Judging Restaurants – Desperados

I know they’ve only been open for a little more than a week but I’m dying to hear from folks. There was a lot of anticipation when we heard that Desperados was moving into the old Polly’s space at 1342 U St, NW. Maybe it’s too early for a proper judging but for those who’ve checked them out, what are your initial thoughts re: their burgers and the overall atmosphere?

28 Comment

  • So far, sooooo good.

    A few kinks to work out but as a New Orleans native I’ll say their burgers are definitely up to par. Drinks are pricey but strong. Unless they get some real shredded cheddar for the potatoes stick to the fries. Be sure to ask for their dipping sauces – they’re totally delicious.

    Not a place to head if you’re in a hurry, but perfect for a leisurely evening.

    • New Orleans natives = burger experts?!?!

      • The restaurant has a connection with NoLa … either via the chef or the same management group. I think that’s what UStreetGal is refering to.

      • Simmer down, Bobby, it’s just that the owners of Desperados also operate a similar place in New Orleans that is known for its excellent burgers.

      • yeah, calm down, Jimminy.
        I love how people loft hand grenades from behind “Anonymous”, thinking they’re really delivering the Zing of zings, then when it becomes clear *they* were in the wrong or made the mistake, they’re just gone into the ether.


  • some serious kinks to work out. burger was good, bun was from safeway. tried to charge me for tomato and raw onions.

  • All I had was a burger – no fries or potato so I can’t judge those. The burger was phenominal. I cannot wait to go back.

  • are you all kidding about the burger? it’s dry and thin.

  • Burger was amazing… I was in their on day 2, so they were soft opening and were out of things- but comped the burger for free!

    My only complaint is the size and cost of the Monsoon. In New Orleans, a Monsoon would be 24 ounces, not 10.

  • So have they managed to get rid of the awful pee smell that used to permeate every square inch of Polly’s?

  • We went Friday and thought it was pretty good. It was their first big rush and for the most part they handled it well. Our waitress was in a great mood despite being a bit frazzled.

    We thought the burgers were pretty tasty. I wasn’t in the mood for a full burger, so I had the portobella burger which was delicious but could have been a bit more substantial. I enjoyed my baked potato, and the fries and dipping sauces were tasty.

    The drink (monsoon) is pricey, but worth the $10 because it’s super strong! They also have sodas in glass bottles – very cute!

    It’s not as good as port of call in New Orleans, but it will do for DC. Definitely recommend you try it. The only real drawback was the bathroom. They need a better trash can. It doesn’t feel very private either. 🙂

  • Delicious! I’ve been twice, in fact. Take-out both times. Each time I got the cajun burger, which is very tasty. I don’t know where 12:37 got “dry and thin” because I found it surprisingly large and juicy (compared to places like BGR and Good Stuff…probably a bit smaller than Five Guys). The first time I went, they did not yet have fries, so I got the baked potato. Nothing to write home about. The second time, I got the fries, which were the perfect level of crunchiness and thickness. Combined with the sauce, these are a clear winner for the side that comes included(!) in the price. So overall, I think it’s a great, tasty value.

  • The owner is from New Orleans and modeled the restaurant after the most famous burger joint in New Orleans. It’s called Port of Call.

    • same owners as Port of Call, or just somebody modeling after them?

      I got a hankerin’ for a Monsoon!

      • Just modeling after them. Not the monsoon you’re used to, but not bad either.

        Now all they need is some Abita on tap and we’re set!

      • They are actually not the same owners. I asked someone there about it and he said that they’ve been getting that a lot. I guess the owner used to work at Port of Call or knew the owners, or something loose like that, but nothing so awesome as being the actual owner of Port of Call.

  • Ate there on day two as well. Great Burger, and it was on the house since they didn’t have silverware or sides yet. It seems promising, but they still have a few issued to work out.

    Def worth checking out!

  • It’s tough in this town to produce a great burger, judged relative to the other burger places, given the pretty stiff competition. This burger was just average, but it was not thin like someone said above. The fry sauce was excellent, a definite plus. I got the cajun (burger and sauce), and got it to go.

  • Does it still smell like pee in there?

  • Actually, Desperados is franchised. Its owned by some Turkish fellow. During their opening, they had an somebody to help open the shop, who I assume is from corporate.

  • BTW, their burgers are delicious.

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