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Oct 2, 2007 08:45 AM

Bethesda Burgers?

Is there a good burger to be found in Bethesda, north of the Metro?

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  1. The burger at Black's is good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: AndrewF

      There's a link to a Washington Post article I just saw in a separate thread about BLT:

      which names the burger at Black's as one of the best in the taste test.

      1. re: AndrewF

        Agreed. Black's burger, available in the bar area, is excellent. Also Houston's makes a very tasty burger. Both are within a few blocks of the Bethesda metro, whether they are north of the metro station, I have no idea.

      2. I've lived here 20 years and do most of my dining out in Bethesda because going downtown is a hassle. I can't think of any standouts, but we have had good burgers at the Irish Inn at Glen Echo (not central Bethesda, obviously). To my mind, there is no reason not to go a couple of miles down Connecticut to Palena if you want a great burger. It doesn't take any longer than finding parking in Bethesda! and the burgers (and everything else on the menu) is fantastic.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Just Visiting

          Thanks. I haven't been to Palena yet, but plan to head down there one night to satisfy my burger craving.

        2. My apologies. I didn't notice that you said "north of the metro" by which I assume you mean what most call "the triangle - the area bounded by Wisconsin/355 on the east, Old Georgetown Road on the west, and Bradley Lane on the north. As on this map:

          Although it could also include the east side of Wisconsin Avenue, not that there are many restaurants on that side. Hmm. That makes it even harder.

          There is a new steakhouse where South Beach used to be. Rarely Legal Grille. Haven't been there, don't know of anyone who has. Looks like they serve burgers only at lunch, though most places will serve at dinner if you ask, even if not on the menu.

          Anyway, here's a list of most of the restaurants in Bethesda, by category, with links to their websites, so you can figure out where they are:

          I'm not seeing anything that strikes me as a place I know to have good burgers. I personally dislike Houston's. Can't understand how they've stayed in business so long, except maybe overflow from other places? They have a tasteless burger that they slop with sweet barbecue sauce, chopped onions, and a slice of American cheese. A real mess, and not worth eating.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Just Visiting

            No problem - I appreciate the input and you've convinced me I need to get to Palena! I work at Old Georgetown and Del Ray and will definitely try Black's burger as suggested in another post.

            1. re: cookiegirl

              You have to try Blacks, its very good. I love Palena's burger, but it's different, it's melt in your mouth thinner meat portion, with amazing bun and a delicious flavored mayo (mustardlike flavor?). Black's is more traditional, thicker meat (not as flavorful, but very good), excellent pickled red onions, nice bun and it comes with fries (Palena doesn't have fries) . I see Palena and Black's as very different burgers but in Bethesda by far without even a close second, hands down Black's has the best burger.

              1. re: cleveland park

                Palena has fries! Awesome fries at that!
                you just have to order 'em ;)

                1. re: Jeserf

                  yes they do have fries and they are nice, but I'm making a distinction here b/w 2 different styles: one where you have to order fries separately and is not your traditional burger (lettuce, onion, tomato) and another option that does come with fries and is more in line with what you think of a burger plate. Both are great and my favorite burgers in the area, but I have not tried the burger at central and probably won't be able to with the charcuterie plate they serve there

                  1. re: cleveland park

                    Wow - so I had the Palena burger Wednesday night. That is what a burger is supposed to be - juicy, beefy, perfectly cooked to medium rare as I requested, amazing bun. I never thought I could justify spending $50 on a meal revolving around a cheeseburger (also had gnocchi and wine), but Palena has changed that.

                    I will try Black's soon, for comparison purposes of course.

            2. re: Just Visiting

              Houston's has a "regular" burger in addition to the one you described (the Hickory Burger, I believe).

              As for Houston's itself, despite being a chain, I find it reliably and consistently pretty good. :shrugs:

              1. re: Just Visiting

                regarding rarely legal-

                i went there about a month ago and they do indeed serve burgers at night as part of their happy hour special. $2 tall draft beers and $3 appetizers. the burger is $3 as well and comes with a small side of fries. the burger was nothing to write home about, but for the price it wasn't too bad - better than mcdonalds. i think mine ended up being $4 because i added bacon to the burger. i also had a plate of $3 mussels.

                i do have to say though, the place was pretty dead when i went. NO ONE was downstairs in the dining room and maybe 10 people were upstairs in the bar room. when we left, we saw pretty much the entire staff outside smoking cigarettes.

              2. Try the flame grilled burgers at Hard Times Cafe on Del Ray (right across from a huge county garage). Just be sure to reinforce with your server how you want it cooked - they have a tendancy to overcook a bit.

                On a side note - Hard Times is a chili parlor with four good styles (Texas, Cinci, Terlingua Red, and Vegegtarian) excellent wings prepared on the grill and dusted with spicy southwest style seasonings

                3 Replies
                1. re: MDBBQFiend

                  anybody been to Crossfire? i think that is what it is called???

                  1. re: elegantelliot

                    It's along the lines of, and about as consistent as, 5 Guys, IMO.

                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                      thats not a bad thing, maybe i will check it out

                2. As anyone been to a place called, I think, Crossfire? I drove past it last week, across from La Madeline. It said burgers, but looked like a nondescript chain. For all I know, it has been around for a while, but I haven't been there recently.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: katecm

                    i love crossfire. i think it's a great place. fast, CHEAP, all natural beef, and not so gigantic that you feel clumsy afterwards.

                    1. re: katecm

                      Crossfire is perfect for the fast, inexpensive burger. Lots of topping options. And very good fries, especially if you get them with the garlic topping. And they serve beer and wine. However, you will smell like the restaurant for the rest of the day.