Tag Archives: TD Burger

TD Burger’s BBQ: The Taste Doesn’t Match the Smell

1 Sep
Patio at TD Burger

Patio at TD Burger

We really want to like TD Burger (250 K Street, NE).  It has a great location right across the street from the always popular Indigo and who doesn’t like a good burger place with an awesome patio?  Sadly our previous experiences at TD had taught us to avoid the place.  However, recently the restaurant has set up a smoker on its patio that wafts delicious hickory BBQ smells for multiple blocks.  After attempting to avoid the temptation multiple times, we finally gave in and gave TD Burger another shot.

Brisket at TD Burger

Brisket at TD Burger

Unfortunately, we should not have.  Let’s start with the logistics of takeout: an unnecessary nightmare.  You order the BBQ inside and then pick it up from the guy at the smoker outside.  Makes sense but wait: there are only certain BBQ items that you pick up from the guy outside–for other random ones, you pick them up inside.  For example, we ordered a half BBQ chicken and an order of brisket.  The chicken comes from outside, the brisket from inside.  It didn’t make any sense, but we went with it.  We placed our order and then went outside to pick up the chicken.

BBQ Chicken at TD Burger

BBQ Chicken at TD Burger

TD Burger was not busy at this time.  There was one guy in front of me also waiting for chicken.  It took about ten minutes for him to get his chicken (even though it was already done in the smoker), and then it was our turn.  The chef manning the smoker told us to wait a minute and then he would be right with us.  He disappeared inside for five minutes or so and reemerged with a tray of raw pork ribs.  He proceeded to marinate the various racks of ribs and threw them in the smoker while we waited.  He then washed his hands in a bucket full of dirty water (no soap) and then proceeded to grab our chicken out of the smoker.  Using his bare hands (which he had 30 seconds ago been marinating the raw pork ribs with) and tongs that he had also “washed” in the dirty water he divided my (measly) half chicken into thirds and cut it up.  When we asked about having BBQ sauce on the side, it was interpreted as an odd request.

The whole process took at least 20 minutes, despite the fact that the chicken was done and ready to go the second we walked outside.  We walked back inside to pick up the brisket that was surely done by this point.  Wrong.  Took another 5-10 minutes for that to come out as well. Continue reading

TD Burger Opens with a Stumble, Begins to Improve

15 Oct

Our first trip to TD Burger in NoMa (250 K Street, NE) almost didn’t warrant a return trip.  It was very disappointing as the restaurant has a great outdoor seating area and a Top Chef contestant as the chef (Timothy Dean).  Yet, the fast casual burger restaurant had a weird set up, confused service, and unimpressive food.  Since that, our most recent return trip saw some improvement.  However, we hope that this trend continues and accelerates as the restaurant still needs help.

Sonia from the Bronx Burger at TD Burger

Sonia from the Bronx Burger at TD Burger

Customers order their food at the counter and then go sit down with a number card for food to have their food delivered to them.  But there’s a catch: you can’t order any alcoholic drinks at the counter and instead have to go to the bar or get the attention of the cocktail waiter/waitress (only one or two employees had the ability to serve alcohol even though there were close to ten employees serving customers).  It took us around seven minutes to order drinks once we sat down even though the restaurant was empty and we’d already asked a different server for help.  This was after waiting several minutes to order food (there was no one in line in front of us) due to a combination of the server being completely confused and the computer system being down.  Additionally, this set up is not ideal as it requires customers to open a second tab for alcohol even if they only want to order a beer.

The food did not improve the night.  The “Sonia from the Bronx” burger sounded intriguing: avocado, cheddar cheese, mushrooms, and grilled romaine.  The burger probably would have been great if it had been served as a salad without the bun.  The grilled romaine was tasty and the burger had promising flavor.  Unfortunately, all of this was overshadowed by a soggy bun that fell apart and could not hold the burger properly.  We were a little confused at how the bun was so soggy as it had clearly been thrown on the grill for a few seconds and had light grill marks.  Regardless, it ruined the burger.  The allegedly “beer battered” onion rings tasted like onion rings we could have picked up in the frozen section of the grocery store.

Continue reading

Signage Up at TD Burger

1 Aug

TD Burger, the specialty burger restaurant by Top Chef Alum Thomas Dean, is looks like it is getting fairly close to opening in NoMa.  The signage is up and we have seen a lot of activity there recently.  You can read more about TD Burger here.

Signage up at TD Burger in NoMa

Signage up at TD Burger in NoMa

H Street’s Horizon: What’s Coming Soon (Spring, 2013)

3 Apr

At the beginning of the year we took a look at what new bars and restaurants were planned for H Street in the coming year.  Now that a quarter of 2013 has gone by, we wanted to provide an update on new openings, newly announced concepts, and progress towards opening.  For each of these categories we list the establishments in order of going west-east down H Street.  If we’ve missed a place, please let us know in the comment section.

Opened this Winter

  • Batter Bowl Bakery (401 H Street)–delicious new bakery from the owners of Ethiopic (next door) that is open all day and serves a variety of baked goods, sandwiches, and salads (see menu here).
  • Hikari Sushi and Sake (644 H Street)–new sushi restaurant with two floors and extensive bar.  See our initial review here.
  • Thaaja Indian Food Bar (NoMa region, 1335 2nd Street, NE)–features customizable Indian food in a format similar to Chipotle.  See our opening night review here. Continue reading

TD Burger Moving into NoMa

26 Mar

Washington City Paper had written several months ago that Top Chef participant Timothy Dean was looking for a space to open his second TD Burger somewhere in D.C. and likely in NoMa (Dean currently has one in Maryland).  ANC Commissioner Tony Goodman tweeted earlier today that TD Burger will officially be moving into the retail spot at the Loree Grand building in NoMa (3rd and K Street, NE where Zuppa Fresca was).

From the Washington City Paper preview several months ago:

The D.C. location of TD Burger will be similar to the original, which serves burgers, Neapolitan-style pies, sandwiches, milkshakes, and more, but with the addition of a full service bar. Dean will also rename the burgers after various presidents who he’s cooked for or crossed paths with over the years, including Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. And instead of the Martin O’Malley burger, which is available at his Maryland location, a D.C. councilmember may also get his or her own meat patty.