In the last few years a number of burger joints have been popping up across the region. Some are unabashedly greasy fast-food, some purport to be healthy versions of the standard, and others boast true gourmet fare. Each brand has it’s own spin on the classic burger and fries, and I stopped in to visit one of the newer additions to the scene – Elevation Burger – to see what it was all about.
I was not sure what to expect. Why the name Elevation Burger? (There ARE elevators in the townhouses next to the Park Potomac location… was the name a play on that?) I quickly learned that the Park Potomac shop is one of many, and the name is much more serious than an architectural joke. The name references the companies belief that by consciously eating the right things, treating ingredients the right way, building responsibly, and minimizing waste, that we will be elevating ourselves. It’s a whole higher consciousness / hippy-chic thing… and I am *kindof* buying into it.
Elevation Burger is serious about their mission. They serve burgers made with 100% USDA Certified Organic, Free Range, Grass Fed beef that they grind on site daily. They hand cut fries and deep fry them in heart-healthy olive oil (the used oil is then recycled – used to create bio-diesel fuel). They even have a soda option that is free of High-Fructose Corn Syrup. That means no hormones, no pesticides, no trans-fats… nothing unknown and scary in the food. It should also be noted that there is a serious lack of plastic in the building – even the serving trays are metal. This will ease the “bad plastic” concerns of some diners.
In addition to the organic Beef burger, Elevation Burger serves TWO veggie burgers – one with “fire roasted taste” and one that “tastes like veggies” (the only vegan option). To order, select your burger patty, and then customize – Choose 1-10 patties (a mix of beef and veggie if you like) and add real cheddar cheese as desired, and ask for your creation to be topped the way you like. *The topping/condiment list is not exhaustive, but they have enough choices to please the majority of diners. Check out the full menu here:
Mr. Food Nerd and I both got “Elevation Burgers” – two patties with cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. We got one order of french fries because I was worried that the burgers would be too big, but they were perfect!
Do not let the “enlightened” concept fool you into thinking that you are going to be eating rabbit food – these burgers are the real deal – juicy, greasy (in that good burger way), and yummy! All the elements work together – tender, flavorful meat covered in melty – slightly sharp – cheddar cheese, crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes all sandwiched in a soft, yeasty bun. Keep the wrapping on because this can get messy!
The thin cut french fries notable as well – The olive oil that the potatoes are fried in adds a nice flavor component in the background and produces a fry that is crunchy on the outside and tender in the center. I liked the fries SOO much that I panicked when we started running low and accused Mr. Food Nerd of eating them “too fast” *I am ashamed and I apologize* 🙂
Now… some advice…. try not to sit inside. The dining area is nicely appointed with green/sustainable/leed friendly stuff, which is great – but the place is loud! An alarm echoes around the space every few minutes, an occasional crashing sound is heard when the potatoes are being freshly cut for new orders, and the staff YELLS out names as orders become ready. The noises all blend together in a cacophony of sound that became unpleasant as the place filled up. Most locations have outdoor seating which would be a quieter option.
Overall – I left happy, feeling that I had just had a nice burger, and that somehow I had done something good for myself and the environment. It’s like going to a yoga class and drinking a glass of wheat grass juice, only so much tastier and a lot less sweaty.
If you would like to visit the new chain yourself, there are locations open in Arlington, Falls Church, Potomac/Rockville and National Harbor ready to serve. More locations will be opening soon. Also poke around their website for more information on their mission.