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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Elevation Burger - January 12, 2011

This week's burger quest took us to Elevation Burger which recently opened at the northwest corner of Hillcrest and Northwest Highway next to PK's Liquor Store. Elevation is a small chain that was founded in Virginia in 2005. Elevation Burger's slogan is "Ingredients Matter" and according to signs all around the restaurant, they focus on ingredients that are organic, sustainable and fresh. We entered the restaurant and noticed a clean, well-lit restaurant with a short line of people waiting to place their order at the register. While we waited, we looked over the menu which featured burgers including both beef, veggie and vegan, salads, shakes featuring Blue Bunny ice cream and side item choices of fresh cut fries cooked in olive oil or mandarin oranges. When it was my turn, I ordered an Elevation Burger which features two patties and real cheddar cheese (according to the menu) with caramelized onions, a side of fries and an ice tea for $11.47. I asked about adding bacon but I was told that there are no organic bacon producers in the US that could supply to the restaurant. I would think that if Chipotle can feature a more humanely raised pork that Elevation could use similar suppliers. Since all burgers are cooked to order, we waited about ten minutes before our name was called and the following burger was brought to the table:

At first I was surprised at how small the burger looked but I loved the appearance of melted cheddar, beef and caramelized onions on a fluffy hamburger bun. Both patties on the burger were coated a with good sized slice of cheddar and then the onions were placed on the top slice of cheese. I would estimated the patty was probably a quarter-pound before cooking. The bun had been lightly toasted on each side. Taking my first bite, I noticed a slight sweetness from the onions, earthiness from the cheddar but the flavor of the beef was featured foremost in this burger. The patties were lightly seasoned and while cooked medium-well, they were still very juicy in each bite. The flavor of the burger is hard to describe but I enjoyed it. I could really taste the gaminess of the beef which melded well with the other components on the burger. Next, I enjoyed how well the cheddar cheese, onions and bun complimented the burger in each bite. You could taste all three components but the flavor of the beef was still featured in each bite. Finally, I was skeptical at first about cooking the fries in olive oil. I wasn't sure that you could get olive oil hot enough to get a good crisp on the fries but the fries were excellent. They had a nice crunch in each bite and were salted perfectly. I really liked that Elevation sliced the fries fresh in small batches before cooking them.

Overall, I thought that Elevation Burger cooked a really good burger using fresh ingredients. This flavor of the beef may not be for everyone but I enjoyed the freshness and gaminess of it. The cheese was melted into a nice gooey consistency and blended well with the beef and onions. It was a well prepared burger that was served by the friendly staff of Elevation Burger who did a good job of checking on the guests. I will be back to try another burger at Elevation Burger and hopefully sometime in the future they can find a bacon purveyor.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 18, light fluffy bun, didn't fall apart

Meat - 21, good quality grass fed organic beef, cooked well, very juicy

Appearance - 20, smallish sized burger, nice layers of meat cheese and onions

Taste - 21, beef flavor foremost, lightly seasoned, high quality cheese, sweet onions

Overall - 80

Bonus Picture of Menu Board:

Elevation Burger on Urbanspoon

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