This bilevel Capitol Hill burger joint has its owner, the former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn, to thank for its lines out the door. He has worked for such chefs as Thomas Keller and Sirio Maccioni, but his thin burgers show no sign of white-tablecloth pretension.
The place exhibits a fresh-from-the-farm ethos–an oversize cow bell hangs from the ceiling, the beef is all natural and the turkey meat free range–but Mendelsohn still crafts calorie bombs. The Coletti’s Smokehouse burger is piled with bacon, cheddar, onion rings, and barbecue sauce; the Uncle D’s is loaded with chili, cheddar sauce, and sour cream.
Mendelsohn’s milkshakes–especially the toasted-marshmallow flavor–are some of the best in town. But you can skip the often-soggy fries.
Also good: Vietnamese-inspired Blazin’ Barn burger; turkey burger with avocado on a whole-wheat bun; Prez Obama burger with bacon, onion marmalade, Roquefort, and horseradish mayo; bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg; chocolate and vanilla shakes.
Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner.