The grill has barely been seasoned at the K Street NW location and Bobby Flay is already itching to unleash a second Bobby’s Burger Palace in the Washington area. A College Park outlet is expected to open sometime next month, a spokeswoman for the celebrity chef confirmed.
The second location of Bobby’s Burger Palace will severely test the willpower, not to mention the weekly budget, of the average University of Maryland student. The burger joint will be located on the retail level of the Varsity at College Park, the six-story complex that redefines student housing. The Varsity, it seems, will not only offer U-Md. students flat-screen TVs, granite countertops, tanning beds and a fitness center, but also a chance to bite into gourmet ground beef.
Flay’s spokeswoman noted that the chef has wanted to expand his presence in the mid-Atlantic region, and, specifically, hoped to focus on a college campus such as U-Md.. It’s no doubt an easy target for a burger joint: a group of students still weaning themselves from the fatty foods that already have caused obesity among their peers.
Details are few at this point, but the Bobby’s Burger Palace in College Park will look much like the one in downtown Washington. Its menu should look much the same, as well, although there may be some specialty items that occasionally incorporate iconic ingredients of the region, such as Old Bay seasoning.
With burgers in the $7 and $8 range — and fries an additional $3 — this question is: How many students will be able to eat Flay’s fast food on a regular basis? And, perhaps more to the point, will they have to skip classes to wait in those ridiculous lines? Or should they even bother, given what The Post’s Tom Sietsema wrote earlier this month about Flay’s burgers:
Our smiles slip as soon as we bite into the hamburgers, however. The toppings — pickled jalapenos and crushed blue corn chips in the Santa Fe burger, Monterey Jack and coleslaw for the Dallas model — turn out to be distractions for ground beef that, on its own, has very little flavor. Nearby, a metal holder with five squeeze bottles encourages patrons to drench their troubles in sauce.
Just about everything else we check out is as regrettable, from the tepid french fries and the wan onion rings to the Crunch Salad, strewn with as many tortilla chips as kidney beans: greens for people who hate them.
The Varsity at College Park is located at 8150 Baltimore Ave.