Upscale hamburgers are iffy propositions. We love the burger at Palena Cafe (3529 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-537-9250; palenarestaurant.com)—topped with truffled cheese and a gorgeous, amber-brown bun. But too many high-end burgers leave us wanting. Most of the time, when we want a burger, we want it big, juicy, and sloppy.
What we want is a burger like the one at Harry’s in DC’s Hotel Harrington (436 11th St., NW; 202-624-0053). Harry’s isn’t a hangout for the self-important; the place is ringed with cops and conventioneers. Burgers are rarely so guilty a pleasure: nothing fancy, no technique on display, and the meat doesn’t come from some farmer who gets credit on the menu. It’s a real juicy, sloppy sandwich. Oh—and chips and two Oreos on the side. What’s not to love?