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The only way to do this that won't turn into a complete C.F. is via a poll - I'll be happy to set one up if people would like (and if you trust my nominations). Thing is though, even *here* there's a

Despite the name confusion, and perhaps the format confusion, Ray's To The Third serves all of the original Ray's Hell Burger menu--with perhaps the absence of Epoisse as a cheese option. I know it

This should (and probably will) go in Auld Lang Cuisine, but does anyone remember Blue and Gold in Clarendon? That was my go-to place for a burger and a beer in the late 1990s.

I am in for this...but I challenge any of you to come into Willow and have our Willow Burger.  If its not in the top 5 burgers youve ever had , I will buy it back :o   It seriously blows away any local burger in the area....Yes, I'm that confident in it,,and I've had most of what people think are the top burgers in the area.  So come on on for the Burger Throw Down :D

Chris:  I had the burger at Willow a while back.  First time.  I was expecting "the best" or "one of the best".  Didn't blow me away.  Was it in top 5??   I guess.  Must admit I really enjoy the Wellington burger w/ its toppings at brgr joint.  Juuuuuuuuuuuuicy!!!!  hm.

But ever willing to do more research and must make it to Dino's as it  gets such unqualified raves here at DR dot com.

Of course between burgers and cheesesteaks at Ray's ...those are also delectable juicy alternatives!!!!

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Nephew #1 is back from Afghanistan and it seems his current favorite food is buffalo burgers.  Since I don't eat hamburgers I have no idea where to send (or take) him for a good one.  What's the best in the greater DC area these days? Better yet, is there a place that serves buffalo burgers and has an awesome wine list?

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Nephew #1 is back from Afghanistan and it seems his current favorite food is buffalo burgers.  Since I don't eat hamburgers I have no idea where to send (or take) him for a good one.  What's the best in the greater DC area these days? Better yet, is there a place that serves buffalo burgers and has an awesome wine list?

I think Mitsitam Cafe usually has Buffalo Burgers, but from my experience (both from trying one once, to seeing many of them), they're overcooked and not as good as their other offerings.

I know this isn't what you want, but I had *excellent* Bison Short Ribs at Beuchert's Saloon last month.

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I will put our 1/2 lb. locally raised and butchered 80/20 Angus, up against any burger in DC. I'm not trying to be a smartass, I just listen to the customer comments on them, and I eat a couple of them myself, every week.

Come on up, find out, If not in the top 5 IYHO, no charge!

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Despite the name confusion, and perhaps the format confusion, Ray's To The Third serves all of the original Ray's Hell Burger menu--with perhaps the absence of Epoisse as a cheese option.

I know it may seem lesser due to all of the additional options, but trust me, it is the same product and the same original staff producing the same burger.

That being said, I know it is not the same.

It is not the same, it will never be the same, and it breaks my heart too.

On a positive note, we continue to, as we always have, offer a significant discount to all military, police and first responders while seated at a table.

And without change since 2007, we offer a $5 grab and go to all uniformed personnel--Burger of choice, side and drink.

I agree, Kibbee Nayee, that we can do better, and I strive 14 hours a day to do so.

As to your son, I can not imagine a greater source of pride for any man or family, and he does us all an honor which we neither can imagine nor do we deserve.

An officer in The Marine Corps is the greatest any American can be. A rifleman or a non-com even better.

At some point tomorrow, my new Marine and I will be cinching our napkins around our necks and tucking into the best hamburger (or three) he will have consumed since this past summer....

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The Rockwell 21

The 21 Best Lists Of The Best Burgers In DC

"The Best Burger In 12 Different DC Neighborhoods" by Laura Hayes on thrillist.com

"The 10 Best Burgers in the DC Area" on zagat.com

"Best Burgers in the DC Area" on washingtonpost.com

"The 13 Best Burgers in the DC Area" by Matt Cohen on dcist.com

"2015 Top 10 Burger Restaurants In Washington, DC Area" on gayot.com

"Best Burgers in Washington DC" on yelp.com

"Top Overall Burgers" on dmvburgerwars.com

"Burgers Of The Year 2014" on burgerdays.com

"Best Burgers In Washington, DC" by Rachel Cooper on dc.about.com

"Best Washington DC Burger Joints" on urbanspoon.com

"Take A Bite Of The Best Burgers In Washington, DC" by Troy Petenbrink on axs.com

"Best Burgers In DC" on cityeats.com

"10 D.C. Burgers That Aren't On Your Radar But Should Be" on yahoo.com

"DC's Best Burgers" on foursquare.com

"We Find The Best Burgers In DC" by Teresa Tobat on capitolfile-magazine.com

"Which DC Burgers Make A Best Burgers List?" by Jeff Clabaugh on bizjournals.com

"Ten New Burgers To Try NOW" on dc.eater.com

"Best Burgers in DC" on pinterest.com

"Best Burger in DC" on reddit.com

"Best Burgers in DC" on clotureclub.com

"Best Creative Burgers in Washington, D.C." on washington.cbslocal.com

(Lists are listed in no particular order. Apologies to those who didn't make the cut; our editor, Tray Meta, was torn whether or not to include Washingtonian's "March Madness Burger Battle" which remained incomplete at the time of publication. We scoured the internet and endlessly debated the competition - it was an enormous challenge, but it was a hell of a lot easier than traipsing all over town, suffering through a bunch of lousy hamburgers.)

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Wow, great compilation, Don. But not sure how much this helps me with my occasional brain freezes when I need a good burger place. Too often, when the need is urgent, I think Ray's (which is great but not always convenient), Saint Ex, which I thought top 3 a decade or more ago (and may not be anymore...or closed now?) and then get stuck on Palena since that is closed.

We need a DonRocks/DCdining Top 10 Burgers list since kind of consistent with your Dining Guide, serves a real need and more reliable than all the posers above. :-)

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We need a DonRocks/DCdining Top 10 Burgers list since kind of consistent with your Dining Guide, serves a real need and more reliable than all the posers above. :-)

Yeah, you know, I could have done a really good one between like 2003 and 2012, but I just don't eat that many burgers right now. If I make a concerted effort, I can pull it off, but it would take a couple months (and some restraint in terms of nixing the fries, not feeling the need to finish the burger, etc.) to actually *do* one, and not just phone it in - I could compile some BS like everybody else does, but I couldn't sleep at night if I did.

Folks don't realize just what I went through to produce the Best Wine Program pieces (here and here) for Washingtonian. With the exception of Inn At Little Washington (who faxed me their list the first year), I actually went to every place and hand-counted the lists at the restaurants during dinner - the only one I missed the first year was Zaytinya, and that's because I just didn't think of it. I did it all in about six weeks, I had a full-time job, I was finishing up another column, *and* I was running this website - it was insane. In terms of actual substance, these remain the best projects I've ever done, and are absolutely faithful, all-encompassing snapshots of how the area's wine programs were at the time (needless to say, both pieces are entirely obsolete and useless except as historical documents) - I'd like to use the same rigor doing a compilation of burgers. This is why I'm not more successful - I'm incapable of bullshitting my way through projects such as this, so what I do is necessarily very limited in scope, especially with the way traffic has become in the area. I suspect that going forward, no one person will ever again be able to pull a true "Best Of" list off, and rankings by committee are bogus. These two columns are what I'd like to be remembered for.

The best hamburger I've ever eaten remains Peter Smith's "Classic" at PS7s - for my palate, it was perfect (if I remember right (and I'm sure I reviewed it somewhere), it was just a patty, bacon, cheese, and egg, but it was executed like God himself was behind the grill).

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Well I can add one that should be on the list-the fantastic burger I had last night at Penn Commons. With none of the add-ons, just a simple burger with lots of flavor, medium rare, with lettuce and tomato. It was the perfect temp and on a buttered bun that holds up to the juiciness.

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Does anyone know which Fast-Casual hamburger restaurants allow customers to choose doneness? BGR and Ray's still do - what about BTS? Habit Burger? Any others?

Shake Shack, with their well-done burgers, frozen french fries, and the impenetrable reputation of Danny Meyer, has everyone conned into thinking they're having an experience significantly better than McDonald's - just like SUV drivers think they're driving something cooler than a Minivan. God people are dumb as shit.

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8 minutes ago, Bart said:

I really like Shake Shack burgers and I prefer my old Honda Odyssey (RIP) to my current Honda Pilot, so what does that make me?!?!?  An educated dumbshit?!?!

I like Diet Coke, but I know it's nothing but a bunch of chemicals (*) - so long as you know what you're eating and driving, it doesn't make you anything other than "informed."

(*) And as of June 18th, I stopped drinking Diet Coke for this exact reason.

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So I just had Shake Shack last night at the ballgame (my first time maybe? if not my second), I thought it was better than McDonald's.  Mainly, I thought the bread was marginally better.  I liked their sauce better than the mustard ketchup combo that generally comes on a McDonald's hamburger and it didn't have onions (I like to choose when I eat onions and how). I also felt you could more distinctly taste the difference between the meat and cheese for some reason and it wasn't as melded together in flavor.  But it was a marginal difference.  I also liked their crinkle fries better (is this off topic in the hamburger thread?) as they weren't as salty and were reminiscent of the fries you eat as a kid.  I LOVE salt, but McD's too much.  And their cheese sauce is REALLY good, I wish all the ballpark concessions used this cheese sauce. It isn't nacho cheese flavored and was much preferred.  I like the idea of getting a double "burger" one meat one veg and no fries, but haven't done it.  I don't eat many fast food burgers (although I eat a fair share of burgers) so I can't compare to other national chains.

Not sure about other chains asking for temperature preferences.  Big Buns and BGR tend to be the go-to for quick serve or fast casual (whichever you prefer) burgers for me.  For some reason I thought Five Guys asked, but it has been a while since I have had Five Guys.  

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Any suggestions to what your favorite burger places are?

I've only heard many people talk about five guys which I'm not a fan of, too greasy for me. Closest I've found that I've enjoyed around the DMV is shake shack- reminiscent of my love for in-n-out when I lived on the west coast. 

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2 minutes ago, arlingtonkabob said:

Any suggestions to what your favorite burger places are?

I've only heard many people talk about five guys which I'm not a fan of, too greasy for me. Closest I've found that I've enjoyed around the DMV is shake shack- reminiscent of my love for in-n-out when I lived on the west coast. 

You're asking specifically about low-end, inexpensive hamburgers, right? 

For me, Ray's Hell-Burger at City Vista is still king.

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2 hours ago, Marty L. said:

What's the consensus 'round here on Lucky Buns?

Never heard of it but their reviews and pictures on yelp look good! 

17 hours ago, MarkS said:

Ebbtide in Annapolis is highly recommended.   Burger is great, place is a dive.

Dives are usually the BEST EVER

15 hours ago, ces1965 said:

What location for Rays?  The one near me seems to have closed. 

The one in Arlington closed a few months back. The only other location I knew of was K st NW DC

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Dammit.  I've become spoiled for quality burgers at joints or better restaurants.  The other day I craved a burger and stopped at a bar/restaurant that will go unnamed.  Decidedly mediocre.  Maybe it was the type of hamburger I could have wolfed down years ago without a second thought.  Not now.  It was well in the range of 'okay".  But it wasn't good.  Hamburger mediocre-fries a little less so.

I miss Hellburgers.  They upped the game for burgers.  There are other good burgers around town.  Many are mentioned above.  I've referenced some others I've liked.

But I miss Hellburgers.  They seriously raised the level of beatific  burgerness.

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Why thin burgers are better than thick ones

Nothing earth-shatteringly new or surprising in this article.  The logic makes sense to me regarding Maillard and balance of ingredients in a sandwich.  That said, I think this rule tends to be true only when the quality of meat is average/decent or worse (i.e., at most burger places).  But if and when you get Ray's Hell Burger quality patties, thick all the way.  That's still the gold standard for me, too.

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2 hours ago, dcs said:

I Found the Best Burger Place in America. And Then I Killed It.  By Kevin Alexander, November 16, 2018, on thrillist.com.

I get the Thrillist emails and read that this morning. Not sure what people expect to happen nowadays when something gets tagged as 'the best whatever' in the US. I also don't get people who wait in line five hours for a burger. I've waited in long lines for a few things, but never five hours and never something as common as a burger. One example: The now departed Uglesich's in New Orleans.

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18 hours ago, dcs said:

I Found the Best Burger Place in America. And Then I Killed It.  By Kevin Alexander, November 16, 2018, on thrillist.com.

I saw this earlier today (The Pug tweeted it out--or replied to it, I guess) and it's a beautiful and beautifully-written piece. Anybody seeing this who hasn't read it really should devote a little time. I'm not sure if it's Pulitzer-worthy but definitely James Beard-worthy.

It was especially painful that he went out and spent a year on the piece so it wasn't a clickbait piece and it still had unforeseen bad effects.

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12 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

So, now that Ray's Hell-Burger is gone, what do people think is the best hamburger in the area?

I'm looking for the best hamburger with price not being a consideration.

I've been pondering this very issue certainly in light of the death of Hell-Burger, the death of Rays and the closing of the Clarendon Citizen Burger.   In fact I'm planning a couple of trips to the well rated burger joints in the area.   One minor checking point is that I was a fan of the BGR Wellington a while back.  I've had a couple recently and I must admit it is not all I raved about.   Sadly not close to HellBurger or Citizen Burger.

The search continues.........

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14 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

So, now that Ray's Hell-Burger is gone, what do people think is the best hamburger in the area?

I'm looking for the best hamburger with price not being a consideration.

Being a little bit Springfield-minded, I vote for the lamb burger at Afghan Bistro, and Tom Sietsema agrees with me.

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Clarity has an excellent burger.  Obviously, a $16 price point is too dear for many.

I really really like Red Robin's basic burger - no cheese, just the usual lettuce/tomato with mayo and mustard.  RR has a new branch at 7 Corners, a freestanding building just outside the mall off 7.  Fries are good, service is very good.  Been 3x - each time left more impressed and pleased.

I miss Clyde's burgers, esp Tyson's Saturday half off deal.  5 Guys, Burger 7, Shake Shack, Joe's and Elevation - been there, did that, not going back.

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