Disclosure: have never been to Ray's the Classics or Steaks and, after visiting Hell Burger this week, realize my error.
Hell Burger is a great concept. There's another long string on it on the board already but thought I'd start a new one since that one has a lot of logistical posts.
$6.95 for a burger with more than a dozen free topping choices, fresh corn on the cob and a slice of watermelon ranks as one of the best value in the low price range in the area IMHO. Love the owner out front with delicious-looking prime beef cutting and grinding. The cheese options are briliant. The place is small and was very crowded when we were there but navigable. Points for a very good root beer but a brand like Weinhards or Sprecher would be an upgrade. Likewise the buns, which aren't the equal of the beef and other ingredients.
This place makes me realize that burgers really have to be assessed in at least two separate categories: I'll call 'em "gourmet" and "messy traditional." And, no doubt different people will prefer one type over the other.
For me, the best gourmet burgers (palena, st ex) easily top burgers like Rays. But, Rays is probably as good as we have in the messy traditional category. Definitely superior to Five Guys, which is more comparable. Would love to see the Lerners add this to Nationals Park for a head to head with Five Guys!