Come for the Burgers, Leave with the Shakes.
Like the ubiquitous Five Guys, it’s a no frills burger shack that knows what it does and does it tastefully. The patty (or patties if you so choose—no one will blame you) packs juices in every incisor-sinking bite. The comparisons to Five Guys are inevitable and warranted, from the freshness and flavor of the beef to the lunch-counter ambience. The burgers themselves grade favorably, and patrons wishing to pack their burger to the brim have even more choices from the almost two dozen free toppings, including the thousand island-based and Cajun-spiced zesty Z Sauce. Or for another 75 cents, you can plop on a glob of guac or stack on a pair of onion rings—which you can also get on the side, along with spicy-seasoned fries.
Extras: Despite the commitment to making one of the best burgers in town, Z also branches out with other tempting offerings that include a Philly cheesesteak, a bacon cheese dog, and even turkey or veggie burgers. (Although the last one might irk some burger purists, it’s good business, since one of its two locations, is near one of the U.S. most vegetarian-friendly campuses, American University.) But Z’s most impressive extra effort is the choice of 75 flavors of malts and shakes to wash down the last bits of beef and leave a lingering taste of butterscotch, birthday cake, or tiramisu.
Locations: 2414 Wisconsin Ave. NW (Glover Park)
4321 Wisconsin Ave. NW (Tenleytown)
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