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Burger Joint, An Upscale Maryland Hamburger Chain - Founder Mark Bucher No Longer Directly Involved With The Business

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Has anyone heard about "Burger Joint" in Bethesda.

Hope they're better than the juice place that used to be there.

I think their website is burgerjointdc.com (or something similar).

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I wonder how it will compare with Crossfire which is the other burger place in the area. Crossfire is pretty much a 5 guys clone for what it's worth.

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I think crossfire is pretty lame. I have been in there maybe 1/2 dozen times (my office is across the street and it is quick because they are ALWAYS empty even at peak lunch rush). Their patties are preformed and they remind me of hockey pucks. I would call them a five guys wannabee rather than a clone.

I would love to get a great burger place by my office.

I wonder how it will compare with Crossfire which is the other burger place in the area. Crossfire is pretty much a 5 guys clone for what it's worth.

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That is the correct website..

If the burgers are half as good as the above makes them sound, I'll be there when they open. As much as I like Urban Burger, I prefer a "cooked over an open fire" char flavor.

The Cuban sounds REALLY good. And "The 9 Pounder"? Seriously?!? No wonder it's free if you can finish in one sitting. Kobayashi and his cohorts are probably the only ones who could do it.

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Has anyone heard about "Burger Joint" in Bethesda.
Walked over at lunch today and all of the windows were covered with brown paper so could not see how close to opening they are.

On there window is and ABC notice for on site beer/wine with a hearing date of May 1st. Would this be any indication of opening date or one thing has nothing to do with the other?

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The neon burger on the website, logo, and deli sandwich wrapper reminds me a lot of the Burger Joint in the Parker Meridian hotel in Manhattan, which is my favorite place to get a burger (great burger + great fries + laid back atmosphere = win). The little neon burger behind the curtain in the lobby of the hotel is the only signage, but it beckons you to burger heaven.

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NOW OPEN!

They opened today - Saw they had a nice line and they seemed at least from a distance to be suffering from some first day working out the kinks. Had the girls so did not stop..

Their burgers start at $8?????

Am I missing something - At that price they better be damn good (and only one chance to get it right). - Will check it out for lunch during the week.

Posting under Bethesda Lunch Group - Let's try it Monday!

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I went there last night. Fantastic burgers, fries, buns, etc. I believe their buns are fresh baked. Their sweet potato fries were excellent. One of my picky kids even ate them up.

$8 might be on the higher end for a burger, but I assume their target market (Mont. County) is willing to pay $2 or $3 more for a good meal vs. a mediocre meal?!?! Matter of fact, sounds like a bargain to me...

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$8 might be on the higher end for a burger, but I assume their target market (Mont. County) is willing to pay $2 or $3 more for a good meal vs. a mediocre meal?!?! Matter of fact, sounds like a bargain to me...

I am sure there are plenty of people in MoCo, especially in Bethesda, happy to overpay for even mediocre food. A quick glance at the long-time established places makes that clear.

However, 10 minutes up the road at Urban Burger in Rockville, great burgers start at $5. Are the burgers at Burger Joint that much better?

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I am sure there are plenty of people in MoCo, especially in Bethesda, happy to overpay for even mediocre food. A quick glance at the long-time established places makes that clear.

However, 10 minutes up the road at Urban Burger in Rockville, great burgers start at $5. Are the burgers at Burger Joint that much better?

"Overpay"? I didn't say the food was mediocre. I specifically said it was good.

Anyone who is going to drive out of their way 10 minutes (it's really 15 minutes to Urban Burger from Bethesda, btw- not to mention that gas and wear and tear on your car) to save $3 when the food may/may not be better is penny wise and dollar dumb. We're not talking about a tasting menu here that's $120 vs. ordering off the menu for $70- we're talking about $5 vs. $8- and, as I stated, the product is better. My time (and gas and wear and tear on my car) is worth more than $18 per hour, even if all things are equal (which they aren't in this case).

I think the best BARGAINS at Houston's and Black's are the burgers. And I'm pretty sure their burgers are $8+...

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I was in tonight, watched things being cooked for several minutes, and left without ordering.

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We we in tonight, as well. I had a cheeseburger with traditiional toppings--LTO--and had them hold the special sauce. Geri had a veggie burger, and we split an order of onion rings.

Verdict? OK, but not as good as Urban. I was hoping that the cooking over a flame would give the burger some char, but if there was any, I didn't taste it. So given the more interesting toppings, cheaper prices, and better onion rings, I throw my vote to Urban.

Funny thing happened while we were eating. An older gentleman came in and, after reading the menu, asked us if the prices were on the level. "Who pays eight dollars for a hamburger?" I didn't know whether to apologize or feel offended.....

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Nick didn't finish working on his car until 9 or so this evening, which meant we were in Bethesda and tired and had to figure out where we wanted dinner. We'd vaguely thought about hitting up The Diner, but we had two cars and I only have one parking space. Like we were going to find another parking space on the street in A/M on a clear Saturday night. I'd rather have a winning lottery ticket, thanks.

But considering The Diner and what we'd likely order reminded me about the Burger Joint. Of course, there were no hours nor a phone number on the website, but we were going to have to drive through 'thesda on our way home to DC anyway. Was worth a shot.

Found it on our second time around the block; it's on that wedge of land that breaks fairmont at woodmont. And they were open. Both of us ordered bacon cheeseburgers (one rare with tomato and onions, and one medium-rare with tomato). We also got one order of fries, a soda, and after some misdirection, a vanilla milkshake. Total for dinner: $30.

The burgers were... ok. Probably decent. I liked the flavour of the bacon, and they weren't overcooked, but they weren't exciting in any way. They also came with pickle on them, which was an unpleasant surprise, since I'm allergic to dill. Easily extracted though, as they were on the bottom of the bun, and thus not mired in cheese. The fries were possibly saltier than even Nick would have liked, which is saying something. (I usually have to rescue food I intend to steal from his over-salting ways.) The milkshake, once we got it was... light and frothily bland. Also it had gobs of whipped cream on it. My stomach is gurgling and reminding me that it really hadn't wanted such heavy food this evening.

Otoh, everyone was nice and friendly and seemed excited to be working there.

Interesting feature: there is a Purell foam dispenser by the door, above the fire extinguisher.

The proprietor is still futzing with the hours, but he thinks it'll be 11-11, and is considering being open until 2am Thurs-Sat.

phone number: 301-358-6137

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I don't have anything to add to K's review of the food. It was adequate, although, I'm honestly not sure that I'd want to walk past Tastee Diner to go there for a Burger. At least if Spanky is cooking, Tastee's burgers are pretty good. Also, they've committed the cardinal sin of putting the soda fountain behind the counter in a restaurant without table service. (Yes, it annoys me to have to get up, get around the line and ask for a refill. Much better if I can go straight over and take care of it myself.)

Aside from the food, I think they must have studied "Stuff White People Like" (http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/) or something similar when they came up with the ambiance. When we walked in, I was barely able to stop myself from laughing.

Edit: Actually, I do have one further comment on the food - my "rare" burger was medium at best. I'll probably give them one more shot in a few weeks, but I'm not thrilled as it stands.

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I was with the kids in Bethesda today at lunchtime, so I figured I had to drop in and give "BGR", as their logo says, a try.

My son and I both had the Bacon Cheeseburger, and my daughter Grilled Cheese.

The cheeseburger was decent, if unspectacular. They claim "all natural, hormone free, Certified Prime, aged beef, freshly ground and pattied." I am unbelievably skeptical of this claim - the patties seemed perfectly round and fairly dense, and not as flavorful as you would expect. That said, it was cooked perfectly to medium rare, and was a good burger, just not GREAT. My son's American cheese was expectedly bland, but my "Maytag Farms Blue Cheddar" was also surprisingly bland. The bacon was not crispy, and their style of serving chopped rather than sliced does not do the burger or bacon justice. Tomato was seasonably tasteless. The whole thing together was kind of greasy.

My daughter's Grilled Cheese was just a Cheeseburger hold the burger - same packaged sesame seed bun. Zero points for that one, especially since the sandwich was FIVE DOLLARS!

Fries were definitely frozen from a bag, but fried until crispy and well salted. One order was enough for 3 small servings.

A Double Chocolate shake was thick enough, but tasted strongly of Hershey's Syrup.

They were about half full when we got there at 12:30, but quite a bit busier about 15 minutes later. The scene behind the counter was a little chaotic, and the manager snapped at the line staff a little too loudly, but they seemed to be reasonably on top of things, and the orders came out reasonably quickly. I also question the decision to put the soda fountain behind the counter - they had a staffer who just does sodas, which seems silly. The kitchen is also just prep - the grill is actually in the counter area. If they get a grease fire, that dining room will be smoky in 10 seconds flat, and it causes a bit too much dancing in the register area as staffers zoom back and forth - I think there were 5 or 6 people moving around in an area that was less than 20 feet long and 10 feet deep.

At $30 for lunch for 3 (before tax and tip), it's not outrageously priced, but it's not a bargain either. If I was craving a quick burger in Bethesda, I'd probably go back, but it's not worth going out of your way for. And if you're on the Pike north of Bethesda, heading north to Rockville and Urban Burger is a much better (and somewhat cheaper) meal.

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No one else found this item for $79.99 worthy of note:

THE 9 POUNDER

Actual weight after bun and condiments, 15.4 pounds! Two heads of lettuce, 6 tomatoes, 2 red onions, 4 whole pickles and a river of our mojo, ketchup and mustard. Also comes with a bottle of Maalox. If you can eat it in one sitting it's free.

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Hi all Donrockwell bloggers. Im one of the owners and yes i must be honest, the crazy dude/manager "yelling" on the cookline over the weekend. Im glad we got through it. I'm also glad to see your honest unfiltered opinions on this site. You guys should start a professional "restaurant pre-open food testing service" because your comments are honestly spot on. So here's the honest facts and details surrounding our opening this past weekend. Never in a million years, could we have planned or anticipated for the incredible reception we got from the residents of the surrounding areas. Frankly we were overwhelmed, and again truthfully we ran out of food twice between Thursday at 6pm and Sunday by 9pm. So indeed, we had to substitute a bagged fry on Saturday and Sunday morning, until our potatoes fully soaked overnight, so I forget who caught that but indeed it was true for a few hours this weekend, over salty also true, based on who we had "learning the fry station. It's a tough station as fries ar dropped in the fryer to order. Hopefully we get points for no "fast food" fry holding station where they sit under heat lamps. you'll never see that here. As for the burger meat, indeed it is certified angus, prime , dryaged ( the time period a secret, sorry);) and freshly ground and pattied daily. It is processed for us in Baltimore at a Glatt Kosher processing house " that was just a coincidence", but we were impressed with the committment to cleanliness and the humane standards. The buns are delivered warm, every morning by a great french baker in DC. As for the char taste, thats a tough one, it couldnt bee clearer that we use a char grill, i think burgers are like coke and pepsi, some like one way and not the other, and when is it too much. Now to talk about the "doneness" scale. My intention was to cook burgers to temperature as all purists will know the only way to enjoy a fresh burger is medium rare. with a room temperature sun ripened tomato. Unfortunatley 99.9999999 percent of our customers were groseed out by ordering a fresh medium burger and seeing pink inside. I'm guessing we got back 50 burgers on friday and saturday, with folks saying they were undercooked, when I tell you they were spot on.So i guess we can thank the chains for training the general public to now enjoy burgers cooked well done! Identify yourself to us, and let us know that you "for real" want a true medium or medium rare burger and you will love it.

As for pricing, we have woodmont grill (houstons) up the street at 14 bucks, blacks at 15 for a bacon cheeseburger Incl a small portion of fries, plus tip on both of them. Tastee Diner is up the block ans they are about 5 bucks, they have also been there for a gazillion years and own their land and bldg, so they have no rent. Dont blame us for the burger prices, blame the landlords, and the suppliers, for making it very very very hard to make money in the restaurant business. Here are the facts, wholesale prime beef is a fortune, and we dont and never will use fillers, like soy. i bet none of you know that there are two local popular burger stores. that add soy to their patties, to cut down the cost, ( you can never tell) by eating it, but its dishonest in our book) you see some chains hold their price point at say 5 bucks, and when the price of beef goes up they simply up the soy, not the price. its absolutely 100% true. As for the "cardinal sin" of putting the soda behind the counter, we offer free refills, and even cherry and vanilla flavoring, problem is we are on a publc park,and it was cokes suggestion, as it hopefully will cut back on line jumpers trying to fill their starbucks cup with lemonade.

Lastly, I actually remember one of you in, after the car repair story. I remember asking you if things were good with your meal, next time you come in, know we are Don Rocks fans < and really lay on the criticism, or the praise, when your here. We are really working to be the absolute best at what we do and remain true to burger purists around the area. Lastly, as for the place being "white enough" there's Jimmy Hendrix and Prince on the wall, cmon dude.... :)

So next time you're in ask for Nate or Mark, and we'll make sure it's perfect. life's too short to have an average burger......

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I resent that they are called burger joint "DC". bethesda aint DC.

thats the web url only, not our name.

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I was in tonight, watched things being cooked for several minutes, and left without ordering.

As for the burger meat, indeed it is certified angus, prime , dryaged ( the time period a secret, sorry);) and freshly ground and pattied daily. It is processed for us in Baltimore at a Glatt Kosher processing house " that was just a coincidence", but we were impressed with the committment to cleanliness and the humane standards. The buns are delivered warm, every morning by a great french baker in DC.

This detailed response is humbling. In all honesty, the reason I left without ordering is because (as DanielK said in this post), the patties looked so perfectly round and dense that I was under the impression they were machine-formed and frozen (are they?). One of the things that impressed me about the buns is that they're apparently delivered uncut - one of the cooks took a matrix-full of them, and sliced them before my eyes.

Thank you for your thoughtful reply, and I very much look forward to coming back - maybe in a couple of weeks when you've come up for air - and enjoying a burger, cooked to a "for real" medium, with a side of fries made from fully soaked, fresh-cut potatoes.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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