Welcome back to the Halftime Burger Bracket 2014! We present to you the battle of The Tombs versus Burger Tap Shake. These are two very different eateries with two very different burgers. Our endeavor began by asking the staff of each restaurant what they thought was the best burger on the menu. This left us with The Bulldog Burger (The Tombs) and Big Daddy (Burger Tap Shake). Both were quality hamburgers, but in the end we had to go with Burger Tap Shake’s Big Daddy.
The Tombs is a classic Georgetown establishment and a favorite bar for students of legal drinking age, but, to be honest, we weren’t expecting much from their burger. More of a restaurant than a burger joint, Tombs only has two burgers on their menu: The Bulldog Burger and the standard Tombs Burger. The Bulldog Burger comes with cheddar cheese, house made bacon, beer-braised caramelized red onions, and whole grain mustard, all on a pretzel bun.
To our surprise, it was a pretty good burger. The toppings work well (the mustard is particularly good), and the pretzel bun helps to bring the whole burger together. The only downside is the patty, which is a bit too greasy and doesn’t quite live up to the rest of the burger. Still, the Bulldog Burger exceeded our expectations and was a serious contender in the matchup.
Our second restaurant was Burger Tap Shake, located in Washington Circle. This a more of a traditional, quick, short stay type of burger joint. Despite this, they had an extensive bar and served as a nice after-work dinner spot. My optimism for this restaurant paid off after ordering what the staff considered to be their best burger. The Big Daddy was piled with a nice amalgamation of toppings that stayed neatly between the bun. Thick cut benton bacon was a nice touch that came off a tad salty at first, yet quickly blended into the rich buttermilk blue cheese flavor. The Big Daddy was also topped with lea & perrins mushrooms, a creative addition that also enhanced the savory burger.
Although the Big Daddy only had a regular bun and did not come with fries (they cost $3 extra), its two dominating points over the Bulldog Burger were its value, coming in at only $8, and the patty itself. The meat on the burger found a balance between being not too greasy and not too dry, and I was impressed with the restaurant’s overall fun atmosphere, and this burger was a great taste for a very low price.
In the end of our challenge, BTS’ Big Daddy edged out The Tomb’s Bulldog Burger. Both were great burgers, but the Big Daddy was the clear winner. The points teetered back and forth, but the quality of the meat so heavily affected the overall taste to tip the scales in one direction. The greasiness of the Bulldog Burger was its downfall, while the Big Daddy’s superior toppings and juicy patty helped it edge out the victory. No hard feelings towards our beloved Georgetown classic, but Burger Tap Shake reigns supreme.
The Final Standings:
Photo: Jonathon Block and Mike Bergin/The Georgetown Voice
Graphics: Daniel Varghese/The Georgetown Voice