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Ghost B.C. burger causing controversy with Catholics over communion wafer topping

Posted by Tiffany Bentley on October 3, 2013

Ghost B.C. burger

The burger, The Ghost, is flavored not only with a red wine reduction, but is topped with a Communal wafer that the restaurant stresses is unconsecrated, according to chicagoist.com . But even though the beef and its adornments haven’t been blessed by a Catholic priest, the idea that the Catholic symbols for the body and blood of Christ are being marketed for gluttony is uneasy for some burger fans.

General manager and chef for Kuma’s Corner, Luke Tobias is brushing off the controversy, stressing to  The Chicago Tribune  that the the  wafers haven’t been blessed, which makes them just “pretty crackers.”  Tobias, who clearly has a way with words, also moonlights as a guitarist for Encrust whose lyrics are a bit more pointed against any kind of establishment. Listen to “Engine of Deceit” or any Ghost B.C. song for that matter, and decide for yourself if the burger’s sacramental symbols were chosen purely as culinary decor.

While religion and metal have been an intertwined topic since the birth of the genre, burgers may be adding a new element. To see more of the debate, including comments giving props to the burgers and others just saying “Not cool, man,” pull up a chair to the restaurant’s Facebook page .

Tags: Encrust , Ghost B.C. , Kuma's Corner

Categorised in: Controversy , Food

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Victoria’s newest burger joint delivers eats out of a secret ‘ghost kitchen’

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Hey, burger lovers of Victoria; there’s a new joint in town!

And this one is sure to delight all of your senses with its eclectic and comforting menu of mouth-watering dishes.

Betty Burger is the city’s latest and greatest burger restaurant, but here’s the twist – they operate solely out of a ‘ghost kitchen’, meaning they don’t actually have a store front, and offer home delivery only.

But rest assured, Betty’s wide array of comfort foods are created to the highest of standards, created and prepared by the chefs at Nautical Nellies Steak & Seafood House from their virtual kitchen.

Aside from Betty’s famous burgers made with 3 cuts of Angus prime beef, they also serve up hand-dipped shakes (salted caramel is our favourite!), delectable sides (mac and cheese poutine, anyone?) and even stuffed cookies for dessert.

ghost bc burger

And the expansive burger line-up is beyond words, which spotlights features such as ‘Hangover Be Gone’ – a 1/3 pound patty with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, a sunny side up egg plus avocado and smoked bacon!

With a kids menu, six flavours of wings and even a take-home pack of four pre-cooked patties plus buns (add your own toppings!), Betty is serving up a little bit of something for everyone – check out the full menu here.

Betty Burger offers delivery through the Tutti app as well as Door Dash, so you can devour these homestyle delicacies from the comfort of your own home, delivered directly to your door!

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Betty Burger

  • Where: Order online through Tutti and Door Dash
  • When: Ordering hours – 12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 7 days a week

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Ghost B.C. Is a Mystery, But It's a Goddamn Entertaining One

Ghost B.C. With King Dude House of Blues, Dallas Saturday, May 3, 2014

What do you get if you combine Scandinavian metal, Satanic chanting, 1970s shock-rock pageantry and exhibitionism, the best parts of an American classic rock radio station, and some of the tightest funk-rock licks to emerge from a non-American band? You have something that's far more entertaining than it has any right to be, given those constituent elements. You have the mystery that is Ghost B.C.

I can honestly say to you I have no damn idea what this band's deal is. Not a single clue. They're from Sweden, and that's about all I've got. The cynical side of me says it's a ploy to grab the hearts and minds of America's metal fans, who would obviously love a combination of anonymous Satan-worshiping demons and double pedals. But if that's the case, why does it sound like a minor-key Beach Boys sometimes? Why is the singer so darn tuneful? Why does it sound nothing like Satanic metal?

Undeniably, there's just something about the whole setup that works. It's kind of difficult to explain, but it's at turns cartoonish and serious. Sometimes it's generic metal and sometimes they take Satanic chanting and put an honest-to-God four-to-the-floor funk beat underneath it. Surely no one can take "Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Satanas, Lucifer," sung by an invisible choir, and with an entirely straight face put a drumbeat beneath the chant that wouldn't sound out of place in the latest stab by the Killers at becoming an electro-funk band.

Quite aside from all this hand-wringing about artistic merits and what in the hell is actually going on in front of you, Ghost B.C. (it's just Ghost everywhere outside the U.S.) puts on a show that's so very entertaining that you forget all about the questions for an hour and a half. "Ritual" is a slice of 1970s retro-metal that wouldn't sound out of place in the Blue Oyster Cult back catalog (apart from the amazing couplet "Invoking our master/to procreate the unholy bastard"). It's so inhumanly catchy that you'll forget that when you're bellowing out the chorus along with ol' Papa Emeritus II (yes, that's the name of the singer), you're exhorting Satan to have a baby outside of wedlock.

The double-punch of "Con Clavi Con Dio" and "Elizabeth" from Ghost's debut (the wonderfully named Opus Eponymous ) would be good enough to grace the middle of any other concert, but wouldn't sound at home in any concert apart from this one. It's at turns danceable, riff-laden, silly, singalong, funky, and full-throated metal.

The apex of this ridiculousness comes in the form of the first tune of the encore, a song called "Ghuleh/Zombie Queen." I swear to God (or possibly Lucifer) that it contains an actual surf guitar over a tremolo that would get any other metal band laughed out of the building -- which itself comes after three minutes of slow-building piano and organ. 3:04 of the linked YouTube video there was my biggest musical WTF moment of last year. Oh, and this comes in the set after a cover of the Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun." Of course it does.

Rounding off with a "Hey Jude"-esque singalong that goes "Come together/together as one/come together/for Lucifer's son" under the all-time great song title of "Monstrance Clock," Ghost B.C. is one of the most riotously entertaining bands you'll see all year. Take it all away -- all the costumes, the anonymity, the tounge-in-cheek Satanism, everything apart from the music itself -- and they're still a great band. They're not leaning on that gimmick at all. These are tunes that do more than stand up by themselves.

Put it all back in, with the silly gimmick and the pretty impressive stage presence, and the band are almost comedically fun. You will be, like my group was, giggling across the whole concert -- not ironically, but amazed at what a good time you're having.

If you like classic rock, and you think the idea of worshiping Satan would be pretty hilarious, this is the band you've been waiting for. Really. Just don't try to think too hard about what the hell is actually going on.

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Ghost glad to lose 'BC' tag

Nameless Ghoul reveals name was altered in US over rights concerns - even though none had been raised

ghost bc burger

Ghost have finally rid themselves of the “BC” suffix they’d been forced to use as part of their name in the US.

The change was made in 2013 after label officials got worried about potential rights claims over the Swedish band’s original title – even though one of the Nameless Ghouls says none were ever raised.

The Ghoul tells Loudwire : “There was never a lawsuit. Unfortunately, in the legal world in general – and it’s not an anti-American thing – people are so conscious about being sued.

“The major label had a policy that every artist must own their own name. Obviously we don’t have exclusive rights to our name because it’s a word so commonly used. There are so many brands that have the word ‘ghost’ that I think it’s almost un-ownable, in a way. So it was basically a demand from the label that we added something.”

Afterwards, they had to continually stress that the shorter name was the correct one. “We added the ‘BC’ ‘Because of Copyright’ or ‘Before Christ,’” says the Ghoul. “We wanted people to still focus on Ghost. Unfortunately that leaked over into the promotional side too. Because they tagged everything ‘Ghost BC’ everyone started calling it that.

“We told every promoter and every journalist that we spoke to, ‘Don’t write Ghost BC because that’s not our name.’ It’s like saying, ‘I’m going to go down to McDonalds LLC or McDonalds, Inc to buy a burger.”

The band eventually pushed for a change back via “a bit of a flip” that took place within the label. “We took the opportunity to raise the question and make it happen so that we don’t have to write it out on the record,” says the Ghoul.

“There’s something extremely unromantic that’s called metadata, and within the metadata it’s still ‘BC.’

“It’s there in the fine print – but for you and I and everybody else, we don’t have to say that. So it’s Ghost now, which I’m extremely happy about.”

The band launch third album Meliora on August 21and the Reading and Leeds Festivals the following week. Lead single, Cirice , has been followed by From The Pinnacle To The Pit . Ghost are featured in the latest edition of Classic Rock , on sale now in print and digital and via TeamRock+.

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This Is What Makes Burger King Thailand's Ghost Burger Black

Burger King's Ghost Burger

You know when Halloween's just around the corner: Supermarkets proudly start displaying their candy collection by the front door and ghost-themed cookies and witch hat-topped cupcakes take over the bakery aisles. Not everyone celebrates Halloween with cutesy little treats, though.

Burger King , for one, pulls out all the stops in time for Halloween. In 2018, the home of the Whopper launched a spooky burger called the Nightmare King with a quarter pound of grilled beef and a crispy chicken fillet sandwiched between a green-colored sesame seed bun with bacon, cheese mayonnaise, and onions (via QSR Magazine ). The name of the burger wasn't just a Halloween marketing gimmick. Burger King actually conducted a study by tracking the sleep cycles of 100 participants over 10 nights and found that eating the Nightmare King before bed did, in fact, increase the chances of having a nightmare-filled sleepless night.

In 2019, Burger King partnered up with supernatural medium Riz Mirza to have its Halloween-themed Ghost Whopper taste tested by literal spirits, according to  Delish . It turned out that the spirits did give their stamp of approval to the Ghost Whopper's white cheddar-flavored white bun. The chain then released the spooky burger in 10 outlets in the U.S.

While it's unclear whether the burger chain has any sinister burger plans for Halloween in the U.S. this year, it seems that they do have a black-colored burger in store for Burger King fans in Thailand (via Chewboom ).

There's cocoa in the bun

Per Chewboom , Burger King has released a Halloween-themed Ghost Burger for a limited period of time in Thailand. It turns out, the burger is quite similar to the $1 Rodeo Burger available in the U.S., except, with a black-colored bun (via Thrillist ).

As with the Rodeo Burger, the Ghost Burger has fried onion rings, BBQ sauce, and a beef or a pork patty. The Ghost Burger also comes with American cheese and bacon, all sandwiched between a black-colored bun worthy of the spooky season. The black color of the sesame seed bun, Chewboom reports, comes from the use of cocoa. The cocoa used to give the Ghost Burger its dark tinge could be black cocoa powder — a highly dutch processed form of cocoa powder that adds a black color to anything that you add it in without giving it a distinct chocolatey flavor (via The Best Cake Recipes ).

Anyone daring enough to try the Ghost Burger in Thailand can choose to order it with a single patty which costs 119 Baht ($3.56) or a double patty for 179 Baht ($5.36).

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Burger King Halloween Bucket: How to buy the limited edition item

  • Jennifer Roback
  • Published : 12:18 ET, Oct 19 2023
  • Updated : 11:34 ET, Oct 20 2023

BURGER King is getting into the Halloween spirit with themed buckets and menu items.

Now, consumers want to know how they can purchase the haunted items.

The Burger King Halloween Bucket was announced alongside the Ghost Pepper Whopper and Ghost Pepper Chicken Fries

How can I buy Burger King's Halloween Bucket?

On October 2, 2023, Burger King confirmed that they are releasing limited-edition buckets, similar to McDonald's Boo Buckets .

The "Trick-or-Heat" buckets glow-in-the-dark, but are only available in a few metropolitan areas, according to Today.com .

Those areas include:

  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Las Vegas , Nevada
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Atlanta , Georgia

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Everything we know about McDonald's Halloween Squishmallows

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Find out how to get your hands on the 2023 McDonald's Halloween Boo Buckets

Starting on October 13, consumers in those areas will be able to take home a bucket with any purchase of $1 or more.

What are the new items on Burger King's Halloween menu?

The Burger King Halloween bucket was inspired by their new menu items.

In addition to releasing the buckets, the fast food chain also brought back the Ghost Pepper Whopper, which was first introduced in 2022 and added Ghost Pepper Chicken Fries.

"For the first time, the signature heat of the ghost pepper comes to the brand’s iconic Chicken Fries, which have seen various innovations over the years," Burger King said in a press release, via Today.com.

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The Ghost Pepper Chicken Fries come in orders of 4, 8, or 12 and are available with any dipping sauce offered by the chain.

The Whopper features BK's signature flame-grilled 100% beef patty and is topped with spicy queso, jalapeños, bacon, and ghost pepper cheese.

Burger King's Halloween Bucket is available in select cities

"Earlier this year, we asked Guests if we should bring back the Ghost Pepper Whopper or introduce Ghost Pepper Chicken Fries," Burger King North America’s chief marketing officer, Pat O’Toole, revealed in a press release, via Today.com.

"The results were split, so we’re adding both products to our menus nationwide this Halloween season, giving Guests multiple ways to enjoy the perfect combination of flavor and heat."

The Halloween menu items were released on October 12 at locations nationwide and will be available until October 31.

How long are the Halloween Buckets available?

Similar to the Ghost Pepper Whopper and Ghost Pepper Chicken Fries, the Halloween Buckets will only be available for a limited time.

Consumers in the select markets will be able to purchase them through October 31 .

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You’ve Heard of Ghost Kitchens. Meet the Ghost Franchises.

Virtual food brands, often driven by real celebrities, are rapidly spreading across the country. Do they help or hurt independent restaurants?

The MrBeast burger, driven by the 22-year-old YouTube celebrity Jimmy Donaldson, is already available in hundreds of locations nationwide. Credit... Adam Friedlander for The New York Times

Supported by

By Marissa Conrad

  • Published Feb. 25, 2021 Updated March 8, 2021

A video from MrBeast , a 22-year-old YouTube star with 54 million subscribers, usually goes something like this: An outlandish setup — say, staging a fake robbery — results in a fan’s winning thousands of dollars or a new car. But in late December, MrBeast (real name: Jimmy Donaldson, an upbeat bro from North Carolina) dropped something different on his viewers.

“I literally just opened 300 restaurants all across America,” he said in a video announcing MrBeast Burger, a chain serving smash burgers and fries. “But we only serve people through delivery apps.”

But MrBeast Burger is not quite what most of us think of as a chain, or even a restaurant. In exchange for a cut of sales revenue, the brand supplies the name, logo, menu, recipes and publicity images to any restaurant owner with the space and staff to make burgers as a side hustle. When a customer orders from the MrBeast Burger in Midvale, Utah, the food is prepared at a location of the red-sauce chain Buca di Beppo , following a standardized MrBeast recipe. In Manhattan, a MrBeast Burger is prepared at the neighborhood bar Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails .

ghost bc burger

Call it a ghost franchise — and expect to see many more of them this year, with and without celebrity names attached.

In December, Virtual Dining Concepts , the company behind MrBeast Burger, announced similar ventures with the TV personality Mario Lopez and the “Jersey Shore” alumnus Pauly D .

The parent company of Nextbite , another pioneer of the model, received $120 million in venture-capital funding in October for its 13 virtual brands. Franklin Junction , founded last year, helps restaurants do business as known food brands, including Wow Bao and Nathan’s Famous . Companies like Future Foods , Combo Kitchen and the Local Culinary are all making similar plays.

In the delivery app era, the ghost franchise can be a lifeline for the independent restaurateur, a way to make thousands of dollars a month in a devastating time. It can also be a liability, exploding the marketplace in ways that serve big brands more than small businesses.

James Garofalo, 52, grew up working at his father’s diner in Chicago Heights, Ill. Now, he’s the chief operating officer at Goddess and the Baker , a cafe with several locations in Chicago and one in Brookfield, Wis. At first, Mr. Garofalo was skeptical of the ghost-franchise model. But as the pandemic cut off foot traffic, he decided it might make sense. “At this point, you’re looking for ways to generate dollars, keep staff on,” he added.

Mr. Garofalo now runs 12 of Nextbite’s ghost franchises out of the kitchen of his Brookfield cafe: Monster Mac, the Big Melt, Grilled Cheese Society, Miss Mazy’s Amazin’ Chicken, Toss It Up, CraveBurger, Outlaw Burger, Ghost Grille, Firebelly Wings, Wild Wild Wings, the Wing Dynasty and HotBox by Wiz, from rapper Wiz Khalifa.

The day-to-day is less chaotic than it sounds. Delivery-app orders stream into one tablet, and the takeout containers all come from the same pile; nothing is branded except HotBox orders, and those have just a sticker. Recipes from Nextbite’s Colorado test kitchen are easy to follow, and the company recommends ingredients from the suppliers Mr. Garofalo already uses. Nextbite takes a 45 percent cut of sales, but handles all delivery-app fees, which would be, for Mr. Garofalo, as high as 30 percent per order. In his best month so far, he cleared $20,000 across the 12 brands.

The arrangement has allowed Mr. Garofalo to add new types of food without the labor of menu development or the worry of muddying his own brand. But what restaurant owners are really buying from these companies is not just recipes or a cutesy name. They’re buying a solution to a problem facing every small restaurant that’s living as a name on a screen among all the other names on a screen: visibility.

“Before Covid, you had some restaurants that did not need to be on these third-party systems,” said Kymme Williams-Davis, the owner of Bushwick Grind , a cafe in Brooklyn. “But now every restaurant, every cafe, every commercial kitchen and every ghost kitchen is on these apps. It’s more competitive.” If someone on her block searches Grubhub for espresso, Bushwick Grind is buried below more than 20 shops, some of them miles away.

The business model hinges on deals the ghost-franchise parent companies strike with third-party delivery apps (which are notorious for taking advantage of workers and restaurants ), using the leverage of having hundreds of listable “restaurants” to broker top spots for them in search results. If a customer in the Brookfield area searches for grilled cheese on DoorDash, Grilled Cheese Society comes up as the first suggestion. In a search for wings, Firebelly is third and Wild Wild Wings is fourth.

“Like anyone else, we pay to be on apps and we pay for placement,” said Geoff Madding, Nextbite’s chief executive. He added, “The more value you’re bringing, probably the stronger negotiating position you’re in.”

In January, Ms. Williams-Davis started selling online as Mariah’s Cookies, the Virtual Dining Concepts brand partnership with the singer Mariah Carey, as a test run to see if the extra sales could help Bushwick Grind “stay alive during this really unprecedented time,” she said. She had to close for six months last year, she said, after her father and several of his cousins died from Covid-19.

Her cafe is an exemplar of a community-minded business; she runs a community refrigerator, feeds vaccine workers and has plans to open an urban farm.

“I don’t want to contribute to not buying local, right?” she said. “In one way, if you’re buying from Mariah’s Cookies , and that name and that advertising machine can get customers, you kind of are buying local because I’m making the cookies. But at the same time, the perception is that you’re not buying local. I’m on the fence. But if it nets out to hurt small businesses, it’s not something I’m going to continue to do.”

Nationwide, more than 150 MrBeast Burgers are operating out of locations of Buca di Beppo, Bravo! Italian Kitchen , Brio Italian Grille and Bertucci’s Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta . Those four restaurant chains are owned and operated by Robert Earl, the founder of Planet Hollywood; Virtual Dining Concepts, which operates MrBeast Burger, was co-founded by Mr. Earl and his son, Robbie Earl.

Similarly, many of Franklin Junction’s ghost franchises are operated out of a Frisch’s Big Boy, a chain owned by Franklin Junction’s parent company NRD Capital, a private equity firm.

But even an independent restaurant can get a virtual brand up and running in less than 30 days, with few limits to the number of brands one owner can take on. And that potential speed of proliferation could result in a delivery-app ecosystem where the ghost-franchise parent companies duke it out at the top, while the truly independent restaurants are pushed farther down the list.

In New York City, this is already happening. If you’ve noticed the torrent of perplexing restaurant names on delivery apps, many of them confusingly similar, this too is a manifestation of the ghost franchise.

When Jacky Cheng, a resident of the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, ordered from Village Breakfast Snob on DoorDash, “it didn’t really cross my mind that it was a ghost kitchen,” he said. “Although it should have, because who the heck names their restaurant that?”

The food, he later found out, came from a bodega in the East Village that is operating as at least 10 ghost brands, including LA Breakfast Club and American Cheesesteaks. New York is now home to the Pancake Snob, Breakfast Burrito Snob, Sushi Snob, Pad Thai Snob, Chicken Tikka Snob and Snobby Chicken Wings. There’s also the Burger Bae and Breakfast Be Loved.

The style of these names creates a marketplace that parallels Amazon in some ways, said Lea Chu, a group director of naming at the brand strategy firm Siegel & Gale . You have a need — there, a hole puncher; here, a breakfast burrito — and a hyper-specific listing is there to fill it.

Seven years ago, Ms. Chu surveyed the name of every restaurant in Manhattan, a project that took weeks. Restaurant owners usually want names that won’t sound silly in a year, she said. Here, that matters less.

“What’s the worst that could happen?” Ms. Chu said. “Your name becomes irrelevant and you have to change it? It probably doesn’t matter. There’s so much fluctuation in this restaurant landscape that everyone’s going to be used to names changing all the time.”

For now, we seem to be entering a period in which every “Bachelorette” contestant from the last 18 years will have a virtual deli. Mario’s Tortas Lopez and Pauly D’s Italian Subs are listed in dozens of markets. Since January, at least 130 outlets of Guy Fieri’s first virtual brand, Flavortown Kitchen , have opened. And MrBeast Burger has already spread to Canada. A following of 54 million YouTube subscribers sells a lot of sandwiches — more than a million in the first two months, in fact.

“My son is 18, my daughter is 14, and they think MrBeast is hilarious,” said Cece Kaufman, an interior designer in San Francisco.

In December, the family went on what Ms. Kaufman cheerfully called a “road trip” — a 40-minute drive into the delivery zone of the closest MrBeast Burger, to meet a DoorDash driver carrying three smash burgers and two orders of fries. The teenagers, like most ghost kitchen customers, had no idea where the food was made.

“They didn’t care,” Ms. Kaufman said. “The wrapper had the MrBeast stickers on it, so they thought it was great.”

Follow NYT Food on Twitter and NYT Cooking on Instagram , Facebook , YouTube and Pinterest . Get regular updates from NYT Cooking, with recipe suggestions, cooking tips and shopping advice .

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Ghost No Longer Obligated to Use ‘B.C.’ in Name

Back in early 2013, Ghost changed their name to Ghost B.C.  in the States due to legal reasons. The details of the name change were never truly explained, but for some time, the dreaded B.C. appeared along Ghost's neo-classic band logo. However, we were told by one of Ghost's Nameless Ghouls in an exclusive interview that the band is no longer obligated to use B.C. in its name.

Since there have been various bands called Ghost in the past, many fans assumed a lawsuit had taken place, but this is not the case. According to the Nameless Ghoul, the parent company that owns Ghost's record label, Loma Vista, took the precaution to block a potential lawsuit.

"The thing was there was never a lawsuit," the Ghoul explains. "It was basically, I have to just explain myself after I hang one institution out to dry here and that was not our real label, but the bigger umbrella version of our label. Unfortunately in the legal world in general, and it's not an anti-American thing, but especially in America where people are so conscious about not being sued, obviously all corporations are extremely conscious about not getting sued. So the big major label, specifically, had a policy that said that every artist they sign must own their own name. Obviously we don't have exclusive rights to our band name because it's a word so commonly used. There are so many brands that have the word "ghost" that I think it's almost un-ownable, in a way, unless it's more specific. So it was basically a demand from the label that we added something."

The Nameless Ghoul goes on about what B.C. actually stood for, and how though, B.C. is still in the fine print, Ghost no longer have to print the letters prominently on their releases.

"What we found least irritating was that if it was something short for something else," the Ghoul continues. "We added the B.C. 'Because of Copyright' or, obviously, 'Before Christ.' We wanted people to still focus on Ghost. Unfortunately that leaked over into the promotional side too just because they tagged everything 'Ghost B.C.' everyone started calling it that. While we told every promoter and every journalist that we spoke to, 'Don't write Ghost B.C. because that's not our name.' It's like saying, 'I'm going to go down to McDonalds LLC or McDonalds, Inc. and buy a burger.' So this time around, when we had a little bit of a flip within the company, we took the opportunity to raise the question and make it happen so that we don't have to write it out on the record. There's something extremely unromantic that's called metadata and within the metadata in all the regions that we need to, it's still B.C. It's there in the fine print, but for you and I and everybody else, we don't have to say that. So it's Ghost now, which I'm extremely happy about."

Ghost's third studio album Meliora will see an Aug 21 release date. To pre-order the album and bundle packs, click here .

100 Metal Facts You May Not Know

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  • DC Restaurant Openings

The Fine Dining Chef in Charge of a New Ghost Kitchen Takes Burgers Super Seriously

Robert Aikens returns to D.C. after leading two big openings for Stephen Starr in New York

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A thick beef patty on a golden bun is garniched with green lettuce and rust-colored salsa macha,

Ghosting is good now, at least when it comes to restaurants. Within two hours of accepting the first online orders for Ghostburger, the new takeout and delivery “ghost kitchen” run out of Espita Mezcaleria in Shaw, partner Josh Phillips reports sales of burgers, cheesesteaks, and cocktails matched three days worth of takeaway business from its regular Oaxacan-style menu.

The Ghostburger opening Tuesday marked an official D.C. comeback for Robert Aikens, a British expat who had a busy 2019 in New York City as the opening chef at two ambitious projects for hospitality magnate Stephen Starr: French bistro Pastis and Veronika, a buzzy project devoted to Eastern European classic s like coulibiac (Russian fish pie) built inside a Swedish-based photography museum. Aikens says he hadn’t been back in the kitchen at Veronika since March 10.

Chef Robert Aikens smiles while holding a hamburger with two hands

“I wasn’t working, so I really couldn’t bloody afford to live in Manhattan,” Aikens says.

Aikens is married to Phillips’s sister, but before they become family, the Espita general manager and resident mezcal nerd knew the chef by his burgers. When Phillips was living in Philadelphia, Aikens opened the Dandelion pub for Starr with a mission to perfect the cheeseburger, consulting with famous butcher Pat LaFrieda before his beef blends spread far and wide. Philadelphia magazine declared the Dandelion had the best gastropub burger in the city in 2013.

Aikens wanted to bring those standards to Ghostburger while keeping prices reasonable. Each of the three smash burgers is $10 or less, but Aikens is still using a LaFrieda beef blend of hanger steak, short rib, chuck, flat iron, and “a bit of brisket.”

“Variety is the spice of life, as they say,” Aikens says. “It’s got good fat, good flavor.”

From left, an Avocado Smash, a ghostburger, and la Hamburguesa

The Ghostburger is a classic riff on a Big Mac. Aikens developed “spooky sauce,” and Espita’s staff makes its own dill pickles, but the restaurant didn’t want to mess with American cheese or Martin’s potato rolls. There’s also La Hamburguesa, which adds mozzarella-like queso Oaxaca, Espita’s salsa macha, and smoked tomatillo relish to the patty. An avocado smash comes with guacamole, alfalfa sprouts, and chile relish. There’s a $2 surcharge for bacon, and a $3 premium for adding carnitas to the burger.

Espita chef de cuisine Ben Tenner developed a Philly cheesesteak ($15) with shaved ribeye, onions caramelized with thyme and sherry vinegar, and mayo with raw and roasted garlic on a roll trucked down from Philadelphia. Aikens tweaked the cheese whiz sauce from a nacho cheese he developed when he joined Espita as a chef and partner in 2017. Crinkle cut fries come sprinkled with chile salt that Espita uses on roasted vegetables. They can also be loaded with cheesesteak fillings ($12).

On the cocktail side, partner and beverage director James Simpson concocted a “Ghost Claw” hard seltzer by carbonating a blend of clarified grapefruit juice, grapefruit oleo-saccharum, Giffard grapefruit liqueur, and London dry gin. A bottled Americano seltzer contains vermouth, bitters, soda, and vanilla angostura.

“It comes out kind of like a slightly bitter adult root beer,” Phillips says.

A bottle and glass are filled with cola-colored Americano spritzes from Ghostburger

Phillips says running the ghost kitchen allows Espita to use parts of the kitchen that were sitting vacant while the restaurant is operating at limited capacity. The new business also breaks up the monotony for a staff used to cranking at full speed.

“It’s kind of like, well, we could be bored or we can have fun,” Phillips says.

Ghostburger is open for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a 10 p.m. close on Friday and Saturday. Saturday and Sunday brunch is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Order online here .

  • Everything to Know About the New Delivery/Takeout-Only Food Hall in D.C. [EDC]
  • A Growing Number of D.C. Restaurants Grind Imported Corn for Perfect Tortillas [EDC]
  • Veronika Is a Romantic Ode to the Grand Traditions of Eastern Europe [ENY]
  • The Charm of the New Pastis Is That It’s the Old Pastis — Flaws and All [ENY]

Espita Mezcaleria

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clock This article was published more than  1 year ago

Ghostburger, that pandemic pop-up, is now ready for its close-up

ghost bc burger

Josh and Kelly Phillips, the co-founders of Espita Mezcaleria, swear they didn’t set out to cannibalize their own concept when they started searching for a permanent home for Ghostburger, their pop-up and pandemic-related tourniquet designed to stop the potentially life-threatening flow of red ink as the couple headed into the winter of 2020.

They conducted a search in earnest, nearly signing a lease at one location, but ultimately circled back to the space where Ghostburger first made its name: at the corner of Ninth and N streets NW, home of Espita, which the owners debuted to considerable fanfare in March 2016. The decision to 86 the restaurant — the first one from the couple — was not as fraught as you might think.

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The Espita kitchen, after all, was already equipped for the job. Any other space would have required a significant build-out. “Everything is delayed right now. The prices are up on construction. So we’re like, we already have the space,” Kelly said during a phone interview. “So why would we spend all this money when we can just flip Espita? Financially, it was the smartest thing to do.”

Besides, added Josh, Espita had become something of a misfit after Destination Unknown Restaurants , the founders’ parent company, began channeling its energies into Destino and Taqueria Las Gemelas , the sister establishments that together cover much of the same turf as Espita. “We didn’t feel like we were abandoning anything by closing Espita,” he said.

So late in the summer, the sidekick officially superseded the star. Espita exited the stage and turned the spotlight over to Ghostburger. Perhaps we should have seen this coming from the very beginning, back in August 2020, when Ghostburger’s debut exceeded the owners’ expectations, an admittedly low bar in Kelly’s mind. “I thought it was going to be a flop,” she said. “I really did.”

But at the very least, the principals hoped Ghostburger might generate between $5,000 and $8,000 a week, enough to keep staff employed during those months when the weather would turn cold and patrons, still unvaccinated and wary of dining indoors, would turn to their mobile apps for sustenance. The first week of Ghostburger generated $26,000, Josh said. A month later, it was pulling down between $40,000 and $50,000 per week.

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You could argue Ghostburger owed much of its success to the very pandemic that inspired the pop-up. One of the many ways we coped during those early months, as the deaths increased along with our sense of isolation, was to seek the comfort of food that tripped our brains’ pleasure centers, maybe even reminded us of a time when we didn’t have to ask permission to hug a loved one. In the absence of leadership, Americans turned to salt, sugar, carbs and fat to calm their fears, at least until they picked up their phones and started doom scrolling again.

Yes, Ghostburger filled that need, but that’s not why the pop-up became a beast so all-consuming that it killed the restaurant that birthed it, the dining community’s equivalent of matriphagy . No, the pop-up morphed into a company brand because of the usual reasons: The people involved cared enough to pay attention to the smallest details. The bricks-and-mortar debut of Ghostburger just confirms it.

From the day it launched, Robert Aikens and Ben Tenner, the corporate executive chef and director of kitchen operations, respectively, for Destination Unknown, took the pop-up seriously, putting the kind of thought into smash burgers and sandwiches that they would for weightier projects. It began with a custom burger blend, a “milder,” less-aged version of the one that Aikens originally created at Dandelion, the Stephen Starr gastropub in Philadelphia. The blend incorporates rich, ropy lengths of hanger steak sourced from Pat LaFrieda, the famed meat supplier. The cut adds the slightest mineral tang to the burger.

“I wanted it to be approachable, with not a lot of age or to give it any funkiness, as that can be off-putting to some,” Aikens told me in September 2020 , only weeks after Ghostburger opened. “We also wanted to make it affordable, and obviously the longer you age beef, the more expensive it becomes.”

Two years ago, Ghostburger featured three hamburger preparations. It now has five, with a handful of optional “upgrades,” which make for even more variation between those potato buns. The hardest decision may be whether to order one or two patties with your preferred burger. In the best of all possible worlds — by which I mean, a world in which hamburgers are considered health food and not a menace to the planet — you would opt for a twin stack, which gives full expression to that wonderful beef. But the world is a cruel place, full of disease and natural disasters and consequences for your actions. Go with a single patty.

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You can also replace the beef with a housemade vegetarian patty, which is built with cremini mushrooms, beets, quinoa, lentils, parsnips and more. Fresh from the flat top, the crusty puck sports a kind of charred cherry complexion and packs more spice and flavor than your traditional round of seasoned ground beef. It also makes for one squishy burger: That plant-based patty just can’t provide any resistance, no matter how much crustiness it picks up on the grill.

Among the burgers, my favorite remains La Hamburguesa, a patty accented with Oaxaca cheese, smoked tomatillos and a peanut salsa macha. A respectful nod to the former Espita kitchen where it was engineered, La Hamburguesa takes a leisurely drive across the border, savoring some of the classic ingredients of Mexico in burger form. I’m also a fan of the new barbecue burger, topped with slaw, smoked Gouda, sauce and a single, thick-cut onion ring, which provides a shattering crunch, the kind usually supplied by potato chips or even a tuile. My lone disappointment was the Frenchie, which lacked enough caramelized onions to balance out the bitter edge of the blue cheese.

From the beginning, Ghostburger was a balancing act, between an anchor restaurant and a pop-up, between Philadelphia (the place that Josh and Kelly Phillips call home) and Mexico (the land that informed almost everything at Espita), between ground beef and barbacoa, and between tradition and innovation. Sometimes the lines between these elements and influences blurred to the point that they were all but invisible.

Even with Espita out of the picture, the restaurant still exerts an influence over Ghostburger. Its presence is felt not just in the obvious holdovers, such as La Hamburguesa, but in more subtle preparations.

Take the cheese sauce applied to the sandwich dubbed, somewhat ironically, I suspect, a “Real Cheesesteak.” The kitchen adds pickled jalapeños to the sauce, in amounts almost too minute to detect, yet sensed as a minor irritation on the palate amid the mess of onions confited in oil and sherry vinegar. This statement will win me no friends in Philly, but I’ll take Ghostburger’s cheesesteak eight times out of 10 over one at Pat’s or Geno’s or Jim’s. (Philadelphians, free feel to skip to the comments section now.)

Once you start looking for them, you will spot Mexican touches throughout the menu: the chipotle mayo slathered on the spicy fried chicken sandwich (whose main attribute is its juicy thigh meat); the Fresno and jalapeño peppers that inflame the veggie patty; the chili salt sprinkled on the crinkle cut fries; the Fresno butter sauce served with the wings; the Mexican Coke; and the light mezcal smoke that informs the Mayahuel margarita, available, like all the cocktails here, in a six-ounce drink, a 25-ounce pitcher or an eight-ounce custom-made Ghostburger can for takeaway.

‘Bar Rescue’ host Jon Taffer’s new tavern needs its own rescue

The Ghostburger menu remains a tightly constructed affair despite the restaurant’s new stand-alone status. The additions are few, but they include an Italian hoagie that is, like its cheesesteak cousin, served on a Sarcone’s roll trucked down from Philly. The hoagie subscribes to the theory that its cured meats should be good enough to eat on their own, and that begins with long, almost translucent ribbons of prosciutto de Parma, so salty, so nutty, so buttery. The new Ghostburger also has a brunch menu, which performs a neat trick: It will make you long for a cheesesteak hash, one enriched with the yolk of a sunny-side-up egg.

The former Espita space has been stripped of its Mexican accents, including that amazing Yescka mural in which a mohawk-spiked Frida Kahlo looked like she was a founding member of GBH . In its place, the owners have created a minimalist environment, a fluorescent pink playground for the restaurant’s official mascot, a perpetually startled ghost. You feel like you’ve been transported inside a Ms. Pac-Man machine , where you can consume all the Ghostburgers you want — until your quarters run out.

The space, in fact, looks ready for easy replication, which is probably the point. Kelly and Josh Phillips have plans to expand Ghostburger’s footprint, with company-owned storefronts in the United States and maybe even franchisees overseas. Should that plan come to fruition, I think it will be important to look back at Ghostburger’s roots and reflect on the obsessions that helped create the brand.

Over text one afternoon, Josh was telling me about the kitchen’s attempts to make its own onion rings. The kitchen would prepare a batch and allow the rings to sit out for a few minutes before packing them up for transport. Josh would then drive those rings around town on his motorcycle, looking to mimic the journey they would take with Uber Eats or DoorDash. The rings, Josh insisted, were delicious, but none stood up to the rigors of crosstown traffic. Which is why Ghostburger went with sturdy, third-party rings.

“Now that I’m writing this down, this feels like one of our more ridiculous practices to come out of our pandemic experience,” he texted. “Lol.”

Ghostburger

1250 Ninth St. NW, 202-827-5237; ghostburgerdc.com .

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Nearest Metro: Mount Vernon Square-Seventh Street-Convention Center, with a short walk to the restaurant.

Prices: $3 to $30 for all items on the menu.

HOLIDAY RECIPES

Sarah coop eats logo.

Halloween Ghost Cheese Burger Recipe

If you are looking for a delicious and fun Halloween dinner then the Halloween Ghost Cheese Burger Recipe is right for you.

This burger is easy to make and looks like a spooky ghost. With a side of homemade crinkle-cut fries and spider-web ketchup, it is sure to be a hit in your house. 

A sandwich with a jack o'lantern face and fries on a wooden table.

A delicious 30-Minute dinner recipe

This quick and easy Halloween ghost burger is a perfect option for dinner on Halloween.

It is easy enough to make in under 30 minutes, a recipe kids love, and a great way to get dinner in before a night of trick or treating.

So, here’s the scoop on how to create this Halloween Ghost Cheese Burger Recipe! Get ready to make the best spooky masterpiece, step by step.

Halloween Ghost Burger

The Halloween Ghost Cheese Burger is a great meal to eat in October when you want to use up the last crisp fall nights.

It is one of my favorite burger recipes that combines both summer and fall vibes!

Ingredients

For the Patties:

  • 1 pound (450g) ground beef (80% lean, 20% fat is ideal for juicy burgers) This recipe can work with a turkey burger or a meat substitute.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
  • 4 burger buns
  • American Cheese (or white cheese of preference)

For the French Fries:

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional seasonings (such as paprika, garlic powder, or cayenne pepper) for extra flavor

ghost bc burger

Instructions

Preparation.

For the Patties

  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (about 375-400°F/190-200°C). If you’re using a stovetop skillet or pan, heat it over medium-high heat.
  • Cut jack-o-lantern faces out of the cheese slices that will be placed on your burger. 

For the Fries

  • Preheat the oil, pour enough vegetable oil into a deep fryer or a large, heavy-bottomed pot to ensure that the fries will be fully submerged. Heat the oil to 350-375°F (175-190°C).
  • Wash and peel the potatoes, or you can leave the skin on for a more rustic texture.
  • Use a crinkle-cut knife or a crinkle cutter tool to cut the potatoes into crinkle shapes. You can find crinkle cutters at kitchen supply stores or online. Alternatively, you can use a regular knife to cut wavy shapes.
  • To make the fries extra crispy, you can soak the cut potatoes in a bowl of cold water for about 10-15 minutes. This helps remove some of the excess starch.

Two jack o'lantern shaped sandwiches with fries and ketchup.

  • Place the patties on the grill or in the pan. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side for medium-rare burgers, or adjust the cooking time to your desired level of doneness.
  • During the last minute of cooking, add a slice of cheese on top of each patty and cover the grill or pan to allow the cheese to lightly melt.
  • While the patties are cooking, cut the burger buns in half and toast them on the grill or in a toaster until they are lightly browned.
  • After soaking (if you choose to do so), drain and pat the potatoes dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.
  • Carefully add a batch of crinkle-cut potatoes to the hot oil using a slotted spoon or a frying basket. Be cautious not to overcrowd the pot; fry in batches if necessary.
  • Fry the potatoes for 3-5 minutes or until they turn golden brown and crispy. The exact cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of your fries and the temperature of the oil.
  • Use a slotted spoon or a spider strainer to remove the fries from the hot oil and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
  • Season the hot fries immediately with salt and any additional seasonings you prefer.
  • Continue frying the remaining batches of crinkle-cut potatoes until they’re all cooked.

ghost bc burger

  • Serve the cheeseburger on a platter, open-faced so everyone can enjoy your ghost faces! 
  • Take a toothpick and drag circles in to create a web shape
  • Serve on the side with french fries 

ghost bc burger

Tips and Variations

This is one of my favorite Halloween recipes that can be modified to almost any variation.

As stated above, it’s simple to make this recipe your own. It is easy to make vegetarian, vegan, or simply using a different burger meat and white cheese. 

The Halloween dinner ingredients can be found at any local grocery store. If wanted you can source your meat from a local butcher and find bread for buns at a bakery at a location near you. 

A few more variations include;

  • Onion rings instead of Fries
  • Two patties layered on top 
  • Orange cheese (such as Cheddar) to create a Jack-O-Lantern instead of a ghost
  • BBQ sauce instead of Ketchup

Some tips I found helpful;

  • Cut the shapes out of the cheese using a sharp knife  
  • Cook burger for 5 minutes per side for medium well 
  • Use a small toothpick to create a spider web shape on the ketchup 

Nutritional information for Halloween Ghost Cheese Burger Recipe

The nutritional information for a cheeseburger can vary depending on the size of the burger, the type of cheese used, and any additional toppings or condiments.

Here’s a general estimate for the nutritional content of a typical cheeseburger:

Note: This is a basic estimate, and the actual values can vary significantly based on specific ingredients and portion sizes.

Serving Size : 1 cheeseburger

Calories: A typical cheeseburger can range from 300 to 600 calories or more, depending on the size and ingredients used.

Protein: Approximately 15-25 grams of protein, depending on the size and type of patty.

Fat: Around 15-30 grams of fat, depending on the type of meat and cheese used.

Carbohydrates: Roughly 30-40 grams of carbohydrates, primarily from the bun.

Fiber: Minimal dietary fiber, usually less than 2 grams.

Sodium: A cheeseburger can contain anywhere from 600 to 1,200 milligrams of sodium or more, depending on condiments, cheese, and other toppings.

Cholesterol: About 40-100 milligrams of cholesterol, primarily from meat and cheese.

Final Thoughts

Step away from the Burger King Ghost Whopper and try this new Ghost Burger recipe that you can make at home! This is one of my favorite fall dinner recipes I’ve made so far.

It’s a delight for the kids to eat before candy is their only food source after a night of trick or treating.

You can truly customize this recipe to your needs adding new features.

I enjoy some spicy flavors so I added Jalapeno on top. I also like adding the element of bacon on my burger so I added that as well!

So, try out this awesome Halloween Ghost Cheese Burger Recipe and leave a comment letting us now how you liked it!

Two jack o lantern shaped sandwiches on a cutting board.

This burger is easy to make and looks like a spooky ghost.

For Patties:

  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (about 375-400°F/190-200°C). If you're using a stovetop skillet or pan, heat it over medium-high heat.
  • Cut jack-o-lantern faces out of the cheese slices that will be placed on your burger.

For the Fries:

1. Preheat the oil, pour enough vegetable oil into a deep fryer or a large, heavy-bottomed pot to ensure that the fries will be fully submerged. Heat the oil to 350-375°F (175-190°C).

2. Prepare and Soak potatoes

  • Continue frying the remaining batches of crinkle-cut potatoes until they're all cooked.

1. Serve the cheeseburger on a platter, open-faced so everyone can enjoy your ghost faces! 

2. Put ketchup in a dipping bowl with 2-3 small circles on mustard on top

3. Take a toothpick and drag circles in to create a web shape

4. Serve on the side with french fries 

FAQ’s

Can i use pre-made burger patties from the market.

Yes, for this recipe it is not necessary to make your burgers from scratch.

Although it is a great way to have full control over the taste and texture. Use your favorite store-bought burger or kick it up a notch and make it at home. 

Can I use a different kind of cheese?

You can use any type of sliced cheese you want. I recommend a slice of white cheese to create the ghost look but any cheese will work!

If yellow cheese is wanted instead, it can look like a pumpkin instead of a ghost, which is another cute idea!

Is there something I can use as a stem on top of the jack-o-lantern?

If a Jack-O-Lantern is the design you are going for, a great item to use as a stem is a piece of lettuce or a small slice of jalapeno. 

Get the Scoop on more like this: 

  • Halloween Pumpkin Punch Drink Recipe
  • Halloween Pesto Deviled Egg Recipe
  • Halloween Breadstick Bones Recipe
  • Halloween Cake Character Cookies Recipe

halloween ghost cheese burger recipe Pinterest image

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Ghostburger Menu and Delivery in Washington

ghost bc burger

Location and hours

Ghostburger.

4.7 x Star (200+) • 2437.2 mi Chevron right small

x Delivery bag remove Delivery Unavailable

1250 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA

What customers are saying

Featured items, extra sauces, frequently asked questions, can i order ghostburger delivery in washington with uber eats.

Yes. Ghostburger delivery is available on Uber Eats in Washington.

Is Ghostburger delivery available near me?

Enter your address to see if Ghostburger delivery is available to your location in Washington.

How do I order Ghostburger delivery online in Washington?

There are 2 ways to place an order on Uber Eats: on the app or online using the Uber Eats website. After you’ve looked over the Ghostburger menu, simply choose the items you’d like to order and add them to your cart. Next, you’ll be able to review, place, and track your order.

Where can I find Ghostburger online menu prices?

View upfront pricing information for the various items offered by Ghostburger here on this page.

How do I get free delivery on my Ghostburger order?

To save money on the delivery, consider getting an Uber One membership, if available in your area, as one of its perks is a $0 Delivery Fee on select orders.

How do I pay for my Ghostburger order?

Payment is handled via your Uber Eats account.

What’s the best thing to order for Ghostburger delivery in Washington?

If you’re in need of some suggestions for your Ghostburger order, check out the items showcased in “Picked for you” on this page.

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Live and Let's Fly

Review: Ghostburger In Washington DC

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Ghost Burger bar

Located in the upmarket Shaw neighborhood, Ghostburger is on a corner with ample seating both inside and on a heated patio.

Address: 1250 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Phone: (202) 827-5237

Google Maps Link

Ghost Burger entrance

What Is Ghost Burger?

Ghostburger is a small fast-food restaurant located in the heart of Washington DC that specializes in gourmet burgers. The restaurant has become hugely popular on social media due to its unique and delicious creations.

The burger joint offers a wide variety of burgers, from the classic beef burger (Ghost Burger) to more creative options like the Frenchie with crimini mushrooms, caramelized onions, mayonnaise, and bleu cheese. Those with intolerances will appreciate its gluten-free bun option. The restaurant also serves sides like onion rings and fries, as well as a variety of shakes and desserts.

What We Ordered

My family was able to find street parking and a table quickly inside. Guests can order from the counter or a QR code. While I generally loathe ordering from a QR code, the one that Ghostburger uses puts everyone ordering from the table (same QR code) on the same tab so one person can submit the order but everyone can see it. Parties can peruse the menu and pay together or separately and it was very easy to use.

Ghost Burger counter

Our party of four ordered:

  • (2) orders of Crinkle-cut fries (one with cheese and one without)
  • (1) La Hamburguesa (peanut macha, smoked tomatillo salsa, Oaxacan cheese, cilantro); double
  • (1) Ghost burger (American cheese, red onion, pickles, spooky sauce)
  • (1) Custom-built fried chicken sandwich
  • (1) Spicy Fried Chicken (pickles, chipotle mayo, hot sauce)

The fries were seasoned well and came with spooky sauce, ketchup, and one order included “cheese” which was not cheese wiz but queso. Rather than drowning the crispy fries in the queso, it was served on the side for dipping or pouring. These were an absolute highlight. One order looks light but it’s enough to share.

Ghost Burger crinkle cut fries

La Hamburguesa reflected the Mexican roots of the restaurant (more of that later) and was well executed. I may have dipped in the queso as well; highly recommended.

Ghost Burger La Hamburguesa

The Ghost Burger was a classic all-American smash burger and lived up to the brand name billing.

Ghost Burger

The Spicy Fried Chicken sandwich was overly hot for the member of our party that ordered but many who are used to a Nashville hot would suggest more heat. I am sure the kitchen would oblige.

Ghost Burger Spicy Fried Chicken

The custom fired chicken sandwich order was an attempt by my daughter to recreate a Chik-Fil-A sandwich.

Ghost Burger custom

Ghost Burger Origins

One of the managers, Mario, stopped by my table (and the others in the restaurant.) I asked him about the restaurant’s origin and he explained that it was borne of a need to keep workers from two other Mexican restaurants (Destino and Las Gamelas) employed during covid closures. It began as a “ghost kitchen” (a restaurant run solely for delivery services like Uber Eats, and DoorDash) as a stand-alone burger brand and then warranted its own location when the pandemic was over.

Ghost Burger dining room

The total was about $65 with an automatic 15% automatic gratuity. There was table service (they brought our food, served us filtered water, refilled glasses, and bussed the table) but it was also part DIY. At a traditional sit-down restaurant, we would have tipped more for table service, if it is all DIY we would have tipped less so including 15% felt fair enough to me.

On a person-by-person basis, fries were split and even with the queso, it was just $3.50/person plus $10-14/burger. For a party of two getting out of a restaurant right now for $15 which is as good as Ghost Burger was, is an excellent value.

What do you think? Have you tried Ghostburger? Any other favorites in Washington DC we should visit the next time we are in the Capitol?

About Author

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Kyle Stewart

Kyle is a freelance travel writer with contributions to Time, the Washington Post, MSNBC, Yahoo!, Reuters, Huffington Post, MapHappy, Live And Lets Fly and many other media outlets. He is also co-founder of Scottandthomas.com, a travel agency that delivers "Travel Personalized." He focuses on using miles and points to provide a premium experience for his wife and daughter. Email: [email protected]

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My wife and I visited Ghostburger when we were in DC, as neither one of us use Social Media, we didn’t know that it was famous.

We were in the area, hungry, saw the sign and went in.

We both enjoyed our meals and we too appreciated the cheese sauce on the side, our biggest complaint was the QR ordering which we both hate.

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QR code ordering is pretty common in the DMV. I wouldn’t knock the restaurant for that.

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This place has nothing on Wahlburgers, Kyle.

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To be honest that doesn’t really look very good.

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Did they get the burgers’ doneness to specifications? eg med-rare etc?

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Automatic 15% gratuity…well then no additional tip. I hate it when restaurants do that as it ought to be up to the customer whether or not to tip and how much depending on service or lack thereof.

Does Ghostburger take cash for payment?

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Ghostburger

ghost bc burger

Updated by business owner over 3 months ago

Photo of Ghostburger - Washington, DC, DC, US. La Hamburguesa

Popular dishes

Fried Chicken Sandwich

Fried Chicken Sandwich

Philly Cheesesteak

Philly Cheesesteak

La Hamburguesa

La Hamburguesa

Fresno Wings

Fresno Wings

Wedge Salad

Wedge Salad

White Cheddar Queso

White Cheddar Queso

Crispy Chick Sandwich

Crispy Chick Sandwich

Single Patty Frenchie

Single Patty Frenchie

Barbie Burger

Barbie Burger

BBQ Burger

Queso Oaxaca

Plantain Burger

Plantain Burger

Shroomsteak

Shroomsteak

Peanut Butter Cookiewich

Peanut Butter Cookiewich

Double Cheeseburger

Double Cheeseburger

Location & Hours

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Map

1250 9th St NW

Washington, DC 20001

Shaw, Downtown

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Amenities and More

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27 More Attributes

About the Business

DC's best Burgers and only REAL Philly Cheesesteak! Available for Delivery, Takeaway, or on-premise at Espita. …

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Recommended Reviews

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  • 1 star rating Not good
  • 2 star rating Could’ve been better
  • 3 star rating OK
  • 4 star rating Good
  • 5 star rating Great

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Overall rating

194 reviews

Photo of Erica L.

What a cute and very pink place! I came here randomly as I was at a basketball game nearby. I walked in and loved the ambiance. I went to the bathroom upon arrival (gender neutral). I came back to the front and ordered an Old Fashion and I built a burger. The old fashion was not my favorite. If you read my reviews, you know I love an Old Fashion! It had an interesting taste but I assume it whatever brand bourbon used. The burger was good. I got a single patty, added lettuce, tomato, pickles, mustard, mayo, ketchup (on the side, apparently you can only get 2 sauces on your burger lol), and a regular bun. It wasn't the best burger I ever had, but it was good. I would definitely go back.

Old fashion

Old fashion

Photo of Sharlene S.

Service- you can order from counter or QR code on table. There is plenty of staff around to assist. Food- everything we had was well seasoned, good portion sizes, and burgers had creative pairings. We got wings, Barbie burgers, and plantain burger(sun fried chicken) and for sides we shared the onion rings, fries, and Mac and cheese. Vibe-Cute and simple decor. Good for singles, families, and groups.

ghost bc burger

See all photos from Sharlene S. for Ghostburger

Photo of Dan M.

If you came here when the space was Espita, you likely know all about their sweet patio space, and the Ghostburger crew is still rocking it. On a recent Friday evening, the patio was full of people enjoying the nice weather with their meal. This is one of the most pleasant patios in town. They don't take reservations, but that has never been a problem for me. Just show up, ask for a table, and order via the QR code. I like that they still have QR code ordering, so much easier than having to flag someone down. For menu offerings, it's an intriguing mix of burgers, chicken sandwiches, cheesesteaks, hot dogs, etc. The main draw for me was their late night combo deals. Every day, even weekends, if you visit after 9, it is $20 for a burger, fries, and a cocktail. That is a steal. The burgers are tasty - not the best in town (Lucky Buns), but they hit the spot. They are very similar to Shake Shack, with a soft warm bun, and oozing with ghost sauce, which is similar to Big Mac sauce. For the cocktail, I had an old fashioned. The menu says it has some cynar and creme de banane, but those flavors didn't really come through. I think this might be a draft cocktail because like most draft cocktails, it lacked much flavor and tasted too watery for a cocktail with such few ingredients. Nevertheless, you really can't beat that price. Overall, come for the patio and the prices. I'll be back.

Photo of Bassey A.

Door dashed this spot and ordered the Ghostburger, fries and the chocolate chip cookie. The burger was good, fries were a bit over seasoned (and that's saying a lot bc I love my seasonings!), and the cookie was your typical chocolate chip cookie. My order was prepared fairly quickly too. Overall, not a bad place to order from if you are looking for a quick burger and fries.

ghost bc burger

As someone who's getting into photography, the theme is super cute! The color in the restaurant is so vibrant, the bar area and retro photos on the wall combined very well. I had the classic ghostburger with fries.. DELICIOUS. I'm not from the area so I thought pricing was a bit high, but I haven't had a burger that well done in a VERY long time so no complaints on that! We arrived around 9:40pm and left in less than an hour. The service was amazingly fast and the cook, I believe, personally delivered the food to our table. Super kind and friendly.

ghost bc burger

Ghostburger is easy to find being located a short walk from the convention center's main entrance and the Marriott Marquis. You can order from either the front counter or via QR code at the table. The person running the counter was VERY helpful, as it was our first time here. Menu is pub style items including Burgers, Cheesesteaks, and Sandwich's. First, the burgers here is the size of a regular McDonalds Cheeseburger, so if you are hungry, order two patties. Despite being small, the burgers are tasty. The Ghostsauce is roughly a 1000 Islands with an extra spice kick. The fries ended up being the surprise of the meal and were excellent with a nice spicey taste. They serve Coke products. Be aware, they add a 15% gratuity automatically to the bill, which I didn't find unreasonable. I could see myself coming back here again, but ordering more next time due to the size of the burgers.

Burger with a side of Ghostsauce. Good, but small.

Burger with a side of Ghostsauce. Good, but small.

Fries.

My husband and I really enjoyed ourselves here. They have a chill, relaxed vibe going on with really cute pink/black/white color palette throughout. We ate at the bar and our bartender was very pleasant with us. It wasn't busy when we came in, which was right before the Adam Sandler show at Capital One. We both loved the drinks, which doesn't always happen for us. The la carina is very refreshing if you like vodka based drinks. My husband's old fashioned was, as he said, just a very good old fashioned -- nothing extra or over the top just a good drink. I got the Barbie burger with a veggie Patty and hubby got the Ghostburger with chicken and "spooky sauce". We split some Mac and cheese. The Mac is classic, creamy, very good. Nothing extra -- just a very well executed classic Mac. The veggie patty held its own in terms of consistency with the Barbie burger toppings and I could tell it wasn't previously frozen. When you add their sauces and toppings it's a 5 for sure, especially if you like heat then the Barbie burger is a good choice. I love that they have crinkle cut fries but the chili salt doesn't add much so paying the extra dollar for the chipotle Mayo is actually worth it. My hubby said the chicken patty on his Ghostburger was very good -- it was cooked well and seasoned properly, not just a dry lump of chicken. Spooky sauce is needed or it would be boring. If you are in the area and want to try something fun and casual without waiting for some space to open up at unconventional diner, this is a solid option.

ghost bc burger

10 stars..... Philly fries and spicy chicken sandwich to die for. Poco picante pitcher a must. I wish I lived close by to frequent more often.

Spicy crisp chick

Spicy crisp chick

Poco picante pitcher

Poco picante pitcher

Photo of Janay D.

It is a dope vibe as soon as you walk in the door. The pink and black decor with the pink neon sign is a instant attracter for instagram pics. The customer service was exceptional. Even with me placing a to go order, I felt like I had order within. A little background. A ghost kictchen that launched during a pandemic pivot trying to the hardest now to lay anyone off. With flare of their former restaurant Espita all over the menu this ghost kitchen ventured into his own pink building. Ghostburger has amazing press across the including the president ordering burgers as well. Super dope! So I had to try it out. I decided on the building my own burger option. I started with the patty, add guoda cheese, L & T, as well as their spooky sauce. I am a little fat so I added on the philly fries. Let's talk about it.... The burger was OKAY. I will not lie I expected some char to the patty, a special seasoning, or something that would excite my taste buds. Its a good burger don't get me wrong. Yet, it didn't give me the exctiement I was looking for. The philly fries tho. Mind you I did take this order to go. What I was super excited about is that the cheese was on the side and not on the fries. The meat on these fries was sesasoned and the cheese sauce just enough. I give my experience a 6 out 10. Maybe I will try again.

ghost bc burger

Gave ghost burger a try while I was in town for work. It was good, not the best but I did enjoy my burger and fries. I wasn't a fan of the Mac n cheese which was disappointing. I like that you are able to sit down and order on the menu which allows you to customize your order. A small thing, but they gave us the tiniest water glasses and a small thing of water for four of us, and it was room temperature so I didn't love that. The burgers are small and so are the patties so I recommend two burgers or two patties.

ghost bc burger

16 other reviews that are not currently recommended

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