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Martial Foodie's Joy of Fine Dining Guide: KRAZE BURGER, Gourmet Casual Dining in Washington, DC Area

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The Asian sensation Kraze Burger wows burger-oisseurs in the DC area with its flavorful and well-composed burgers: 1. Bulgogi Burger; 2. Matiz Burger; 3. Megabite Burger with Blue and Mozzarella Cheeses (not currently on the menu) and Asparagus with Parmesan; 4. Matiz with Extra Patty; 5. Sweet Potato Fries; 6. Watermelon Juice and Frozen Yogurt.

“Joy of Fine Dining Guide” is Martial Foodie‘s in-depth reviews of very favorite restaurants around the DC area and the nation in order to help diners maximize their culinary experiences.

What makes it fine: Burgers are a hot inexpensive comfort food in the DC area, and Kraze Burger has become the best casual for burgers my dining companion and I have experienced—flavor, harmony, and a virtuous (not greasy) feeling afterwards.  Started in South Corea by a lover of American burgers, Kraze Burger has become a popular chain across East and Southeast Asian countries, opening its first U.S. location in Bethesda, Maryland.  Bright and cheery, its friendly and inviting appearance belies its gourmet experience of fine burgers, sides, beverages (sugar cane sodas, juices, and organic milk), and outstanding frozen yogurt!  Utilizing naturally-raised, hormone/antibiotic-free, and grain-fed beef, Kraze Burger’s patties (also available in turkey or tofu) are full of flavor, sealed on a hot grill to lock in its juices, and cooked thoroughly while still being very juicy—all sandwiched between two buns—substantial enough to hold all the wet ingredients while still being creamy (not mealy) when chewed.

Cost: $5.95-$18.55 (pre-tax/tip/alcohol per person).

The Occasion: When you want to eat a delicious wholesome meal without spending a fortune or laboring away in your own kitchen, Kraze Burger has you covered from fine burgers to fro-yo at a very affordable price.

Recommended Dishes: Among the burgers, the Matiz Burger and current monthly special Bulgogi Burger are our favorites.  The former’s best asset is the barbecue grilled onions, which provides a sweet and smoky bite that brings together the bacon, beef, and cheese (eschewing the American cheese for Swiss works nicely here with its dry savoriness) with the crisp lettuce, pickles, and premium tomatoes on a buttery bun.  While the Matiz will feed a decent appetite, add another beef patty to it satisfy a ravenous appetite by turning the Matiz into two open-faced burgers for just $2.50 more.

The Bulgogi Burger is thinly-sliced rib-eye meat that is lightly sweet with the Corean soy sauce-based marinade topped with cheese (again, Swiss is a great choice), fresh onion, lettuce, and tomato.  As with the Matiz, the Bulgogi will get a pleasant shot of spiciness and tart cleanse from a side of pickled jalapeños.  Another fun burger (not currently on the menu) was the Megabite—a double patty, double cheese burger with BBQ sauce, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, and onions on a whole wheat bun.  Instead of the default American cheese, I asked for one Blue and one Mozzarella, which resulted in a gooey fondue of the latter holding together the intensely earthy and crumbly former.

To accompany the burgers are bright Sweet Potato Fries and Asparagus Spears.  The former has a vibrant hue and crispy outside contrasting the tender inside, and the latter is nutty and nicely charred then dusted with Parmesan cheese.

For a sweet finish is some of the best Frozen Yogurt (plain flavor, of course) around.  Refreshing, lightly tart, and sturdily smooth without lots of crystals, Kraze Burger’s Frozen Yogurt provides the perfect base for top-notch strawberries, blueberries, mango, kiwi, and pineapples for a healthy dessert (or appetizer).  Another sweet choice is the seasonal Watermelon Juice made of fresh watermelon, honeydew, lemon, and mango—wonderfully fragrant and pleasantly sweet.

What to Avoid: Nothing major to note.

Special Tips: They are flexible with adjusting ingredients, so don’t be shy about replacing the default American cheese with something more interesting .  They also offer a weekday lunch combo that includes a burger with fries and drink for $8.95.

For more information about Kraze Burger, click here.