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Ask anyone what’s missing from the D.C. food scene, and they’re not likely to respond with “another upscale burger joint.” But that hasn’t stopped Washington native and former Top Chef contestant Timothy Dean from opening a second outpost of TD Burger in NoMa today.
“With the economy, I’m just looking at doing something simple,” he says. “I think that looking at the neighborhood, my price points are right, and the community is young. They’re down with hanging out, down with having a burger.”
“Also, I’m a burger fanatic,” he adds, laughing.
Dean’s patties have two secrets that he says separate them from others: they’re made with Angus beef that has a slightly higher fat content, and he mixes in a special spice rub he gets from a guy named Nick in Baltimore. (He won’t say what’s in the rub, because then it wouldn’t be a secret. Nick’s full identity: also secret.)
These ingredients go into nine burgers named for presidents (like The Obama, with sweet Maui onions, Swiss cheese, honey mustard, and watercress), Supreme Court justices (The Sonia from the Bronx burger, with avocado, cheddar, roasted mushrooms, and grilled romaine), and other notables (there’s a foie gras, rhubarb, and truffle-covered Jean-Louis, named in honor of famed French chef Jean-Louis Palladin, whom Dean worked alongside for 12 years). The menu also includes pizzas, three types of wings, several salads, and a selection of 65 beers and 30 wines. Menu items range from $6 to $16, with burgers and salads at the lower end of the spectrum and pizzas at the higher end.
Dean’s new restaurant is slightly bigger than his original location at the Boulevard at Capital Centre in Largo, with seating for 65 inside and another 50 out on the patio. Diners order at the counter when they first arrive and then claim a table. While they wait, they can watch one of five wide-screen televisions that hang on the bright-blue walls, each showing a different professional sports game.
TD Burger, 250 K St. NE; (202) 456-2433
Photo courtesy TD Burger