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Sign of the Whale
Mar 30th, 2009 by Joemoney

sign-o-fthe-whale2 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 10
(2 votes, average: 7.00 out of 10)
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Sign of the Whale
www.signofthewhaledc.com
1825 M Street Northwest
Washington D.C., DC 20036-2503 (map)-

A Whale of a Tale -

While working in Washington, DC, my wife had flown in for the weekend and we did our usual seeing the sights, taking in the history of our nation’s capitol, and of course seeking out the best burger. I read a few reviews that a tavern on M street had a very good burger. It was a Monday night so we hopped on the Red line Metro and headed off to the Farragut North stop. It was frigid and windy night in DC, something that two people from Louisiana aren’t used too. The walk from the metro stop to the Whale resulted in frozen hands and noses, but the second we stepped in and saw the sign for Sign of the Whale, I was glad we made the trip. Once inside, we were met by a long wooden bar that led towards the back  past some tables and chairs where a fireplace was burning adding a very cozy warmth to the place. Our evening got even better once the waiter (yes, this is a sit down pub) informed us that Monday night was 1/2 off Burger Night!!!

From the Belly of a Whale -

I ordered my usual, cheeseburger with everything on it and my wife had her usual, plain hamburger with lettuce and mayonnaise only. The burgers arrived at our table with a toothpick holding everything in place. I prefer a burger to be tightly packaged where all of the components take burger form and do not easily fall out of position. This wasn’t a problem as I always tend to pull a burger apart where the lettuce meets the patty to add more ketchup before I eat it. The burger was of a decent size, around 1/3rd of a pound and was easily handled although I definitely needed both hands for the first few bites . The meat was seasoned well and was not dry but was not particularly juicy either. It was paired with an onion roll and your standard 1/4″ french fries. The overall flavor was good throughout and it was a good burger, that at 1/2 off , hit the spot.

The Wrap it up -

While I think this place is better known for it’s bar scene, the burgers are definitely a high point. My favorite thing about the Whale and the reason I would go back was the atmosphere. With it’s cozy fireplace and pressed tin ceilings, I enjoyed looking around at all of the architectural detail almost as much as I enjoyed the burger.  I would make sure, however, that the night of my return would be on 1/2 off burger night, because at full price this would turn any burger lover into a veritable Captain Ahab still searching for the white burger whale.

Five Guys
Mar 30th, 2009 by Joemoney

Five Guys Logo

8 votes, average: 6.50 out of 108 votes, average: 6.50 out of 108 votes, average: 6.50 out of 108 votes, average: 6.50 out of 108 votes, average: 6.50 out of 108 votes, average: 6.50 out of 108 votes, average: 6.50 out of 108 votes, average: 6.50 out of 108 votes, average: 6.50 out of 108 votes, average: 6.50 out of 10
(8 votes, average: 6.50 out of 10)
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Five Guys Burgers and Fries
www.fiveguys.com


The Beginning -

I was first introduced to Five Guys by a friend in Washington, DC where some of the first Five Guys were opened. My wife an I ate at one of the original five guys in Alexandria, VA and for a “chain” burger it was darn good! I think the secret to their success is the simplicity of the menu. I realize that I’m not going out on a limb by saying that but good burgers are simple  burgers and they have it down. One detail I liked that was unique to this chain was the cork board that displayed customer “art”. There was a stack of 3″X5″ index cards and some pencils for customers to write notes, draw pictures, or whatever else you can do with fifteen square inches of real estate. My wife and I found that along with the boxes of roasted peanuts it was a good way to pass the time while we waited for our order.

The Goods -

The menu is short. Burgers and Dogs. I ordered my usual Cheeseburger but ran into a hiccup when I said everything on it. At Five Guys you have  a list of around sixteen items and condiments you can put on your burger. I had to specify lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, grilled onions, mustard, mayo, and ketchup. The burger itself was made from very good ingredients. The patties (that’s right, there were two) were hand formed and the toppings were fresh. This is a fried burger but I actually prefer a fried burger to a grilled one because they tend to be juicier. This burger had just the right amount of grease and juiciness though it became a little hard to manage towards the last few bites.The bun (or as I like to call them, bread gloves) was also a notable component to the whole Five Guys experience. It was soft and a little chewy (in a good way) and held everything together pretty well. The fries are a big selling point in my book. My wife and I split an single order of Cajun fries. To our surprise a single order means a brown lunch bag full of fries. The cajun seasoning was different at first but matched really well with the ketchup and the burger. After my wife and I ate at the one in Alexandria I tried it at the one in Georgetown and most recently in Houston, TX. The burgers were consistently good.

The Wrap it up -

An item that I found to be both good and bad was the variety of toppings and condiments you can add to your burger. While the menu is simple, the condiment selection can really get complicated for the unprepared. I tend to freeze up in moments like this because I’m afraid that I may pick something like barbecue sauce or green peppers and essentially ruin a perfectly good burger. While I applaud Five Guys’ commitment to the customers’ unique tastes, I’m fearful that people who aren’t the most burger savvy may choose a topping(s) that would make an exceptional burger just OK or even bad. But hey, it’s worked for them so far. For a “chain” burger this one probably tops my list.

2902 N Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX (713) 864-6555
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