Tuesday, August 24

Going Rogue

I was craving a burger a few days ago. And I mean a serious craving; I had watched a Guy Fieri Triple-D marathon on the Food Network, and as anyone who has ever seen one of these episodes can attest, it makes any healthy life choices you may have made recently fly right out of the window in favor of a meal that would make you slap your mother. So you can imagine my rabid need for meat on bread after watching hours of this show.
So I Yelp a few places in the area (all within biking distance, of course), and decide upon Rogue States, a new-ish burger joint on Connecticut Ave. in the S. Dupont area. (Side note: I'm not one of those people that uses Yelp to make all of my dietary decisions, but I constantly need reminders of what exactly is out there for me. Think of it more as a virtual Yellow Pages in my case.)
The Burger.
Their burgers start out at $7 each, and they have several different flavors, all cheekily named things like Now & Zen (asian-inspired flavors), Curried Away (an Indian take on the American classic), and my choice, the Ciao Down (Italian flavors of garlic, tomato and yum basil). As expected their French version (Pardon My French) is an extra $3, due to the addition of black truffle oil to the meat. They have two of their burgers available in turkey form if you prefer to avoid the red meat as well, the Rogue State house recipe burger and the Square One (simply salt and pepper). It comes with your standard veggie toppings, or the LTOP as I like to call it, and cheese, shrooms, cooked onion and bacon are also available for an extra charge. Sides are simple - fries, either in standard or sweet potato form. I'm not a fan of the sweet potato fry, so I get the regular fries and a soda. They give you two options on the menu for the temp of your burger, pink or no pink. OK, Rogue States, you guys are totally irreverent and cool, but I'm just going to go ahead and get my burger cooked medium. With provolone cheese and grilled onions too, please.
They give you a little numbered card after you order, and you pretty much just find your spot and sit down. I keep my ears open for my number, but it turns out they bring the food to you. Nice!
The burger comes loosely wrapped in foil, the fries a la boardwalk in a paper cup, but still much thicker than your standard boardwalk fries, but not quite steak fries size. They were awesome fries. I've heard people complain that they don't give you enough fries with an order, but they're only $2.50 ferchrissakes, and it's plenty of food. People are just gluttons these days
The burger was great. Thick, plenty of flavor (I could smell the basil, it was like heaven), and the bread - oh dear God, the bread was a brioche roll. How did they know? The meat itself was very clean, not greasy at all, but juicy. They made sure to put enough cheese on it so you could actually taste it (one of my biggest peeves with burger places is they always undercheese. Such a faux pas).
Here's what I didn't like: their aioli sauces. There was nothing about those mayos that I could not have put together in less than a minute at home. Old Bay aioli is just that - some seasoning stirred into an already prepped mayo. The wasabi aioli had almost no kick at all, and coming from a girl who needs a big glass of milk beside her for mild wings, that is saying a lot. The chipotle mayo was OK, also needed more flavor. My suggestion: make the mayo yourself, and make sure to blend the Old Bay so it's not grainy. Add MORE wasabi, MORE chipotle pepper to the aiolis. Flavor is a good thing, and right now, Rogue States may be erring on the safe side with their sauces. So not the way to go Rogue.
Will I go back to Rogue States? Absolutely. But I do still have Ray's and BGR on my list of places to go, so it may not be for a little while. Unless, of course, it's 4 a.m. and I just have to get my beef fix. I'm going to give Rogue States 3 out of 5 noms.


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