The Southwestern at BGR The Burger Joint

After staring at the menu for months, I decided to finally pay a visit to BGR The Burger Joint in Bethesda, Maryland.  With 5 locations in the DC/MD/VA area with another 2 on the way, BGR is more of a small local chain that makes me happy to reside in the DC Metro area.  Do not fear outsiders!  There’s also a BGR in South Carolina and one on the way in Alabama. For the rest of you, well I’m sure you’ve got something I’d be jealous of too.

I’ve made it known in the past that I’m not really a “big burger guy”. The Southwestern ($8.99) at BGR The Burger Joint isn’t a monster, but it’s still a good-sized beast (9oz patty) that is totally worth the price.

As described by BGR:

A fan favorite during the 2008 election cycle. A 9oz burger infused with southwestern influences, like chipotles, poblanos, onion and chilis. Topped with pepper jack and served atop our black bean salsa. Served on a fresh, buttery-toasted brioche bun with our mojo sauce.

I normally order my burgers medium-well, and from the looks of the picture you might think I got it well-done.  I assure you I went for medium-well and other than the charred “looking” exterior or maybe lighting issues, the burger was indeed cooked the way I like.  Spicy from the first bite, you’re getting shots of pepper jack cheese (that completely drapes the burger with melted perfection) and a peppery burger that has retained it’s natural juices that doesn’t have to compete with the mojo sauce. With the mojo sauce, you’re getting subtle hints of paprika and garlic, but mostly it’s quite muted when being accompanied by so much else.  The black bean salsa is a mixture of black beans and corn that screams “southwest” through and through.  And just look at that bun!  Toasted to perfection, crisp along the edges and just the right size to contain everything going on in between.  I went with a side of sweet potato fries (The Orange Standard) for $3.99 and they were quite good, but why oh why didn’t I get the thick-cut, beer battered sweet Vidalia onion rings?  It’s on my radar for next time.

Do yourself a favor and seek out BGR if you’ve got one nearby.  They’ve got some interesting choices (The Cuban, The Greek, an Ahi Tuna Burger). I see the quote “One burger YOU MUST HAVE before you die” on the BGR website and I’d say The Southwestern is on my short list of last meal choices.  Or if you want to just eat a burger and then possibly die, risk your life with the 9-pounder.  Good luck!
BGR: the Burger Joint on Urbanspoon

12 comments on “The Southwestern at BGR The Burger Joint

  1. Josh says:

    I’m usually in agreement with you…but when I went there…meh…maybe I have to give it another go-round

  2. Adam says:


    I can’t wait for the Columbia location to open. So hitting that up. I love the crust on that burger. A good sear really leads to that fatty-sweet meat flavor that only beef can give you.

    I am really eyeing that turkey burger though. Cooking it sous vide sounds, well, interesting. I think I need to try that, along with “The Cuban”. Great review dude

  3. Rachel says:

    I’d like to see a picture of the inside of that burger … glad you mentioned it was cooked correctly, my first thought was WHOA, over done!

  4. Nando says:

    If you’re in DC, you might as well drive to Ray’s Hell Burger in Rosslyn, especially if you really aren’t a Burger person. I have searched far and wide and still haven’t found a better burger anywhere.

  5. Mattitude says:

    Nothing can beat Mooyah Burgers or Five Guys in Texas! But to each his own!

    • skippymom says:

      Five Guys has branched all the way to Texas? Wow – I knew they franchised out of Northern VA a few years back but I didn’t realize they had gone so far west. I knew they went up and down the east coast [so weird to see one in SC] but Texas is wiggy.

      They haven’t been the same since they exploded. I miss the original Five Guys in our old neighborhood. Sigh. They did have the best burgers and fries.

  6. Dan N says:

    Glad to see there is another sweet potato fry fan out there. BTW where is your rating? I couldn’t care less about what urban spoon thinks, if I did I would visit their website and not grub grade.

  7. Isaac says:

    When I had the Southwestern, I thought it was pretty good. The thing I didn’t like was how it was kinda like a sloppy joe instead of a burger.
    My favorites there are the Greek and the Cuban.

  8. rob says:

    So you have Mojo Sauce and Black Bean Salsa?

  9. mitchery says:

    Ryan, I want to go here. Let me know whens a good time. Being that I bowed my head in shame to the 10 year old that was able to beat me at the one pound challenge…I doubt I’ll go for the 9lb’er.

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