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Jul 30, 2013 04:47 AM

So the best burgers in DC....

Are served well-done on a doughy, sticky bun, with a side of soggy steamed fries, from a chain that's ridiculously inconsistent. But you get free peanuts.

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  1. Compared to McDonalds, Five Guys is gourmet fare.

    14 Replies
    1. re: Mister Big

      And compared to Sizzler, Morton's is gourmet steak. Apples and oranges. I don't think anyone would rank McDonalds as "Best" anything, but when I order a McDouble or some fries at ANY McDonalds, it's going to be the same experience from store to store to store. I've been to dozens of 5Gs over the years (including the original) and there's only one I go to regularly because the manager knows what he's doing. 

      1. re: monkeyrotica

        My point is peoples' standards are obviously low. I'm amazed that people consider McDonalds' fries good.

        1. re: monkeyrotica

          BTW, which is the original Five Guys?

          1. re: Mister Big

            Westmark mall off Columbia Pike and Glebe Road. It's Dave's Seafood and Subs, a massive improvement IMHO. Their crinkle cut fries make 5G's "fresh cut" greasetraps look like a pile of puke.

            1. re: Mister Big

              The second 5 guys to open is the one on Beauregard and 7. And it is still my favorite. I only went to the original once, and I am glad they left that space behind.
              I like the Dave's that is there at the old Glebe spot now, both their trout and their croaker are good. Sides are fairly good, too.

              1. re: Ziv

                I need to try Dave's. All the fried fish I've had in NoVa is either soggy, breadcrumb crust fried too low or some boneless Gorton Fisherman abomination. I have to drive to Oxon Hill to get whiting, croaker, and catfish that's worth a damn.

            2. re: monkeyrotica

              What's the best Five Guys? I most often go to the one on Little River Turnpike at Braddock Road (Pinecrest?) because it's convenient. Occasionally I'll go to the one on Gallows Road down the strip from the Great Wall grocery store, and the one on Leesburg Pike/King St at Walter Reed Drive/Beauregard St. The burgers are all pretty much the same, as are the peanuts.

              I rarely order fries because even a small order is too much for (this) one person to eat and they aren't so good as to pay double and eat single. Anyone want to share an order with me? ;)

              I'm liking the Monday $5.50 burger special at Glory Days. They consistently cook medium-rare correctly, there's a good variety of toppings, the side of fries is a reasonable size and are always fresh (I ask for them unseasoned). The slaw's pretty good too, and I like the seedless brioche-like buns that don't fall apart.

              1. re: MikeR

                The 5G at Route 1 and Quander is consistent. The manager is really hands-on and runs a tight ship. Still, I don't think it's worth going out of the way for, particularly since Balkan Grill is right up the road. For a couple bucks more, their pljeskavica on fresh baked bread is hard to beat.

                1. re: monkeyrotica

                  I'm not sure where Route 1 and Quander is, but whichever part of Route 1 that is, it's too far out of my way to go to compare burgers with my local Five Guys. Nice to know, however, that at least there's something about management that shows.

                    1. re: flavrmeistr

                      Yes. It's like the 4th stop light south of the Beltway. There's another 5G further south in Gum Springs and another in Old Town. The Quander Road shop is the most consistent of the three and the only one I go to.

                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                        The Gum Springs one is where I had my first 5G burger about 10 years ago. I was impressed. Subsequent visits at other locations as far away as Miami have never measured up. I think the quality of the meat has diminished. It seems to be greasier and have less flavor than I first recall. Nevertheless, I'd still put 5G toward the top of the chain list. Never cared for the fries, though.

                        I'm with Mike on the $5 Glory Days deal. That's hard to beat.

                2. re: MikeR

                  I'm going to have to try GD when I'm next in town. It's pretty disgusting to waste a burger by cooking it past medium and an abomination to try to justify it like FG does on their Web page.

                  1. re: KWagle

                    They also have a prime burger, which is a little pricier but pretty darn good at 9 bucks. Includes some decent fries.

            3. This was an election, not a critique. So, first of all, it has to be a place most people have access. Secondly, it may be a sad commentary on our political process.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jmerchlinsky

                Pretty much. WTOP's other Best Of lists are just as ridiculous. Best pizza: Ledo's. Best wings: Ledo's. I like Ledo's just fine, but come on. It's like they're trying to out-mediocre the Washingtonian's Best Of lists.


                1. re: monkeyrotica

                  Well Ledo's is one of WTOP's main sponsors.

                  Their news room is called "Ledo's pizza glass-enclosed nerve center” :


              2. This top 10 burger list is reprehensible. Elevation, in particular, is shit.

                5 Replies
                1. re: dmvburgerwars

                  Those 100% heart-healthy olive oil fries are worse than Mussolini.

                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                    And the portion is so small, too!

                    1. re: Bob W

                      Agreed. The food there is terrible. And such small portions!

                  2. re: dmvburgerwars

                    Pizza Hut made the top 10 for pizza...

                    Those lists are pretty sad, but I do find Five Guys to be a pretty decent burger. Not the best by any stretch and certainly not worth the price. It's not that $5 for a burger is bad, but I'd rather pay a couple bucks more for Ray's.

                  3. Forget reading any top ten list - usually it's based on personal preference, price and of course, taste!

                    Have you tried Hungry Andy's?

                    What about Peter's Carry-Out? Both are far superior and so much cheaper!


                    1. WTOP has been a joke for at least the last 6 years.

                      Five Guys burgers are better than Checkers? Nope.

                      Five Guys fries are better than Thrashers? Ludicrous.

                      For my money BGR and McCormick and Schmick's make the best burgers in DC.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: CDouglas

                        McCormick & Schmick for burgers? I always thought of them as pretty good for a chain seafood. But I suppose they could make a good burger. I've never tried.

                        Thrashers? The place in Ocean City famous for fries?

                        I'd like to try Checkers (though they seem to be more famous for chicken that burgers) but there aren't any close enough to me. I had a burger at one in Kansas City once that wasn't at all memorable, but that's hardly a fair evaluation.

                        BGR has been OK (I've only been to the one in Arlington near Lee Highway and Route 66 when The Italian Store has been too busy to wait for a sandwich. I thought the burger was OK, a little pricey (no $5 specials there) but was packed a little tight.

                        1. re: MikeR

                          There is now a BGR at BWI. Haven't tried it yet.

                          "DWI at the BAR
                          Seeks MAN with a CAR"

                          ---John Prine, "We Are The Lonely"

                          1. re: MikeR

                            M&S Grill used to have happy hour burger specials. And they know what "medium rare" means. There's a Checkers near me. About the best you could say is that they're cheap. Chili dogs aren't bad. They do some suprisingly good hot wings; they use Frank's Hot Sauce.