Fine dining is a funny thing. Although a meal at a great restaurant can become a cherished memory, top spots can intimidate diners. Intending to attract more casual diners, Trummer’s on Main in Clifton, Va., about 40 minutes outside of Washington, D.C., is offering a down-home and all-American burger bar.
And it’s not the first time this has happened either. Last year’s three-week pop-up burger bar was so successful that the restaurant decided to bring it back from March 11 until May 29. Trummer’s is located on this quaint, historical Main street in the city that harkens back to the area’s country roots — train tracks and small, family-run shops included. The building Trummer’s occupies dates back to 1869, and the restaurant is gorgeous too. After entering, you’ll be greeted by a bar to your left and a wine cellar along with a private dining room on the ground floor. The restaurant’s centerpiece is a light-filled, perfect-for-rehearsal dinners Atrium on the second floor. The room exudes elegance and even includes outdoor dining with a waterfall backdrop.
Next up is the restaurant’s Gallery Room, named after the many paintings hanging up on the walls. I personally loved the retro touches of Humphrey Bogart and Elizabeth Taylor’s portraits posted on the doors of the men’s and women’s restrooms. The Gallery seats 50 and is home of the burger bar. And the burgers do not disappoint. I have to say that I was impressed by each and every creation. First up was the vegetarian option — the falafel burger with grilled haloumi and tzatziki sauce. I loved the texture of this burger and how the flavors were combined. I’m always delighted to find a veggie option that doesn’t fall flat, and this one would impress even the most dedicated carnivores.
The Surf and Turf Burger was a delightful combination of 28-day dry-aged Angus beef and a 12-ounce lobster tail — perfect for the indecisive seafood and beef lover. My personal favorite was the totally indulgent Bacon Pittsburger. Served with house-made Rolling Rock sauerkraut, bacon and (yes!) French fries, this feels like an upscale version of what you’d whip up after a long night of drinking. This was my favorite burger and the one I remembered most. If you like to go all out with your burgers, try this one. Additional options include an ahi tuna burger and even a chicken burger for poultry fans. And the sides shined bright too. If you like it heavy and hearty, try the French fries poutine with Andouille sausage gravy. I almost felt like it was too rich, but a perfect way to complement a burger. The truffle mac and cheese was a creamy, rich dish that also served as an ideal sidekick to a thick slab of Angus beef.
Another highlight of the burger bar is the restaurant’s boozy milkshakes. Order plain vanilla or chocolate. Or if you like your desserts to be creative, consider asking for a Maple Bacon shake—a dynamic concoction of maple ice cream, bacon toffee and bacon bits—or a PB&J—toast ice cream, grape jelly and house-made peanut butter. For an extra $5, you can add bourbon to the Maple Bacon or rum to the PB&J. The maple bacon did taste good and thick, but was drowned out by the bourbon. Although I did enjoy smooth bourbon sliding down my throat, it would have been nice to taste the ice cream too. I’d suggest you ask for a light pour if you order these.
If you’ve always wanted to try one of the area’s best spots and want to start in a low-key fashion, I’d suggest going to Trummer’s Burger Bar. Don’t be afraid. You’ll slowly start to shed your fears as you chow down on all-American juicy burgers and shakes. And after you enjoy the poutine, you’ll just have to return for more.