Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Apr 17, 2013 10:33 AM

SOLVED: Why Ollie's Trolley Burgers are Horrible

The current owner doesn't even know how many spices are in his burger AND he got rid of the Ollie Sauce, which he thinks is an improvement. This goes a long way towards explaining that horrible thing I got masquerading as an Ollieburger. On two separate occasions, I ordered a medium rare Ollieburger. Both times, I get a well-done burger with no sauce. The second time, the cook just stared blankly at me and seemed to have no idea what Ollie Sauce was.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Do they not even offer the spice mix on the fries? It woud be the same mix that coats the burger.

    No doubt, it has gone way downhill from a place that was already in landslide mode.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Steve

      The fries are still spiced, but the burger is just a burger, and a well-done one at that. If there were Ollie spices on that burger besides salt, I didn't taste any.

      And for someone who claims to be obsessed with quality control, the interior of the place is filthy.

    2. Completely agree. I really, really wanted to like Ollie's. Sadly, not only was the burger a bit overdone, but the bun was terrible. It was stale and crumbly.

      The only redeeming part of my meal was the fries.

      And that's sad.

      1. Well this sucks since I now work ACROSS THE STREET from there. Been eyeing the place since I moved offices wondering if it was a cheap tourist trap or a DC classic of some kind. So where do you recommend now within 4 square blocks of Warner Theater?

        5 Replies
        1. re: Insidious Rex

          To be fair, their Reuben is decent. Greasy, but solid.

          1. re: Insidious Rex

            It takes little investment to walk across the street and ask for an Ollieburger with their spice mix liberally applied to the burger while cooking - and ask for it medium rare. This is what an Ollieburger used to be like circa 1976.

            If they won't do it, then come back and tell us.

            1. re: Steve

              So I went and asked for one medium rare and with extra seasoning. They had no problem with either request and my burger was every bit of medium rare perhaps leaning more toward rare actually. This despite the sign on the counter saying "we cook all burgers to MEDIUM". And the spice mix is nice. But overall the burger is nothing too exciting. Worth $6 and an easy walk across the street n doubt. Not worth 20 indecisive tourists ahead of you in line though.

              1. re: Insidious Rex

                Thanks for confirming. With a Shake Shack coming to the Spy Museum, that's where I'll be spending my burger money.

                1. re: Insidious Rex

                  Thanks for investigating. That is awesome of you. Kind of like I suspected: it's possible, but more a convenient curiosity than anything else.

            2. I go to Harry's Bar in the Hotel Harrington for a cheap greasy burger and beer (and free popcorn). Even cheaper at Lincoln House Waffle Shop. When I want to step up to a nicer $12 burger, I go to Bistro d'Oc, where they know what medium rare means.

              1 Reply
              1. re: monkeyrotica

                I used to work at 11 and 'G' so for what it is, Harry's ain't bad and a pleasant sidewalk space. Waffle Shop is a classic (haven't heard lately what Jemal is up to with those storefronts). too bad about Ollie's, when it was good, that bacon cheeseburger (med. rare) with everything and just a sploodge of mustard was almost narcotic. but let's face it, the interior was ALWAYS filthy and the furniture shabby.

              2. I remember the free standing "trollies" and the TV commercials: "Hey kids, I'm Ollie!" Whatever it is that still occupies the downtown spot hasn't even been a ghost for years.

                3 Replies
                1. re: law_doc89

                  The Ollie's on Columbia Pike is now Pedro & Vinnys. Really good burritos. And they kept most of the trolly building intact.


                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                      That building (the one in CVS' lot, right?) is a location of death, though. There've been a few good Latino places since 2001 at least, but it seems to keep changing ownership and name.

                      Caveat: I also hardly get to that area anymore.