Ray’s was already on my radar screen before the news. I mean, I like burgers. Not McDonald’s so much, but good burgers, whether in Boston, DC or Atlanta. One of my friend’s daft roommate (as it turns out, but she likes restaurants, so i trust her here) raved about Ray’s the Steaks in Arlington, and said this was the proprietor’s crack at an upscale burger joint. So Ray’s was on my list, even IF President Obama did not get a burger there with Joe Biden. Foodies like it, the president (I assume) likes it – and given the long line the two times I have been, the unwashed masses like it – so obviously I was intrigued.
The presentation of the restaurant is simplicity itself – a long line, you pick up a menu and then you order when you get to the register. Then you find a seat (no taking tables until you have ordered) and wait. When I looked at the window, I was a little asea with the myriad of burger choices – and the lack of sides (there are some sides available, but really it is about the burger). Let’s put it this way, you don’t get to put bone marrow on a burger every day. Confused by the choices, I chose one of their suggested combinations (pepperjack-fiery sauce-jalapenos-onions). The toppings are excellent, but really the star is the meat. I am no steak expert, but when I read that the place uses the high quality steak meat as the basis for the ground meat, it shows. The burger just tastes different – juicier, more buttery (without being a Butter Burger). The burgers are huge (10 ounces!) but feel light as I ate it. The bun is not really well built to hold the burger – eating it is a big big mess. However, the burger is delicious – just a different sport.