Young and Hungry

Now Open: High-Tech Bolt Burgers


Add one more name to D.C.'s gourmet burger crazeBolt Burgers opened yesterday at 1010 Massachusetts Ave. NW with a high-tech ordering system to set itself apart from the likes of Shake Shack, Smashburger, and Black & Orange.

If you're eating in, a greeter will take you to your table and hand you an iPad-like tablet from which to place your order and swipe your credit card. The food is then brought to you at your table on real—not paper or plastic—plates. Grabbing something to go? A touch-screen kiosk near the entrance lets you place your order (or you can just go up to the register and interact with a human being.) Starting soon, Bolt Burgers will introduce an online ordering system so you can get your meal even faster. (Read more about Bolt Burgers' gadgetry and other restaurant technology in last week's Y&H column.)

Bolt Burgers comes from three local eye doctors—Michael Davidson, Ender Adam, and George Brown—and Restaurant Consultants Inc. founder Joe Spinelli. (Maybe the eye doctors were hoping to boost their business with all those screens?) Chef Troy Clayton, who owns Geranio Restaurant in Alexandria and consults with Restaurant Consulting Inc., helped develop the menu. 

Diners can build their own burger for $6.99 or try one of the signature burgers, which range from $7.99 to $10.99. The patties—angus beef, ground turkey, chicken breast, or vegetarian black bean—all get a "bolt of spice" with flavors like chili with cumin and paprika, yellow curry, and toasted peppercorn and herb. The spice mixes are also placed at every table along with other condiments. From there, Bolt Burgers tops its burgers with a variety of sauces (tomato and sweet basil; habanero, cilantro, lime) as well as relishes (crunchy Asian slaw; grilled mushrooms).

Not craving a burger? There are a grilled cheese and salads, too, including a "burger bowl" with greens instead of a bun. Sides include fries that can also be topped with any of the spice mixes as well as onion rings and crispy green beans. Instead of shakes, Bolt offers smoothies. Or better yet, beer and wine.


Bolt Burgers, 1010 Massachusetts Ave. NW; (202) 320-9200;

Photos by Jessica Sidman

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  • Nathan

    After 3 visits and 3 disappointments Bolt Burgers is a big thumb down. Extremely overpriced, under cooked, dry and flavorless burgers and totally uninspiring fries. An over whelming amount of employees with only a sprinkle of customers has led to bad attitudes, clear boredom, and a lack of interest in any type of customer interaction at all. Unless you're interested in using their 1990's type kiosk to place your order, It's difficult to find an employee that wants to use the register or take your order. Atmosphere isn't warm or neighborhood inviting, it's cold and corporate. Bolt Burgers is lacking a good management team to oversee their quality of customer service, and the quality of the food on their lackluster menu. Entering a Burger restaurant should be a warm, neighborhood experience where "everybody knows your name". Certainly not here. Onion Rings are descent, Coke machine is awesome. Iced tea is very bad. Any restaurant not serving Gold Peak Iced Tea doesn't know Iced Tea.