Longhorn Po-Boys & Falafel
Don't pass up the burgers at your favorite gyro joint
Reviewed by Mick Vann, Fri., Nov. 7, 2008
Longhorn Po-Boys & Falafel2901-B Medical Arts, 495-9228
Monday-Thursday, 11am-10pm; Friday-Saturday, 11am-9pm; Sunday, noon-9pm
For 12½ years, any patron of Longhorn Po-Boys would have had to notice Goufic "Dad" Habib, the former Lebanese owner who ran things like family. Tony Castillo started out managing next door at Lava Java Coffee House. He bought it and then was able to purchase Longhorn about 3½ years ago. A self-described food freak, Castillo was able to do a minor apprenticeship under his brother-in-law chef at Jose Andrés' restaurants in D.C. That exposure helped motivate him to innovate and upgrade the Longhorn menu, bringing in high-quality ingredients and modernizing the dishes (tapas, beer, and wine are on the horizon).
We've noticed the positive changes in the food, but a friend happened to mention their fantastic hamburgers, initiating this review. The burgers get lost on the chalkboard, but do not pass them up; we've sampled and loved them all. Three are there in the lower right-hand corner: the Angus ($5.49), the Mediterranean ($6.59), and Monterrey ($6.59). All are based on a mildly sweet and impeccably fresh grilled potato bread bun, featuring a fresh 6-ounce, 100% Angus patty. Castillo uses a 73%-27% blend mix, which ensures a juicy patty.
The Angus is your basic burger, available with your choice of nine different cheeses. The patty is cooked on a flat-top griddle, resulting in a nicely charred exterior and a moist, slightly pink interior. Veggies are crisp and fresh, with ripe tomatoes. The Mediterranean has tzatziki, tabbouleh, kalamata olives, and feta added to the regular veggies. The Monterrey is tortalike, adding a slice of grilled ham, provolone, and pepper jack and jalapeños to the veggies. All can be customized with an amazing list of add-ons: apple-smoked bacon, cremini mushrooms, capers, and artichoke hearts to name but a few.
This is one spot that should be on everyone's top burger list. The great salads, gyros, shawarmas, sandwiches, desserts, IBC and Maine Root sodas, and juices are just a bonus.