Gourmet burger joints: There’s one on every corner, but there’s always room for one more. That’s the hope of the investors behind 24/7 Good Food Inc., a new local restaurant management group that opened brgr:shack (pronounced “burger shack”) on Jan. 31. Gone are the grease-stained ceilings of Eat N Run Deli, a hole-in-the-wall eatery that operated across from the Ballston Metro station for years. In its stead stands this neighborhood spot, complete with a minimalist interior aesthetic of gray, white and orange, pulsing beats and a brand-new grill.
The Vision: There will be no slipping into burger-induced comas here. The 34-seat brgr:shack aims to set itself apart by offering healthier patties. The secret is in the restaurant’s 100 percent grass-fed beef (a mixture of chuck and sirloin) that goes into each 7-ounce patty.
Eats: Ask for a fork and knife; these sandwiches — all of which stick with brgr:shack’s punctuation-happy naming convention — are stacked high. A popular option is the “fire:me:up” ($7), a burger spiced up with guacamole, jalapenos, pepper jack cheese and chipotle sauce. The “fancy:zola” ($8) is piled with salad greens and finished with gorgonzola; and the “blue:fever” ($7) is smothered in bleu cheese, caramelized onions and mushrooms sauteed in red wine.
There’s plenty of room to customize your order; for any of the six sandwich options, you can choose from beef, chicken, turkey or portabello mushroom on a white, wheat or pumpernickel bun. You can also build your own burger from scratch, choosing from standard veggies (lettuce, tomatoes, fresh or caramelized onions) and cheeses (American, Swiss or pepper jack). Then there’s Brie and gorgonzola cheeses, applewood-smoked bacon, guacamole and fried egg toppings (each $1 extra).
Still have room for more? Add a side of hand-cut fries made from white ($2.50) or sweet potatoes ($3.50) and dusted with a secret house seasoning.
Drinks: Thick, whipped-cream-topped milk shakes ($4 for a small, $5 for a large) make decadent additions to your meal. The Nutella is a hazelnutty concoction garnished with cinnamon-roasted fried bananas. Nostalgic sippers will appreciate classic single-flavor options such as chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and coffee. Or flush down the fancy fast-food feast with a bottle of Mexican Coca-Cola ($2) made with real cane sugar and have some fizz with your sweet, sweet high.
Atmosphere: This burger haven happens to also be a pop music lover’s heaven; on a recent visit, the soundtrack included Blur’s “Song 2” and George Michael’s “Freedom.” Just shout your order over the tunes and get lost in the lunch crowd, or have a seat and chow down with a clique. Brgr:shack is the best of both worlds — anonymous:social.
» 4215 Fairfax Drive, Arlington; 703-647-9191, Brgrshack.com. (Ballston)
Written by Express contributor Stephanie Kanowitz