Monday, February 27, 2012

Ray's Hell Burger & Ray's Hell Burger Too in Arlington, VA

On a recent road trip, we met up with some friends in the D.C. area.  When we asked them about their favorite eatery, both suggested Ray's Hell Burger.  So, off we all went, ready for dinner!  We arrived at a little, unassuming strip mall and circled a few times to find a parking spot.  We walked past the main door of Ray's Hell Burger and proceeded down the strip mall sidewalk, beyond some other businesses and entered at the 2nd location for Rays at the opposite end of the strip called Ray's Hell Burger Too.  The main Ray's is a quickly paced fast food ordering set up while the "Too" location provides seating and a waitstaff.  For our situation, the "Too" was a perfect choice since we wanted to relax, visit together & take our time.

The menu provides a mouth watering list of options and combinations.  Seriously.  Click that menu link and start salivating!  You can visit several times and never have the same burger twice.  I settled on the the "Big Punisher"; The Burger is grilled "Diablo Style" with a Spicy Chipotle Sauce.  Toppings include Pepper Jack Cheese, Charred Jalapeños, Grilled Onions and the Pirañha Sauce is served on the side.

This is the BEST burger I've had in my entire life.  It was done medium well, super tasty & juicy without being greasy.  That's usually an impossible combo to find for someone who likes her burger barely pink.  This is the rare unicorn of burgers.  Upon further research, it's really no wonder.  To quote Michael Landrum, the restaurateur behind Ray's Hell Burger:
We will be serving one thing only--10 ounces of our secret blend of premium and prime aged beef, char-grilled over an open flame. This is the same single-breed, farm-raised beef that we use at Ray's The Steaks and Ray's The Classics, aged in house ridiculously long, hand trimmed to the same exacting standards as all of our steaks, and ground fresh daily, several times throughout the day.     
 As you can see from the menu, they also offer a 1/3 lb+ size now... but as our friends explained, "It's just not the same". The 10oz burger was huge.  After cutting it into fourths, eating it was much easier.  The charred jalapenos were firm and not very charred.  A softer jalapeno with a bit more smokiness would have been appreciated since the firm ones kept popping out of the burger, making it a bit awkward.  They did lend a nice amount of heat without being overly spicy.  (I do likes me some heat but not complaining!).  The balance was great.  The Fiery Pirañha Sauce that came on the side is a complete mystery to me.  It's green and fresh tasting.  My guess on the recipe: jalapeno, cilantro, parsley and lime juice.  I would LOVE to know what it actually is!

We don't visit the D.C. area often but we are already looking forward to Ray's Hell Burger the next time we do.

Ray's Hell-Burger on Urbanspoon

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