Half-Price Burger Nights
By Fritz Hahn and April Umminger
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Chew on this: It's the end of the workday and you still have a week before you get your next paycheck. Your bank balance is in the double digits. You want to go out, but you still haven't eaten and aren't sure if you'll have the money to do both.
If you find yourself stuck in such a scenario, consider half-price burger nights as a way to eat, drink and be merry -- for about $5.
The District and surrounding areas are full of bars that feature half-price burgers. Most are offered at the beginning of the week as a way to fill up during Monday night football. However, it is possible to find bars with beef on a bun for half-price nearly everyday of the week.
Vegetarian? Don't despair if red meat isn't your thing. Some bars serve turkey and veggie burgers for the same low price.
The Dynamic Duo
A burger and a brew are always a winning combination. The Helix Lounge offers the pair every day from 5 to 7, but this is more than your average meat patty on a white bun: try angus beef and a huge plate of fries. Beers are half-price as well, and the clientele is young and lively. It's a similar story at Tonic, a friendly neighborhood bar with both beef and veggie burgers, grilled the way you like and served up homestyle with a pile of homemade tater tots. Here, too, the beers are as deeply discounted as the burgers -- pints of most brews cost $2. The regulars love it.
Socializing on the Side
Burger night at Whitlow's on Wilson, Hawk and Dove and the Big Hunt doesn't alter the regular bar scene, but does jump-start the evening. People that come in to chow down on burgers around 6 usually stay past 10.
Dining at the Front Page? Beware: Burger night does not extend to sections of the restaurant. However, this does not create seating problems in the vast bar area. Groups of up to 10 people are easily accommodated. For a change of pace, try the Front Page's special Heidenberger: onions, Swiss cheese, cole slaw and Russian dressing.
Tommy Joe's and the Crystal City Sports Pub are both part of the Monday night football contingency, and both bars are usually crowded, even in the off-season. Football or not, Monday nights find almost every table sporting an empty hamburger-platter plate. "The game" of the night will always be turned on and if you tend to tune sports out, you might not have much to talk about.
Sign of the Whale is one of the few bars in the area that offer burgers with a theme. In the menu, surf and turf are blended to create "whaleburgers." Eat a Starbuck (bacon cheeseburger), Ishmael (regular hamburger) or Captain Ahab (bacon, bleu cheese and mushroom gravy).
An Antisocial Scene
Sick of being surrounded by people? Try burger night at Asylum.
Asylum stays pretty true to its name when serving up food. Much like a mental patient, you won't be encumbered with sharp objects like forks or knives when eating. Expect your burger when management thinks you should have it and cooked as crispy as management thinks it ought to be. So what's the allure? Drink enough draft beer at $2 a pint during the late-night happy hour and you won't care what you're given.
Daily: Helix Lounge
Monday through Friday: Tonic
Sunday and Monday: Sign of the Whale, Hawk and Dove
Monday: Crystal City Sports Pub, Whitlow's on Wilson, Tommy Joe's, Marshall's Bar and Grille, Mackey's Public House, Stetson's
Tuesday: Asylum, the Front Page
Wednesday: the Big Hunt
Thursday: Turkey burgers at Stetson's
Sunday: Toledo Lounge
© 2004 The Washington Post Company