Meet D.C.’s new burger boss...


Chain reaction: Five Guys won All We Can Eat's informal hamburger poll. (Larry Kobelka for The Washington Post)

After trailing in our poll for much of the week, the Lorton-based chain, no doubt due to its ability to pound voluminous amounts of beef down our throats, surged in the last 24 hours to overtake second-place finisher, Ray’s Hell-Burger.

It must be a sweet victory for Five Guys after its drubbing earlier this week in A Hamburger Today’s side-by-side taste test with Shake Shack and In-N-Out Burger. AHT’s conclusion on Five Guys: “Well, despite their legions of followers and rapid (perhaps too rapid?) expansion, we’re mostly left just scratching our heads. It’s not a bad burger per se, but the flavor of its beef is nowhere near in line with its proportions.”

I would congratulate the chain on its triumph — if only someone would pick up the stupid phone in Lorton. Three calls, no pick-up, no ability to reach media relations. Therefore, no personal acknowledgment. These cold, virtual characters must suffice: Congratulations, Five Guys!

Due to technical difficulties — namely, yours truly is still all thumbs with the polling software — the voting carried through to early this afternoon, rather than the scheduled midnight cutoff. The turnout was decent: 1,100 people cast votes. The final tally stood at 321 votes for Five Guys and 292 for Hell-Burger. BGR: The Burger Joint was a distant third with 121 votes.

“I think it’s great. Five Guys is great,” says Hell-Burger owner Michael Landrum. “Why would I expect to win? I love coming in second...Coming in second to a chain is great.”

Newcomer Shake Shack, Danny Meyer’s budding chain that won A Hamburger Today’s test, could muster only 37 votes, less than Frank Ruta’s gourmet patty at Palena Cafe, which amassed 45 votes. I must admit, I find that result rather satisfying, even if it’s just a matter of time before Meyer’s burger stand starts to crush the competition in the District.

Here are the full results of the poll:

Tim Carman serves as the full-time writer for the Post's Food section and as the $20 Diner for the Weekend section, a double duty that requires he ingest more calories than a draft horse.

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