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McLean questions

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Went to Corkie's yesterday to try the midwestern style breaded pork loin. Passable but nothing spectacular, though the fries were good and the place had a nice atmosphere - nicer than I had expected. Btw, a sign on the front says under new ownership so I don't know what that means. The place was on my list for a while but I hadn't gone until now.

Anyway, while driving there along Old Dominion from 123, I saw a few places that looked intriguing, but two places jumped out a bit more - mainly b/c I don't ever remember reading about them on threads for McLean, Burgers or BBQ.

The two places are Boss Hogs, and Joe's Burgers(?). Both on the north side of O.D.

I'm curious for any info on either of these, or any other great spots - especially for weekday lunch.

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  1. Mclean has two bbq places - Boss Hogs and Three Little Pigs. Boss Hogs is near the bottom for area bbq. Three Little Pigs is better, which translates into an ok lunch.

    1. I can't imagine the intelligence that caused you to put Corkie's on your list. It used to be notorious for apallingly bad food. I can't imagine how it survived under the former ownership for as long as it did. Consider yourself lucky that you dined there under new ownership, and that you were served something passable.

      Joe's Restaurant/Gourmet Burgers is new, as in only a week or two old. It took over the space of a failed restaurant that was only about two-three months old. The omens weren't good for the previous restaurant. That place sat dark for several months depite being fully equipped with complete signage. Finally, it opened.

      We ate there once. While the food was pleasant enough, the experience was problem-ridden. The kitchen prepared the wrong foods -- my salad/my husband's entree -- and the waiter didn't notice anything amiss when he carried the food to our table. The end of the mail was no smoother than the middle. Our check was wrong, in spite of the fact that we had ordered specials so the prices were prominently posted on a chalkboard. All mistakes were corrected with a smile.

      At any rate, I noticed the new burger signage within the past week -- so new that one sign appears temporary. I have no idea whether the new restaurant is simply a new format by the same owners or new owners.

      I haven't had a chance to take one for the team.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Indy 67

        One reason - it's the only place apparently in the whole area (if not the NE US) that has a breaded tenderloin. Years ago this board gave it lukewarm reviews. It was just slightly less than that overall.

        Thanks both for the info so far on those other places. Looks like I won't be rushing out to either anytime soon.

        1. re: Dennis S

          To my surprise, I ended up at Joe's Burgers for dinner last night. We had a power failure in the late afternoon. Although the power came back on in time to prepare dinner, I was already in a mind set for going out cheap and casual. Joe's Burgers seemed to fill that need. I'm pleased to report that our meal was most enjoyable, and we'll definitely go back.

          The hamburgers are huge and moist. There are no food police notices on the menu informing patrons that the restaurant won't cook the hamburgers less than medium-rare. (Actually, I've noted that most restaurants with that warning, don't actually deliver the burgers less than done medium or medium-well.) I ordered medium-rare and that's the way my burger was cooked. Ditto for my husband's medium-rare hamburger. I saw another party eating truly rare hamburgers.

          My husband ordered the Joe's Burger, a combination of burger, machengo cheese, and chorizo. He really enjoyed the combination. I thought the execution of this burger was a bit odd since the machengo cheeseburger was topped with a stripe of three small links of choizo. I prefer my toppings more evenly distributed over the surface of the burger. I ordered the Southwest Burger with Pepperjack cheese, salsa, and guacamole; I was happy with the results. The toppings complemented the meat taste, but didn't overwhelm it.

          The menu states that all burgers come with an order of sauteed onions and Joe's barbecue sauce in addition to fries. I know that my burger was also topped with the promised onions. If there was barbecue sauce on my burger, I didn't taste it. I certainly needed no added moisture or flavor. The meat was really juicy -- drippy, in fact. (The blouse I wore to dinner last night is now in the washing machine.)

          As I said, the eating is quite gloppy, but the basic napkin is a very sturdy high-quality paper napkin and the waiter immediately set down an additional stack of ordinary paper napkins.

          There is no draft beer. An assortment of international beers is available by the bottle, although they were out of Samuel Adams last night. Wine is available by the glass, too.

          The restaurant is tiny, tiny, tiny. I think it can hold 20-24 patrons. There reataurant is staffed by three people: one waiter and one cook. The gentleman who was our waiter the time we ate in this restaurant's previous incarnation was now in the food prep area assembling the plates.

          We learned that the previous version of the restaurant did not do the business that was anticipated so "everyone" (I don't know if the process was really that democratic, but that was the word the waiter used) voted to change the format. The waiter said the burger format has been much more popular.

          When we first arrived around 7:00 there were three or four available 2-tops. As the evening wore on, the restaurant became more crowded. Only a family of three had to wait for a table, and one became available within about 10 minutes.

          Prices ranged from approximately $9 for the basic burger to approximately $15 for the Kobe beef burger.

          This restaurant definitely fills a niche in the neighborhood.

          1. re: Indy 67

            Just an FYI to anyone thinking about it, kobe beef in a burger is like cokking suchi grade tuna. In other words, it makes zero sense. Kobe is bred to be steaks and by grinding it down, it renders the whole process worthless.

            Back on topic, don't bother with Boss Hogs. It's not worth the money. I prefer three little pigs. They have a new Carolina sauce for those who prefer the vinegar base. They mince the meat when you order it as well so it's not dry. It is amazing that there aren't more stellar restaurants in Mclean considering the demographics of the area.

            1. re: NovaDave

              I agree with your bottom line statement about "kobe" beef as a burger. As an example, I find Elevation Burger awful.

              On the other hand, I have had real Kobe beef (not domestically-raised waygu) in Japan in two versions, but never as a steak in the sense that we eat it here. It's really too expensive to eat that way. In the first version, it was a piece of steak sliced thinly in front of the patron and then sauteed on the grill with vegetables. Not your father's Japanese Steak House, though, unless your father grew up in Tokyo. I had the "surf and turf" that included abalone, which is at least as expensive as the beef. The meal was close to $100 well over 10 years ago. In the other version, the beef was sliced paper-thin for a shabu shabu, which was given the slightest swish through the broth before popping into the mouth. You don't even need to chew. Price unknown, as I was being hosted.

          2. re: Dennis S

            I think that was in fact the reason for the talk a couple of years ago. Those transfered Hoosiers like myself miss the tenderloin. Yes, it was nowhere nearly as good as the best of what you find in the midwest, but was at least as good as some midwest versions. Corkie did hand-cut and hand-bread the meat. It helped to satisfy the craving.

            She sold it a little over a year ago. I haven't been since right after that. We haven't been back since.

            1. re: bacchante

              I ate at Corkie's twice: once at dinner with family and once the restaurant catered a lunch at work. I can't tell you a thing about the dinner; however, the roast beef sandwhich that was part of the lunch is infamous and indelible in my memory. The sandwich consisted of buttered white bread and a single slice of well-done roast beef containing a huge chunk of gristle.