Lunch, Anyone? BurgerFi
All natural, free-range burgers, custards, more
A new restaurant has arrived on Comm Ave, and we are here to report that it’s well worth checking out. Situated in what was the old Qdoba Mexican Grill, BurgerFi is already earning plaudits for its juicy patties and creamy custard and an eco-friendly vision you can feel good about. The West Campus location, which opened last month, is the first in Massachusetts for the Florida-based chain.
BurgerFi prides itself on serving all-natural, free-range Angus beef with no chemicals or additives. The emphasis on high-quality ingredients, large selection of gourmet toppings, craft beers and wine, and customizable menu offerings means that this is one burger joint you won’t feel guilty about patronizing. The chain wants to change the way we think about burgers, a mission it has rather grandly dubbed “the burgerfication of the nation.”
Each restaurant is built according to environmentally sustainable best practices. The company’s website emphasizes the interior’s “earth-friendly elements, like chairs that are made from recycled Coke bottles, tables made out of compressed recycled wood, and large fans that use 66 percent less electricity,” as well as its stringent recycling programs for oil, cardboard, bottles, and cans.
We visited at noon on opening day, expecting to get lost in a mass of hungry, harried lunch-goers. But the problems that plague so many other restaurants during lunchtime rush—long lines, insufficient seating, slow service—were nowhere in evidence. Three registers and a well-staffed kitchen guaranteed that our food was ordered and prepared quickly, and the seating is ample, offering counter space for a solo bite and large tables accommodating parties of up to a dozen.
We ordered the restaurant’s staple, the eponymously named BurgerFi Burger ($4.47), a natural Angus burger with lettuce, tomato, and cheese. Don’t let these simple flavors fool you. A splash of BurgerFi sauce, a mayo-based condiment made with 15 secret ingredients, gave it a bold boost of flavor and elevated this American staple above the average.
We also took advantage of BurgerFi’s secret menu, items not listed on the board but that are on the printed menu, by ordering the All the Way Burger ($4.94). It’s the pick of choice for anyone craving an upgraded burger. The single patty came with lettuce, tomato, diced onion, and BurgerFi sauce. We especially enjoyed the irresistible contrast of cool, crunchy pickle slices on top of the warm, gooey American cheese.
If you’re looking for a really unique burger option, try the Breakfast All Day Burger ($6.97), made with American cheese, hickory bacon drizzled in maple syrup, fried egg, hash browns, grilled onions, and ketchup. The Build Your Best Burger (price varies depending on what you select) allows you to create your own masterpiece. Choose from 15 free toppings, among them garlic mayo, diced onions, pickles, BurgerFi sauce, hot sauce, and ketchup, or indulge in one of the premium garnishes ($1) like fried eggs, chili, or salt and vinegar potato chips.
Reflecting BurgerFi’s overall focus on a healthier menu selection, quinoa burgers can be substituted for traditional patties. Similarly, the carb-conscious can forgo buns and order their burgers Green Style, i.e., served in crisp lettuce.
For sides, we recommend the Urban Fries ($3.94). We ordered ours well done (“limp” is available as well) and were not disappointed. They were as advertised—outrageously crunchy. Served plain, the crispy, golden hand-cut fries would have been delicious on their own, but a smothering of salty Parmesan herb mix and a generous zigzag of creamy garlic aioli added an additional flavor boost.
For a less elaborate side with your burger, order a basket of Crispy Onion Rings ($3.97). You get only six rings, but at up to an inch in width, they could easily serve as a main course. The batter used on the rings is made with BurgerFi beer and a house-made mix of spices. The result: a soft, delicate, sweet onion with a crispy exterior that didn’t fall off or become soggy.
Can’t decide between the two? Try both when you order the Cry & Fries ($4.97) and select from several premium ingredients like hot Cajun spices ($.57) and cheese sauce ($.97) for more flavor.
BurgerFi doesn’t stick just to the savory. The natural frozen custards, in updated flavors like red velvet, peanut butter, and strawberry, and classics like vanilla, chocolate, and coffee mocha, will fulfill your sweet tooth cravings. Each can be dressed up from a choice of 26 toppings. The custard can be ordered as shakes, sundaes, cups, and cones or in take-home pints. We opted for orange and grape floats, or in BurgerFi lingo: Orange and Purple Cows ($4.47). The floats—orange or grape soda with vanilla custard (and extra soda on the side)—were frothy and not too sweet, the ideal complement for our savory meal.
One of the things that sets this place apart from nearby burger competitors is its array of seasonal craft beers and wines. Among the current offerings are Clown Shoe’s Gallactic, an Indian pale ale, Clown Shoe’s Clementine, a white pale ale, and Ten Penny ale (each $4.97). For a classier buzz, order wines like Robert Mondavi’s Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Grigio, Hogue Chardonnay, or Rex Goliath Merlot ($4.97 a glass, $19.97 a bottle).
With its quick service, wide variety, focus on quality, and spacious interior, BurgerFi appeals to lunch, dinner, and late night crowds. If the trek to West Campus is too much, don’t fret. The restaurant will soon offer delivery.
BurgerFi is at 961 Commonwealth Ave., West Campus; hours: Sunday to Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; phone: 617-254-4200. The restaurant accepts cash and all major credit cards. By public transportation, take an MBTA Green Line B trolley to Pleasant Street.
This is part of a weekly series featuring Boston lunch spots of interest to the BU community. If you have any suggestions for places we should feature, leave them in the Comment section below. Check out our list of lunchtime tips on Foursquare.
Paula Sokolska can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments