Ray’s Hell-Burger, City Vista

(Click here for the May 21, 2011 Review.)

I went to the City Vista (and only remaining) location of Ray’s Hell-Burger last night. We each got a large The Funky President ($10), one order of French Fries ($3.50, enough for two), and a Diet Cheerwine ($3).

It had been quite awhile since I’d had a Hell-Burger, perhaps going on two years, and I’m happy to say that these burgers seem to be as good as ever. “The magic is in the meat,” and these really taste like someone stuck a steak in a grinder, ground it, and cooked it up as a patty. “The Funky President” is served with aged Vermont Cheddar and a slice of tomato, and it’s just a great combination of flavors.

I used a little Gulden’s mustard as dipping sauce for my fries (I know, I know), and the sandwich itself was terrific when dabbed in the Gulden’s. The fries seemed like they were lightly dusted with Old Bay Seasoning, were long and thick – almost steak fries but not quite – and were served fresh from the fryer.

My only “beef” with the meal is the aesthetics of how the burgers are served – in a little recycled-cardboard oyster-shell. The problem with this is that the substantial grease from the burger drips and pools, and is pretty unappealing. It’s also partially absorbed by the paper, but if it were served on a plate – even a paper plate – the fries could pick up some of the juices from the burger. (Now that I’m typing this, I realize I could have put the fries underneath the burger in the oyster-shell and approximated the same result.)

Anyway, the consensus is that this was a terrific burger-and-fries meal, and even though I’m sorry Ray’s Hell-Burger is no longer in Arlington, you can still get there from the 14th Street Bridge in ten minutes without traffic. I would still recommend this to anyone coming in from out-of-town.

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