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DaRiv18

The Big Board, 4th and H Street NE - Owners Eric and Mark Flannery's Burgers and Beer

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Just wanted to acknowledge that it was open. The night I stopped by was a soft opening of sorts, and they didn't have their POS online yet, so let's just skip evaluating the service. I ordered a burger with bacon and a fried egg, with plain fries. The fried egg was cooked perfectly. Apparently the burger is hormone-free local beef with the family's secret marinade. The staff and owners are all personable, I also enjoyed a Chocolate City brew of some sort, was told it was a porter but it must have been something else. They also have a full bar.

Outlook: room for improvement, which the owners acknowledge, but might be a good place to stop by for a quick bite before you move to other places on H Street. A solid business, I'm sure I'll update more in the future.

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Good burgers, fries, and beer here on Monday night. Bob opted for the "Straight Outta' Dublin" burger (marinated in Guinness, topped with Irish cheddar and braised cabbage), I had the "Ciao Bella" (topped with mozzarella, prosciutto, San Marzano tomatoes, and red pepper aioli), both cooked perfectly to medium rare. I'd have to taste a few more burgers to see if I find their beef exceptional--it gets buried a bit under the toppings--but the bun held up well to the juiciness. The skinny fries were seasoned with both salt and pepper (Old Bay is an option). I opted for a New Belgium Ranger IPA (nice citrusy taste), Bob for a Peroni. The overall beer list is not long, but respectable.

These may not make you forget Ray's Hellburgers, but it's a good option on the Hill. In fact, they seem to be reaching what Good Stuff only aspires to in their style of fries and burger options--the fries aren't just nubbins, and the burgers aren't gristly; there's real quality here. Service was pleasant if confused. The space is quite noisy, particularly when some patrons have a few too many. The concept of fluctuating prices for the beer based on demand seems a bit contrived, and wasn't really in action when we were there. But the owners seemed genuinely grateful for our patronage, and I'd be glad to return.

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Tujague pretty much nails it, and I also wonder whether I find their beef exceptional. Last week I got the Le Burg-aire au Poive "seared with cracked black pepper, topped with Great Hill blue cheese & a cognac cream sauce." I think my palette is officially tired of the hamburger craze, so don't assign too much weight to my side-stepping of whether I loved it. I can tell that the LBaP was certainly executed well. True, the beef was extremely muted, but that was foreseeable and I should have ordered better so that I could walk away with a more defensible judgment of their patty.

I do see a crossroads for this business ahead. On one hand, an employee tells me that they have already offered a $65ish price fixe special once (got no details of the menu, I assume it wasn't salad/sandwich/fries/cookie spread) that was received well. On the other hand, this business model seems prime for expansion if, as Tujague recounts, their owners continue to win goodwill amongst their customers with their sincere wish for you to enjoy your time.

As it stands, Big Board is no destination restaurant but is certainly a valued H Street amenity, and I'm sure that even if you aren't a neighbor, you might stop by for a bite before heading further east down the strip for that night's entertainment.

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Just thought I would add my two cents in on this topic. I basically agree with the views expressed above. We were in this past week for the first time for food (had drank here before), and I'm glad it is on H Street. I went with the Great Chicago Fire, which is described as a chipotle dusted burger with fire-roasted chili & mango salsa, topped with habanero jack cheese and chipotle aioli. Given that, it didn't give off as much heat as I was expecting, but it also understandably left the burger itself a bit in the background. My burger was cooked perfectly to medium rare, the bun held up nicely, and the fries were quite good. Beer list is solid if not exceptional. Our service this last time was only ok, but on the two previous occasions when I had been in here for a beer our service was quite good, so certainly possible that this was an aberration.

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Note to anyone considering Big Board on a swelting day...the A/C in this place is marginal at best. People were complaining. There are no shades or curtains and the sun was just baking the place.

Burgers were credible, cooked as requested and juicy. The bottom bun barely held up, but the top bun stayed intact. I, too, had the Great Chicago Fire. I didn't taste "chipotle dust," and the salsa was tasty but not very fiery. The chipotle aioli was good, though. Overall, it was not as spicy as I prefer.

The slaw, though, was awful. I think it was way past its prime. It was mostly red cabbage, tasting more pickled than fresh, The parts of the slaw that had been green were getting brown. It was a pink, soggy, unappealing mess. I would have returned it but the server was in the weeds and barely keeping up. It wasn't a big enough deal to me, but I wouldn't order it again.

I think they've abandoned the real-time price adjustment on beers based on demand. I don't recall that it was operating the last time I was there, either. The board just displays a base price and an selling price, which never changed while we were there.

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We stopped by The Big Board on Friday night, just for beers (we had just eaten at Boundary Road). We had also tried some of the food at Monday night's beer week event. I can definitely see us being regular customers here. The owner chatted with us for a while, and he obviously has a lot of passion and interest in his customers. The bartender, Melanie, was also great to us. The board was definitely working when we were there - our Ranger IPA's kept getting cheaper, so people must have been drinking it a lot. I look forward to coming back for burgers sometime soon.

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As an employee of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which regulates The Big Board, I just want to point out that their pricing strategy runs contrary to the way an actual exchange would function.  As demand increases, the price on the big board should increase, as well, while the price of other, less-popular beers decreases, rather than the other way around.

Although the Chair of the SEC has, in fact, bought a round for senior staff at the Big Board, this does not negate the fact that our Division of Trading and Markets is looking into it.

That is all.

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As demand increases, the price on the big board should increase, as well, while the price of other, less-popular beers decreases, rather than the other way around.

That has been driving me up the wall since I first saw it. In fact, I was tempted to reply to bettyjoan saying "are you sure it wasn't that y'all were the only ones ordering it" but fortunately for me, I double-checked that.

I like to drink all over the menu, so that's kind of bad for me, but I can dedicate myself to one beer if I must...

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We've eaten (and had beers) at the Big Board a couple of times over the past 1-2 weeks, and I am just so glad we have it in our neighborhood.  On one visit, we ordered and shared the Jalisco Frito chicken sandwich and the sweet potato fries.  The sandwich was delicious - good ratios of all ingredients, cooked properly, and tons of flavor.  I really disliked the sweet potato fries - they were overloaded with garlic and severely undercooked.  The next time, we each got burgers and split an order of regular fries.  The burgers were absolutely delicious - meaty and juicy and cooked exactly as ordered.  I got a pretty standard bacon cheeseburger, and I was still able to taste the patty itself.  Yum.  The regular fries were MUCH better - salty and definitely more crispy.

Service is always awesome - this is the kind of neighborhood place we love after a long week of work.  I know we need to explore more of H Street, and we will, but Big Board is a favorite already.

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Just a note to say that Big Board is still around, putting out consistent burgers and fries.  My wife always goes for a bacon cheeseburger with cheddar, medium rare.  I can't think of even one time it has come out at the wrong temperature.  As I mentioned on the "veggie burger" thread, their mushroom patty is a great option...substantial, and texturally pleasing.

Of note: They currently have Flying Dog Bloodline IPA on Nitro...delicious.  I really dig it served this way.

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3 hours ago, DonRocks said:

A very credible member (in the industry) says that The Big Board has the best chicken wings he's had in DC.

More than once, I remember looking up to see Brad darting in from across the street to take a break and grab some wings before heading back over to the kitchen at Boundary Road. Dude loves the Big Board's wings, as do I.

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Do they still bother to do any of the dynamic, market-shaped beer pricing they did when they first opened?

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Do they still bother to do any of the dynamic, market-shaped beer pricing they did when they first opened?

They kind of do the dynamic pricing, but sometimes not? And they don't really play it up any more, at least not in my experience. 

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On ‎5‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 8:57 AM, Kev29 said:

Do they still bother to do any of the dynamic, market-shaped beer pricing they did when they first opened?

They do, but as Mark said, it's not really a huge focus. All beers are $5 during happy hour, and most are marked off between $0.50 and $1 at any given point throughout the night. (From regular prices of $6-7.)

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