Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Elevation Burger

On a scale from Wendy's to Five Guys, Elevation Burger is somewhere in between. The menu let’s you build a burger with various run-of-the-mill toppings (e.g., ketchup, mustard, lettuce, mushrooms, onions), and some interesting sauces including balsamic mustard, hot-pepper relish, and elevation sauce (a sauce the color of thousand island, but with less tang and more mayo) from a base of a burger, cheeseburger, etc. -- similar to Five Guys. But the beef patty itself leaves something to be desired. The patty is smaller than I expected, and not as juicy as I’d like a made-to-order burger to be. This may be trivial to some, but I took issue with the greens: For premium burger joint, I expected something more than a cumbersome wave of iceberg lettuce. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that the cheese on my cheeseburger was cheddar, rather than American.

There are also two varieties of veggieburgers (one with a fire-roasted taste, and the other with a more “veggie” flavor)  for the non-meateaters out there, and a veggie-wrap alternative to a carb-laden bun if that interests you. And you can place your order online and pick it up in-store. But if you’re dining at the National Harbor location, like I did, you ought to eat outside and take in the waterfront view.

The real winners are the crispy, skin-on fries prepared in olive oil. I prefer the texture of these fries to the less-than-crispy ones at, say, Five Guys, but the latter’s cajun seasoning has Elevation Burger’s beat. Frying in olive oil, though it is a slightly healthier alternative, leaves no discernible difference in taste, if you were wondering.

I went to the National Harbor location, but there’s one opening in Tyson’s Corner. I don’t plan to come back purely because this is D.C. and there are plenty of superior burgers in town.

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