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As those of you who were too foolish to heed my warning on Monday already know, Ray's Hell-Burger (street name), aka Butcher Burgers (government name), is due to open today, Tuesday, July 1st. We will be serving one thing only--10 ounces of our secret blend of premium and prime aged beef, char-grilled over an open flame. This is the same single-breed, farm-raised beef that we use at Ray's The Steaks and Ray's The Classics, aged in house ridiculously long, hand trimmed to the same exacting standards as all of our steaks, and ground fresh daily, several times throughout the day. Free toppings include: sauteed mushrooms finished with sherry and brandy, grilled red onions, sauteed peppers, charred jalapenos, vine-ripened beefsteak tomatoes, roasted garlic, and dill or bread and butter pickle chips. Applewood-smoked bacon (the same that we use for the grilled bacon app at Ray's The Classics) and guacamole are available for an additional charge. In addition to the regular quality cheeses on offer ('Merkin, aged Vermont white cheddar, imported Swiss, imported Gruyere, aged Danish Bleu/Italian Gorgonzola, smoked mozzarella, Monster, Brie, pepperjack) we wil also be offering a changing selection of specialty and artisinal cheeses--currently, Epoisse, Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue, Queen Anne Stilton, Pa Noble Cave Aged Amish Cheddar, Chimay a la biere, Taleggio, and Bel Paese. Throughout the summer, Hell-Burgers will be served with fresh, buttered corn on the cob and a slice of cold, juicy watermelon AT NO CHARGE!!! Dominion root beer ON TAP and other great sodas and 8-10 flavors of MOOrenko's ice cream for cones and floats (no shakes, maybe later--I don't want to be the one to push shakes into the trite category, too many others stand eager to do so soon enough). Ray's Hell-Burger (imagine the "Hell" part in flamey letters) is located at 1713 Wilson Boulevard in the same strip mall as Ray's The Steaks. We plan to open Saturday and Sunday from noon on and weekdays from 5 pm, for the time being, with expansion into weekday lunch hours possible, maybe. The best part about all this, for me at least, is that since Ray's Hell-Burger is located several doors down from Ray's The Steaks, now whenever someone becomes tantrumishly nasty at the door due to the wait at The Steaks, I can kindly suggest an appropriate alternative destination to them.
I don't see a thread for the Arlington location of RTS yet so I started one. Rocks - If I've missed it, my apologies. Just wanted to comment on my first visit there - it was everything I was expecting and more. As much as I like cool/hip decor/non-human eye candy in a restaurant, I really only ask three things of a place - good food, good wine list and good service. RTS was outstanding on all three counts. My wife took me for my birthday and having read quite a bit about it over the last few months on eGullet, I was expecting an exceptional experience and we got it. The service was prompt, attentive, friendly and not intrusive from the moment we got there through us walking out the door. The wine list is all its been said to be. Lots on really interesting, really great, really affordable selections - we had an amazing Cab (can't remember the name - it started with an "A" and was $28 a bottle) that, for the price, is probably the best value I've ever seen in a California Cab. Started off a little tight (to be expected in a 2002) but was still delicious and just opened up beautifully through dinner. And big bonus points for it being served at the proper temperature! We both started with soup - I had the sherried crab bisque and my wife had the onion. They were both fantastic although I enjoyed mine more - of course anything made with that much cream has to be good . For our entrees I had the hanger steak and my wife had the brochettes (I think I spelled that right). The hanger was simply the most flavorful piece of meat I've ever had and we have friends who their own beef cattle in MD. The steak will forever change how I judge good meat. Cooked perfectly at medium rare with bleu cheese crumbles. The brochettes and assorted veggies were also very good but I paled in comparison to the hanger steak. The sides were also as delicious as has been said before. The portions were quite generous and I look forward to finishing that steak tonight - and a nice touch when we got our meals boxed up for home, we got a refill on the sides. Being a big fan of key lime pie, there was no way to pass that up and man was it good! I'm not one for fanfare, my wife knows this and made no mention it was my birthday when she made reservations. It happened to slip out at some point during the night and the server made a point of telling me happy birthday and the desert was on the house. It is those little touches that really make a place shine. I can't wait to get back and try a different wine and have that hanger steak again.
From today's metro section.
Just saw this thanks to Twitter. Ray's the Steaks location will be "Ray's the Net" next year...