Fave Bougie Burgers in DC: Duke’s Grocery

the right proper burger // duke's grocery in washington, dc

The first time I heard about this burger, I was guarding Emily’s bike outside of the Safeway on 17th Street, last summer. She had forgotten her lock, and it was one of those unexpectedly warm days of September, after a cold spell. Emily inherited Joanne, a big cruiser bike — and Joanne has some big hips on her frame. Not judging — but we parked her next to a pretty nice 80s-ish road bike… the kind that super attractive hipsters who live in Bloomingdale ride. I was secretly wishing I had Barbie, my own 80s racing bike that was resting in my bedroom just a block away. You know, because when your imagination runs off, it sprints — to having a conversation with a handsome stranger about each other’s bikes, which would obviously lead to a long and happy life together. Or maybe a few weeks. Dating in real life seems so far fetched these days, but stranger things have happened to me.

Sure enough, while Emily was shopping, a super attractive hipster man with a super attractive beard strolled out of Safeway, and struck up a conversation with me about the weather and this wonderful, super attractive day. Somehow, we got on the topic of best burgers in DC — his idea, not mine. I was still starstruck by the fact that he wanted to talk to me.

His plan was to have a leisurely, breezy bike ride to Duke’s Grocery from Bloomingdale (I was right!), but the summer heat had him sweating bullets. Or maybe it was my California cool attitude. Anyway, at the time, I was very loyal to Le Diplomate’s burger… but mystery man stood by the burger at Duke’s Grocery.

So naturally, the next weekend, Shaeda and I had to swing by to see what all the fuss was about. And oh, what a fuss.

I’ll preface this entire story by the fact that we went to Duke’s Grocery on a rainy Saturday morning, and had to go again 24 hours later. No joke. The burger was that good.

the right proper burger // duke's grocery in washington, dc

We started with the Pimm’s Cups, which is my favorite light-hearted cocktail at any hour of the day. Duke’s Grocery is bright and airy inside, with an industrial Edison bulb chandelier. There’s an upstairs, but we managed to snag a couple of arm chairs on the first floor.

The burger is perfect, really. Pictured is the Brunchy burger — the menu changes regularly, but there’s always an epic burger variation on there — a double patty topped with edam cheese, house pickles, charred red onion, mayo, and arugula. We added a fried egg, because… obviously.

the right proper burger // duke's grocery in washington, dc

the right proper burger // duke's grocery in washington, dc

If you make it there on a weekend during brunch hours, be prepared to wait for your table, and to wait for your burger. It’s a tiny kitchen, and they get backed up with orders. But have a few drinks, and know that it’s worth it.

Duke’s Grocery
1513 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20036

 

Summer Snapshots

the view from the paddle boats, tidal basin, washington, dc // sweetsonian

beaver damn swimming club 2014 // sweetsonian

{ diana jumping off a rope swing at beaver dam swimming club in maryland }

terrarium at the national botanic museum // sweetsonian

{ a terrarium at the national botanic museum // washington, dc }

hakata classic @ toki underground // sweetsonian

{ hakata classic, ramen from toki underground // washington, dc }

the view from the paddle boats, tidal basin, washington, dc // sweetsonian

{ the view from the paddle boats — we may or may not have smuggled cans of champagne onto our boat }

pop tarts at ted's bulletin on 14th street, washington, dc // sweetsonian

{ the pop tarts // ted’s bulletin on 14th street, washington, dc }

mac and cheese at ted's bulletin on 14th street, washington, dc // sweetsonianpop tarts at ted's bulletin on 14th street, washington, dc // sweetsonian

{ the mac and cheese // ted’s bulletin on 14th street, washington, dc }

the ted's burgh' at ted's bulletin on 14th street, washington, dc // sweetsonianpop tarts at ted's bulletin on 14th street, washington, dc // sweetsonian

{ the ted’s burgh’ // ted’s bulletin on 14th street, washington, dc }

Bonnie Blue Cafe // Winchester, VA

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

This weekend, Shaeda and I took the scenic route to Winchester, Virginia. It’s pretty much our favorite place to go thrift shopping (thank you, Sydney Liann). We took the toll-infused, beautiful Route 50 west through Virginia, aiming for a church thrift store in Upperville. The church was closed, but we stumbled upon an estate sale, where I purchased a couple of gorgeous stainless steel knives with wooden handles — for FOUR dollars. The real gem of the day was our brunch, also recommended by Sydney, and executed perfectly by Bonnie Blue.

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

The ladies were so warm and welcoming when we walked in, and literally everything on the menu sounded delicious, so it took a lot of effort to not order everything that was listed on the wall. Also, you know how much I love a good chalk wall. It was also just the perfect opportunity to take my new camera out for a drive!

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

They had a cute little coffee bar, and while I was far too caffeinated to purchase some at that moment, I did buy this bag of coffee beans below for the office — we swap many things, and coffee is one of them.

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

Shaeda ordered the pulled pork, cucumber salad, and mac and cheese (always her fave!) and I had a jumbo lump crab cake with eggs and grits. The crab cake was pretty amazing — and I loooooved that it wasn’t mostly bread crumbs. Just lumps and lumps of lump crab.

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

It didn’t last long. Naturally.

They also swore by their Turkish tea, which is another form of black tea, but just a tad bit stronger. Perfect for a mild (or hot) summer day.

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

Also, we ran into this cutie as we were leaving the estate sale. Isn’t Buster the cutest?

My favorite purchase of the day was this 1949 manual typewriter. I’m well on my way to having a shelf filled with typewriters for my next apartment.

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

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Around Town: Taan

Taan DC

Being an H Street girl (by way of Dupont), one of the many reasons I fell in love with my neighborhood had to do with a little Taiwanese ramen shop called Toki Underground. It was hip, had good music, and even more amazing food. And before Toki, I didn’t know ramen got much better than dried in an orange bag at 4 AM during finals week.

But… I was wrong.

Taan DC

I checked out Northwest DC’s newest ramen shop with a couple of close friends, one of whom had heard that it opened on the down-low. So we headed over, and for whatever reason, I was under the impression that it was a creation of Toki’s chef, Eric Bruner Yang (I found out on a second trip to Taan that they’re actually direct competitors, which made more sense).

Anyway, everything was phenomenal. We started off with a few cocktails in the upstairs waiting area — I had a vodka cocktail infused with some sort of lavender syrup. Their cocktail menu changes with the seasons, so I’m not sure if they still have the same one.

Taan DC

Taan DC

They have a number of great ramen dishes — I opted for a duck ramen option, though their vegetarian bowl was great too.

Taan DC

Anyway, this isn’t much of a restaurant review, as the post is belated. All in all, it makes a great date restaurant, and is a relatively undiscovered gem in Adams Morgan. I’d go back (and I have). And it isn’t always super busy, though that may change if they start publicizing more.

Continue reading “Around Town: Taan”