If you're a fan of classic American food, this Saturday's grand opening of the new, 24-hour Du-par's Hamburger Hamlet, in Bethesda's Georgetown Square shopping center, is wonderful news.
While chefs on two coasts continue to confer on the final menu, let's examine the Du-par's menu at its existing Los Angeles and Las Vegas locations (which just happen to be two of my favorite cities in the world!).
You have some standard starters like crab cakes and chicken tenders. But you also have their signature Yellow Split Pea Soup, for something new and different.
24-hour breakfast may be the best part of Du-par's concept. Not a cheap diner-quality breakfast, but freshly made from high quality ingredients. Du-par's takes pancakes as seriously as I do. So seriously, that their secret pancake recipe is kept under lock and key at 6333 W. 3rd Street in Los Angeles.
One California touch is Knott's Berry Farm jelly for your toast. I hope they keep that.
One example of a morning Blue Plate special that sounds great to me is the Country Fried Prime New York Steak with 2 large, fresh eggs.
How about those burgers? Out west, Du-par's burgers are made with fresh-ground Harris Ranch grain-fed, all-natural chuck.
Du-par's will eventually compete directly with Bobby's Burger Palace up Democracy Boulevard at Westfield Montgomery Mall. I can't wait to try the Du-par's burger.
In California and Vegas, Du-par's offers the basic hamburger and cheeseburger. Beyond that, they have a Patty Melt, Bacon and Swiss Burger, Mushroom and Jack Burger, and Avocado and Bacon Burger.
One major part of the Du-par's concept that Bethesda is definitely getting is the on-site bakery.
Du-par's bakes pies fresh daily, and you can also order whole pies to go. These aren't just your standard apple and cherry varieties, either. Out west, Du-par's has a massive list of pies, and the ones that get my attention are peach, chocolate meringue, banana cream, chocolate cream, rhubarb, gooseberry, Southern pecan, and blueberry cream cheese.
As a brownie sundae nut, I'm pleased to report they have one on the menu, as well as classic malts and milkshakes. How about a Banana Split Boat? Can you tell I'm hoping the dessert menu stays true to its West Coast origins?
Frankly, I don't know how we lucked out and managed to get a Du-par's here in Bethesda. But I'm ready to test out the menu, and find out if it lives up to its storied, 70-year history.