Tuesday, February 26, 2008

First Taste: Big Buns Gourmet Grill

I don't know what it is, but for some reason it just seems that Arlington, Virginia is a breeding ground for good hamburger joints. The first Five Guys was built down the street from where I live now, and it's turned into a national phenomenon. But now there's a new guy in town, a restaurant that, in a lot of ways, I actually like better than Five Guys; Big Buns Gourmet Grill.

You'll notice a lot of differences from Five Guys, or any fast food place when you walk into Big Buns. The atmosphere is cleaner, crisper, and more open. While this doesn't have a direct impact on how your burger tastes, I've got to say I enjoyed sitting there and eating a lot more than I ever have at Five Guys.

The concept is very similar to Five Guys, but with more options. Instead of just a hunk of meat, you can get a hunk of meat, or chicken, or mahi mahi, or a portabella mushroom, and then decide to put that on a bun or in a bed of romaine.

On top of that, you can pile on all kinds of good stuff, and one of four kinds of dressings.

The burgers here are good. Not Palena great, but good. I like them better than Five Guys because they're not covered in grease and they just taste cleaner.

But it's all of the other stuff that Big Buns does that really did it for me. The option of sweet potato fries as opposed to regular fries, the fact that they brew their own beer (and their beers are CHEAP), and the fact that they've got a syrup bar that lets you make your own Shirley Temples and Vanilla Cokes.

There's only one Bug Buns, and it's hidden in the depths of Ballston, but if they keep doing what they're doing, Arlington will have another burger success story on its hands.


Jess said...

I will have to tell Torsten about this. Good burgers AND beer brewed in-house? I may actually be able to convince him to trek out to Ballston for this.

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend was RAVING about this the other day!

Anonymous said...

it really is super tasty. for people like me, who insist that they havent had a full experience until they've tried every possibly combination and permutation of said experience-- mushroom with jack cheese and roasted red peppers? fish with mango and black bean salsa? regular fries with bbq sauce? sweet potato fries with salt'n'malt? vanilla coke? raspberry coke?? ahhh....-- its a little overwhelming. for normal people, its pretty fantastic.

Anonymous said...

i work right next to big buns. it's really hard to work next to big buns. 'nough said.

Anonymous said...

I went yesterday. Yum.yum.yum. I wish I had remembered the soda syrup station before I puored myself a diet coke!