Let everyone else debate the merits of the burgers at the three-month-old Z Burger in DC’s Tenleytown—for the record, they’re thicker and meatier than the ones at Five Guys, and the buns are made to order for the restaurant. Personally, we’re more interested in the shakes (more than 50 flavors!). Especially the chocolate shakes. And while the purist in us recoils from the likes of chocolate-marshmallow and chocolate-amaretto (not about the chocolate at all), Swiss chocolate, chocolate, double chocolate, and frozen hot chocolate have piqued our interest.
In the interest of ferreting out the best (and because it was a scorcher of a day), we sampled three, plus a chocolate malted for good measure. The result: a Goldilocks moment.
Swiss chocolate was not nearly chocolatey enough—it tasted like a vanilla milkshake with the merest hint of chocolate. Deep, dark double-chocolate looked more like it. But it was too chocolatey, tasting of chocolate syrup and little else. Chocolate malted, usually a favorite, was overly sweet. But finally, plain old chocolate was just right. Chocolatey, thick, and a little lumpy—just the way we like it. The moral: Classic is best.
Z Burger, 4321 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-966-1999. Shakes $3.39 and $4.49.