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Ray's Hell-Burger - Great Hamburgers at City Vista - Closed


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As those of you who were too foolish to heed my warning on Monday already know, Ray's Hell-Burger (street name), aka Butcher Burgers (government name), is due to open today, Tuesday, July 1st.

We will be serving one thing only--10 ounces of our secret blend of premium and prime aged beef, char-grilled over an open flame. This is the same single-breed, farm-raised beef that we use at Ray's The Steaks and Ray's The Classics, aged in house ridiculously long, hand trimmed to the same exacting standards as all of our steaks, and ground fresh daily, several times throughout the day.

Free toppings include: sauteed mushrooms finished with sherry and brandy, grilled red onions, sauteed peppers, charred jalapenos, vine-ripened beefsteak tomatoes, roasted garlic, and dill or bread and butter pickle chips.

Applewood-smoked bacon (the same that we use for the grilled bacon app at Ray's The Classics) and guacamole are available for an additional charge.

In addition to the regular quality cheeses on offer ('Merkin, aged Vermont white cheddar, imported Swiss, imported Gruyere, aged Danish Bleu/Italian Gorgonzola, smoked mozzarella, Monster, Brie, pepperjack) we wil also be offering a changing selection of specialty and artisinal cheeses--currently, Epoisse, Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue, Queen Anne Stilton, Pa Noble Cave Aged Amish Cheddar, Chimay a la biere, Taleggio, and Bel Paese.

Throughout the summer, Hell-Burgers will be served with fresh, buttered corn on the cob and a slice of cold, juicy watermelon AT NO CHARGE!!!

Dominion root beer ON TAP and other great sodas and 8-10 flavors of MOOrenko's ice cream for cones and floats (no shakes, maybe later--I don't want to be the one to push shakes into the trite category, too many others stand eager to do so soon enough).

Ray's Hell-Burger (imagine the "Hell" part in flamey letters) is located at 1713 Wilson Boulevard in the same strip mall as Ray's The Steaks. We plan to open Saturday and Sunday from noon on and weekdays from 5 pm, for the time being, with expansion into weekday lunch hours possible, maybe.

The best part about all this, for me at least, is that since Ray's Hell-Burger is located several doors down from Ray's The Steaks, now whenever someone becomes tantrumishly nasty at the door due to the wait at The Steaks, I can kindly suggest an appropriate alternative destination to them.

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You got my letter...

The best part about all this, for me at least, is that since Ray's Hell-Burger is located several doors down from Ray's The Steaks, now whenever someone becomes tantrumishly nasty at the door due to the wait at The Steaks, I can kindly suggest an appropriate alternative destination to them.
"You don't want to wait for a table? FINE. Go to Hell."
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Ray's Hell-Burger (imagine the "Hell" part in flamey letters) is located at 1713 Wilson Boulevard in the same strip mall as Ray's The Steaks. We plan to open Saturday and Sunday from noon on and weekdays from 5 pm, for the time being, with expansion into weekday lunch hours possible, maybe.

I'm sure that many of us are going to Ray's Hell following this announcement.

Will there be take-out? And if so, a phone number?

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There is take-out, as well as about two or three dozen seats for eating in. And, as I wrote over on Chowhound, it's not only delicious (an assessment admittedly based solely on one gratis burger last night), but also the best deal in town.

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OMG! This sounds fabulous. Will Silver Spring ever be so blessed?
I have this picture in my head of all the RTC/MD regulars descending on the place this weekend. They all walk in as a group and everything goes quiet as the RTS/VA regulars stare at them from across the restaurant. Everyone is frozen except for a few innocent bystanders who topple over their chairs in a hurry to get out before all hell breaks loose. Then both sides start doing the two handed West Side Story finger snap and start advancing toward each other. Right before the two groups meet and the fight begins a round of burgers comes off the grill and everyone happily digs in together. The conflict is avoided, but not forgotten...
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I have this picture in my head of all the RTC/MD regulars descending on the place this weekend. They all walk in as a group and everything goes quiet as the RTS/VA regulars stare at them from across the restaurant. Everyone is frozen except for a few innocent bystanders who topple over their chairs in a hurry to get out before all hell breaks loose. Then both sides start doing the two handed West Side Story finger snap and start advancing toward each other. Right before the two groups meet and the fight begins a round of burgers comes off the grill and everyone happily digs in together. The conflict is avoided, but not forgotten...
Shall we start rehearsals tonight? Rumble!
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Then both sides start doing the two handed West Side Story finger snap and start advancing toward each other. Right before the two groups meet and the fight begins a round of burgers comes off the grill and everyone happily digs in together. The conflict is avoided, but not forgotten...

"When you're at Ray's

You can sing Landrum's praise

From your first hanger steak

To your last key lime daze..."

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Um, no. Can we let the place open for business before providing hints for improvement? :lol:
But what fun would that be? :lol: I've just been craving a Jucy Lucy since we had them in St. Paul in December...as another Web site put it, it's like a giant beef & cheese jelly doughnut. Nom nom nom.
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As those of you who were too foolish to heed my warning on Monday already know, Ray's Hell-Burger (street name), aka Butcher Burgers (government name), is due to open today, Tuesday, July 1st.

This sounds more like Heaven-Burger to me. And walking distance from my home!

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According to the chowhound thread, they are a whopping $6.95.
Holy shit, seems the task set for himself by a certain fedora-ed (though not as stylishly as another local of my memory, one Jimmy Thackery) ex-Top Chef contestant, already shall we say difficult 'round these parts, just crossed the line into "herculean"....
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At 5 PM tonight, a line had already formed outside of the unmarked restaurant. It's worth it. The Diablo marinated burger with applewood smoked bacon, Dutch bleu cheese, and mushrooms, grilled "recommended," was the best burger I've had in a long time. And then, to be told, "Oh, Michael's not accepting money tonight." Wow.

Thank you to Mr. Landrum and the astonishingly friendly staff and patrons there tonight (clearly comprised almost exclusively of people from this board) for making a local solo diner feel welcome.

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At 5 PM tonight, a line had already formed outside of the unmarked restaurant. It's worth it. The Diablo marinated burger with applewood smoked bacon, Dutch bleu cheese, and mushrooms, grilled "recommended," was the best burger I've had in a long time. And then, to be told, "Oh, Michael's not accepting money tonight." Wow.

Thank you to Mr. Landrum and the astonishingly friendly staff and patrons there tonight (clearly comprised almost exclusively of people from this board) for making a local solo diner feel welcome.

There were a table full of Rockweilers sitting in the window table promptly at 5pm. :lol:

Mine was plain grilled, bacon, smokey bleu cheese, and mushrooms, grilled "recommended". Well, ordered "recommended", but it came pretty close to well done. Those were the first burgers off the grill, though, and the next few to arrive at our table got increasingly pinkish. But even at well done, it was incredibly juicy and flavorful. You have to eat quickly, before the bun disintegrates!

Very friendly staff who were on top of their game from the very start.

It is a dangerous 5 minute drive from my office...

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WOW.

Arrived a little after 7 and waited in a modest line. There was a sign up asking us to wait until 7:45 due (it seemed) to a shortage of chairs more than anything, but it was soon taken down. The décor is a fun mix of horror movie posters and butcher's charts. We were also stunned when we were told that no money was required tonight, and glad to be reckognized from our visits to to the mothership.

And the burgers! I had mine medium (which came out closer to medium-rare and was the better for it) with a pepper crust with the smoked mozzarella, bacon, grilled onions, and peppers. Like the above poster, my bun also collapsed under the majesty of the meat, which was the burger I had hoped for—for ages. My companion had hers rare (as suggested) with bacon, onion, tomato, and dill pickles. The meat was juicy and well-seasoned.

Excellent. Oh, and they have Cheerwine in bottles

[Now-at-home-on-a-real-keyboard edit]

The burgers were juicy, and I strongly suggest you take Michael's advice and cut them in half. The corn is also a very nice touch, and my companion and I spectulated how good fries could be if they were cooked in beef drippings rendered from both restaurants' output. I don't know if I would really want the temptation to exist!

I just wanted to thank Michael and Danielle again (and apologize for asking for that second bottle). Good luck!

And for the viewers at home:

2629707878_929078ac84_d.jpg

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At 9:30 there was still a line and people walking by were trying to figure out what was going on inside. I chatted up the group behind me in line, trying to figure out how all these people knew to come. The guy replied that he got an email from his friend who "reads some food message board and the chef posted about this hamburger restaurant that opened tonight." Another group of frat boys heard about it on the radio?!?

The burger was "f*&^n good" but the bacon and bel passe cheese sent it over the top. Michael isn't trying to grill a Palena type of burger, he is grilling the type of burger you wish you made at home.

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And for the viewers at home:

2629707878_929078ac84_d.jpg

I think I was just getting in line as that picture was taken. What a gem you have here Michael. Yes the wait was a little long, but so worth it.

Also, just throwing this out there; but this might make that strip mall the best square block of food in the DC area. Want Pho? You got it. Want Mexican? You got it. What a burger? You've got the best. Want a steak? This is the only place for it.

Makes me glad I live in Arlington.

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The burger was "f*&^n good" but the bacon and bel passe cheese sent it over the top. Michael isn't trying to grill a Palena type of burger, he is grilling the type of burger you wish you made at home.

My sentiments exactly. I'd never heard of bel passe before and wouldn't have guessed I'd meet a new cheese on the burger I got at the VA suburbs strip mall, but I'm sure glad I did. I'd only add that the mushrooms show their sherry-brandy finish and that is a good thing. Fun stuff and a great addition to the DC region.

I hope the tip jar had been emptied by the time we got there though... otherwise, DCist readers and I have different ideas about good etiquette.

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At 8:45-9ish the line wasn't too bad. We ordered our burgers to go because we didn't feel like staying, though tables were available. My burger was pretty good, cooked to a nice medium, juicy and covered with some good mushrooms and swiss. Best burger i've had in a while and probably the best i've had in DC in a long time, though for some reason my burger was a bit underseasoned. The seasoned bites were out of this world, the unseasoned bites, not so much. My wife had a burger with the smoky mozzarella cheese (me thinks), cooked to a bloody delicious medium rare. It was a true delight. The meat with the smoky cheese made for an A+ burger. Oddly, we got home and noticed my wife didn't get corn on the cob. We probably should have checked before we left. Oh well. She stole mine and enjoyed it.

Overall, this is a great addition to the neighborhood. Looking forward to going back in the future. And oh, they have Moxie. Haven't seen that stuff in a long time.

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The line was manageable around 7:45. My diablo burger perfectly cooked to medium rare topped with sauteed mushrooms was fabulous and a root beer float was a perfect appetizer. Service was very friendly, especially Danielle at the register. Thanks for the new addition to the neighborhood!

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And Cheerwine! Every person from the great state of North Carolina (at least that I know) goes bananas over that stuff. Now if you only served cheerwine floats.

How to get a Cheerwine float at Hell-Burger:

  1. Order a Cheerwine.
  2. Order a scoop of MOOrenko Vanilla ice cream.
  3. Ask for an empty water (pint) glass.
  4. Assemble.

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Also, just throwing this out there; but this might make that strip mall the best square block of food in the DC area. Want Pho? You got it. Want Mexican? You got it. What a burger? You've got the best. Want a steak? This is the only place for it.

Spot on, we were saying just that while we waited. Maybe it was in doubt before, but no question it's the best for now.

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I hope the tip jar had been emptied by the time we got there though... otherwise, DCist readers and I have different ideas about good etiquette.

Our DR group of six was there at 5 and got the first burgers off the grill--see Daniel's post above-- and there wasn't a tip jar out yet. In fact, Gubbeen was the one who suggested that they put one out. We assembled a rather substantial tip and gave it directly to the server.

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