eat brgz, 250 7th St. SE (at C St), website, Twitter, Instagram, 11a-10p everyday, Eater. This newish spot (opened in mid-August) is directly across Eastern Market. I first stopped in because I spotted a sign advertising $3 beer and wine ALL DAY EVERY DAY. This isn’t cheap plonk-3 taps of DC Brau (16 oz.- Joint Resolution IPA, Brau Pils, and The Public Pale Ale) and French wine (white, red, and rose) on tap. I don’t think there’s a place you get cheaper craft drinks this cheap in all of DC, at any time (other than in the comfort of your own home). I didn’t try any of the burgers, but I did get some great McDonald’s-style fries (helpfully in a $2 small size, small upcharge for garlic parmesan, jamaican jerk, or cajun seasoning) to accompany my drinks.
Incidentally, soon afterwards, I was invited by Brandon Gaynor, co-owner and founder of the spot, to sample some burgers. Brandon was in finance (particularly focused on restaurant industry) when he decided to start this spot, moving down from his career in NYC. This is definitely not a typical burger spot-instead of toppings abetween the bun and the meat, eat brgz mixes the toppings with the burger. The result is definitely tasty, though it certainly isn’t for everyone. I sampled one of each of the three types of burgers – beef (dry-aged, from Roseda Farms outside Baltimore), chicken (antibiotic-free), and Impossible plant-based versions (which is made on a dedicated grill for those vegetarians worried about cross-contamination); they each cost $9, except Impossible is $12. Once a protein is picked, you can pick one of eight “signature mix-in’s” or build your own. Brandon selected Mexico City (chorizo, red onions, bell pepper medley, jalepenos, oaxaca cheese, taco seasoning) for the beef, Memphis BBQ (sauteed mushrooms, carmelized onion, aged cheddar, bbq seasoning) for the Impossible, and Samosa for the chicken (carrots, green peas, red onions, bread crumbs, feta cheese, and kafta seasoning). Dipping sauces (queso, house bbq, and harissa yogurt respectively) also come with each burger; you can pour them over your burger or dip them, your choice. Burgers come on awesome potato buns from Lyon Bakery.
All the burgers were very tasty and well-seasoned, and I will definitely try them again. Unless there’s a long line out the door, the burgers come lightning quick for a fast casual spot. However, I can tell you they’re (particularly the beef version) are not for everyone. Not only the toppings being mixed into the protein takes getting to used to-they’re are made pretty lean so if you’re looking for big messy burgers, this really is not for you (after customer feedback, serve-your-own lettuce and toppings are available). That being said, the chicken burger (made with ground chicken) is fantastic and one of the best chicken burgers I’ve ever had.
Brandon, an affable guy who’s still quite excited about the concept as well as frank about the growing pains of any new business. He even explained that he had been trying to eschew press until 3 months in because he wanted to make sure he was on good footing. Dropping beer/wine prices from $7 to $3 was a recent and brilliant choice-as Brandon puts it, unlike bars and lots of restaurants, they make money on food, not drinks, and it’s just a good business decision to try to attract people like me who is intrigued by the cheap drinks; they’re still able to sell them over cost.