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Resturant Review: Founding Farmers Brunch

12 Jul

Heaven in a brown paper bag.

Brunch. Founding Farmers. These are two of my favorite things, and combine them with a group of friends reminiscing on the previous night’s activities, some bloody marys and fried dough topped with sugar, and you have a pretty perfect couple of hours.  Founding Farmers has delicious food for all three meals- their mission is to support farmers and provide sustainable and quality food options, which means everything is very fresh and very delicious.  If it weren’t for the excellent brunch items I would say save a trip there for the dinner menu, which includes steak, maple glazed salmon, and amazing flatbreads.  But since they do also serve one of the best brunches in DC, you will have to resign yourself to trying multiple meals there.

Chicken and waffles and gravy, oh my.

I’ve been to Founding Farmers for brunch before, but this article on their beignets meant I was clearly well past due for another trip.  I am usually a strict savory breakfast type, but sweet menu offerings such as overstuffed French toast, which comes stacked like bricks on a extra-large plate, and the aforementioned beignets have me rethinking my eggs-and-bacon loyalties.  We got an order of beignets for the table, and literally ceased talking for 5 minutes as everyone devoured the crispy and sweet fried dough topped with powdered sugar and served with chocolate, caramel, and raspberry dipping sauces.  For my brunch main course, only after much consideration and indecisiveness, I ordered the Chicken and Waffles- one large waffle with two eggs, a crispy chicken tender, white gravy and maple syrup.  Although this had a lot going on, all of the flavors and textured melded perfectly together, to the point where I was eating bites of chicken and waffle with both the syrup and gravy heaped over top.  The white gravy was creamy and flavorful, and the chicken was cooked to a perfect crispness.  My only minor complaint is that the poached eggs were from a mold, which weirdly rubs me the wrong way, because eggs should not be shaped like cones (told you it was a minor complaint).

One serious bloody mary.

Other orders at the table included the Pastrami Hash, which looked and tasted delicious, although seemed like much less food than the other over-sized offerings.  I am tempted to try that and some of the other hash dishes in the future though, as well as the pan scrambles.  I was also convinced to try my first Bloody Mary here- I’m usually more of a mimosa girl, but figured the Founding Farmer’s Bloody Mary would be a pretty excellent one as an introduction.  I wasn’t wrong- it was very peppery and filling, and certainly woke you up in the morning.  It took me the better part of an hour to finish the whole thing due to the spicy-tomatoy-ness, but I would definitely count it as a new-experience success.  All in all, there was not much about this brunch I would change (the business of Founding Farmers on a Sunday morning is one drawback, but Founding Farmers is always busy so I usually assume I won’t be seated until 15 minutes after my reservation anyway), and I only wish I had room in my stomach for more than one main course with all of their selections.

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Resturant Review: Serendipity 3 in Georgetown

2 Jun

These are only the appetizers. Oh boy.

Brace yourselves, friends, because this one is going to be a doozy.  The newest Serendipity 3 opened in the heart of Georgetown on Memorial Day, and I was lucky enough to be invited to a friends-and-family preview night on Saturday.  One of my friends got four of us in for dinner, and, since we are all both foodies and fatties, we proceeded to devour a 3-course-plus-cocktail meal.  It was unfortunate that our next destination was up a very long hill.  Note to self: don’t eat that much ice cream before going anywhere other than your couch.

Weaver: "Wait. Will you take my picture already?" Thanks for the free food!

Weaver: "Wait. When are you taking my picture?" Thanks for the free food!

For appetizers we got the crab and artichoke dip, and a truly inspired choice of onion rings.  We all gasped as the tower of perfectly battered and fried rings descended upon us.  These were seriously the best onion rings I’ve ever had- cooked through and soft in the middle, with a crunchy thick shell, Parmesan cheese over them and dipping sauces on the side.  The crab dip was slightly overshadowed by the onion rings, but it was also great- lots of big chunks of crab in a not-too-creamy sauce with a nicely browned top.   For mains I got the Full Monty- chicken breast with bacon, pepper jack, arugula, and BBQ sauce on ciabatta bread. It was quite good- my only complaint was that the bread was a bit dry and I ended up eating much of the sandwich without the it.  Also it could feed a family of four.  The equally-large-portioned spaghetti and meatballs was also yummy, with ricotta on top of the meatballs and thick spaghetti.  The veggie burger and crab cake sandwich that rounded out our table were received very favorably as well.  On the downside, the sweet potato fries that were an option with sandwiches were not the best I’ve had (our batch wasn’t very fresh)- you would be better off getting the steak fries, which were tasty.

The Full Monty Sandwich.

After all of this, you would think we might call it quits before dessert.  But as anyone who has heard of or been to a Serendipity knows, dessert is their claim to fame, and their trademark “Frrrozen Hot Chocolate” is the most

Dessert!

famous offering.  We got one of the regular frozen hot chocolates and the red velvet sundae.  The hot chocolate was delicious- it’s just what you would imagine, basically hot chocolate mix mixed with ice and topped with whipped cream.  I like that it isn’t the consistency of ice cream, more a blended chocolate drink that makes it easier to eat/drink.   The red velvet sundae was an aggressive dessert choice- it is literally a huge piece of red velvet cake, on top of a also huge sundae.  To take this over the top, even the sundae glass is resting in a pool of hot fudge.  This was more intimidating than the hot chocolate, but very good, although the cake itself was a bit dry (since it rested in a pool of chocolate and ice cream, this didn’t matter too much).  Serendipity was a delicious and indulgent dinner, but make sure you bring at least two or three friends to share all the courses with if you want to be able to walk afterwords.

PS. Oh, did you think I forgot the drinks?  Come on now.  All of them were pricey but good, and unsurprisingly over-the-top.  I recommend the champagne with elderflower and an edible hibiscus in the bottom.  I think it was called the Fourth Prince. Opulence at it’s finest.

This blueberry mojito came with lots of fruit-accessories. I was skeptical. But it was good.

Resturant/Fast Food Review: Shake Shack

26 May

A very full plate.

If the past couple of weeks is any indication of how my summer is going to go, I feel I will be contributing much more to the restaurant/happy hour review section of this blog than anything else.  I’ve only made dinner once this week due to beautiful summer DC weather and friends working near me, which means we are taking advantage of every happy hour or dinner avaliable to us.  This is certainly not something I am complaining about, especially since it means I have an excuse to try all of the places I’ve been meaning to go to, or, as was the case last night, to go to new places around town.

Shake Shack has somewhat of a cult following in New York, and although I’ve never been to any of the NY

Necessary close-up shot of the burger

locations, I have always heard wonderful things about it.  DC is a city that has many, many burger places, and more popping up every other week it seems (I also recently went to Thunder Burger in Georgetown, delicious in a more upscale burger way), but Shake Shack comes with a reputation that made it a must-try for me.  Luckily, it met and even exceeded my expectations (and given that I live next door to Rays, I have high burger standards).  The meat-cheese-bun-sauce ratio on the classic Shack burger was perfect, the American cheese and grilled meat melting into the much-talked-about buttered potato roll, which, I have to say, was one of the best hamburger buns I have come across.  The fries were great too, crinkle cut and salted to perfection.  One friend who I went with said she had found the fries overcooked the first time she got them, but credited this to the craziness and long lines of the opening week a few days earlier.

The intimidating cheese-explosion Shake Stack (this was pre-explosion of the cheese-stuffed mushroom)

The regular burger and cheeseburger don’t come with any toppings automatically, but the Shack burger does come with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and the special tangy Shack Sauce.  Another tempting item is the vegetarian ‘Shroom burger- a breaded and fried portobello mushroom stuffed with copious amounts of cheese.  If you are really ambitious you can also get the Shake Stack, a cheeseburger PLUS the mushroom stuffed with even more cheese.  I didn’t try this but definitely will some point soon- as my roommate so eloquently put: “it looks like your burger is spitting up cheese”- never a bad thing in my book.  On the Shake side of things, you can get regular shakes, or “concretes” which are more like blended ice cream you eat with a spoon.  I got the Washington Monu-mint flavor (flavors tailored to the city you’re in, adorable), which combined chocolate ice cream, marshmallow mint swirl, and cookie dough pieces.  I inadvertently ordered the larger size, which was way too much ice cream for one, but luckily the perfect amount to share between three very hungry girls.  Although it was quite the combination of flavors, it was delicious, and the Presidential Sweet with peanut butter and chocolate is also said to be excellent.  Since the DC location is 2 blocks from my office, I predict many more trips in the coming weeks and months, and I fully intend on trying pretty much everything on the menu (except maybe the ice cream dog treat- but even that sounds pretty good.)

Restaurant Review: Cafe Dupont

5 May

Mmm, meat. Steak tartare at Cafe Dupont

Our Easter weekend full of delicious home-cooked food in Virginia was finished off by an excellent meal back in DC: dinner at Cafe Dupont. Mother Spice was staying in the attached Hotel Dupont for the night, and we decided to keep it simple and have dinner downstairs.
Roxie had been to the bar (Bar Dupont. Are you catching on to the naming scheme?) before for their happy hours, 4-6 every night, when their usually $11 cocktails are half price. Of course, the opportunity for these cocktails was not passed up at dinner. Roxie and her roommate Lily are partial to the Alan’s Love, and Mother Spice enjoyed the Dupont Imperial.

Fresh pea risotto

Choosing what to eat proved to be much more difficult than choosing cocktails, however, as none of us was starving but pretty much everything on the menu looked tempting. We eventually decided to split appetizers– Lily and Mom shared a pea risotto that looked excellent, while Roxie and I decided the time had finally come to try steak tartare. I enjoyed it very much– it was excellently spiced with a velvety texture, though the steak flavor was very subtle.

Heaven(ly scallops) on a plate

For mains, Roxie and Mom both got the mussels with saffron– huge buckets of mussels, with accompanying french fries. While the mussels were delicious, to me, the letdown of the night were the fries. Not quite chunky fries and not quite the thin, crispy variety, they weren’t excellent but that didn’t stop me from stealing many. Lily got the appetizer crab cake as her main, which she polished off sharply. And though I was tempted by the steak frites (and well, everything) I ended up getting seared scallops on a bed of lemon risotto, with asparagus and a ramp pesto. Words cannot express how much I loved this dish– seasonal, with three huge scallops perfectly seared and complemented by the creamy risotto underneath. I also appreciated the modest portioning (well, except for the amount of mussels)– I am always a bit put off by restaurants that give you enough for two people.
Nonetheless, we were too full for dessert. An incentive, perhaps, to return again, although I didn’t really need one.

Restaurant Review: Hudson Restaurant and Lounge

19 Apr

Short rib with mac and cheese and fried onions

My roommate had a Groupon to Hudson (25$ for a 50$ gift card) so we decided to go on a roommate-date and celebrate spring and jobs and grad schools.  Since we had the gift card we ordered a lot of food, all of which was delicious.  Hudson has a modern-American feel and is smart, but doesn’t make you feel like you have to be dressed up to go there.  The food is also what I would describe as “Modern American”- things like Matzo Ball Soup, Tuna Tartare, Short Rib Tacos, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, and assorted brick oven pizzas.

Sangriaaa

We obviously started with a pitcher of white sangria (described as serving 6-8 people, yeah, ok. There were probably 4-6 glasses in there). The sangria was described as “white sangria fusion of martin codax albariño, grapefruit, pear, sage, and lavender with cabo wabo reposado x-rated fusion margarita topped with sweet lime espuma.”  Wow, that is quite the description, but basically it was grapfruity and good, but very tart.  It was a little hard to finish the pitcher just because you got so full from all of the juices in there, but I would recommend at least a glass or two.  They also have many other specialty drinks that sound equally complex but good.

To start we shared two “tasters”- Tuna Tartare with avocado and cucumber, and a Duck Confit Leg.  The tuna was delicious, very fresh tasting and bright tuna that went well with the avocado, and they gave you crispy wontons to scoop it all up with.  The duck was also great- duck can sometimes be dry or overly fatty, but this was cooked well and very flavorful.  The tuna was an appetizer sized portion, but if you weren’t too hungry the duck with potatoes and sherry sauce could fill in for a main course.

Tuna Tartare

For the main course I got the Braised BBQ Short Rib, with smoked Gouda mac and cheese and onion rings.  Since I have a hard time resisting mussels whenever I see them on a menu, I was very pleased that Lily ordered them so I could try some- these ones were Maine Mussels with a Thai curry and coconut sauce.  My short rib was good, but the plate got extremely messy.  The mac and cheese under the meat could have probably been a main course by itself, and you would have to be very hungry to finish it all.  The creamy mac and cheese went well with the crispy onions and tender short rib, and my only complaint would be that together it was a rich dish, and a tiny bit salty for my taste.  Lily’s mussels were yummy- the Thai curry sauce was light and not overpowering, and we got Parmesan Truffle fries as well that were good, although could have been crispier.  But put truffle on anything and I will eat it so I was certainly not complaining.

All in all this was a satisfying and tasty meal, and I would go there again for a special occasion or just when I want to treat myself.  The happy hour specials are good, and they have items on the menu (such as pizzas) which are quite affordable and I’m sure every bit as good as the more expensive options.

Restaurant Review: Brunch at Peacock Cafe

27 Mar

Eggs Benedict- the perfect Sunday morning meal

I know brunch isn’t a meal that one has every day, but it holds a special place in my heart, especially when the weather is warm and you are allowed to sit outside for hours drinking iced coffee and eating eggs and pancakes and bacon.  Despite the fact that it is supposed to snow today, we did have a brief glimpse of spring in DC last week, and Gina and I took advantage of the sunshine to get an outdoor brunch at Peacock Cafe in Georgetown.  I’ve been going to Peacock with friends for ages, and have many fond memories of Sunday brunches spent re-hashing the last night’s dramas over mimosas and poached eggs.  They do pretty delicious lunch and dinner things as well (the Caesar salad is one of the best I’ve had, and make sure you get a side of shoestring fries), but brunch is, in my opinion, where Peacock shines.

Bananacinos!

On the beverage side of things, they have an amazing smoothie and juice bar, which lets you customize a smoothie with whatever your heart and stomach desire.  They also have a selection of recommended smoothies on the menu, and if you need your jolt of espresso in the morning, the bananacino smoothie is to die for.  Bananas mixed with a shot of espresso and honey seems like an odd combination, but trust me, it works.  The aforementioned mimosas are also good if you’re in the mood for something stronger than coffee.  The brunch menu has a wide selection of food, and you have the option to order sandwiches, salads, and burgers from the lunch menu if you want to.  But for me, it’s all about the breakfast items.  I’m more of a savory breakfast person myself, so always go for the egg-centric options, but they also have pancakes and waffles which have gotten rave reviews of friends.  The pancakes come with bananas and walnuts in warm maple syrup, and the waffles with strawberries tossed in balsamic vinegar, and both of those descriptions always have me reconsidering my faithfulness to eggs and bacon.

I am extremely partial to any good eggs Benedict, and these versions do not disappoint.  You can get classic eggs Benedict with ham or smoked salmon, or upgrade for poached eggs with lump crab meat.  I’ve had the crab eggs Benedict, and while good, usually go for the classic with black forest ham and a wonderful

Corned beef hash

Hollandaise sauce.  The eggs are always poached to perfection, with set but still runny yolks that get everywhere and can be mopped up with the (bonus!) pile of fries that comes with them.  Gina got the corned beef hash, also not something one usually makes at home, which came in a big skillet of beef and onions with more perfect poached eggs on top.  It was also very good.  If you feel your main brunch course isn’t enough, the Applewood smoked bacon side order is seriously some of the best bacon I have ever had- smokey and just sweet enough, it will be gone from your plate in seconds.  There are lots of brunch items I haven’t tried yet, such as the omelets and a very classed-up breakfast sandwich, but this is a brunch in DC that is not to be missed.

Restaurant Review: Il Canale in Georgetown

12 Feb

The calimari was way better than this terrible picture

As soon as I read a review of Il Canale on Serious Eats, I knew I had to go. It was proclaimed Georgetown’s first “Truly Neapolitan Pizza,” and though I know New York is home to lots of great Neapolitan places, this one is practically on my doorstep. So best for the area is good enough for me.
So Roxie, my friend Lily, and I met up for dinner here last Tuesday. As expected on a Tuesday, it wasn’t exactly packed, but I imagine it gets busier on weekends and I would probably make a reservation. Looking around, the pizzas looked just slightly bigger than personal size– I could probably have finished a whole one with no appetizer, but I didn’t need one to myself. So we decided to share an order of calimari and fried zucchini to start, and then went for a Margherita pizza and the Italia.
We were a little worried at first that because “foccacia” was listed on the menu, we wouldn’t get free bread. Thankfully, we were soon proven wrong, and though the bread itself was pretty standard, the roasted garlic in the olive oil that came with it was awesome. (Potatoes, bread, pasta… yes, the Spices love their carbs.)

Italia pizza!

The calimari came next, and totally blew me away. I’m not always a huge fan of calimari, because I often find it too chewy. This wasn’t chewy at all, however, and the batter was perfectly light and salty. The zucchini thrown in to the didn’t add a whole lot, but made me feel a tiny bit healthier.
Next up were the pizzas. The Margherita was your classic, marinara sauce, mozzarella and basil. I could have done with a little more basil, but I though the sauce was incredible… really bright tomato flavors. The Italia was off the white side of the menu, meaning it had no sauce. It was a good prosciutto-parmesan-arugula pizza, though the toppings didn’t blow me away. The stand out on both pizzas, to me, was the crust. Super chewy and really well flavored, it made me understand the cult of the Neapolitan pizza.
Best of all was the bill we got at the end! $15 each for a filling meal… granted we didn’t get drinks or dessert, but it is undoubtedly very well priced (and certainly rivals the other Italian eateries in Georgetown in this respect).
I would highly recommend Il Canale for a nice meal out with your friends… it is budget-friendly, good for sharing, and has excellent food.

Il Canale

Thai on the Waterfront: Bangkok Joe’s

6 Dec

 

This restaurant comes Beard-Approved

Greetings, dear readers! Sorry for the protracted absence– unfortunately, the end of the semester looms, which means I haven’t had time to do any cooking since Thanksgiving! This has given me the opportunity forced me to use up all those meals in the dining hall that I haven’t been using all semester… I’m getting pretty sick of college food, let me tell you.
But thankfully we live in D.C., where there is always a new restaurant to discover and different cuisines to try! Bangkok Joe’s doesn’t really fall in either of these categories, as we’ve been going there for years and I eat Thai food frequently. But it is one of my favorite restaurants, and as it’s on the pricey side I don’t get to go too frequently.

Mmmm, so much delicious sauce

Brett and I had dinner there a few weeks ago, and it was amazing as always. We decided (or rather, Brett decided) to be ambitious and start with the Assorted Dumplings– five different kinds of dumplings for the price of about two regular servings sounded pretty good to us. There were two of each kind, which was perfect for us, though perhaps rather a large appetizer. I think my favorite was probably the Mushroom ‘n Ginger dumpling, which was pooled in an absolutely amazing sauce. The chicken potsticker was probably my least favorite, just because it was pretty standard fare compared to the amazing flavors of the others. Though we didn’t get it this time, I’ve also had the Peking Duck Spring Roll as an appetizer. Peking Duck is one of my favorite Chinese dishes, and I love this interpretation of it.

General Tso's Chicken

But on to the mains! I got the Panang Curry Noodles with chicken– a boring choice because I’ve gotten it many times before, but it’s so delicious that I couldn’t resist. A huge bowl of creamy and well balanced curry sauce, noodles, and spinach, it’s everything I’m looking for in a curry. And a bonus: because of all those dumplings, I took enough home to get two more lunches out of it! Brett got General Tso’s Chicken… yes, I teased him for being boring and American, but his report was very positive. In his own words: “it was sweet with a spicy aftertaste. Not too much to overwhelm someone but enough that it added to the experience.”
I would definitely recommend Bangkok Joe’s for a nice meal out– it has a great atmosphere and decor, and is fun without being too loud. And it is conveniently loacted on the Georgetown Waterfront… which meant that we just couldn’t avoid walking past Baked and Wired to get home. If you haven’t tried this less-famous bakery yet, you’re truly missing out. A s’mores bar was the perfect end to the night!

Restaurant Review: Cuba Libre

10 Nov

Guacomole and shrimp and roasted squash salad

Last Friday was my friend Lindsay’s birthday, and a big group of us went to a new restaurant in the Chinatown area, Cuba Libre, to celebrate.  I hadn’t heard of it before, but love the opportunity to try out new places that I wouldn’t usually go to, especially when I can justify going somewhere nice because “it’s insert-friend-here’s birthday!!! Clearly I should spend my grocery money for the week on one night out!”  I was even more excited to try Cuba Libre because Lindsay had mentioned mojitos multiple times in her email, and a quick look at the menu confirmed that not only did the food sound amazing, but yes, there are 14 different variations of mojito.

I was very lucky that when I got to the restaurant I found my friend Ingrid right away, because it was super crowded and very noisy by the front.  The atmosphere was actually very nice though, and once we were sitting down the noise wasn’t too overwhelming.  Cuba Libre had an obviously Cuban/generically ethnic theme, and had that fake outdoor-while-you’re-indoors thing going on that made me say to Ingrid immediately that I felt like I was in Disneyworld’s Mexico (which btw, also has very yummy food. And a boat ride).  Some people might not like the fake scenery, but to me comparing something to Disney is a very high compliment.

Former roomies at Cuba Libre

When we were finally seated at our massive table we were faced with the question of which of the 14 mojitos we would like to try.  One of our group had the neon pink beet and basil mojito, which was said to be excellent, but as I’m not a huge raw beet fan I went with a mango one.  Ingrid got the grilled pineapple mojito, which I will have to try next time I am there.  I also tried the classic mojito, which I actually preferred to the mango because it wasn’t as sweet and the mint taste was more promient.  Also luckily this wasn’t one of those places that puts so much mint into the drinks that you have to abandon it halfway through for fear of choking on excessive mint leaves.

Next came the food, and by the time we got anything to eat all of us were starving so it was very welcome.  The bread they gave us was little fried rounds of some sort of sweet bread, accompanied by a mango butter which I believe also had cinnamon in it.  Whatever it was, that stuff was seriously addictive, and I would have been pretty happy just eating lots of fried cinnamony bread all  night.  After much debating I settled on Lechon Asado for my main course, described as “slow roasted marinated pulled pork, classic sour orange mojo, Amarillo chile smashed yuca and black bean broth with vigoron slaw”.  I didn’t recognize half of the words in the description but the waiter said it sold out every night, which I always take as a good sign.  Ingrid got the Batata con Camarones (shrimp with roasted squash salad) and Guacamole Cubano (guacomole with pineapple and crispy plaintain), and I also tried the Yuca Frita and Croqueta de Jamon y Queso (Ham and Jack cheese croquettes).

My Lechon Asado

I don’t know that I’ve had Cuban food more than once or twice before, but based on this experience I will definitely be trying it again.  My pulled pork was tender and delicious, and the yuca was slightly spicy but balanced by the black bean broth and the slaw on top.  It was a large portion, but not overwhelmingly so, and I would order it again in a second.  The presentation of all the dishes was also very good, Ingrid’s guacamole was shaped with plantain chips on top, and mine was also all stacked in a very aesthetically pleasing way.  From what I heard everyone enjoyed their dishes, and the menu has quite a good range of seafood, chicken, and meat for actually pretty good value (mains were only about $20-25).  I would recommend this for a fun night out with friends, and I think next time I might order a few of the small plates to try as much as possible!

A Tale of Two Burgers

31 Oct

The monster that is a Ray's Hell Burger, with grilled onions and cheddar cheese

I’m a big burger fan (in case you haven’t noticed I’m a pretty big fan of most food so this shouldn’t come as a surprise), and while I don’t consider myself to be a burger snob who will only eat the highest of high quality burgers, I can appreciate both a so called “gourmet” burger and a more run of the mill fast food burger.  This post is a comparison of two very different but both delicious burgers, the first from Obama favorite Ray’s Hell Burger, located a convenient 5 minute walk from my apartment, the second from Fuddruckers, a much better than average fast food burger chain that I had sadly never heard of before moving to DC (on researching I found that they don’t have any locations in New York other than Albany, which basically doesn’t count).

Ray’s has become a frequent destination of mine because as I mentioned it is literally the closest restaurant to my apartment, and it’s a great place to take people when they visit, since most people have heard of it but might not have trekked out to Rosslyn to try it.  The first time I went there was over the summer with Gina and my friend Aaron (Hi S!), and needless to say I was not adequately prepared for what was about to happen.  Even though Aaron and I are both self-proclaimed fatties who occasionally (ok, this has happened a lot) eat a meal meant for a family of four between the two of us, neither of us came close to finishing our massive 10-oz Ray’s burgers.  Gina fared better because she had been there before, and I now know how to prepare for a Ray’s visit.  Here is a general list of Ray’s Rules:

1) Don’t eat for most of the day before.
2) If you order fries, make sure to share with at least one other person.  The burgers are so filling you don’t really need them.
3) Resist the temptation of overloading your burger with more than 3 toppings. They will fall off.
4) Cut your burger in half before attempting to eat it, it makes it much more manageable.

Oh and the burgers? Yup, they’re awesome.  Always perfectly cooked, seasoned, and super juicy, I can see why Obama chooses this as an introduction to the USA for foreign dignitaries.  And I am very lucky that I live so nearby, as you definitely need to go more than once to sample the many toppings and the different seasonings on the burgers.

Fuddruckers burger and fries

Fuddruckers is a less intense burger experience, but good enough that I still go out of my way to eat at the DC location in Chinatown whenever I can.  You can pick the weight of your burger, which is a useful feature, and you add all the toppings like lettuce, etc, yourself, which means it doesn’t automatically come with things you don’t want.  I usually go with the 1/3 pound patty with either American or Cheddar cheese.  These aren’t the monster burgers of Ray’s, which is arguably a good thing- they are thinner patties and grilled to order so they are also very fresh and well cooked.  The bun is pure buttery deliciousness, and the seasoned fries are well worth getting.  In a place like DC, which is home to Five Guys among many other burger spots, Fuddruckers isn’t a high-profile burger place, but it is one of my personal favorites.  Fuddruckers and Ray’s are so different it’s hard to compare them, but if you like burgers in general these are both places to try soon.  And if you go to Ray’s, please call me so I can come help eat your leftovers.