Deciding the best way to get in touch with the aesthetic of the place was in the food, I decided that sitting down and ordering off the menu was probably my best shot. I went with a veggie burger and the garlic fries. This was perhaps not the best decision. The cooks seem to have mistaken garlic for oily, giving me an ungodly pile of greasy french fries with no real distinguishable seasoning. The veggie burger was better, but the addition of BBQ sauce instead of mustard rendered the thing nearly unpalatable. All in all, I’ve seen better burgers from fast food joints- and those probably use horsemeat.
A sort of restaurant manifesto in a cup, BGR boldly claims to have “quality that stands apart” and lauds itself on using the “highest quality ingredients.” It then cites awards it won from local publications, many of which don’t get a year- not the best sign, to be certain. However, the one thing I can laud is that they have consistent branding.
The decor of the restaurant seems to be some sort of “hole in the wall chic,” combining plain wood furniture, white painted concrete, and a perpetual soundtrack of 80s rock. I could not exactly pin down what the restaurant was going for- it was too bland to go for any real aesthetic.
The art of the plain, unassuming burger has been lost in urban America as our palates expanded, leading to the bounty of condiments the modern restaurant seems to offer. While it’s cut off in the image, you’re also given the option of cheeses and “specialty” toppings like avocado. Thankfully for me, the veggie burger was an option.
If you stop outside Kramerbooks and take a turn, you will get your first look at BGR, located in a subdivision of a former bank building, whose facade it inherits. Through some turn of fate it’s plot is bordered by two other ‘trendy’ chain restaurants- the DC-area Chipotle spinoff Chophouse and salad joint Sweetgreen. It’s a mostly unassuming exterior, maintaining identical fonts to its normal branding.