We’re revisiting our Capital Chefs feature with a series by music reporter Mickey McCarter. A lot has been happening recently in kitchens in D.C. restaurants, and Mickey takes a look into them from his usual seat at the bar in this series, which runs weekly on Thursdays.
Amber Bursik of DC9
When you hang out with a crowd that goes to see a lot of concerts, as I do, you are occasionally going to find yourself eating in a concert hall.
You might do so in the moment, and you might not expect the food to be too good. So you may find it refreshing when the food at your favorite venue is really consistently great.
Things make sense once you look behind the curtain at DC9, however, and find Amber Bursik in the kitchen. After finishing culinary school, Bursik worked at Georgetown fish house Hook for several years and then popular Mediterranean restaurant Palena for several more before going to work at DC9 a few years ago.
“When I came in here, there was a menu in the place and I had to work within the parameters of the menu in place and the size and capabilities of the kitchen,” Bursik told me. “Because of that, I was told I had to have the burgers on the menu. I could change the burgers, but we had to have burgers.”
In her last five months at the now-shuttered Palena, Bursik was working the grill station, where she was responsible for cooking what many called the best burger in DC.
“It was fun and interesting but at the same time, you are working at this fine dining restaurant and you’re cooking burgers!” Bursik said. “So it was funny to come here and cook burgers again. But we have a great burger because of it.”
‘Kemble Park Tavern’
courtesy of ‘ZagatBuzz’
Add Kemble Park Tavern’s Brunch Burger to the list for “DC’s Best Burger.” This time Travel + Leisure Magazine is weighing in, declaring Kemble’s to be not only DC’s best, but one of the ten best in the country. The burger is topped with bacon and a fried egg and place atop a brioche roll. I’ve never had it, but for my money, you still can’t beat Ray’s. Can any of our readers weigh in?
courtesy of ‘AlissaS24’
What is DC’s best burger? That’s a can of worms to open. You’ve got Five Guys, you’ve got Good Stuff, you’ve got Ray’s and each has it’s own set of religious devotees. Well, now there’s another contender. According to Epicurious, Palena Cafe has DC’s best burger, which, coincidentally, is also the third best burger in America. Maybe I’ve been under a rock or something, but I’ve never heard a Washingtonian suggest Palena. What are your thoughts. Is Palena’s burger it?
‘a vegan is crying…………….’
courtesy of ‘LaTur’
Spike M. won best burger at the New York City Wine&Food Festival a few weeks ago. The winning burger – horseradish, bacon & bleu cheese – isn’t listed on the Good Stuff Eatery menu, though the toasted marshmallow milkshake he served with it is there. Perhaps they’ll make you the winning burger if you ask, or get February’s winner, the Colletti, which is on the menu: bacon, cheddar, vidalia onion & chipotle bbq.
Oh my god. How is it possible that I missed the news about Butcher Burgers, the latest effort of Michael Landrum (of Ray’s the Steaks fame).
I’m going. Tomorrow. I shall report back with photos. Who’s coming with me? (Obligatory OMG NOM NOM NOM noise here.)