Burger bliss

Real fans of the hamburger sandwich tend to be highly opinionated individuals. No, not as in Mickey D vs. BK faux-controversy; we’re talking about the true burger snob—the local version of which can work up a good head of steam arguing the virtues of, say, Ford’s over the Squeeze Inn. For my money, Midtown’s curiously named Nationwide Freezer Meats, which did business behind Relles Florist for 32 years before relocating to the corner of 20th and H Streets a few weeks back, puts them all to shame. Frank Gonzales started selling sides of beef to home-freezer enthusiasts in 1969; a few years later he started serving burgers that were so good that he soon didn’t have time to run his butcher business. Nationwide’s steak Frenchburger with cheese, plus fries that are essentially a potato quartered lengthwise and an honest fresh-fruit milkshake will square you away for under $10. The new shop, which occupies the space of a former taqueria that also sold piñatas and confirmation dresses, lacks the personality of the old joint, but when the food’s this good and you can bliss out on a hot summer day and listen to pre-rock pop (Sinatra, big bands) on the radio, who cares?