National Cheeseburger Day, and a trip to Tune Inn

Friday, September 18, 2009, is National Cheeseburger Day.

Although there are food holidays just about every day, this one has me pretty excited. Maybe it’s because I’m always looking for a good excuse to have a burger. Now that I live in DC, there are countless places to go to get one of these all time favorite pieces of grub, with burgers ranging from your basic flat patty to more elaborate offerings made with lobster, tuna, or even ostrich.

When celebrating this great day, however, I decided to stick with the original: ground beef with a slice of America, please. A small group of us from the office walked over to Tune Inn on Pennsylvania to take advantage of the holiday, and the burgers certainly did not dissapoint. Juicy and flavorful, parked between a fluffy bun, it was the type of burger you grew up eating. My only complaint is that the patty itself was a little thin–I definitely favor the big thick kinds that stay a little pink in the middle–and I was somewhat regretful that I did not order a double. Even so, this left room for some homestyle, like mom used to make fried okra and absolutely masterful fries. If you think you’re getting sick of fries, or the ones you have are always too greasy, you owe it to yourself to try these babies. Crisp even after waiting for nearly half an hour for the check, I don’t think I’ve ever had fries of this caliber.

If you’re looking for other good burgers in the DC area, a couple of local newspapers and magazines have “best of” lists. Here is a list of the best burgers from The Washington Post:

  • BGR: The Burger Joint (Bethesda, MD)
  • Big Buns Gourmet Grill (Arlington, VA)
  • Central Michel Richard (Washington, DC)
  • Elevation Burger (Falls Church, VA)
  • Good Stuff Eatery (Washington, DC)
  • Palena (Washington, DC)
  • Ray’s Hell-Burger (Arlington, VA)

And here’s another compilation from the Washingtonian:

  • Harry’s Tap Room (Clarendon, VA)
  • The Prime Rib (Washington, DC)
  • Black’s Bar and Kitchen (Bethesda, MD)
  • Billy Martin’s Tavern (Washington, DC)
  • Morton’s (Washington, DC)
  • Brasserie Les Halles (Washington, DC)
  • Fuddruckers (Washington, DC)
  • Chapwicks (Washington, DC)
  • Union Street Public House (Alexandria, VA)
  • Silver Diner (Clarendon, VA)
  • Capital Grille (Washington, DC)
  • Sign of the Wale (Washington, DC)
  • Quarry House Tavern (Silver Spring, MD)
  • Whitlow’s on Wilson (Clarendon, VA)
  • Boulevard Woodgrill (Clarendon, VA)
  • Clyde’s of Georgetown (Washington, DC)
  • Tastee Diner (Bethesda, MD)
  • Tune Inn (Washington, DC)
  • Majestic Cafe (Alexandria, VA)
  • J. Paul’s (Washington, DC)

Note that these lists were made prior to the opening of The Counter

Others in DC I would recommend: Z Burger, Five Guys, Cheff Geoffs, Bourbon Glover Park. And how could I forget Cafe Atlantico, home of the cuban burger pictured above.

Charlottesville, VA: I think The Virginian has the best burgers in town. Thick and so juicy that you’ll find yourself whiping juice off of your arms, cooked to order with multiple types of cheese and topings. According to a fellow UVA grad and chef, however, the best burgers can be found at Riverside or Mel’s Cafe (both of which I have not been to, but want to try now!). The fries are pretty ballin’ at The Virginian too, and there’s a decent beer list.  Michael’s Bistro has some amazing bison burgers.

Little Rock, AR: Sometimes you just can’t beat the burger from the Purple Cow (get an adult milkshake while you are there!).

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