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This week, we’re looking at new burger places in Northern Virginia. Check back daily for reviews of all five of our favorites.
Signature Roots 657 Cheeseburger: two hand-pressed patties,cheddar cheese, fried egg and bacon // $13.95, comes with fries
Though Roots 657 looks like plenty of other roadside shops from its barnlike exterior, there’s actually much more to it. First, it’s from certified Master Chef Rich Rosendale, and even though his menu features smoked meats and other plebeian fare, he takes it very seriously: His team tried out 30 different buns when contemplating the dynamics for the burger. That’s just the bun, mind you. (They decided on a potato bun.)
The beef is from Maryland’s Roseda Farms; it’s aged meat from grass-fed, corn-finished cattle. And while ingredients count, of course, it’s also the way it’s packaged. With two patties, each covered in melted cheddar, it gives the impression of a bigger burger but without the sometimes-out-of-whack ratio that a towering patty can bring to a slim bun. What surrounds the meat is also well thought out: iceberg finely shredded for crunch, red onions soaked in water to relinquish the harsh bite and a garlic compound butter for slathering on the inside of the bun before grilling. It’s cooked to medium, for the “integrity of the burger,” says Rosendale, because of course we need to think of burgers in terms of artistic values. // 42301 Spinks Ferry Road, Leesburg