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Elevation Burger. let's see how this one stacks up.

The new Kid on the Block in Harbor East is about to open. It's on Aliceanna St, next to the marriott, across from the Promenade, in the same building as Whole Foods. I work in the neighborhood, and though Taco Fiesta and Whole Foods has saved my life on many occasions, sometimes you need something quick and fast, cheap and cheerful for lunch.

I'm curious to see what all of you Foodie people think-is it worth posting about? i heard it's a chain, but a reputable one, like Five Guys. Please, chow away!

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    1. re: charmedgirl

      Opening Day:I had a watery coffee shake, the burger was overwhelmed by the toppings. seemed a bit skimpy, for the price-9.00 dollars for the whole shebang(no side). the employees were kind-the credit card machine went down, it's their first day, etc. one manager type asking each guest if they enjoyed their meals. i'm still going back, as i know you have to give a place time to flourish..my co-workers are ecstatic, still for anything new :)

    2. I went to the one in Falls Church, not this one, but honestly it reminds me of an overpriced McDonald's burger. The burgers are very small, they use awful, not homemade, or good buns, they cook the meat so much that anyone who says they can tell it is grass fed is full of bull, and after you buy their tiny portion of fries and a drink it isn't cheap. But I had to try it once to see what they hype is about. If you go get a milkshake it was the only decent thing I had.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ktmoomau

        I used to work around the corner from the FC location. I agree that it's overpriced. I think I paid $13 or some such absurd amount for a burger, fries, and shake.

      2. From what I see on their website, if one opened near me, I'd be checking it out fast. Any place that claims to grind the meat on site for their burgers is worth a chow. :)

        1. It's open, saw people going in and out yesterday.

          1. I really wanted to like Elevation Burger. My first couple of visits to the original one in Falls Church were fairly impressive regarding how they dealt with the product and the customers, but after a short while, it just became another small hamburger that was kind of dry and overdone, and I never cared for their cooked-in-olive-oil fries. For little burgers that are pretty tasty, I'm sticking with Five Guys. They're not perfectly consistent like McDonald's, but when they're good they're very good, and when they're so-so, they're still better than McDonald's.

            There was also a new one going in the Lee-Harrison shopping center (Harris Teeter, Gin Na Rhee) last time I was there. Probably open by now if they didn't get hung up with permits.

            3 Replies
            1. re: MikeR

              Lee Harrison branch still not open as of noon today (3/30/09), although I believe they had been advertising a Monday opening. Lots of activity inside, though. Looks like it's about ready.

              1. re: MikeR

                I really wanted to like it too. But overcooking ruins the meat, as noted above. I hate the sauce. Fries are a waste of olive oil. All this for a huge price. After giving it a second chance, we never went back.

                1. re: MikeR

                  I like Five Guys, as a good chain restaurant alternative to the big guys. (McDonalds, Wendy, Burger King, etc.) However, I would never say that their burgers are outstanding. It's nice to have a hamburger like the type you'd make at home, without all of the mess. This is essentially what Five Guys is. (It's also nice to have real boardwalk-type fries.)

                2. If you can't cook a burger so rare it's alive, I don't want it... no matter what the organic/hand-cut/never-frozen/grass-fed bona fides. So I'm done with Elevation and for that matter, with Z Burger and Five Guys. The best burgers around here are at bars, IMHO, not specialty burger places.....

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: jkosnett

                    You mean that last statement to be ...except Ray's Hell Burger


                    1. re: Dennis S

                      I haven't been to Ray's Hell, so, yes, that comment doesn't apply to them. I'll get there in the next two weeks or so...

                    2. re: jkosnett

                      "If you can't cook a burger so rare it's alive, I don't want it... "

                      i second that. well, back to the drawing board.

                      1. re: LuLuBlaubugunder

                        Sadly, it's the rare restaurant that is willing to try. They're more worried about inadvertently making a customer sick than they are about losing a customer who wants it "your" way. With all the recent news about tainted foods coming direct from the processor, it's probably better to have your extra rare burger at home. It's not that hard.

                        That being said, an ultra thin and ultra lean burger is nearly impossible to cook rare. You need to find a place that cooks a different style of burger. Too bad about your watery shake. While the burgers and fries are as controversial around here as any other regional food, the shakes at the original Elevation Burger are usually well liked. When it first opened, the owner was always there, and the employees were well trained to intelligently explain what they were serving and could answer questions about the beef and the cooking style (kind of like the Starbucks employees when they first started out here), but now there are just cashiers and grill cooks.

                      2. re: jkosnett

                        whitlow's on wilson will cook a burger pretty rare, iirc. medium for me is perfect, but mine was underdone last night. they grind their own meat, and the burger is juicy. and half-price burgers on monday nights is perfect. good crispy fries, too. i STILL haven't gotten over to ray's hellburgers.

                        1. re: alkapal

                          i sometimes get a burger at whitlows at the bar on mondays before my 7 p.m. bridge game in arlington--- they do it rare and get it right every time. so does the brew pub in ballston mall and liberty tavern

                      3. Elevation Burger is ok but not worth a long walk. Rays, BLT are the way to go in DC. Someone mentioned bar burgers- ok, which bars have the best burgers? Usually they advertise the drinks and the beer and the food is secondary-- well, what would one expect at a bar?

                        Of course the best way to make a burger is to make it yourself...not all that difficult!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ClevelandDave

                          Stoney's for sure. I do have to say Champps has a good burger. Jimmy's in Herndon.

                          1. re: Dennis S

                            I should add Chef Geoff's and M&S Grill, in the bar, and at happy hour. Cheaper than a Big Mac... and you're in a nice place with good brews and drinks. Dogfish Head in Gaithersburg has outstanding burgers, and they also have a location now on Route 7 in the Seven Corners area of NoVa.

                        2. It seemed like some of these comments weren't about the one that just opened yesterday in Harbor East but were about some other locations (Falls Church)? Seems like Baltimore folks should check out our location versus depending on comments about other locations? With the caveat that they really did just open a day ago.

                          We went tonight (to Harbor East), and I am going to give it the initial thumbs up. Definitely better than Five Guys for a vegetarian like myself. They have two options for veggie burgers and a grilled cheese. The fries are shoestring size, which I like much better than the boardwalk style ones at Five Guys. My fellow said his burger was solid and commented on how he could actually taste the cheese.

                          Two different employees came over and asked how things were. We chatted with one for a while (might have been the manager), and he did say things have been a bit rocky with their opening (the credit card machine going down; one of their grills going down). It seems like it is going to be slammed for lunch, and they have what looks to be at least 10-12 tables outside, which is going to appeal even more to the lunch crowd.

                          1. If you want a truly gourmet hamburger experience that is not over-priced, try the Hamburger Hamlet in Bethesda. Definitely a cut above the chain restaurants.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Sean D

                              you have got to be kidding. HH used to be good say.. 15-17 years ago. Unless it has had a massive change in the past couple years, they are nothing compared to rays and many other places. Heck Dogfish head and hard times chilli have awesome burgers as well.

                              Medium rare at HH indicated "cook till the center is only slightly charred". Not just once mind you, every time I went there it was the same... Parents liked the place though so I kept going to be nice.

                              1. re: scot

                                No, I ate there with a customer from out of town, just a couple of weeks ago. The burgers we had were extraodinary. (Not just good, but extraordinary.) Give it another try.

                            2. I love it. that's what makes chowhound so wonderful. it evolves..:) and thank you to all who contributed! it's the next best thing after work, after a cocktail..

                              1. DCers will talk about their burgers until they're blue in the face!

                                1. Hey hon, according to the folks at chowhound, we're all just one big happy family.

                                  1. I tried it out today, ordered a cheeseburger with Elevation's original toppings and a side of fries. While I can appreciate the "healthier" options that Elevation offers (organic beef, veggie burgers, olive oil fries), I just didn't find them all that flavorful. It'll be a great place to take the Mrs. when she gets the urge for a veggie burger, but I'll stick with Five Guys when I get my burger cravings. It's great that Harbor East has another option for quick eats, however, and I truly hope that the place is successful.