By Ben Adler
I’m not known for my affection for D.C.’s culinary options. Nor am I fan of going to the suburbs to eat at restaurants in strip malls with silly puns for their names such as, say, Ray’s the Steaks. I still haven’t been to Ray’s the Steaks, but I did go to their off-shoot, Ray’s Hellburger, in a strip mall, in Arlington.
I’m now officially a conver to the idea that restaurants in strip malls in the suburbs can be well worth going to. That does not mean it is a valid counter-argument to my complaint about the food in D.C. to mention all those places, mind you. They are still not in D.C., after all, and I never go to Arlngton if I can avoid it.
But that burger is incredible. I mean absolutely, postitively fantastic. Rich, juicy, tender, with a soft inside and nicely grilled outside. On a briochey bun, with any cheese you could want (I chose Danish blue cheese), and free toppings that include sweet, complexly flavored carmelized onions and mushrooms that have been satueed to perfection. It is really, really, an outstanding hamburger. And they even have a micro-brewed ketchup that is corn syrup free! And solid dijon mustard!
By now you’re probably wondering how much this burger costs. $12? $15? Try 7 bucks. 7 bucks! That’s about what a pre-frozen patty thrown on a grill at a dirty diner back home would run you. It may not be the best burger in the world — I haven’t tried the burgers offered by better steakhouses, which I’m guessing are pretty great, because why get a burger at a steakhouse? — but it’s the best burger I’ve ever tasted. And at 10 ounces that filled me up for the rest of the day, it’s definitely the best value burger in the world. Hands down.