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Brgr:Shack Opens in Ballston

by ARLnow.com January 31, 2011 at 9:39 am 5,215 78 Comments

Arlington’s latest burger joint has opened for business.

Brgr:Shack serves 100% natural grass fed beef burgers in a light-filled, modernist setting across from the Ballston Metro at 4215 Fairfax Drive.

In addition to nine types of burgers, the restaurant serves fresh cut french fries, sweet potato fries, two types of salads, seven types of beer, shakes, ice cream and — coming soon — cupcakes.

(For those keeping score, burgers, salads, beer and cupcakes make up four of the six Arlington food groups. Only froyo and pizza are missing.)

Come spring, the restaurant is expected to start opening the garage door shown in the photos.

  • Lou

    That roll-up door and the hobo population on that block seem like two things that can not coexist.

  • JamesE

    I tried it Friday night, surprisingly good. And the burger was actually cooked medium and not over done like most places.

    • mehoo

      Restaurants cook their beef more well-done following the e. coli outbreaks of recent years.

      • charlie

        i think this is the same place that used to be a massage parlor, back in the 1970’s, so i guess the circle of life related to raw meat is now complete.

      • Joe

        You may find the following helpful:
        The deadliest form of E. Coli is more common than originally thought. Fortunately, grassfed animals are much less likely to transmit the disease.

        A study in the March 28th, 2000 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that as many as one out of every three cattle may play host to the deadliest strain of E. coli bacteria ( 0157:H) This is ten times higher than earlier estimates.

        As explained in more detail in Why Grassfed Is Best!, feeding cattle their natural diet of grass instead of grain greatly reduces the risk of disease transmission. Why? First, it keeps the overall bacteria count low. Second, it prevents the bacteria from becoming acid resistant. Acid-resistant bacteria are far more likely to survive the acidity of our normal digestive juices and cause disease. The first graph below illustrates the absolute numbers of E. coli bacteria found in grassfed versus grainfed animals. The second graph shows how many of the bacteria are likely to withstand our gastric juices. (Note: Grassfed animals have so few acid-resistant bacteria that the number fails to register on the scale of the graph.)

        One of the lead researchers on the project, USDA microbiologist James Russell, told a reporter for Science Magazine, “We were absolutely shocked by the difference. WE never found an animal that didn’t agree with the trend.”

        You should still take the normal precautions when handling and cooking grassfed meat, however. As few as ten E. coli bacteria can cause disease in people with weakened immune systems.

        (Diez-Gonzalez, F., et al. (1998). “Grain-feeding and the dissemination of acid-resistant Escherichia coli from Cattle.” Science 281, 1666-8.)

    • Hillary

      Agreed-tried them yesterday and I didn’t even remember to say medium but they cooked it that way anyway-glad there’s a burger place close to me.

  • mehoo

    So there’s a “brgr:shack” in Ballston, with another one coming to Clarendon, and a “BGR The Burger Joint” with a location on Lee Highway.

    Confusing. But delicious.

    • Virginia^2

      My usual running route is along the Custis Trail and I HATE running right by BGR and The Italian Store at Lee Highway and Spout Run. The overwhelming, delicious smell only serves to remind me that I have salad waiting back home 🙁

      • Michael

        Perhaps another running trail? 🙂

  • Ballston

    I walked by and saw it was open on my way to get dinner somewhere else, so I tried it.

    It was good, except they totally undercooked the meat, the thing was still mooing. This surprised me because it took a pretty long time for the sandwich to be prepared (almost 15 min); though I will give the timing a pass due to the opening kinks.

    I was getting mine to go and it seemed like they were either offended or surprised by my request for take out, unsure which it was. They gave me a HUGE bag and boxed the fries in a separate takeout container from the sandwich.

    My initial thought is that its meant to be a sit-down place. Its very “modern”…. so if you are into that kind of thing, this might be your place. By modern, I dont mean the stuff is new, I mean its got a metrosexual type of vibe…. very weird.

    But if you want to get a burger and a beer, you are better off somewhere else like rays, bgr the burger joint by italian store, or even big buns.

    • mehoo

      A metrosexual burger joint. Hmmm.

    • shirley

      italian store doesnt’ do burgers.

      but wouldn’t their issue possibly be about taking it home and it being cold by time you got home? alot of food doesn’t taste, much less look, good after a 10 minute walk home on a cold night.

      • Ballston

        Please learn to read prior to making incorrect statements. I never said Italian Store did burgers.

        And if they are so concerned their undercooked burgers wouldnt be good taken out, they should just say so and not do takeout at all. Its a burger shop, I would assume the majority of their orders would be take out. Are you serious.

        • mehoo

          Awesome, a fight brewing over a misreading of a sentence and the burning issue of whether to take a burger home or eat it on-site. Another day on the Internet.

          • Rick

            and allenb is nowhere to be seen on this. I would ask an Italian Store related question here but don’t want my head ripped off

          • AllenB

            Oh, I’m here. But today I have more important things to do than add to the 40+ comments about a new burger place…. zzzzz…….

          • Clarendude

            I’ll weigh in on this important issue and confess that I did takeout burgers from Ray’s HB on Sunday. At Ray’s they won’t pack your burger for you but give you a plate and access to takeout containers, utensils, etc. for you to pack yourself. Seems to work fine and the burgers made it home deliciously.

          • OX4

            I did take out from Ray’s HB once and it was a disaster. By the time I had gone one block my hamburger bun was a soggy mess of spongy grease. It was almost (*almost*) as bad as a Five Guys carry out.

          • Clarendude

            That was the first time I did take out, had to go further than a block, and it was totally awesome. Especially since there is no beer in Ray’s and there was in my fridge!

          • shirley

            i keep saying i should get my money back from the speed reading class.
            of course if people would capitalize it would be easier to know which words are nouns and which aren’t, but we played that out last week too.
            i stand totally tarred feathers and somewhat corrected. oh i hate monday.
            i did carry-out from Hard Times Cafe. by time I got home it was a solid mass and i never have eaten there again. if it is a GOOD resetaurant it should not do take out.

    • Maria

      1. I was just there, and they asked if I wanted mine to stay or to go, and they had take out bags, so I can’t imagine they were surprised considering they were prepared for take out orders. I’m guessing it was more the fact that they were just opening.

      2. I totally get what you mean about “metrosexual”… it’s a weird way to describe a place, but it really is accurate! Does not seem like a burger place.

  • BallstonDude

    What’s the pricing? Haven’t stopped in yet. Is their free parking?

    • BallstonDude


    • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

      Given the location there is going to be pretty limited parking of any type. You might find a space behind the little strip of stores if you turn down Taylor St., at the Chinese restaurant, headed north, and make another right into the parking lot.

    • AnotherBallstonDude

      you have 2 feet, what are you concerned about parking for? Are you that lazy?

    • Maria

      Regular cheeseburger (called the m:brgr, whatever that means) was $6.99; fancier ones with different toppings were a dollar or two more, I think… didn’t look that closely.

  • O.C.

    My partners and I are looking into opening a pub along Columbia Pike. Editors, what’s the going rate for a nice writeup about our establishment? Is there a “volume discount” if we go for a couple of construction-stage updates along with a writeup of our grand opening? Thanks so much.

    • Rick

      bad shtick

  • All of these burger places in the area, and still not a Johnnie’s Burgers. It was an Oklahoma City tradition, Chili burgers, Cesar burgers, frankfurter burger. If one of these new burger shops needs a competitive edge, please look at the this menu: http://www.johnniesok.com/html/menu.php and mimic – best burgers I’ve ever had.

    • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

      Wish they had one of those in Tulsa for when I go to visit a buddy. Surprised they don’t. Mmmmm.

    • Harold and Kumar

      We need a WHITE CASTLE up in here!

  • BrownFlipFlops

    …aaaaaand the SECOND day they have the garage door open, Arlington code enforcement will be there to cite them, we’ll debate the story in the comments section, lawyers will maneuver for six months to a year, and the end product will be something much less than what they wanted.

  • arlcyclist

    Too bad they’re going with fountain drinks from Coke. District Taco has the right idea with the pure cane sugar Boylan’s soda… mmm… birch beer…

    • mehoo

      Boylan’s is awesome. Chop’t has it too. At least Coke beats Pepsi and it’s selection of completely undrinkable junk.

  • Seriously when is FroZenYo going come to Arlington? I dislike the “tart” yogurt craze. I prefer the sweet yogurt that FroZenYo serves (with excellent toppings!)

    • Radar

      I e-mailed them and they told me that most likely this summer. They aren’t sure of the exact location yet either. I am looking forward them as well! Their great variety is much better than tart yogurt!


    Why are there not more “PHO” restaurants in Arlington. FREDTERP

    • mehoo

      There are plenty, but they’re all in the Eden Center. MEHOO

      • Ballston


    • SD

      Come on, Pho is SO Falls Church! Arlington is more pizza and bars with “upscale” (overpriced) dining rooms.

      • JamesE

        Anyone want to open up an upscale Pho place with me? Need investments asap. We can call it the PhoRoom or American Pho.

        • SD

          Liberty Pho or Mad Pho Tavern?

          • mehoo

            Serve frozen yogurt with it and call it Pho Yo.


    meho I didn’t say Falls Church? FREDTERP

    • mehoo

      Close enough. Do you want Pho or not?

    • Rick

      you can see eden center from arlington, close enough.

      • mehoo

        If you can smell the Pho from here, it counts.

  • mehoo

    Someday Wilson Blvd. will be a string of alternating burger joints with “BGR” or “BRGR” or “BRgr shack-joint” or whatever in their names and frozen yogurt places called “FroYo” or “FroZen Yo” or “Fro” or “FroGo YoGo” with the occasional cupcake outlet in between.

    • Katie

      Goal: 110 lbs and a 25 inch waist by Spring = no bgrs, froYo, cupcakes, or other junk. Thank you.

      • AllenB

        Unless you’re 4’6″, isn’t that borderline anorexic?

        • Katie


        • mehoo

          Looked it up – if she’s over about 5′ 4″ she’d be on the borderline of underweight.

          • AllenB

            That still seems alarmingly thin.

          • Katie

            I’m 5’2″ when I stretch.

          • Cyrus

            You people crack me up. Thanks for the laugh.

      • JamesE

        I’m trying to hit 450 lbs and get a motorized chair.

    • JamesE

      Utopia, just needs more pizza.

      • kc

        Down in Rosslyn, just off Wilson between the Baja Fresh and CVS, there is an indication that a pizza place is going in.

        • mehoo

          There’s a trail of cheese?

  • Jason

    Can someone find out what they are going to be opening in the old video store in Potomac Yard by the Hair Cuttery? I saw workers in there this morning when I went to that shopping center.

  • Henry Spencer

    My ideas for Pho Q and What the Pho? are already taken.

    • Don’t forget the creatively-named Pho King in Alexandria.

    • dss

      Why don’t you call it “Mo Pho” or perhaps you could go the indochine route and call it “Faux” or better yet “Pho Pas?”

      • dss

        “Wha it”s Pho!”

        • Jason

          It’s close enough to the Crystal City area…

  • Henry Spencer

    Dang, there’s already a Mo Pho too. That’s another good one.


    Have you been to the LA Bar and Grill on Columbia Pike. Arlnow needs to devote less coverage to the Clarendon Ballroom crowd? FREDTERP

  • Just Me

    I had a burger there Saturday, I thought it was a little dry and not much flavor. Service was good, I will give it one more try. Not sure how well this will do.

  • Mike

    Does anyone know if this is the new burger joint moving into Reston Town Center?

    Yesterday I noticed that Marvlous Market there has closed and in the window there’s a sign saying a new brand of organic burgers is coming.

  • North Adams Snob

    As much as I dearly love burgers, I really can’t say this is much progress for Arlington. I mean, c’mon this is burger central here. While I’ve always enjoyed Arlington’s striving to be a (cleaner, safer) mini-version of Brooklyn, this fecundity of burger places is becoming ridiculous. And our fair county was voted one of the fitest in the nation? P-lease. Just remember lurkdom, for ever burger thou eatest, you’ll be adding to the hours thy spends in the gym (another Arlington staple. Hmmm…lots of burger joints…lots of gyms. Is it true that coincedence is not causation? Inquiring minds want to know.) Now. Pass the ketchup please, and yes, I will have the fries with that. 😉


      “While I’ve always enjoyed Arlington’s striving to be a (cleaner, safer) mini-version of Brooklyn”

      HA! Arlington and Brooklyn have so little in common that they may as well exist in different universes. Do you mean to say that they’re similar because…they are across the river from their respective “main city”?

  • G

    Just had lunch here today. The burger and sweet potato fries were very good, but comparable to Big Buns in quality and about 50% more expensive.

  • Dan

    I’d rather have an Elevation Burger there. EB HQ is in Clarendon, but they don’t have a location on the Wilson Blvd corridor.

  • A~town

    Been going by this place when the eye sore ‘Eat n Run Deli’ existed..and WOW SO GLAD, that brgr:shack showed up. This place is good. Its so clean inside, the staff is awesome, and their burgers and shakes are yummm-o. I cant wait to enjoy a burger and beer when it gets warmer and they pull up the garage door. Why hate on more burger places? We should have one on every corner. Each of these places have something different to offer. If you don’t like it, go to 7-eleven, they have fresh hot dogs for you.


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