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Fatburger's Comin' Ta Columbia!!


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  1. Former Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown will open Maryland's first Fatburger hamburger joint in August at a franchise location in Columbia.

    The new restaurant, in the Columbia Gateway shopping center, will be one of five Brown plans to open in Maryland. His franchise expects to open five additional Fatburgers around Washington, with a first location planned near Howard University, executives with the Santa Monica, Calif.-based chain said.


    1. Jealous! I actually can't stand the Five Guys burger, but Iove love love Fatburger.

      1. SO excited. As a former Angeleno, I used to be a dedicated Fatburger consumer. I noticed, however, that there were discrepancies in the quality of the onion rings from one LA location to another. No one quite did them as well as the folks on the corner of Vermont and Hollywood. Kinda makes my mouth water thinking about it.

        6 Replies
        1. re: nbritton

          There are always differences between branches of the same fast food brand no matter how closely the mothership attempts to control them. There are differences between McDonald's, differences (lots, around here) between Popeye's, differences between Five Guys, differences between Fatburgers.

          It's just another restaurant. Some will like it, some won't. I've not fallen love with the few Fatburgers that I've had in the LA area, but when we get one within 15 minutes of where I live (Falls Church) I'll give the local version a try. 'Til then, I'll stick with 5 Guys, or Big Buns if I want a completely different but equally good hamburger experience.

          1. re: MikeR

            If you're in Falls Church, you should be giving Elevation Burger a try (if you haven't already). Fries done in olive oil and a much healthier and less indigestion-inducing alternative to Five Guys.

            Elevation Burger
            442 S Washington St, Falls Church, VA

            1. re: kzzaaa

              In my opinion Big Buns is better than Elevation Burger.

              1. re: kzzaaa

                I ate at Elevation Burger several times over their first six months or so. I really wanted to like the place since it was both a local operation and health-conscious, but it just wasn't the hamburger experience that I was after. The patties are thin so it's hard to cook them lighter than medium-well, but because the fancy meat they use is leaner than most burger places, it doesn't have any juiciness. I don't want a burger that drips down my chin, but I want something between a dry taste in my mouth and an oil-soaked bun.

                The fries at Elevation must be an acquired taste and may require more cooking skill than their basic training provides. Sometimes they've come out hot and crisp, other times, hot and limp (I've exchanged those for a fresh batch that's almost always better). But because of the way they cut the potatoes (thin shoestrings) they cool off very quickly. An order is pretty large and before I get 1/3 through it, even a "good" batch isn't very appetizing.

                It's also fairly expensive for a burger-and-fries lunch. LIke at 5 Guys, eating with someone else and sharing a single small order of fries is plenty and easier on the wallet, but I usually eat lunch alone and it comes dangerously close to $7. So for my once-a-month burger splurge, I'll usually hit 5 Guys, and for a special treat, Big Buns. I don't necessarily like Big Buns more than 5 Guys (I don't eat at either frequently enough to have developed a strong preference) but BB does make thicker patties so they can be a bit rarer. I've never had Big Buns fries, so I can't compare those. Most 5 Guys have free parking, something that Big Buns does not.

                1. re: MikeR

                  Where is Big Buns? Never heard of it.

                  1. re: bakagaijin

                    Big Buns is in one of those courtyards between office building in Ballston, on the Wilson Blvd side of the point where Wilson Boulevard and Glebe Road come together. The address is on Wilson Blvd, but you can't see it from Wilson.

                    http://www.eatbigbuns.com/ for a map and menu

          2. If only it were In-n-Out burgers!

            2 Replies
            1. re: tartuffe

              I completely agree -- In n Out is one of the few chain/franchise burgers I enjoy.

              What's so good about a 'Fatburger'? It sounds like just another chain to me.

              1. re: tartuffe

                It would be fantastic if In-N-Out comes here in MD. Growing up in SoCal, Fatburger was okay, but In-N-Out is the sacred cow. I like mine '3x3 with onions' (off the menu and mentioned verbally), with the shakes, and the really good dry french fries.

                Also, if Tommy's ever makes it here, it would be burger nirvana!

              2. La~la~la! I posted not too long ago looking for a decent burger in Columbia. This will be added to the short list when I'm out that way visiting family. I've heard so much about it, can't wait to try it! Thanks for the heads up, bakagaijin!

                2 Replies
                1. re: diablo

                  Fatburger is very good but I don't think it approaches either In-n-Out or most Five Guys (they've become very inconsistent). Elevation Burger was a favorite of mine when it first opened but the last few visits have been VERY disappointing. Each time I visit an In-n-Out I find it's consistency all the more remarkable.

                  1. re: Joe H

                    In my year on Socal, I was never an In and Out kind of person. I find their burgers too thin and often made from grills in need of more cleaning. I haev always like Fat Bruger better. We used to go to Fat urger at 8pm ever week before Hill Street Blues came on the tube for a quick dinner followed by an ice cream next door. Our weekly foray into Hollywood coincided with a transgendered group therapy's break time making for a very colorful and interesting set of dining companions.

                    Of course nothing even approaches a Cassal's burger (I hope they are still there). But even Cassal's can't comepete with itself when old Mr Cassal was there every day back at the original 6th Street location with the outdoor patio. I will welcome Fatburger.

                2. While waiting for cheap gas at Costo I espied the actual location of said establishment. Turns out it is located in the same plaza (Gateway Overlook) as Trader Joes, between Mama Lucia Pizza and Stride Rite shoes. They have some of the counter and neon in, no seating, and I could not see if any kitchen equipment has been installed.

                  1. I am going there to dine with County Executive, Ken Ulman in about 45 minutes. I ate there last Thursday night while the store was conducting training. It's been 15 years since I last had Fat Burger @ 2am on the corner of Lincoln and Washington in LA. I am glad that it is finally open.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Rocky Brown

                      And I might vote for Ken if he can lure In-N-Out Burger to HoCo. If it's like the ones in Vegas, the local Fatburger will have an upstream swim against Five Guys.

                      1. re: Rocky Brown

                        The Fatburger at Lincoln and Washington closed several years ago. In-n-Out opened a block up the street.

                      2. I ate there last night with my son (a young burger purist :)). I was expecting a crowd as every time I've driven by before it opened there were always people walking up, peering in, and walking away disappointed that it had not yet opened. I was also not expecting too much as everyone working there seemed pretty young and I knew they had just gone through whatever training they provide.

                        The speed and service was quite good considering the newness but there was not a big crowd. On the menu above the register they claim FatBurger was voted best burger in LA and Vegas. We were not impressed with the burgers which were dry and chewey. I assume whoever gave them their Best of LA never ate at an In and Out.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: dacfood

                          For those who need to avoid red meat, anyone have a preference between Fatburger's turkey, two kinds of chicken and Bocaburger sandwiches?

                          1. re: WestIndianArchie

                            I was there about a month or so ago. What a horrible mess that place was. Extraordinarily long waits and average fast food quality burgers for "sit down" prices. Seriously, they charge Hell Burger prices and I thought the burgers were at a sub-Wendy's level. But the speed was the biggest problem. We waited 45 minutes, with a toddler, at dinner time, when they weren't very crowded. Repeated attempts to find out what was taking so long were dismissed. I'd say the grill man had some efficiency issues. Regardless, if the product was any good it might be worth the hassle. But in my opinion, Five Guys has them beat in just about every way possible (except for milkshakes, by default).

                            1. re: Jason1

                              You can always walk over to Costco and get a 1/4+ lb hot dog and all you care to drink soda for $1.50. ;)

                              1. re: Jason1

                                Went about a month ago. I agree with Jason. Not particularly good, overpriced, and a long wait exacerbated by the fact that they packed my food up to go, couldn't find me, and left it under a heat lamp.

                                When I finally went up to see what had taken so long they brought it to my table. My ticket read "dine in" so I'm not sure what the problem was. In fairness they did refund my *way* overpriced onion rings. Also like Jason I'd be willing to forgive all this if the food was good, but it wasn't.

                                I can't imagine bothering to go back.

                              2. re: WestIndianArchie

                                Best thing about it is that it is next door to the Perfect Pour.