The Eat Bar Burger: An Assessment

Krystal Burger in Mobile, AL

In & Out in LA

Frost Top in NOLA

and now Eat Bar in Arlington

Mosey up.

While you might doubt my taste based on the Krystal Burger endorsement, anyone who has inhaled a cheese Krystal at 3am will back me up.  But here we have a short list of my most memorable burgers, with Virginia’s own Eat Bar getting added to the list.  Surely there have been delicious moments in between, but a truly memorable burger moment stands apart.  In order to assess a seminal burger moment, one must consider the following:

Composition: While some may enjoy the sloppiness of a burger, I do not. A little slippage at the end I can abide, but if the burgers sliding off the bun one bite in, its curtains.

(EB Rating: Medium high, the burgers a bit big for the bun, but the truffle butter mixed into the ground beef gets it a pass. I’d rather more than less in this situation.)

Temperature of the patty: If I order it Medium Rare, I sure as hell shouldnt be getting gray ground beef.  Fast food gets an obvious pass at this, if anything the principle works in reverse for drive thru.

(EB Rating: Perfect)

The Bun: Whether its sesame, kaiser or onion, this bun should be dry and preferrably toasted.  Not too big, not too thin, I should be able to cut it in half without it crumbling or splitting.

(EB Rating: Semi-perfect, I dig the bread but on the second round, as I was looking for consistency, and the bread was wet and there was heavy slippage)

Cheese Meltage: I’m not sure there is ever an excuse for cold cheese on a burger. Its just wrong.

(EB Rating: Perfect)

Wilted veggies: Lettuce and tomato should be crisp and not appear or taste as if they have sat in the warmer for 20 minutes.

(EB Rating: Perfect, the pickle and onion compliment the ground beef’s preparation. Its subtle and its awesome.)

Cravage: If its that good, you should want another one right after, regardless of if you are hungry.  I’m not advocating that you do this, but its a sensation that distinguishes the truly great.

(EB Rating: I had two in three days.  Nuff.)

My Kongol cap is off to you Eat Bar, welcome aboard.  I never thought my burger repertoir was missing anything until I discovered the addiction that is truffle butter blended ground beef (is that a hint of Old Bay I taste too?) on a lazy Sunday Movie Night.  This burger is not to be messed with and neither is the quality of the staff serving it.  The talent behind the bar be it Stu, James, Erik, Genevieve, Ernesto or Sloane is a breed of hip, knowlegable and relaxed.  The sort that puts you at ease and makes sure the music is great or the game you want is on.   If you haven’t voted yet, I encourage you to do so.  It’s close, so for all you locals, Virginia is counting on you.

Find it. Eat it. Vote for it.

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  1. Your burger criticisms are excellent and in wonderful taste. In the first place, nobody who cooks a burger for consumption at a self-respecting restaurant should be allowed to forget the basic differences in the presentation of the meat, which they could have learned from Julia Child, if they bothered: if you don’t know the difference between rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, and well done, and be able to cook those burgers to that spec., you shouldn’t be allowed to cook anything more complicated than mozzarella sticks. Unfortunately, grade inflation among our nation’s restaurants has probably led to a condition where too many people consider these things equal conditions.

    It’s just not so, and nobody should believe in meat-cooking egalitarianism.

    And cold cheese on a burger isn’t just a sign that your cook doesn’t care, in many places it’s a SIN.

      • Dotty
      • April 1st, 2009

      At this point with so many things being inflated and overvalued, the great American burger should be able to deliver. Places like Eat Bar are reminding me that some people do still give a shit and deliver quality to the customer. Which is why I’m pimping this contest so hard. I think we here in the Nation’s Capital should at LEAST be able to make good on the promise of a well cooked patty. The quality of our burgers as a country is an American institution!

      We here in Virginia take this responsibility very seriously, and the butter bathed beef at Eat Bar proves it.

    • Alexis
    • April 1st, 2009

    Editorial Note: The truffle butter is used for Eat Bar’s “Baby Burger”. The regular burger has butter in the meat, just not the truffle butter. And I blame the two pounds I gained this week all on Dotty’s “research”!!!

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