In June 2010, we wrote about a newish burger place called Rogue States. We loved the novel concept of taking the bold flavors and placing them inside the burger patty instead of on top. Rogue States branded itself as the "burger grilling company," and it was that grilling part that got them in a bit of trouble. It seems that their exhaust system was venting burger grilling fumes into the law firm offices of Steptoe & Johnson. The firm did what law firms do best and sued, claiming the fumes were making their employees sick. A judge ordered the grilling to stop, and Rogue States closed their doors in October 2010. We were bummed, but drowned our sorrows in the meaty offerings of the many other burger joints in town.Happily, Rogue States, now called "Black and Orange," reopened this summer in the same space after installing a $90,000 ventilation system. The place looks the same and the burgers taste just as great.
We welcomed them back by ordering a couple of burgers and some sweet potato fries. My Square One burger with sea salt and black pepper cooked into the patty was a wonderful take on the classic burger. I love that you can order a smaller burger (on the left in the photo) that allows you to save some room for the sweet potato fries. B silently and quickly devoured his "No Burger, No Cry" burger cooked with house jerk blend, red onion, and habanero peppers in the patty. This burger was not as spicy as advertised and had more of a sweet/tangy flavor than a mouth-burning fire.
Welcome back Black and Orange. We certainly didn't need another burger joint but we're happy you're back among the very crowded field.
Second Thoughts from B
One year, one law suit, one expensive vent, and one name change later, I still love the Rogue States/Black and Orange concept. Better yet, I love the execution. It could be said that the more things changed, the more they stayed the same and thank goodness for that.
With Ray's and Good Stuff leading the way, DC has become quite the burger-loving city. Add BBP and Black and Orange, and you've got a nice list of top tier options, not to mention the old standby, Five Guys. That Black and Orange features an interesting and flavorful twist on the typical American staple, will certainly help it stand out... as long as they stay in the kitchen rather than the courtroom.