Ray’s Hell Burger in DC

By now everyone knows that President Obama loves hims some Ray’s Hell Burger.  Recently POTUS even took Russian President Dmitry Medvedev over to Arlington for a sampling of his favorite comfort food.  Medvedev simply said it wasn’t healthy.

Despite the President’s endorsement (or perhaps because of it), DC doesn’t share Barrack’s affinity for Ray’s.  Sure every time USA 1 rolls up outside business booms but in a recent fan poll by Washington’s WTOP FM, Ray’s came in fifth out of ten contestants with 4% of the vote; first place went to burger chain Cheeburger, Cheeburger with a whopping 44% of the vote.  Incidentally Ray’s 4% is the same percentage of Americans who genuinely believe the President is doing a good job.

Back in 2007, before any Presidential accolades, the staff at DC Foodies did a group review of Ray’s Hell Burger.  Here’s a taste:

For our inaugural group review, we decided there was no better place to start than with a first impressions review of Ray’s Hell Burgers. I’d be lying if Michael Landrum’s other restaurants (Ray’s the Classics and Ray’s the Steaks) don’t hold a special place in all of our hearts, so we’ve made a good attempt, I think, to keep this objective.

Ray’s Hell Burger is a natural addition to the Michael Landrum’s D.C. beef empire. Burgers are the only thing on the menu (which means no fries), but you’d be surprised at how large the menu can be. Between the large selection of cheeses (including some artisinal selections which no doubt Mike will like) and the list of others high quality ingredients, much like those that you can get on your steaks a few doors down, the combinations are endless.

Open_kitchen Instead of fries, the burgers currently come with sides of juicy watermelon and corn, but I imagine that’s only for the summer. Look for the sides to be seasonal and fresh. I wonder if the lack of French fries is because the kitchen couldn’t get the fries just right, or if it is Michael’s attempt to make up socially for the portion size of the burgers which are a massive 10 ounces of the same aged prime beef used at the other Ray’s establishments (ground fresh throughout the day according to Mr. Landrum). Cooking methods are similar as well and you can get your burger blackened, cajun, or just plain grilled.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less
Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
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2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
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