Burger Hunt: BurgerFi – Arlington, TX
I had heard of BurgerFi and read reviews before that led me to believe if I was ever in the area I needed to check one out, but it wasn’t worth making a trek to go find out.
With that said, I recently had found out that one was open in the new shops in Arlington on Collins and I-30, so being an avid burger hunter, there’s no way I couldn’t go in.
The style of restaurant is definitely upscale fast food, and to me most resembles what chains like Shake Shack and even more local chains like Hopdoddy are doing with food and atmosphere. All natural ingredients, with a bit of chef flair and a place to eat that feels like you could hang out there too.
Walking in there’s a friendly staff yelling out “All Natural” in unison to the guests as you decide between going to the counter and doing this old school, or for those more technically savvy, going to the kiosk and building your own creations.
The recommendation across the board is what’s called The CEO, which is 100% Waygu beef mixed in with 28 day aged brisket cooked how you like it with fresh veg and “Special Sauce.” This by the way is mayo with 14 seasonings and is pretty tasty considering that most “Special Sauce” is either Thousand Island or some weird mayo, ketchup and pickle relish concoction.
I usually don’t stray from the norm as it gives me a baseline of comparison to every place I try, so of course I got the Bacon Cheeseburger. It was made to order as it doesn’t come with veg, but you can add anything you like, but if meat, cheese and bacon is your thing, you can’t go wrong here.
The buns are flattop toasted with butter and then have the BurgerFi name emblazoned on top with an infrared toaster. Overall it’s fresh, baked daily, tasty and holds the burger well. Not too big or small, but nothing to write home about. The important part is that it holds the juices well and doesn’t fall apart after you’re half way through, so that’s really the win.
The meat itself was basically just seasoned with salt and pepper and the flavor wasn’t coming from a bunch of added stuff to make it taste better. It tastes better, because it’s better meat, and that I can say definitely made me like this burger quite a bit. I do have to admit I was disappointed in the cheese, as I swear it looked melted and tasted just like a slice of Kraft American would (and it very well may have been just that), but next time I can change that and it still tasted pretty good considering, but if I’m getting a chef inspired upscale burger, throw a slice of cheddar on that burger and stop with the Throwback Thursday cheese. I had enough of that at Opening Day baseball to last me a lifetime.
In regards to sides, BurgerFi boasts awesome fries, onion rings, custard concretes and as many ways to order your fries as they have burgers, but I just tried the regular fries and those were really good. Hand cut and friend in peanut oil, you can really tell the difference. I can’t comment on the rest, but I did read that the onion rings don’t disappoint either as they actually stay inside the batter when you eat them, so if the fries are any indicator to the rings, you’ll be in for a treat.
So, what’s the deal you ask? Keeping in mind that this is not designed to meet everyone’s budget for a quick lunch and making comparisons to other similar places, I’d say this is a place I would continue to go to, but just as I said at the beginning, I’m not sure I’d drive across town to get one.
Arlington actually offers a few choices in quality burgers for less or around the same price that I enjoy, however for the fact that they are 100% natural, no hormone or antibiotic beef burgers with fresh food being the main inspiration, just know that you will get a really good tasting burger, but you’re going to pay for it too. Don’t expect something for nothing here as two people will spend $25 to eat, and as long as you keep that in perspective you won’t be disappointed in the food or experience.
You’ll think of Shake Shack, Liberty Burger or even Elevation Burger going in and you’ll probably find it similar in taste too. Some people will just like the others better because they do, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but bottom line is if this is what you know going in, you’ll get what you expect. Otherwise, keep on having the Whataburger vs. In N Out debate, because this a different burger, a different concept and completely different market BurgerFi is going after, and they don’t care to compete with a #1 combo.
Have I ever told you about Al’s? Check this out!
Best way to describe it is it’s the kind of family style throw back diner that you’re parents would probably love. The wait staff is awesome and always willing to get you whatever you want. The cheeseburger is the best bet here, and you can get it however you like. This location has been open since 1989, but the original Al’s was a carhop in the middle of Arlington before there even was an Arlington hardly. The burgers are flat top grilled and seasoned to taste. This goes on my list for the Burger GPS App simply because it’s a taste of the way everyone used to eat burgers. Paper wrapped and hot off the grill. Nothing fancy about this burger. It’s just made with love and gives you a good feeling after you finish. They’re not real big, but doubles are an option, or you can dress it up with some of Al’s famous chili. Overall I’d give the food and customer service experience 3 1/2 out of 5, but it’s just that place that when you see it, you have to stop by.