REVIEW: BurgerFi, Latham [PHOTOS]
Oh my, Burger Fi. Sorry, I’m not usually that corny but it felt appropriate. It’s always so strange for me when my “real-life” job and my blog intermingle. I was invited to a press event for Burger Fi (860 New Loudon Rd, Latham) for my “real-life” job so I figured, might as well take advantage and write about it on my blog! I walk in and the place is beautiful! The press event was Tuesday and the restaurant opened Wednesday at 11AM.
If you didn’t already know, BurgerFi is actually a franchise. Our local location is owned by Angelo Mazzone and Bill Lia (Burger Ventures LLC). BurgerFi, as they listed in their press release “was founded on the belief of creating a better guest experience through serving a high-quality, gourmet chef-inspired food.” They pride themselves on serving never frozen, grass-fed, hormone-free, steroid-free, and anti-biotic free Angus beef with their focus on giving back to local communities. All of their ingredients are natural, fresh and cut, chopped, mixed and prepared daily.
Each BurgerFi location is built to reduce its carbon footprint on the environment. Tables are constructed using compressed wood and chairs are made from 111 recycled Coke bottles, large fans utilize 66 percent less electricity, and strict recycling policies. I love the effort they’re putting in to not only have a delicious product but help the environment in the process. I respect that.
Now, what you’re here for, how the tasting went. We had a special menu for tasting and had the opportunity to taste a good number of items on their menu. If you don’t want to read my step-by-step, check out my TL;DR at the bottom for a quick overview.
PARM + HERB FRY: HAND-CUT FRIES TOSSED IN OUR SIGNATURE PARMESAN + HERB BLEND — I’m going to preface this with saying that I’m not a huge French fry person but I know what I like and I wasn’t really impressed. We started with these so I was worried what was to come when I wasn’t too excited about the fries. They weren’t terrible but they weren’t special They were soft, the flavor was okay but not incredibly strong. What I did really like was the Parmesan sauce, that was delicious. The problem is that it’s drizzled so once I ate the fries off of the top, the sauce was gone. (Regular $3.27/Large $4.37/ Bucket $6.57 + $0.97 for the Parmesan + Herb sauce)
URBAN STYLE CRY + FRY: AN ONION RING + FRY COMBO, TOSSED IN PARMESAN + TOPPED WITH HERB + GARLIC AIOLI– The fries used in this are the same hand-cut fries so I could do without the fries. On the flip side, coming from someone who doesn’t like onion rings, theirs were delicious! Not only were they the size of my face but they were so lightly breaded yet crisp. I can’t wait to go back and just get an order of those. If you’re getting a burger, don’t leave without the rings! (Onion Rings Regular $4.37/ Large $4.97 or Cry + Fry $5.47)
BURGER FI CHEESEBURGER: DOUBLE NATURAL ANGUS BURGER, DOUBLE AMERICAN CHEESE, LETTUCE, TOMATO & BURGERFI SAUCE — It was about this moment when we realized that we weren’t getting one burger to taste but 4 and a hot dog so I started to pace myself. I got two bites in of these burger and it took everything in me to not finish it. It was delicious. The burgers were hearty and juicy but not too overwhelming so I didn’t honestly realize I was eating two of them. The cheese was perfectly melted and I don’t know what magic they put in that BurgerFi sauce but I want to put it on everything. It was definitely a gourmet burger, similar to a Shake Shack style for comparison. The coolest part was they had their logo burnt into the bun, it didn’t change the flavor of the burger but it was a nice little touch ($5.97).
BREAKFAST ALL DAY BURGER: NATURAL ANGUS BURGER, AMERICAN CHEESE, HICKORY BACON, MAPLE SYRUP, FRIED EGG, HASH BROWN, GRILLED ONIONS & KETCHUP — I didn’t expect to like this but I really did! I didn’t get a strong maple syrup flavor and was surprised to read that it was on the burger somewhere. The bacon made it but bacon is amazing so that’s to be expected. The hash brown was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside as it should be. Note, because of the hash brown, this is a singular burger patty. Be careful when eating this though because the fried egg is runny and gooey so expect to have to lick that delicious yolk off of your fingers when you’re done ($9.97)!
BRISKET BURGER: DOUBLE 28-DAY DRY-AGED GROUND BRISKET BURGER, SWISS AND BLUE CHEESES, LETTUCE, TOMATO, PICKLES & BURGERFI SAUCE — This, though delicious, was my least favorite burger. That’s not to say I hated it, because I didn’t, not at all, it just so happened that it was my least favorite. The burger itself was delicious. Juicy, well-constructed and delicious but not only was it too tall for me to take a solid bite with all the ingredients, there was a lot going on. Looking at the burger itself, you could tell that it was brisket and not regular hamburger meat. I think the mis-step in my opinion were the cheeses. The blue cheese plus the swiss plus the sauce just wasn’t my favorite. The way I’d construct it? One burger, just blue cheese but a lesser amount, leave the rest the same (Called “The Twenty-Eight” on the menu, $10.57).
VEGEFI BURGER: CRISPY QUINOA, LENTIL + FRESH-CUT VEGGIE BURGER, WHITE CHEDDAR, LETTUCE, TOMATO ON GREENSTYLE WRAP & BURGERFI SAUCE — I loved this. I can’t put into words how much I loved this. I love that there’s not only a veggie option but it’s available with a lettuce bun. The quinoa burger was crispy and didn’t fall apart when I bit into it. I had the deep-fried option and could taste it, I would’ve liked to have tried the grilled quinoa option. That said, I had already tried 3 other burgers by this point and this one I finished. If I had the option, I probably would get the “Conflicted Burger ($7.47)” which is one hamburger and one quinoa burger. Was this my favorite? No, but if you’re a vegetarian or looking to eat a little lighter, this is a great burger substitute and you don’t have to worry about going to a burger place with your friends ($6.97).
CHICAGO STYLE WAGYU BEEF DOG: WAGYU BEEF DOG, MUSTARD, NEON RELISH, ONION, TOMATO, SPORT PEPPERS, CELERY SALT, PICKLE SPEAR ON A POPPY BUN — There was so much stuff on this hot dog, it was hard to taste the dog by itself. It was a delicious hot dog, but the condiments were over-powering. I know that’s the point of a Chicago dog and it’s not something I’m used to but that was the flavor I got. The condiments were delicious and as a total package, I enjoyed it but I’m more of a burger person than a hot dog person anyway. If you like hot dogs, definitely give this one a try because it was good on its own (Kobe-Style Beef $5.47/ Chicken Apple $4.97/Vienna Beef $3.97 + $1.00 for Chicago-style).
RED VELVET CONCRETE: VANILLA CUSTARD WITH LAYER UPON LAYER OF RED VELVET — Well, if you have room left over after your delicious burger, you need to order this. The red velvet was really good but the vanilla custard was out of this world. The consistency was perfect, the flavor was spot on- I loved it and if I didn’t love their burgers so much, I’d go there, grab a spoon, and just order this concrete. If you don’t get this, you’re seriously missing out ($5.57)
CHOCOLATE SHAKE: THICK, RICH AND DELICIOUS MADE WITH ALL NATURAL FARM FRESH, OLD-FASHIONED CHOCOLATE CUSTARD — Thank goodness I left room for these two at the end! This shake was lighter but still with the heaviness of the custard that separates it from any ol’ milk shake. It’s served with a straw so it’s just liquidy enough but still with some substance. The sprinkles were unnecessary but the chocolate flavor was rich, like a dark chocolate over a lighter milk chocolate. They also offer a ton of flavors including black + white, banana, peanut butter and coffee mocha. This was a little too rich for me but I enjoyed the flavor of it ($4.47). Wow. I think I’m still full from all of that food but reliving it just made me want to eat it all over again.
That was a lot- for those of you skimming for the good stuff, my TL:DR version is this: the BurgerFi original, straight-forward cheeseburger was my favorite but the brisket would have probably been if it wasn’t overwhelmed, the onion rings are a much better choice than the fries & if you leave without a concrete of any kind, you’re doing it wrong but because of how sweet it is, know you’re not eating that all in one sitting. Everything tasted extremely fresh and you can tell that nothing is frozen. I don’t like to say anything is “The best I’ve ever had” but in terms of local burger places, I’d no question put this in my top 3. Next time though, I’m checking out their wine & beer selection!
[Quote from Matthew McConaughey]