A Burger a Day in May: A Burger Roundup for Memorial Day Inspiration

Want to wow your picnic guests this weekend? Steal ideas from Washington’s endlessly creative local chefs.

By: Jessica Voelker

Here on Best Bites Blog, we’ve been rounding up beefwiches throughout May in homage to National Burger Month. Since most of us will spend this weekend chowing down on burgers at backyard barbecues, we thought our posts might inspire you to move beyond the same old patties and condiments.

First things first: Start by heading to one of these premier sources for meat. Then look to our local chefs for outside-the-burger-box inspiration.

If you’re flipping burgs for healthy folks, take a tip from Bourbon Steak chef Adam Sobel, who dropped a little science on us when we asked how he gets his turkey burger so juicy. Beyond taking your patty’s temperature, there’s also the ever-important matter of toppings, and Sobel says you can’t go wrong with guacamole. “I don’t know what it is about it, but it just works.”

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the gluttonous hangover special from Mintwood Place. We guarantee your guests aren’t expecting a burger with fries and an egg on top.

This being Washington, politically themed parties are always in style. You can offer guests all the fixings to make themselves Good Stuff Eatery’s Roquefort-topped Obama burger. Or, since chef Spike Mendelsohn spilled the beans about what would go on a Romney burger, allow them to vote for that sandwich instead. Decisions, decisions.

If you’re an unabashed Obama supporter, however, you should only serve burgers topped with cheddar cheese. We know very well that’s how he likes them.

Going meatless? Hotel Helix makes its veggie burger from black-eyed peas. Sounds a lot better than what comes out of a box marked “Boca.”

Speaking of beef alternatives, several very good Washington restaurants--Chef Geoff’s among them--create burgers from some of the ocean’s finest bounty. The only question is: Do you have the nerve to serve a mussel burger to your friends and neighbors?

What do BGR and new Columbia Heights watering hole the Pinch have in common? They like to put barbecue on their burgers. This month’s special at BGR involves a prime beef patty topped with pulled pork. The brand new bar, meanwhile, opts to heap pulled duck and bacon on its sandwich, appropriately dubbed the Meat Lovers.

If you’re out to impress or looking for something to do with those stacks of cash that are cluttering up your closet, you can make your own version of the foie-gras-topped 1% burger from BLT Steak. Just be sure to pick up a little gold leaf while you’re out grocery shopping. Speaking of foie, it showed up again at 2941, where chef Bertrand Chemel piles it atop his duck burger.

To make your own version of Poste's onion soup burger, you’ll need to first make onion soup. It’s a lot of work, sure, but isn’t it worth it for a sandwich that combines three all-time favorite foods into one rich and brothy whole? We think so.

Hmm. Not sure we can suggest in good faith that you put peanut butter and jelly on your Memorial Day burger.

Your foodie friends may scoff at sliders, but show them miniburgers are still cool by serving wee ’wiches in the style of some of Washington’s best.

It doesn’t just cure hangovers—Dorothy Moon’s Triple Decker also tastes really good. That’s thanks, in part, to spicy Sriracha. We suggest you add a bottle to the collection of condiments you put on your fixins bar.

Happy Memorial Day! Now get cooking.