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Apr 29, 2008 01:46 PM

Big Buns Ballston

I couldn't find an old thread on it so I thought I would start one.

Went to Big Bun last night when Fiance came in said he was hungry took one look at my pile of studying and said we were going out.

We went to Big Buns, I had a burger with blue cheese, pinneapple, onion strings, lettuce and ketchup/bbq sauce and fries. It was a good juicy burger they didn't ask how I wanted it cooked, but it came out nice and juicy. It compared very closely to a Cheeburger Cheeburger burger for me in terms of taste. It was good, I have heard good things about the fish sandwich too and will probably go back.

The fries were really good, they weren't too seasoned, but nice and crisp with a good amount of salt and pepper.

They have sweet potato fires too, will have to try those next. And they have milkshakes, but I didn't get one, and beer, which surprised me, in a good way. They have sauces you can get, but so far the medely of condiments in the middle would suffice for me. They had malt vinegar, a range of hot sauces, balsamic vinegar, ketchup, mustards, and a few others. They also had bottles of flavoring so you could make like a shirley temple or vanilla mr pib. It is nice to have a good burger joint within walking distance. I mean Ruby Tuesdays is ok, but this was much better.

Fiance got a chicken sandwich I don't think he was as thrilled with it, he got it with the chipotle pesto and said had he seen the bbq sauce that would have made it much better.

Anyway thought I would post. Between this and Grand Cru that little courtyard is looking pretty good for food. Maybe I will have to even try Mary's, although I think it is a lunch only joint.

Anyway my 2 cents in case you are interested or have been and wanted to share. I would love any comments about good mahi-mahi combinations?

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  1. Sounds yummy, I have to try it out. They have a fancy website for a burger restaurant. Will they franchise soon?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Minger

      I thought it was already a franchise, if not I bet they will or at least will try.

      1. re: ktmoomau

        It's nice to have a walkable or nearby protein source after my gym workouts that is not McDonalds. If only they would stay open past 9 PM.

        Their website screams franchise but their map only shows the Ballston location so perhaps we are at ground zero for their expansion plans.

    2. Love the chicken salad bowl at Big Buns. Finally tried the burger. It was overseasoned, maybe salty? I didn't care for it. Agree the fries are good but found the sweet potato fries mushy. I think a co-worker asked for them to be cooked exrta long and they were much better..

      BTW...the pizza at the Puppatella....pretty damn good for 5or so bucks! Crepes not bad either! I know she is limited but I wish she had a side salad...

      8 Replies
      1. re: rHairing

        Puppatella does have salad available on many days, but she frequently sells out early.

        1. re: DanielK

          I got a salad with my pizza but it was rather large, tastey but large. Along with the pizza, i just want like a hamburger container sized salad. Does she have that? And while I am making my wish list, can we get Tutto Bene to make saltenas for lunch just one day during the week?? I love those things but am rarely in Ballston on the weekends!

        2. re: rHairing

          That place is seriously the best pizza in the neighborhood too, I might have to go while I am home during the day I keep wishing Fiance was home during the day I think he thinks I am crazy when I talk about how good it is. He gives me the funniest looks!!

          Noted on the sweet potato fries that is what I worry about with them being mushy, so if I go for it will ask for well done, as I want a crisp fry.

          1. re: ktmoomau

            Where in Arlington is Puppatello's?

            1. re: cabster

              It is a red food cart that sits where the park is across from the bus stops at the metro at Ballston, by the cosi and potbelly, on Stuart St in between the mall and Fairfax Dr. They are only there in the mornings and lunch, I don't know what time they get there or leave?

                1. re: Minger

                  Thanks. Sounds like a fun place to grab some lunch.

                  1. re: cabster

                    It'll be nice once the Farmer's Market in the square starts up on Fridays. Grab some pizza.....fresh fruit...listen to the live music....oh if I could grab a glass of wine from Grand Cru....

          2. I live in Ballston, and go to Big Buns regularly. I like it for the pleasant outside courtyard dining and the reasonably-priced beer -- all located within a short walk of my house. For example, last Friday night, my wife and I had a good time sitting in the courtyard, eating Big Buns burgers, and drinking Yuengling beer (which was going for only $2 per bottle that night).

            But, if Big Buns were not in my neighborhood, I’m not sure whether I’d go there. At least a couple of times, the buns there have been stale, which is a transgression that not even McDonald’s would commit. Although the burgers there are usually acceptable (when the buns aren't stale), they fall far short of those at the better burger joints in town. (My favorite burgers are those from Sweetwater Tavern.) Finally, the milkshakes at Big Buns are not very good at all, and certainly don’t hold a candle to those at Elevation Burger.

            I'd recommend Big Buns only for those who live or work in Ballston. (On the other hand, if Big Buns were to bring back the $3-per-bottle Anchor Steam beer that it used to offer, I'd be willing to give it a more positive recommendation.)

            Big Buns Gourmet Grill
            4401 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA

            Sweetwater Tavern
            3066 Gate House Plz, Falls Church, VA 22042

            Elevation Burger
            442 S Washington St, Falls Church, VA

            2 Replies
            1. re: ballston01

              I think the chicken is better than the burger at Big Buns.

              1. re: ballston01

                I went a couple weeks ago and didn't get the whole wheat bun, while the bun wasn't stale, it did have a taste that I thought wasn't near as good as the whole wheat bun. I still really enjoyed the rest of it though.

              2. I love Big Buns. Fantastic burgers and burgers are supposed to be done.

                1 Reply
                1. re: marcbjohnson

                  I just had lunch at Big Buns today. 2nd time there. Maybe the first time was really better, or maybe it was just because it was pretty good and it was the first time there, but this visit was pretty mediocre. The burger was packed really tight, fairly thin (maybe 5/16") and perfectly even done to a solid medium-well. It was pretty dry. I got the wheat bun and that was good, probably what filled me up. And with nothing fancy but a slice of cheddar, it was still just a few cents less than $7.50, plus another half a buck in the parking meter.

                  If it wasn't for the crowd, I'd take Ray's burger for a buck more over Big Buns. And while it's a whole different burger experience, I think I prefer 5 Guys overall over what I had at Big Buns today. Mind you, BB wasn't bad, just nothing to get excited about.

                2. I've been to Big Buns twice. I love the courtyard. The burger was tasty and I appreciated the price ($6) and all the included toppings. But I was really surprised at how much I liked the chicken ( I had it in a salad with tons of toppings, including the avocado which has a surcharge). It was so juicy and delicous. I don't live too far but have driven both times and didn't have a problem parking on the street, where the vertical spaces are, next to PotBelly. We've enjoyed having our meal, and then when our toddler is done with sitting, we have fun walking around by the fountain and finishing up the milkshake....

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: suebebe

                    Vertical spaces? I was curious enough about that to drive past when I was in the neighborhood and didn't find what you were talking about, nor did I find a Potbelly. The map from the Potbelly web site shows it on Fairfax Drive right where I should have driven right past it. Is the parking you're talking about the lot for that apartment building on Stuart Street?

                    1. re: MikeR

                      I think she means the spots on Taylor, they are the pull in ones on an angle, as Staurt St there is one way for buses at the square. Potbelly isn't really facing fairfax it is on the backside of that building.