By Analyssa Gonzalez
Downtown Leesburg has seen a restaurant resurgence in the past year, but not one of those new, hip eateries has specialized in burgers and fries—until now.
19 West Burgers, a family-owned and -operated gourmet burger joint, has settled into the cozy storefront next to Tally Ho Theater on West Market Street, churning out build-your-own burgers topped with a choice of seven fresh, homemade sauces.
The eatery is owned by longtime Loudoun residents, parents Will and Courtney Taliaferro, and their children Marshall and Meriwether, who are committed to bringing the tastiest and highest quality burgers to old town. After hosting several soft open servings to Tally Ho patrons earlier this year, and taking in as much feedback as they could—from food name changes to adding more heat to the sriracha mayo—they perfected their menu and embarked on their mission to bring downtown the burger haven it’s been craving.
Open since March, 19 West Burgers is not only quickly becoming known for its house-made sauces, but also for its fresh-food philosophy. Their meats are ground in-house, their russet fries are house-cut, and they craft their sauces daily.
When asked about opening a burger joint half a mile away from a local favorite MELT—known for hefty half-pound patties—Head Chef Meriwether Taliaferro said 19 West Burgers is specializing in smaller burgers, which she called the “perfect portion.”
“Our patties are a quarter pound, but you have the option to double up if you want more,” Taliaferro said. “We don’t consider ourselves in direct competition with other burger joints because we are the only specialty burger eatery downtown, and we bring a new build-your-own gourmet style cuisine that Leesburg hasn’t seen before.”
Taliaferro heard from friends who work downtown that people frequently ask, “Where can I get a burger around here?”
“Before, the answer was always, ‘well, you can’t really,’ but now they send them our way,” Taliaferro said.
19 West Burgers invites customers to craft their ideal burger experience. “We offer seven burger options, but ideally, the customer can pick and choose what they want to add or remove to a burger,” Taliaferro said.
Some of their best sellers are the Rise and Shine Burger (a half bacon half beef patty topped with avocado, lemon aioli, arugula, tomato, and a fried egg) and the Theta Burger (a house blend patty finished with mayo, theta hickory smoked tomato sauce, pickles, and unmelted cheddar cheese.
In all, 19 West Burgers offers seven house-made sauces, and is testing out four others that may be added to the menu: an Alabama white sauce with a mayo-horseradish base, a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, a Peruvian green sauce, and honey mustard.
Taliaferro said, “All four are in the running.”
19 West Burgers is open 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. Learn more at 19westburgers.com.
Analyssa Gonzalez is a senior at Tuscarora High School, completing her capstone project with Loudoun Now.