Jump to content
squidsdc

BTS (Burger Tap & Shake), Upscale Hamburgers in Foggy Bottom - Tenleytown Branch Has Closed

Recommended Posts

Good omen of things to come...to be added to the list of worthwhile burgers in DC. Soft opening for BTS and despite the line and crowd, burger and fries were quite tasty. I prefer my burgers to be medium rare, but at a soft open with a line, I wasn't about to be picky and thought I'd see what I got. Burger was medium and loosely packed, with a nice char and grill flavor. Not greasy or "juicy" but I actually liked it that way, so I could taste the butter on the bun. rolleyes.gif And the home made buttered bun is the perfect accompaniment. Jeff Tunks handing out menus to those in line, was commenting on how they didn't know how many buns to make since they had no idea how many people would stop by. Well, better make a lot more, 'cuz judging by the crowd today, I expect it's only going to get busier! (And once it becomes common knowledge that they are open...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good omen of things to come...to be added to the list of worthwhile burgers in DC. Soft opening for BTS and despite the line and crowd, burger and fries were quite tasty. I prefer my burgers to be medium rare, but at a soft open with a line, I wasn't about to be picky and thought I'd see what I got. Burger was medium and loosely packed, with a nice char and grill flavor. Not greasy or "juicy" but I actually liked it that way, so I could taste the butter on the bun. :rolleyes: And the home made buttered bun is the perfect accompaniment. Jeff Tunks handing out menus to those in line, was commenting on how they didn't know how many buns to make since they had no idea how many people would stop by. Well, better make a lot more, 'cuz judging by the crowd today, I expect it's only going to get busier! (And once it becomes common knowledge that they are open...)

Any other details on soft opening logistics? Will they be open tonight? Tomorrow? Or was it just for today's lunch? Their Facebook pages says mid next week for actual open. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At about 5 pm I went by after work (Foggy Bottom Metro commute) and the staff were all standing around behind the counter, with the doors locked. A sign posted on the door said they were closed for a short time in order to grind more meat for the burgers. I assume they opened later that evening.

Looks like they will be open today, using this weekend as an opportunity to work on any remaining kinks before the official opening next week. I would think that things are looking up if your biggest problem is not having enough ground beef on hand to meet the demand for your burgers.

TSchaad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any other details on soft opening logistics? Will they be open tonight? Tomorrow? Or was it just for today's lunch? Their Facebook pages says mid next week for actual open. Thanks.

Sorry I've been offline for a bit. He said he'd maybe open for lunch on Friday but spend his time catering to the opening of District Common for dinner. He did not mention his plans for the weekend, but I think it would depend on how DC was doing, and the demand for BTS.

And contrary to the description in the thread title, high-end refers only to taste. $6 buck chuck, as Jeff Tunks refers to his basic burger. Another tidbit: the bratwurst burger's origin is from Jamie Stachowski. (It's veal and pork, if I remember correctly.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grabbed a The Big Daddy (Benton Bacon, Lea & Perrin mushrooms, buttermilk blue cheese) and a DC Brau Corruption pint the other day. The patty is solid, they cook to medium but will also cook to well done. The Benton Bacon was heavenly, they don't use strips but instead slice it up into quarter-inch julienne, which makes it easier on the diner (and probably easier on BTS's own wallet, too). Next time I'll just build my own burger, as the blue cheese was a bit too much for me, but obviously a quality topping. The bun was really good as well, a bit sturdier than most potato rolls I've had but sopped up the juices well. If they offered a fried egg topping, I'd really be smitten. But if you're craving for a bacon burger, then BTS is a destination worthy of a trip.

Total bill was around $13. They also do adult milkshakes if you're into that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gotta say I really enjoyed my burger and fries from BTS. Had the same burger as DaRiv18, and his description is spot on, except I love blue cheese. The fries were solid, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Same size fries as Five Guys for reference. They also have a large tap (20 beers), including Heavy Seas, Port City, and DC Brau.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll echo the last two sentiments...I thought the bun was VERY SLIGHTLY too large, but it was excellent. Onion rings (thick style), not as good and needed salt out of the fryer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At $5.50 the milkshakes are a little dear, but they are thick and smooth and very flavorful. So far I've had a black-and-white (always my favorite, tickled to see it on the menu), and a double-espresso, which was eye-poppingly strong but not harsh or bitter. Mr P can't wait to try the burgers. I can't wait to try the strawberry milkshake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Badger burger I ordered (pork and veal) was downright mediocre: dry, with uninspired flavors and an off-putting texture. I probably should have ordered a beef burger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My complaint about this place is the predatory seating when it is busy - you order before knowing whether you'll have a place to sit, and then hover by the first table that seems closest to leaving. I wish the staff could do a better job of helping manage the seating, but I realize the place is basically self service and their success is evidence that people are OK with the current system. I wish I had known that you can snag any empty seat at the bar, order from a bartender and avoid the "wait and hope" syndrome. After I ordered from the cashier I asked if I could take the ONE empty seat at the bar and was sternly reprimanded, "Bar seating, ma'am, is reserved for those ordering at the bar." Well, I would have ordered at the bar had I known it was an option, sonny.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strongly agree with dcandohio, right down to the bar experience. Last visit when my buzzer rang, i told them to make it to-go and I ended up sitting at a nearby cafe (cough cough whole foods cough).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate getting sternly reprimanded in restaurants, even if I am not "following the rules". There's a way to treat your customers, even if they're in the wrong, and it's definitely not with a scolding tone unless totally necessary.

I'm in the "hate the seating but really like the food" crowd on this place as well. Way better than Bobby's Burger Palace and, wait for it, my last visit to Ray's Hell Burger as well. :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate getting sternly reprimanded in restaurants, even if I am not "following the rules". There's a way to treat your customers, even if they're in the wrong, and it's definitely not with a scolding tone unless totally necessary.

I'm in the "hate the seating but really like the food" crowd on this place as well. Way better than Bobby's Burger Palace and, wait for it, my last visit to Ray's Hell Burger as well. :ph34r:

For those of us that don't know your tastes how are each of the 3 burgers different?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My complaint about this place is the predatory seating when it is busy - you order before knowing whether you'll have a place to sit, and then hover by the first table that seems closest to leaving. I wish the staff could do a better job of helping manage the seating, but I realize the place is basically self service and their success is evidence that people are OK with the current system.

It's counter service. They (rightfully so) intend to put no more effort into getting you seated than they would at McDonald's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's counter service. They (rightfully so) intend to put no more effort into getting you seated than they would at McDonald's.

With this type of model, if enough people complain to management, they will take note and eventually implement changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate getting sternly reprimanded in restaurants, even if I am not "following the rules".

The Durgin Park business model. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate getting sternly reprimanded in restaurants, even if I am not "following the rules". There's a way to treat your customers, even if they're in the wrong, and it's definitely not with a scolding tone unless totally necessary.

I'm in the "hate the seating but really like the food" crowd on this place as well. Way better than Bobby's Burger Palace and, wait for it, my last visit to Ray's Hell Burger as well. :ph34r:

For those of us that don't know your tastes how are each of the 3 burgers different?

I am also interested to hear how you see each burger. The one thing that BTS really needs to step up its game, is its shakes. They are a distant third compared to Bobby's and Ray's in terms of quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am also interested to hear how you see each burger. The one thing that BTS really needs to step up its game, is its shakes. They are a distant third compared to Bobby's and Ray's in terms of quality.

[sorry, I moved DPop's reply here in the more general "Hamburgers" thread.]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night I went to BTS with a few girlfriends. As we trickled in we started out at the bar, enjoying some $3.50 cans of Miller Lite (yes, despite the plethora of "good beers" on draft, we went with the old standby). Always amusing to drink out of a can at the bar. I didn't catch the bartender's name, but he was great all night keeping us hydrated and fed and offering menu suggestions. When all four of us were there and we were able to snag a booth off to the side (the place was hopping at 6:30/7) he let us continue ordering from him instead of getting back up in line to order at the counter (I realize that this certainly increased his tip for the evening, but made it convenient for us as well).

I had the Southern Comfort Burger ($8 - Pimento cheese, Fried Green Tomato, Vidalia Onions, Bread & Butter Pickles) and thought it was quite good. It was a different combination than I've seen anywhere else, which I liked. The burger was cooked nicely medium and the meat had a good flavor. The bun was fresh and surprisingly held up fairly well (I thought at the beginning it all might fall apart since it was quite a large burger). I didn't get a ton of flavor from the tomato and onion, but the pimento cheese had a nice tang and stood out from the normal burger cheese toppings.

Unfortunately, the sides were not so good. The four of us split one order of Onion Rings ($3) and one of French Fries ($3). Neither order is huge, so I think it says something about the quality that there were both rings and fries left at the end of the meal and no one wanted to eat the rest. It takes a lot for me to dislike fried foods, but I'm not sure I would order either of these again. The onion rings were in a sort of cornmeal crust which had no flavor, even after adding salt at the table and dipping in ketchup and the "AP Sauce" (Our House Blend of Mayo, Ketchup, Mustard, BBQ, and Chipotle). The fries were also surprisingly tasteless and didn't come out hot (which may have added to the "blahness"). We were all pretty disappointed, especially since everyone enjoyed their burgers.

As we sat around and my friends got another beer, I decided to indulge and try one of the shakes. I had the BTS Shake ($5 - Butterfinger, Twix, & Snickers) and thought it was ok, but not stellar. I did like the gigantic straw it came with though. Great for sucking up all the candy bar pieces. The flavor was pretty good, but it was thinner and more "milky" tasting than I typically prefer in a shake.

All in all I think it's a fine place if you're in the neighborhood, but I don't see myself going out of my way to head back to BTS anytime soon. There are plenty of other burger places around the city where I can get something comparable, if not better, which I will likely patronize in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stopped by BTS around noon today to try their July 4 special--a "Four Buck Chuck" (usually Six Buck) and the $4 Red White and Blue Shake (usually $5). All in all favorably impressed with it: the burger isn't especially thick, and it didn't appear medium, as I ordered, but it was juicy nevertheless and had a distinct beef flavor (as opposed to the rather anonymous burgers at Big Board). My only caveat is that I was slightly put off by a pronounced pepperiness, which I think may be from the housemade AP sauce. The shake was a nice thickness, neither too thin nor too difficult to slurp up in the commendably wide straws they offer. The blueberry taste was muted (as is often the case), but this was more than made up for my the plentiful fresh raspberries. The fries were good enough, and more than enough for one person, and thus a good value at $3.00. Coming at a relatively low-volume time, I had no service or seating problems, and the discounts made this a sensational value. Good enough to make me want to come back for one of the specialty burgers and a brew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you all think this health code violation on June 2nd means? "Closed because of circumstances that might endanger public health." The typical reasons I've seen for closings are for the presence of rodents/insects, lack of hot water (I'm always surprised by this one) and lack of supervisor (or some such position of health code importance).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you all think this health code violation on June 2nd means? "Closed because of circumstances that might endanger public health." The typical reasons I've seen for closings are for the presence of rodents/insects, lack of hot water (I'm always surprised by this one) and lack of supervisor (or some such position of health code importance).

In a Passion Food Hospitality-run restaurant, it's probably some broken-hot-water / supervisor-called-in-sick thing - these folks are very professional. It could be anything, but I doubt it's a chronic problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw that same thing and was wondering what the reason could be as the reports have specified for other restaurants if there is no hot water, pests, unsanitary conditions, etc. Sounded kind of ominous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you all think this health code violation on June 2nd means? "Closed because of circumstances that might endanger public health." The typical reasons I've seen for closings are for the presence of rodents/insects, lack of hot water (I'm always surprised by this one) and lack of supervisor (or some such position of health code importance).

Glad to see I'm not the only person who reads the restaurant closings. This one caught my eye too, usually it's little mom-and-pops that get nailed.

The animal control reports, obituaries, and real estate sales are good too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you all think this health code violation on June 2nd means? "Closed because of circumstances that might endanger public health." The typical reasons I've seen for closings are for the presence of rodents/insects, lack of hot water (I'm always surprised by this one) and lack of supervisor (or some such position of health code importance).

I have never seen that listed on a closing.  I wonder if it might a structural issue or something not easily fixable which would fit the more typical issues on a DC health inspection report.  Otherwise I am surprised to see the wording.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...