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Citizen Burger Bar, Owner Andy McClure's Charlottesville-Based Chain in Clarendon

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I happen to walk by here almost every day on my way to the Clarendon metro. Posting because noticed their soft opening last week one night and from cheesepowder's post. Their FB page states they will open *today* at 11:30am.

Parking won't be easy, since it's at the corner of 11th street north and North Highland.

Citizen Burger Bar

1051 North Highland Street

Arlington, VA

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The one in Charlottesville is really good.  I like the burgers they have good flavor.  A really nice beer selection.  Lots of burger customizing options.  Good fries and onion rings.  Will have to see how this one does.

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Any ideas as to what my best bet would be for trying to park nearby?  I don't get down to Clarendon often, but I want to try this place.

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I just somehow deleted 15 minutes worth of a review, and don't have the strength to try to redo it.

This place should succeed.  It sounded like it would be in my wheelhouse (good burgers and craft beer), and it was, with the exception (not surprisingly) that I was about double the age of the average patron in this Clarendon location.

The grass-fed beef in the burger was very tasty, but maybe slightly underseasoned--I will have to do a close comparison to Gypsy Soul's, which has been my recent gold standard.  Nothing like grass-fed beef for me.  I ordered essentially no toppings, so that I could better taste the beef.  I ordered "pink" and it was just on the reddish side of "pink" that I had hoped for.  The standard brioche bun stood up to the burger, but was rather bland and added essentially nothing.

I got the standard order of fries, even though I knew from watching other orders come out that the burger itself (8 oz.) would be more than enough for me.  They were more or less what Five Guys serves in terms of whole potato slices, edge potato slices, and smaller niblets, but much less greasy than Five Guys, so a big plus.  Also, for the burger, unless you are a very hearty eater, be careful of how much stuff you order on it, some of the ones coming out of the kitchen were pretty ginormous.

As for parking, which was a concern expressed above, I was there at 8:00 tonight (Friday), so street parking was too much of a challenge, but there is a garage on the same block (I am pretty sure on 11th Street just East of Highland) in which I parked.  It was $2.00 for 3 hours after 6:00 on weekdays, and something like $2.00 or $3.00 for quite a bit of time on weekends.  Somehow, in the 200 feet between the garage and the entrance to the restaurant, or on the way back, I managed to lose my ticket.  I went to the exit gate expecting to ram it, or pay a maximum something like $20, but when I pushed the assistance button to explain, the remote security service asked why I had been in the garage, I told them I had just gone to a restaurant in the building, and they raised the gate so that I was able to leave free of charge.

I will be going back.  Clarendon is a bit of a challenge, but that garage makes it less intimidating.

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We've been a bunch of times in Clarendon, and we've come away happy every time, including last night. And we go on lots of different occasions: Friday night don't feel like cooking with kid; my birthday, with a group ranging from 6-86 years old; or Sunday afternoon wanting to hang out. First of all, the staff is fantastic. Friendly in a genuine way, and with a "how can we make this a good experience for you" attitude. I happen to love the burgers, especially the "mini," which has a great set of contrasts between the soft potato roll, the crisp lettuce and onion, the beefy tasting burger, and the salty, melty cheese. And the beer list and the cocktails are broad enough to make a group with disparate tastes happy. I'm partial to the cucumber jalapeí±o margarita myself. And I agree the garage is a convenient good deal, especially in the rain.

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I've been by there twice.   Its among the highest quality meat in a burger, actually leaving me stunned at the quality and taste of the basic burger.  Not all that impressed by the buns or add ons...but that burger is about as good as anything out there that I've had recently. Among excellent burgers I think the Dino burger is special, and really like Ray's.  This one is quite different but up there in with regard to its own quality.

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I meandered over to Citizen Burger last night to get still one more burger and watch the Caps play.  I've only been there infrequently since it opened and frankly had forgotten how good/bad/tasty the burgers were.  I did know that the set up might allow me to watch the Caps game in relative peace as I was a bit weary.  The seating area is booths, and as a sportsy bar it has many TV's.   The bar wraps around a corner, and it and its accompanying high tops might have about 6 separate TV's to watch different sports.  Good bartender all around and he set one of the corner TV's for the Caps game.  He wasn't sure how the crowd was going to react, as it was both the Caps opening game and a Yankee playoff game both going on at the same time. 

Now to that burger.   My my.  The Citizen Burger is of top notch quality similar to the juicy 1/2 pound beauties available at both HellBurger DC and Rays the Steaks in Courthouse.  They all have excellent "meatiness" and are all juicy (I vacillated between rare and medium rare -and the bartender said-"we call it pink".  I went with that).   Didn't add much in toppings--just mushrooms and went with the basic brioche bun. 

Excellent meatiness but a different taste element to the meat than the Rays's offerings.  But excellent quality.   I added fries and as mentioned above they are similar to that found at five guys.   Good--not great.   To my limited knowledge base, Citizen Burger has a variety and good list of beer options.   The burger with toppings came to $12.50.   Frankly that price beats too many other places with a far inferior product.

Good burgers, good beer choices, --good options for watching sports.

I'm sort of burgered out now--but if I wanted a beer/burger/games on TV option....this is an excellent choice. 

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I hope they had the CAPS game on all of their TVs.  Baseball will be forgotten soon, hockey is almost every night!

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1 hour ago, MarkS said:

I hope they had the CAPS game on all of their TVs.  Baseball will be forgotten soon, hockey is almost every night!

Good bartender.  When I asked if he would put the Caps game on that TV, he added he didn't know if he could add sound b/c of the baseball playoff game.  He did.    When I glanced around later it was Mostly Caps-- a couple of TV's with the playoff game.  (hey NY is a big city--whaddaya gonna do???)

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Based on DaveO's recommendation, we went here for dinner tonight.  Wow!  Delicious burgers.  Even my picky husband liked his burger.  The bacon was made fresh and the blue cheese was good too.  French fries nice and crispy.  The service wasn't the greatest, but for those burgers I can suffer a bit.  We'll be back!

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