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Burger 7, Five Guys Lookalike Now in Three Virginia Locations, Cooking To Order


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Website: http://burgerseven.com/aboutus.html

Address:

7505 Leesburg Pike # E

Falls Church, VA 22043

Visit: 4:30pm 2/23/11

Decor: Think of a remodeled "Five Guys" without the free peanuts. There are limited booths (~10-15), which could prove a problem at peak times. Well and warmly lit, condiments in ample supply at each table (which might change if some of them start taking a walk). Drink/Condiment station is horribly placed directly next to the registers - expect traffic jams and a circumlocution of the line you just waited on to get to it.

Order: B7 (two patties) w/Cheddar Cheese, Lettuce, Onion (raw diced), Tomato, Pickles, Ketchup, Mayo and a single order of Fries.

Wait Time: I wouldn't suggest going to this place during a typical weekday Tyson's Corner/Falls Church lunch hour. At 4:30pm, it took about 20 minutes for my order (in a queue of no more than five or six) to be readied. The staff is obviously still finding their rhythm, so it's excusable for their first week open. Just overhearing the kitchen staff, it sounded as if the fry station is the holdup of their line and you might be able to get in and out quicker if you forego the fries (read further for a decent reason why). That being said, they smartly use an electronic pager system a la Fuddruckers in lieu of an occasionally unreliable number-calling system like Five Guys.

Look and Taste: Half Five Guys, half Elevation Burger. Considerably smaller and (at least initially) *neater* than a double-patty Five Guys burger and thus easier to eat. Beef was cooked well-done (no option otherwise), and the patties were roughly Quarter Pounder-sized in thickness and pleasantly juicy (re: also very messy). The bun was satisfactory but didn't hold up especially well to the juice/grease from the patty, melting cheddar, and combination of ketchup/mayo. This is very much NOT a burger to eat in the car. The flavor of the meat itself, without the welcome and needed help of condiments/cheese was very typical of normal "grass-fed" beef - in other words kind of bland. I could not taste any attempt at seasoning either on the patty or within the meat itself when I was able to sample a "clean" piece of one of the patties. The fries, cooked in olive oil much like Elevation Burger, were somewhat disappointing as well - they were not especially palatable "naked" (almost reminiscent tastewise of unsalted kettle-cooked potato chips save for the faint remaining essence of olive oil) without an application of salt and the use of a side of the restaurant's "B7 Sauce" to add flavor. The B7 Sauce, to my palate, sort of reminded me of a less tangy runnier variant of the spicy yellow-orange sauce chain restaurants serve with their fried onion appetizers. It's very much not a Thousand Island-based sauce despite having the outward appearance of it. Going to have to taste it again to properly get a "lock" on it flavor-wise. Sweet potato fries are also offered, and despite not having tried them, I'm guessing/*hoping* the sweeter taste would remedy the relative tastelessness of their stock spuds. Also, adding any cheese is an extra 50 cents.

Verdict: I'm not *done* with this place yet. It has a nice, well-lit atmosphere, even if I could see it suffering under heavy traffic, and the fact that its neighbor is a Jason's Deli with *far* more seating space might be a kiss of death during the lunch hours. I've yet to try their hot dogs, shakes, and most importantly, their sliders, which if they look like their picture on the website's menu, might be their saving grace if served on proper potato rolls and cooked with their onions to infuse the flavor like White Castle does. Their "onion crisps" aren't onion rings or petals so much as they are that type of super-thin onion ring that looks like a mass of thick fried hair when served (note: this doesn't mean I don't recommend them, I'm just trying to describe them). They also offer only turkey bacon, not pork, which might suggest a silent adherence to Kosher/Halal standards (which might explain why a slice of American costs an extra 50 cents).

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Thanks for the report, I live nearby and have been curious about this place since the sign and paper on the windows went up.

I like that they offer the option of a lettuce wrap on the burgers. I'll have to try them soon. But if it takes 20 mins, I might need to bring a book.

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New photos showing the layout: http://burgerseven.com/press/

I'm also planning visit #2 later this evening - I'll be trying the Sliders. I think I'll leave the hot dogs and shakes alone - it's pretty damned difficult to screw either up unless the person doing them is lazy, and the only wild card in a hot dog would be if their chili is made in-house or store-bought/prepared.

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New photos showing the layout: http://burgerseven.com/press/

I'm also planning visit #2 later this evening - I'll be trying the Sliders. I think I'll leave the hot dogs and shakes alone - it's pretty damned difficult to screw either up unless the person doing them is lazy, and the only wild card in a hot dog would be if their chili is made in-house or store-bought/prepared.

Looking forward to your impressions.

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Okay. This time I visited at ~5:15pm. I was first in line, no waiting, with maybe three in the queue ahead of me. I was told 5-10 minutes - it took about 15. Exact count on booths is *nine*, not 10.

The sliders aren't THAT bad, but they're hardly a saving grace. However, I don't believe three of them are worth 6.99 as it simply felt like less food than just getting their twin-patty B7 burger (which is six bucks' even with cheese). When you order them "to go," they come in a small sub-sandwich container about five inches long, connected to each other on their potato rolls. If you've got to grab-and-go from here, these are probably your best bet.

The real-strike out, once again, are the fries. Even though I'm not a huge fan of sweet potato, I tried their SP fries tonight hoping the texture/taste would outshine the plain variety. They were extremely limp and just awful. They didn't *look* right, they didn't *taste* right - especially not for the price premium they commanded. The only way I could see saving these things is adding cheese and chili on top of them - and at that point, you're essentially eating a soggy fried chili & cheese potato "creation." So I'm rendering a verdict - skip the fries until they learn frying them in olive oil isn't working. I'm not even going to bother with the "onion crisps" now as *nothing* seems to be crisp coming out of that oil. Hopefully they decide to put a chip stand in - the fries are really *that* bad. How the hell they opened without being able to manage a "crispy" fry I'll never know.

I was "wrong" about the B7 sauce. On second taste, it very much tastes like a runny Thousand Island with a boost from cayenne pepper and perhaps other spices (paprika maybe). Definitely cayenne there, though. Then again, my nose was a little stopped up this time, so it might have cut it down a little from last week. There's still very much a "fried onion dipping sauce" tang in it.

The meat was more palatable taste-wise, but I couldn't tell if that was because of juice the raw onions (diced and thick like Five Guys) or the fair coating of the B7 sauce each one gets.

This is a "decent" place that's hobbled by their lack of a strong side to go with their burgers, minimal seating, and slow service even during low capacity. I shudder to wonder what it's like when they're super-busy. The Jason's Deli next door and the Subway a scant 50 feet away makes me think that if these guys don't up their game a bit, they won't last six months. Five Guys definitely has this place licked at the moment.

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I found it to be very much in the same vein, style, price point, taste as Elevation burger-slightly less grease. It's no Ray's, and the fries aren't great. I'd grade it a C+

*edit*

Turkey bacon pisses me off! if yer gonna offer that, offer the swine!

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For Kosher they're SOL, but I don't understand why they wouldn't just roast some bacon in a sheet tray in an oven and hold it for those of us that appreciate the beauty of the pig.

Turkey bacon is one step away from tofurkey. Bacon is perfect on its own.

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I found it to be very much in the same vein, style, price point, taste as Elevation burger-slightly less grease. It's no Ray's, and the fries aren't great. I'd grade it a C+

*edit*

Turkey bacon pisses me off! if yer gonna offer that, offer the swine!

The plus this place has over Elevation in spades is the parking.

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The plus this place has over Elevation in spades is the parking.

Yes and no, I tend to patronize Elevation (rarely) later at night, when the parking is easier. At certain times of the day, the more repressed WF shoppers who have held their rage inside all day can suddenly let loose and take it out on the world by sitting there in the middle of the aisle waiting for "just the right spot" or parking right in the no parking zone in front of the store. The TJ's parking lot across the way is just as suicidal, not to mention the jerks who sit there in front of Ledo's.

Darn, I was hoping someone would try the B7 onion crisps. I may have to be the volunteer. But at that price point it almost makes the slop in the WF hot food bar look like a bargain. I've always lamented the early closing hours of the HoneyBaked ham store, at least the sandwiches were OK.

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Yes and no, I tend to patronize Elevation (rarely) later at night, when the parking is easier. At certain times of the day, the more repressed WF shoppers who have held their rage inside all day can suddenly let loose and take it out on the world by sitting there in the middle of the aisle waiting for "just the right spot" or parking right in the no parking zone in front of the store. The TJ's parking lot across the way is just as suicidal, not to mention the jerks who sit there in front of Ledo's.

Darn, I was hoping someone would try the B7 onion crisps. I may have to be the volunteer. But at that price point it almost makes the slop in the WF hot food bar look like a bargain. I've always lamented the early closing hours of the HoneyBaked ham store, at least the sandwiches were OK.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/restaurants/burger-7,1206358/critic-review.html

It appears the lack of pork bacon *is* religious in nature.

This is also interesting: "Those who checked out the wares early on, take note: Iskandar says he tweaked a few details as recently as last week based on consumer feedback. His beef, which he cuts and mixes himself each day, now has a higher fat ratio, and unlike in the opening days, the patties aren't pressed hard against the grill. The result: juicier burgers with more flavor."

Might be worth another look.

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Finally found the time to make another lunch visit to Burger 7 yesterday, and I can say it's very much improved.

The patties *are* tastier (as in there is evidence of seasoning in the beef), but you can still taste a bit of the "grass-fed" gameyness, and though I don't remember it being there last time, they now give you a potato roll as an option. The fries were still mostly tasteless and only helped by salt and pepper, but they've obviously taken criticism to heart and at least this time they weren't limp and actually held their shape. Service was also quite a bit more prompt than before.

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The old Chickpeas location is under construction and a sign indicates that a Burger 7 will be coming to that location. I assume this is related to the Falls Church Burger 7.

I've been to Burger 7 maybe a half-dozen times, and I think it's one of the better - certainly one of the more underrated - burger houses in the area. Personally, I'd rather have Chickpeas (just because I like supporting mom-n-pop dives (which, in this case, I never did)), but Burger 7 isn't a bad fallback.

---

Hoo-wee, I take it back. I just had one of the greasiest cheeseburgers and fries of my life.

Edited by DonRocks
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Drove by on Lee Highway tonight and saw Burger 7 was open.... checked the web page, and indeed, today is opening night.... with Friday as the grand opening and a buy a burger, get one free promotion.

One of the interesting details from the web page.... open until 11pm Sun-Thur.... until 3am on Fri/Sat.

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It's not often I am moved to post something negative on this board. I understand how hard it is to make a go of it in this industry and that everyone is busting their tails to do their best. Also, I'm not one to cast stones, who knows if someone out there doesn't like what I'm doing. But I must say something here.


This was by far...by far I say! The. Worst. Burger. I have ever eaten. How bad was it. First it was charred to an almost inedible, dry crumbliness that I would have found disturbing had it also not been topped with an equally overfilled and flavorless egg. Add to that that I had turkey bacon foisted upon me in the stead of proper bacon and it all added up to a miserable, dead, soulless version of what glories my burger could have achieved had it been treated right. Then I had what must have been the fort Knox of onion rings, fortified with enough "crunchification" that I almost crunchified a couple of teeth, inedible, save your money. All in all we wasted 23 dollars on what amounted to fountain drinks and an edible side of sweet potato fries.


I don't go in with unrealistic expectations. If you are a steak house, I expect a proper steak. If you serve burgers, I at least expect them to be juicy even if well, seasoned, and served with sides that are equally prepared with care.

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Took Grandma to the Burger 7 in Alexandria Sunday.  Would have rather gone to Holy Cow in Del Ray

Burger was small, quality meat but uneven burger, so cooking was uneven (no option of how done you wanted it)

Very good onion rings, good fries.

Shakes were so thick where hard to drink with straw, and no long spoons available.

Cute that they have multiple sauces on the tables.

Most seating is at high benchs , about 4 tables with bench on wall and small (like low round bar stool but smaller) seats on other side.

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