When you think of the perfect burger, what comes to mind? A perfect cheese-to-meat ratio? A crispy, buttery sesame bun? Or maybe it’s a messy yet delicious overflow of condiments that tickle your fancy.
Whatever it may be, our most recent partner has mastered the art and science of crafting the perfect patty. In fact, their motto is “a delicious burger is your right – perhaps ever your responsibility.” They believe that a great patty paired with a cold brew is a basic freedom that Americans should always have the opportunity to enjoy. So, without further a due, let us introduce you to none other than Citizen Burger Bar in Arlington, Virginia.
Citizen Burger Bar is a one-of-a-kind eatery that serves up some of the best American cuisine using only the freshest products from local farms, bakery’s and breweries. Headquartered in Charlottesville, Va., Citizen Burger believes that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication: the products they serve patrons contain no hormones or artificial flavors, and all meat served comes from grass-fed cows and free-range chickens. In light of this, each bite of one of Citizen’s yummy creations packs a stronger more flavorful punch and is much healthier to consume.
To top things off (literally), Citizen doesn’t miss a beat. Everything from the meat to the toppings to the bun are locally sourced and made with love.
Currently, their beef is sourced from Timbercreek Farm in Charlottesville, Va. which practices humane, sustainable, and natural methods. For Citizen, it’s extremely important that an animal’s life be ended with respect and dignity in order to avoid mistreatment and accidents. Because of this, the farms that supply Citizen with its meat handle less than a dozen cattle a day.
The brioche and baguette buns used on sandwiches are sourced from Baguette Republic in Sterling, Va., while their vegan buns are a product of Sticky Fingers Bakery located right in the heart of D.C.
Even the cheese is crafted locally. Citizen’s signature McClure Swiss is sourced from Mountain View cheese in Fairfield, Va., while other unique cheeses such as Tillamook are from a collection of dairy farms located in Oregon. (We also have to acknowledge that the house-made pimento cheese was our favorite!)
Now that you have a good idea of the type of wholesome products Citizen Burger serves, let’s talk about the dishes we were lucky enough to experience:
1. The drinks
Citizen offers an extensive list of beers, wines, and specialty cocktails. We started off the evening with a bottle of Potter’s Farmhouse Dry Cider (pictured below) that contains 7 percent alcohol, and comes in a whopping 24-ounce bottle. Trust us when we say you will need someone to share this with (unless you are just that thirsty/awesome).
2. The appetizer
Per the direction of our amazing waiter Shamir, we ordered a giant plate of crispy, golden-fried taters topped with a mix of melted cheeses, crispy bacon, jalepenos, and served with a side of house-made ranch (he had us at bacon!) Each fry was covered in cheese melted to perfection, and the bacon was crisp and non-greasy. The ranch was the perfect combination of creamy and tangy, which paired nicely with the spice of the jalepeno. Just check out the madness below!
Check out this ranch action:
3. The entree
We first tried the signature “Citizen Burger” that consists of Timbercreek beef, McClure Swiss, black onion (sautéed onion), and topped with lettuce, tomato, garlic aioli, and – here’s the kicker – a full fried pickle, all on a brioche bun. We should also mention that Citizen’s brands the top of each of their brioche buns with their monogram. Don’t believe us? See for yourselves!
Our second entree (yes, our second) was the “Hotness” burger – the Big Mac of all burgers. Timbercreek beef is topped with jalapeño Jack cheese, siracha mayo, grass-fed chili, fresh jalapeño, onion, and tomato all on toasted house brioche. The burger itself was the perfect amount of spice (we did pick off a couple jalapeños but only because we can’t eat the seeds!), and the chili provided a nice twist to an otherwise classic burger.
Citizen also provides guests the option to order 1/2 pound “custom burgers” which come cooked red, pink, or no pink with a choice of bun, cheese, an assortment of unlimited free toppings, and an opportunity to up the ante and include premium toppings such as fried egg, pit-smoked pork belly, or Maine Lobster.
4. The dessert
If you’re still with us at this point (and we hope you are!) and don’t feel overwhelmingly full just by reading this blog post, you should know that the most anticipated portion of any meal is dessert. At Citizen’s, the dessert menu is short, but anyone will agree that quantity doesn’t always mean quality. Diners can choose from a slice of birthday cake or key lime pie (we chose the latter). To make this an even “sweeter” choice, we learned that even the pie is locally sourced, and is delivered fresh every Thursday and Friday. (Side note: take a closer look at that graham cracker crust…fresh coconut!)
Now that you’ve seen first hand the level of professionalism and passion that Citizen Burger puts into every bite of their delicious creations, why don’t you go pay them a visit? Supporting local business while fueling your body with wholesome, natural, ingredients is a win-win. What are you waiting for? Tell them the East Coast Contessas sent you.