Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Elevation Burger

330spotlightTake a trip down S. Washington Street, heading out of Falls Church City. Find a spot to park in the often precarious lot at the Washington Market shopping plaza. Pop into Elevation Burger and order the namesake creation. Pick your toppings. Give your name. Have a seat. Hear the grill hiss as your burger is cooked and your name called when it’s ready to eat. Grab onto the half-wrapped burger and sink your teeth in.

Just like that, you’re chowing down on Falls Church’s favorite burger.

Four years running, Elevation Burger has taken top burger honors in the News-Press’ Best of Falls Church, and it’s easy to understand why this burger gets votes year after year.

A quality patty does part of the work. The all-beef patty that’s served double-stacked on the Elevation Burger is USDA-certified organic, from grass-fed, free-range cows. And it’s ground fresh in-house and cooked in olive oil, preferred as a heart-healthier option.

Still most will say that taste is what makes a burger, and Elevation doesn’t skimp there. Olive-oil grilling serves only to accent the beef’s flavor. And the texture? It finds a good middle ground. It’s juicy enough to satisfy even rare-burger eaters, but cooked through for those who don’t like to see pink in their meat. The patties are thin enough to grill up quick, but thick enough to put fast food burgers far out of mind.

What makes a plain burger better? Cheese is the easy answer. And the cheese here is six-month aged, unprocessed cheddar cheese that’s flavorful and worthy of being admired as two slices of the stuff stand up to the heat of the burger and only start to make a gooey grip around the patty after you’ve started digging in. A bit of fatty organic bacon can top the burger as well, as can the classic trio of lettuce, tomato, and pickle, or picks like caramelized onion and jalapenos. And for sauce, the tomato-based Elevation sauce is ready to impart some tangy sweetness to your burger creation.

But big, beefy burgers aren’t for everyone, and Elevation recognizes that. The Kid’s Burger serves a solo beef patty. The Half-the-Guilt Burger gives you one beef patty and one vegetable patty. Two kinds of veggie patties are offered here, one made with melty cheese right in the patty that binds the ground veggies together, and an all-vegan option with whole grains, corn, and carrots. There’s also the Grilled Cheese Sandwich, making the quality cheddar cheese here the star.

But for the hearty of appetite, those beef lovers for whom two patties just aren’t enough, there’s the Vertigo Burger, which gives the option to stack from three all the way up to 10 patties on that airy bun that can barely hang on with the weight of two juicy patties.

No burger is complete without French fries, and the thin, hand-cut-in-house, olive oil-fried variety here are quite crispy.

To wash it all down, there’s shakes and malts, made with hand-scooped ice cream (chocolate, vanilla, or coffee) with the option to add one or two toppings (like bananas, strawberries, blueberries, Oreos, and more) to get blended into a smooth, sippable treat (with a spoon for the occasional assist, especially useful with the thick malts).

Burgers, fries, and shakes are an indulgence foods, for sure, but they’re so much easier to enjoy when impact on health and environment are less of a worry. And that’s an important part of what makes the burgers at Elevation Burger Falls Church’s best.

Elevation Burger is located at 442 S. Washington St., Falls Church. For more information, call 703-237-4343 or visit Restaurant hours are Monday – Sunday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.