Written by on January 16, 2012 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Ballston neighborhood, Arlington, Virginia

How I heard of this place: Our friend, Aleksey first introduced us to this joint. He recommended the Afghan-owned establishment, whose burgers taste of kabob, just rounded and placed between two buns. For months we have been wanting to check out brgr:shack, and only tonight had the opportunity to walk down the block to sample its fare.

Type of cuisine: brgr:shack of Ballston is now open after a complete burger renovation and ready to serve you with 100% All Natural Grass Fed Beef Burgers and other fine menu offerings! Home of the Gourmet Burger, the fun don’t stop at our delicious burgers, we also serve up a juicy chicken burger, a savory turkey burger, and a delightful veggie burger, in addition to fries: regular and sweet, onion rings, cool fresh salads, feel free to top these off with a protein of your choice! When you want us to quench your thirst we serve a number of cold beverages, for our adult friends we have beers: bottled and draft. Sweet craving? We got you covered with a nice big ‘ol shake, to keep you satisfied for hours and hours and hours.” brgr:shack serves only Prime Dry Aged, 100% All Natural Grass Fed Beef directly from the free range farm in Tennessee, served on your choice of white, wheat or pumpernickel buns, or over a bed of leafy greens. Burgers can be built using your own creations from the choice of protein: grass fed beef, chicken, turkey, or portobello cap mushroom (vegetarian) and adding your own favorite cheese, toppings and sauce, or by selecting one of the six brgr:shack flavorful burger creations, each crafted with a mix of ingredients that will satisfy any burger craving.Meats and breads are shipped fresh daily, and the beer-batter onion rings and home-cut french fries prepared daily. No trans fats are used for any of the fried goodies, and the offer of a lunch combo Monday through Friday (including fries and a soda with any burger, for only $3 more) makes the visit that much more sweet.Why Grass Fed Beef? “Their diet consists of only fresh green grass, no grain or corn is ever given. No Hormones, No Antibiotics, No Additives, which creates a far more delicious meat that is juicy and full of health benefits. Overall, Grass Fed Beef contains LESS total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. It also has MORE vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and a number of health-promoting fats, including omega-3 fatty acids and “conjugated linoleic acid,” or CLA, which is a healthy fat that may fight obesity and cancer.”

Ambiance: “brgr:shack provides a comfortable and clean place to sit and enjoy a great view of the neighborhood, while listening to great music, and enjoying all the creative creations from the kitchen. Tell us what you like, all of our burgers are made to order topped with only the freshest ingredients and served straight from the grill. Go ahead and peek at our extensive menu list and come on down!” The bright orange sign outside welcomes patrons to a store-front where a sectioned, glass garage door can be opened to create one space from the sidewalk to the dining area during warm summer nights. The white walls, with only one stripe of orange, making its way from floor to high ceiling at the door, offers color to the otherwise stark white space. Funky lighting from plastic spherical shades hanging from the high, industrial ceilings, to iridescent balls of light in the center of what resembles a less-fragile dandelion, or very intricate, perfectly constructed fireworks lining walkway from the door to the order counter. The starkness of the room grows ever more so with the plastic tables and chairs, either in plastic white or plastic wood-textured, simple, streamlined furnishings. Two higher tables with backed barstools grace the windows for passerby to easily catch a glimpse of food on plates and in hands, with burger juices dripping down the arms. The remainder of the ten seating options are at dining table height, perfectly placed, modern and sleek, for pairs or fours to dine together, in close proximity to their neighboring patrons. Large, pale tiles line the floors from the doorway to the kitchen, where it is additionally sparse, with limited bags of buns, ketchup and mustard containers on the stainless steel walls holding the ample shelving. Two flat screen televisions, offering views of the Football Playoffs sit high up on the walls to the far left as one enters the establishment. Along with the squeeze bottles of Heinz Ketchup and Mustard, and hot sauce, each table held either a bucket tin of grass or a long vase with room only for one stalk of bamboo. 

What I ordered: Chris and I already knew this was an evening out and we were not about to skimp! The burger selections were the most difficult, as we already knew that fresh-cut potato French Fries ($2.50),

Fresh Cut Potatoes

a side of fresh beer-battered Onion Rings ($3.50)

Onion Rings

and a small hand-spun Cookies ‘n Cream shake ($4) were on the bill! For our main entrees, we split our top two choices: fancy:zola ($8) – applewood smoked bacon, Swiss cheese, topped with Shack:zola salad, gorgonzola cheese, Shackberry sauce (of which they had run out, therefore substituting their new Shack Island sauce instead) served on a dark pumpernickel bun, and the fire:me:up ($8) – lettuce, tomatoes, fresh red onions, guacamole, fresh sliced jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, pico de gallo and Chipotle Shack Sauce.


What I loved: Chris most enjoyed the fancy:zola, specifically the two, crisp strips of bacon smothered in gorgonzola cheese. I most enjoyed the French Fries, the tang and spice of the seasoning chosen, and the presentation in a mini “deep fry” basket.

Burgers Up Close

Why I loved it: While it’s no Ray’s Hell Burger (according to Chris), it’s proximity to home, the natural, grass fed beef and, the creativity of using pumpernickel buns, and the variety of flavorful bites makes it a place worth a return trip!

Cost: Average to high ($7-$8 per burger, sides not included)

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