Restaurants & Bars 24

BGR: Burgers in Bethesda

mattm | May 31, 2009 08:12 PM

I went to BGR on a Saturday night, primarily because of its appearance on the Washingtonian Cheap Eats list. I was really disappointed. The short version is that the food was okay, but the service and management was terrible. They ask you to be patient because everything is cooked to order, but the food does not justify the incompetence on display.

The restaurant wasn't all that crowded when I arrived. The line reached to about the door, but there were tables open inside and outside. I wasn't keeping track of time while in line, but would estimate the 15 people in front of me took >20 minutes to order. This seemed slow, but I could be patient waiting in line. I was not prepared for the wait after ordering though.

The time of your order is printed on your receipt even when you pay by cash. It took 42 minutes from the time I ordered until the time my food was ready. This is absolutely ridiculous for a hamburger. And it wasn't only my hamburger, but everyone else's as well. During this time there was ample opportunity to converse with the other patrons to hear about the other problems.

BGR ran out of hamburger buns. This is a hamburger joint. How do you run out of hamburger buns on a Saturday night? And why isn't it possible to send someone to get hamburger buns? They also ran out of what another patron termed, "the good beer". At least they were nice enough to give them the other beer for free.

There were about 6 staff on hand. There appeared to be one manning the grill, one at the cash register, and one at the fryer. I have no idea what the others were doing. One of the them came out to clean the outside tables when another patron complained. He stated that it wasn't his job to do so, but would clean anyway to make people happy.

I had the southwestern burger and the shake of the month, a blueberry milkshake. The milkshake was soso. It appeared to have quite a bit of ice filler. The burger was better, with a nice blend of chipotle pepper. I didn't get the lettuce or tomato I would have liked, apparently because I wasn't specific enough when ordering. The cashier also didn't say anything about this when I ordered. Perhaps the southwestern isn't served with other fixings.

Skip BGR. The milkshakes at Good Stuff are far superior, and the burgers at Ray's are better, and there at least your wait will be justified by the number of people in line.

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