1990 M St. NW; (202) 659-1990
To the best of our knowledge, President Obama still hasn’t chomped down on R.J. Cooper’s hamburger at Vidalia, but that is no doubt because the chef’s bar burger doesn’t get all the press that the patties under Michael Landrum and Spike Mendelsohn’s supervision do. (God, I’d love to see Landrum’s face at the mention of his name next to Mendelsohn’s!) If life were fair, the Commander in Cheese would descend the stairs at Vidalia and bite into Cooper’s superb two-handed specimen; Cooper grinds short ribs, sirloin, chuck, and ribeye, and then pairs that loose patty with aged Amish cheddar, Tennessee’s finest Benton’s bacon, housemade catsup, Bibb slaw, and a slice of heirloom tomato in season. The hefty $16-plus price gets you more than this juicy beef bomb, too. It gets you shoestring fries or potato chips and housemade pickled vegetables. Even with those additions, of course, no one will mistake this for some Five Guys value combo—and that’s a good thing.