2013 | Dine

First Taste: Bold Bite’s burgers

Bethesda hot dog haven adds ground beef patties

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Can a place that focuses on franks make the leap to burgers? That would be a resounding ‘yes,’ when it comes to Bold Bite’s terrific new patties.

Realizing that not everybody does dogs, chef-owner Alonso Roche said he wanted to branch out. And since Roche is a L’Academie de Cuisine graduate who takes his cooking seriously, he came up with a burger way beyond the basic.

Mixing ground chunk with a bit of brisket, Roche smokes the eight-ounce patties for four minutes over hickory sawdust in a portable smoker, giving them a subtle but noticeable smokiness. Then they’re cooked on a flat-top grill, which seals in the juices and gives the exteriors a crusty char.

The burgers come in three varieties: Naked (with lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mustard on a toasted potato bun, a terrific bargain for $6.99), Bold (with lettuce, tomato, onion, potato sticks and tangy Bold sauce, for $7.50) and Spicy (with Monterrey Jack cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, hot sauce, shredded crispy tortilla strips and cilantro lime sauce, for $8.99).

Believe me, you won’t want to drown out the flavorful meat with too many toppings. I had the Naked, and even that was a little too fully clothed.

Bold Bite, 4901-B Fairmont Ave., Bethesda, 301-951-2653, www.boldbite.net