Jump to content

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


Recommended Posts

Sounds very intriguing and I want to try it! But wait, it's in the little Hell Burger restaurant at Wilson and N. Quinn? How is there room? (I haven't been there in a long time, maybe it's expanded)

Also, you have to forgive anyone who looked at the menu online and thought it was an April Fool's joke:

"Inspired by my years in Onhava following the fall of the Soviet Union"”by day working to restore the House of Botkin to the Throne of Zembla"¦and by night hunting the sea-marshes for the rare Crepuscular Bog Orchid, waiting for first dawn to pluck its prized fragrant dark bloom"”I proudly bring to you imaginative tastes from the Estoty and Tartary Cuisines of Zembla, as well as exotic ethnic flavors from its elusive Crypto-Hebraic minority. "

http://www.thetastydugout.com/menu.html

I was as surprised as you suggest.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 677
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I went to the City Vista (and only remaining) location of Ray's Hell-Burger last night. We each got a large The Funky President ($10), one order of French Fries ($3.50, enough for two), and a Diet Che

Is a hamburger place really a must visit anywhere? Like you travel to DC, and though there is so much SE Asian, Ethiopian, Indian, as well as new American, Ray’s is a must? 100% disagree. Unless

A quick update: I went to Ray's Hell-Burger again today (ces1965, the only one is at City Vista in DC), and again got a Funky President (I added a Runny Egg for a $2 supplement), and it was, once agai

Posted Images

Is this the right thread for the K ST NW location? [Yes]

Had lunch there yesterday since I was attending a conference at the convention center. Just want to give a shout out to the employee who went the extra mile to make things right for me.

I ordered my meal and waited. I noticed that some people who probably ordered almost 10 minutes after me were receiving their food. The employees also noticed and checked on my order and found out that something got messed up. I guess it was lost somewhere and the kitchen hadn't even started preparing my meal. The employee repeatedly apologized and took my order again. He fully refunded my payment and told me to go ahead and grab a drink out of the cooler while I wait. He apologized a few more times and offered to grab me another free root beer when he noticed I was done with the first. I declined and told him he's done plenty. Later, he offered something free if I ever come back in when he's working or he can write me a note in case I come in when he's not there. I declined that, too. He then jokingly said he'd go across the street and buy me a coffee, but I'm pretty sure he would have done it if I wanted him to. We had a brief conversation about how too many places don't try to make things right when they make a mistake. It's nice to see an employee who is clearly empowered to make such decisions. He definitely did all he could and more.

It's been a long time since I was at a Ray's joint. I didn't know there was a location nearby and was excited when I saw him come up on my Google Maps search. Food was good as usual and the employee displayed over-the-top customer service once he realized what was going on. In my opinion, that man deserves a raise or a promotion or a bonus or something.

  • Like 9
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dgreen said:

Is this the right thread for the K ST NW location? [Yes]

Had lunch there yesterday since I was attending a conference at the convention center. Just want to give a shout out to the employee who went the extra mile to make things right for me.

I ordered my meal and waited. I noticed that some people who probably ordered almost 10 minutes after me were receiving their food. The employees also noticed and checked on my order and found out that something got messed up. I guess it was lost somewhere and the kitchen hadn't even started preparing my meal. The employee repeatedly apologized and took my order again. He fully refunded my payment and told me to go ahead and grab a drink out of the cooler while I wait. He apologized a few more times and offered to grab me another free root beer when he noticed I was done with the first. I declined and told him he's done plenty. Later, he offered something free if I ever come back in when he's working or he can write me a note in case I come in when he's not there. I declined that, too. He then jokingly said he'd go across the street and buy me a coffee, but I'm pretty sure he would have done it if I wanted him to. We had a brief conversation about how too many places don't try to make things right when they make a mistake. It's nice to see an employee who is clearly empowered to make such decisions. He definitely did all he could and more.

It's been a long time since I was at a Ray's joint. I didn't know there was a location nearby and was excited when I saw him come up on my Google Maps search. Food was good as usual and the employee displayed over-the-top customer service once he realized what was going on. In my opinion, that man deserves a raise or a promotion or a bonus or something.

I've eaten at Ray's in Arlington quite a number of times.  Very occasionally and during very busy periods my order(s) were lost (I presume). I've brought it up and immediately they correct the mistake, have done something to "make up" for the miss.  The correction has been automatic.  (never as generous as the situation above :D) but always the correction and an offer for something extra was done automatically without second thought.  Great policy.

I still love their burgers and I still believe they are excellent compared to DC's best...and now they are among the best with many many others being significantly higher priced.   The kind of response described above and the automatic corrections I experienced are simply great customer service.   I keep returning.  I'm not looking for mistakes BTW  ;)

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to the City Vista (and only remaining) location of Ray's Hell-Burger last night. We each got a large The Funky President ($10), one order of French Fries ($3.50, enough for two), and a Diet Cheerwine ($3).

It had been quite awhile since I'd had a Hell-Burger, perhaps going on two years, and I'm happy to say that these burgers seem to be as good as ever. "The magic is in the meat," and these really taste like someone stuck a steak in a grinder, ground it, and cooked it up as a patty. "The Funky President" is served with aged Vermont Cheddar and a slice of tomato, and it's just a great combination of flavors. 

I used a little Gulden's mustard as dipping sauce for my fries (I know, I know), and the sandwich itself was terrific when dabbed in the Gulden's. The fries seemed like they were lightly dusted with Old Bay Seasoning, were long and thick - almost steak fries but not quite - and were served fresh from the fryer. 

My only "beef" with the meal is the aesthetics of how the burgers are served - in a little recycled-cardboard oyster-shell. The problem with this is that the substantial grease from the burger drips and pools, and is pretty unappealing. It's also partially absorbed by the paper, but if it were served on a plate - even a paper plate - the fries could pick up some of the juices from the burger. (Now that I'm typing this, I realize I could have put the fries underneath the burger in the oyster-shell and approximated the same result.)

Anyway, the consensus is that this was a terrific burger-and-fries meal, and even though I'm sorry Ray's Hell-Burger is no longer in Arlington, you can still get there from the 14th Street Bridge in ten minutes without traffic. I would still recommend this to anyone coming in from out-of-town.

IMG_3534.jpg

  • Like 8
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night was my first time trying Ray's, and it did not disappoint! I had a craving for a great basic burger, and The Funky President was exactly what I wanted. The meat was deliciously seasoned and the patty was perfectly cooked. I also liked the big, crispy fries, and the seasoning took them a step beyond the ordinary.  I agree with Don, serving the fries and burger together would be a great way to hide the puddle of unsightly grease that pooled beneath the burger. I also loved having my first Diet Cheerwine. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/6/2018 at 11:06 AM, DonRocks said:

You're asking specifically about low-end, inexpensive hamburgers, right? 

For me, Ray's Hell-Burger at City Vista is still king.

On 3/6/2018 at 4:44 PM, mtureck said:

Another vote for Ray's...the only really exceptional burger I've had in quite some time.

On 3/6/2018 at 7:04 PM, ces1965 said:

What location for Rays?  The one near me seems to have closed. 

A quick update: I went to Ray's Hell-Burger again today (ces1965, the only one is at City Vista in DC), and again got a Funky President (I added a Runny Egg for a $2 supplement), and it was, once again, my favorite "low-end" (under $15 (I know, I know, that isn't really low-end)) burger in the DC area. I wouldn't have changed a thing about it - pretty much perfection on a bun.

I asked about how the restaurant is able to generate the sheer quantity of ground beef for its hamburgers (it would be impossible to merely use the scraps from their steak trimmings, as the number of hamburgers sold far exceeds that amount of beef). Apparently, they buy cuts of beef just for the hamburgers, and grind up entire cuts (Chuck Steak, to be more precise) - this makes perfect sense, and is a whole lot more palatable than mixing in steak trimmings with pre-purchased ground beef. 

If Ray's Hell-Burger didn't exist, we'd need to clone it. Given that both the U.S. President and Vice-President, and *the Prime Minister of Russia* have dined there (albeit in the former Arlington location), Ray's is pretty close to a "must" for out-of-town visitors to Washington, DC - the City Vista hamburgers themselves are indistinguishable from what they were in Arlington.

NB - I guess it's a pretty comprehensive Dining Guide when you do a "Find" on "hell," and you need to do a "Repeat-Find" four times.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Is a hamburger place really a must visit anywhere? Like you travel to DC, and though there is so much SE Asian, Ethiopian, Indian, as well as new American, Ray’s is a must?

100% disagree. Unless a guest has been to this city 20 times, and has tried .. well just start with a bunch of the Eater 38... and doesn’t want anything original, interesting, or challenging... yes, would consider a burger place. 

I can just imagine a friend coming from LA or Portland or Chicago ... “You’re taking me to a burger place???” Probably would hit me in the gnards and then get on their phone and find a decent place to go.

Guys... it’s a hamburger. It’s a hamburger.

(And... wonder what it’s like being a woman working in his joints ... love supporting that)

  • Haha 2
  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Simul Parikh said:

Is a hamburger place really a must visit anywhere? 

Guys... it’s a hamburger. It’s a hamburger.

I was a consistent customer at Hell Burger Arlington and compared it to other burgers in the region always rating it above others...

BUT....Like Simul, I’m not making a special trip for a burger..:wacko:

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, DonRocks said:

If Ray's Hell-Burger didn't exist, we'd need to clone it. Given that both the U.S. President and Vice-President, and *the Prime Minister of Russia* have dined there (albeit in the former Arlington location), Ray's is pretty close to a "must" for out-of-town visitors to Washington, DC - the City Vista hamburgers themselves are indistinguishable from what they were in Arlington.

And when your out-of-town guests are finished at Ray's, they can walk around the corner to browse the amazing book selection at Busboys and Poets.

Note also the impressive 6,200-square-foot restaurant space available on the southeast corner of 5th and K.

For those who are searching for city tours, there's DC Insider Tours, at the Hampton Inn, just one-block south - among other things, they rent electric bikes by the day.

Continuing south at 5th and I, there's the Freshfarm Mount Vernon Triangle Market, which runs May-Oct, Saturdays 9AM-1PM - you can enjoy your bounty at the neighboring Milian Park.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, DonRocks said:

A quick update: I went to Ray's Hell-Burger again today (ces1965, the only one is at City Vista in DC), and again got a Funky President (I added a Runny Egg for a $2 supplement), and it was, once again, my favorite "low-end" (under $15 (I know, I know, that isn't really low-end)) burger in the DC area. I wouldn't have changed a thing about it - pretty much perfection on a bun.

Have you been to Lucky Buns in Adams-Morgan yet?  The Bogan. This is a tasty burger, as Samuel L. Jackson might say.

1 hour ago, Simul Parikh said:

Is a hamburger place really a must visit anywhere? Like you travel to DC, and though there is so much SE Asian, Ethiopian, Indian, as well as new American, Ray’s is a must?

1 hour ago, DaveO said:

I was a consistent customer at Hell Burger Arlington and compared it to other burgers in the region always rating it above others...

BUT....Like Simul, I’m not making a special trip for a burger..:wacko:

  I can probably walk to 50 restaurants, but some days only a burger will do.  And once you decide it's a burger night -- distance is no object to get the best. bkb-at-home.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Simul Parikh said:

Is a hamburger place really a must visit anywhere?

Yes. See: tourists in NYC and Southern California with Shake Shack and In-and-Out respectively. It may seem crazy to you, but it happens a lot. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Waitman said:

  I can probably walk to 50 restaurants, but some days only a burger will do.  And once you decide it's a burger night -- distance is no object to get the best. bkb-at-home.jpg

I’m a fan of Hell Burger.  My fave has been the B.I.G. Poppa and for whatever reason I would order it on site and call it either the Where’s Poppa or the Big Papi.

Despite my difficulty With the name it is a scrumptious choice.

Regardless no special trips crossing the river just for a burger for this guy—-even for Big Papi

Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing that gets my goat isn't that people go out of their way for a hamburger, it's that people, for example, would go to Palena for the tenth time, and never once stray from the hamburger or the chicken. Palena had great hamburgers and chicken, but jeez, expand your horizons some.

Also that people *don't* go out of their way for a hamburger, and instead go to the drive-thru at Burger King.

Don't forget: Robert Rymarz drove 2,500 miles - each way - just to have pizza.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate a good burger, and have driven miles, as far as over 120 miles for a good one. I may be in the 1% though that will do that.  I think people that live in the DMV are spoiled to the cornucopia of food options.  A  good burger is just a few miles, few metro stops, or can be delivered to the comfort of your own home. In my hood, not so much.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Stopped by today, it was closed. A chalkboard inside was titled Temporary Hours, but everything under that heading had been erased. 

Edit: maybe it is closed on Sundays now. I don’t recall that before. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DaRiv18 said:

Stopped by today, it was closed. A chalkboard inside was titled Temporary Hours, but everything under that heading had been erased. 

Edit: maybe it is closed on Sundays now. I don’t recall that before. 

It has always been open on Sundays - keep an eye on this: Their website is down, also (these two items don't mean anything by themselves, needless to say - the website could have been down for a long time). I can't find a phone number for them anywhere.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I needed to do a chore in the area, met a friend and hit Ray’s Hell Burger DC for the first time.

Burgers just like Arlington.  I think they top the quality meat/ juicy (with some fat)/ cooked to perfection spot on the best burger list.   

The place is the sparest of spare places.  Choose your description:  utilitarian, spare, basic, or butt ugly.  From a DC region it’s reminiscent of Pho 75 but a little downscale.   Interesting though they both either win or always compete for “best of” category in their niches.   If I were in the area it would satisfy my burger cravings.  

But come on it’s 2018.  Put up a simple website with the hours the menu and the prices.  Inquiring minds want to know!!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/29/2018 at 7:48 PM, DaveO said:

But come on it’s 2018.  Put up a simple website with the hours the menu and the prices.  Inquiring minds want to know!!!!

Can anyone confirm that Google has the right hours? Crowdsourcing seems to be the best method for reliable Landrum info 🙂

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 8.42.12 AM.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Kev29 said:

Can anyone confirm that Google has the right hours? Crowdsourcing seems to be the best method for reliable Landrum info 🙂

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 8.42.12 AM.png

I would consider calling the day you want to go, and asking them how late they'll be serving - I can't think of any better way to do this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can anyone confirm that Google has the right hours? Crowdsourcing seems to be the best method for reliable Landrum info 🙂

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 8.42.12 AM.png

11 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

I would consider calling the day you want to go

🙃

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 9.38.42 AM.png

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Rieux said:

Oh man.  Tis the end of Michael Landrum's great big juicy flavorful burgers, let alone steaks. 

So where are the alternatives??   I happen to like the Wellington, found in at least most of the local stores.  The juiciness is a function of its toppings and the beef flavor is there.  What others do a similar job?

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...