Check, Please: Ray’s Hell Burger

Building up diplomatic relations, one burger at a time.

Living in the DC area is a lot like living in Hollywood–sometimes you go about your business secretly hoping you’ll catch a glimpse of a famous person who is rumored to be in a nearby area at a certain time on a certain day. Except that famous person happens to be the freakin’ leader of the free world.

Today, some of my co-workers and I headed over to Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, which was made famous back in 2009 when President Obama and Vice President Biden grabbed lunch there, and again in 2010 when Obama brought Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to introduce him to our fine American cuisine. Because, you know, nothing says “Welcome to America” better than stuffing your face with a gigantic slab of  juicy beef drowning in cheese, produce and sauce.

Incidentally, Obama was scheduled to deliver a speech about the economy at a fire station near Dr. J’s office today as well, so I was secretly hoping that maybe he’d drop in on his favorite burger joint after the event while we were still there.

No such luck, at least not today. But the experience was kickass nonetheless. I hadn’t eaten much all morning to prepare my stomach for the massive feast that was to come, so I was about ready to pass out while waiting for my burger and fries. When it finally arrived, however, I nearly passed out again–but for a different reason:

Behold the Dogcatcher burger, complete with roasted bone marrow. ::cue angel chorus::

That, my friends, is Ray’s Dogcatcher burger with–wait for it–roasted bone marrow. OH YES I DID.

I’ve never thought of putting bone marrow in a burger, so when I saw it on the menu, it had to be mine. Granted, not everyone will agree with me on the bone marrow thing–I think it’s an acquired taste, much like foie gras, mainly because it’s basically pure fat. Meat butter, if you will.

The burger was pretty simple–1/3 pound of aged ground steak, house-made potato roll, lettuce and tomato, no additional sauce or condiments–but once I spread that rich, beefy goodness all over the burger, it was pure heaven. It adds this amazing unctuousness to the burger that immediately elevated me to Burger Nirvana. I was a happy girl, even though I could feel my skinny jeans get tighter with every bite. (Note to self: Do not wear skinny jeans to Ray’s Hell Burger. Period.)

No way this combination can be legal.

For those who have never tried bone marrow or are afraid of it because it just seems plain unnatural, you might be interested to know that First Nations peoples in Canada actually prize the bone marrow of caribou and moose over their muscle meat. Read up on it here on,  a blog about all the rich, fatty delicious things that make life worth living.

And if you’re ever in the Arlington area, give Ray’s Hell Burger a spin. Chances are you won’t meet the president, but you will probably meet a burger you won’t soon forget.

Have a happy–and delicious–weekend, everyone!

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Filed under check, please, Food

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