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.”
‘Smothered Fried Chicken’
courtesy of ‘Sabine01’
I’m a southern girl, I think I’ve made that abundantly clear on this blog. (Also, while we’re at it, let me just say, UNC is going to PWN you during March Madness, everyone. But I digress…) So what southern girl can’t love some Georgia Brown’s? A few friends and I headed there during my favorite week of the year, restaurant week, and were treated to some down-home food. I’ve been raised on southern cooking like Crook’s Corner and Mert’s Heart and Soul, so I was dying to find out if Georgia Brown’s lives up to it’s famous truly southern brethren.
I’m all about bread, I think I’ve also made that clear on this blog. If you start me off with some crappy bread, I’m going to be sad. It’s like a warm up jog before the workout, I need the bread starter to shine for me, gear me up for the meal to come. And boy, did Georgia Browns give me a run for my money. They sent out biscuts and corn bread and I’m not just warming up, I’m basically working out. They dished up biscuts with peach butter and corn bread – fresh, with actual corn in it. (Insert heavenly angelic aaaaah noise here!) Now that’s a way to start a meal. So I was sold right then and there, in my mind, there’s little you can do wrong after some biscuts and sweet butter… or is there? Continue reading