE: Chownut Nov 22, 2006 12:46 AM

                    Looks like a lot of Five Guys employees are Chowhounds (kidding), so I'll be the first to say Elevation is the superior choice. The meat has always been tender and juicy and full of flavor. The fries are top notch, never greasy and always cooked to perfection. And the shakes are thick and rich. Some of the best you'll ever have.

                    Five Guys is greasy mess. I don't get the hype.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: biscuit
                      Chownut RE: biscuit Nov 22, 2006 01:12 AM

                      Five guys is not too bad if you load up on the free fixins and if you get the bacon cheeseburger. Otherwise, I do agree that Five Guy's burger patties don't have much taste to them. My personal favorite is Fuddruckers though, but most people hate this chain joint. I just love their fresh baked buns, and their burger patties have good flavor.

                      1. re: Chownut
                        biscuit RE: Chownut Nov 23, 2006 01:43 AM

                        I agree with you on Fuddruckers. Their burgers are about as good as it gets for a major chain.

                    2. Dennis S RE: Chownut Nov 22, 2006 11:11 AM

                      Also for the OP, the following thread and search string may help find the true best burger, which definitely is not either 5 Guys or Elevation.



                      1. Lowbar RE: Chownut Nov 22, 2006 02:22 PM

                        A couple months ago, when Jim Leff was writing about his NoVA "chowissance" or whatever it was, he raved about Super Chicken. In a reply, Steve pointed out that the birds at Super Chicken are beat out by El Pollo Rico...but Jim contended that Super Chicken was the best based soley on "intuition." Same for Blanca's...of Blanca's he said "Blanca's is killer. Trust me. I didn't have to eat there to know it." I found these statements suspect, and, based on my personal experience of actually eating at these places, incorrect.

                        When it comes to burger joints, my chow sixth-sense is activated, and like the alpha hound himself, I usually trust my intuition. After a thorough review of the Elevation Burger web site, and a slow drive by the premises, I offer you this divine(ly arrogant?) insight:

                        "Elevation Burger is mediocre. Trust me. I didn't have to eat there to know it."

                        sorry, we already started into our thanksgiving keg

                        1. a
                          Atlantis RE: Chownut Nov 22, 2006 06:55 PM

                          Elevation is so precious, it flew up its own .......... ah, never mind. Doing fries in olive oil is wrong, wrong, wrong. At a certain temperature, olive oil breaks down into a most unhealthy chemical composition, defeating the whole PC point of this idiotic exercise in ruining perfectly good food.

                          Want a great burger? Check out Famous Dave's in Vienna or Woodbridge (my two haunts), and all the fixings that come with their burgers. The meat platters - brisket, etc. - are terrific, too, because they don't worry about living forever.

                          I've gone to Five Guys too many times and I've never had a decent burger. I simply do not understand how they stand in business. Their food is awful. No wonder they put out the peanuts.

                          Show Hidden Posts