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How Much Will You Pay for a Burger?

The hamburger is as American as apple pie. Burgers come in many forms and incarnations, but the gist remains the same: Throw a patty between two buns, add condiments to your liking and enjoy. Where you find your favorite burger is personal choice, and options are plentiful, from fast food to fast casual to upscale. In NYC, the 21 Club’s famous burger, a novelty and an institution, sells for $32.
    Is Chesapeake Country ready for such a high falutin burger? West, the new restaurant at the Loews Hotel in Annapolis, offers an $18 burger. Are we worthy? And is that and a side of fries all you get?
    On a recent visit to West, I was impressed by the transformation of the West Street dining room and patio. Opened in August, the restaurant is urban and trendy with large open spaces, high ceilings and comfy booths and outdoor sofas. The menu follows the farm-to-table movement, featuring local flavors and ingredients.
    The bar handcrafts “garden fresh” cocktails. It’s a pretty place and a hotel restaurant catering to out-of-towners. Does that warrant an $18 burger?
    General Manager Stacy Baird reports West’s $18 is dry-aged Roseda beef and served with house-brined pickles, homemade ketchup and hand-cut twice-cooked French fries. Tempting, but without an expense account, I’m not likely to taste this burger in the near future.
    Roseda Farm raises grass-fed Black Angus cattle on a 300-acre Monkton farm. Its “natural” product — hormone- and pesticide-free — is a step above the FDA organic certification. If you’d like to try a Roseda Farm burger at home, four eight-ounce burgers are $12.49 ordered direct from Old Line Custom Meat Company ( Or pick up patties at My Butcher & More in Annapolis ($7.99 a pound).
    As for West, I’ll most likely limit my visits to the daily happy hour (5-7pm) for half-price shared plates and pizza and reduced-price drinks, coveting the $18 burger from afar. But if you’ve tried it, I’d love to hear what you think.

Bonefish Annapolis Makes 170
    In other transformation news, Bonefish Grill has opened at the Annapolis Towne Centre at Parole, making it number 170 in the chain. Mike Cash, managing partner, invited media reps to check out the new digs and sample their menu. That’s my favorite part of this job. I was fed to the gills on Bang Bang Shrimp, Tuna Sashimi, salmon, swordfish, orange roughy, shrimp, scallops and more. It’s not local, but it is tasty.
    Bonefish Grill is a warm restaurant with an active bar and very helpful and efficient wait staff. Happy hour is from 4-6:30pm. Don’t plan on a lunch date; except for Sunday brunch, Bonefish is only open for dinner.

Got a tasty tip for next week’s Dish? Email Lisa Knoll at [email protected]