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Z-Burger makes a saucy patty
If you’re craving a burger but you’re sick of the same old places around campus, think about venturing to Glover Park to grab a bite at Z-Burger. An updated version of the 1950s-style diner, Z-Burger sports a polished decor, a friendly staff, and a relatively limited menu.
Only the essentials are offered: hamburgers, cheeseburgers (single or double patties for each), hotdogs, and cheese dogs. However, a few choice offerings distinguish the restaurant from the rest of its burger joint ilk—veggie burgers, cheese steaks, and Z-Burger’s signature Z-sauce grace the menu.
A number of extra toppings—such as jalapeno peppers, banana peppers, crushed red peppers, or hot sauce—are also available upon request for those who like to spice up their classic American cuisine. Unfortunately, hungry travelers in search of an equally impressive assortment of milkshakes will have to trek further north to Z-Burger’s original location in Tenleytown.
The restaurant’s main flaw is its humble seating area, which is long and narrow and limits the number of seats that can fit in the establishment. Indeed, seating a group larger than two at prime lunch hours on a Saturday afternoon makes for a rather daunting challenge. Only one table sits in the center of the restaurant, but if you don’t feel like dining family-style with strangers, the front and side walls are lined with a marble ledge and tall aluminum chairs which compliment Z-Burger’s contemporary furnishing. The front counter looks out onto Wisconsin Avenue, allowing diners to eat and people-watch, two undeniably enjoyable pasttimes.
The first bite of my cheeseburger was promising; it didn’t drip excessive amounts of oil or grease onto the table, and the toppings and sauces combined for a mouthful of savory flavor. As I continued eating my meal, though, I noticed a couple of logistical problems. The bun provided was not a squishy potato roll, but rather a thicker, sesame seed bun—far from ideal for preventing a mess of toppings from sliding off the patty.
The meat itself was almost too dry, and one server informed me that Z-Burger adds no extra seasoning to their beef—not even salt and pepper—which gave the burger a slightly healthier and, consequently, blander taste.
The Z-sauce, whose special ingredients are kept secret by all employees, tasted like a creamy blend of mayo, tartar sauce, and a mystery constituent which added an extra kick. The regular salted fries were plain and simple—tasty but not memorable, though the offering of seasoned fries, added a delightful element of cajun spice to the meal.
Servicable but not stunning, Z-Burger will satisfy those craving some All-American comfort food—prepare to be sated but not surprised.
Z-Burger is located in Glover Park at 2414 Wisconsin Ave N.W. It is open Sunday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.