BOSTON – What happens when you give a 50s style burger joint a hip, modern makeover? You get BurgerFi. It's a fun and funky burger chain that started in Florida, and over the past four years has expanded from coast to coast, including locations in West Roxbury and one on Commonwealth Ave. near Boston University.
"BurgerFi means the burgerfication of the nation. We're re-introducing this so general concept to the nation," said Kitchen Manager Kelly Carusi.
"We're essentially trying to change the way people think of the modern day burger," added General Manager Jameson Almeida.
The way BurgerFi thinks about burgers is to make them fresh, make them gooey, and serve them on nicely toasted potato rolls branded with the BurgerFi logo.
"All of our food is cooked to order. So we don't have burgers sitting in the back waiting for you," explained Kelly. "Our meat has no hormones, no antibiotics, no steroids, never frozen. We like cooking on the flat top because it does keep the meat more juicy. You don't have to worry about scorch marks on it that you would get from a normal grill."
"It basically seals in the juices," Jameson said. "When you cook on a grate, most of the juices fall through. With this, it's basically cooking in itself and it just makes for an excellent burger."
Double burgers are the standard at BurgerFi, and the specialty burgers are special indeed. Take for example, the Breakfast All Day Burger, which some claim to be the ultimate hangover helper.
"It's delicious is what it is," Jameson describes the burger, which includes hash brown, ketchup, grilled onions, bacon, an egg, maple syrup, and of course the patty with cheese. "Some people, it puts them right into a sleep. Others, it's what they need to get their day going. That and a tall glass of water, goes a long way."
You can actually get a nice craft beer at BurgerFi, and you'll want something pretty strong to compliment the bold flavors of the Brisket Burger, made with premium beef that's dry-aged for 28 days. Kelly said the beef has a little more tenderness and flavor to it and it's topped with both bleu cheese and Swiss cheese.
Believe it or not, the sides at BurerFi might be even better than the burgers themselves!
The fries are hand cut every day. When they come out, Jameson says "they're crispy, they're crunchy, they're delicious."
Customers can order their fries several ways. Regular fries come nice and crispy. "You can order them limp, which is on the softer side, or you can order them well done which has an extreme crunch to the whole fry," explained Kelly.
The onion rings are colossal. They're made from giant onions that are cut in half.
"It's definitely something to share. I've seen people put them on their wrist before, take pictures with them," Kelly described. "It's just an eye-opener on how big these are."
If you're more into the hot dog-ification of America, there's a Chicago-style dog served on a poppy seed bun, and a cheesy Texas style chili dog.
True BurgerFi fans know all about the restaurant's not-so-secret "secret menu."
Ask for the so-called "Alternative Fries" and you'll get 'em smothered in a mixture of melted cheese, grilled onions, and the signature Fi Sauce. The "Cry and Fry" stacks three of those monstrous onion rings on top of an order of regular fries. The seemingly insane "Half and Half Burger" features both a beef patty and a quinoa veggie burger all in one bun.
When it comes to dessert, there's no secret at all, because everybody sticks to the Concretes.
"The frozen concretes, I like to describe them as a dessert parfait if you will," described Kelly.
"It's a premiere ice cream, and then you have the toppings of your choice, more custard, more toppings, more custard," added Jameson.
For example, the Red Velvet Concrete is red velvet cake and vanilla custard layered in a BurgerFi cup.
"They are served upside down," said Jameson. "So if you see one coming at you upside down, don't panic. It's ok. The custard is so thick and creamy. So, there's no spills."
There are a couple other things to know about the interior of BurgerFi. First of all, they pump the music pretty loud inside. Second, just about everything piece of décor has been recycled - from the compressed wood on the walls to the metal chairs, to the meat hook light holders.
The carbon footprint is minimized, while the flavors are definitely maximized.
"We really do take pride in that we are a more fast food establishment, but we aren't doing it the typical way. We are cooking everything to order, making sure everything is nice and fresh for you," Kelly explained. "Customers tend to have a really good time here. Our crowd will be a whole group of friends, they'll be hanging out at one of our big tables, sharing all these fries and onion rings and just having a good time."
You can find BurgerFi at 961 Commonwealth Ave in Boston, near Boston University, and online at burgerfi.com.
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