Background: David Manero — creator of Vic & Angelo's (Delray Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Miami Beach) and The Office (Delray Beach) — noticed the runaway success of burgers and fries on his menus and realized they are the cornerstone of American restaurant meals. BurgerFi was born. Its name sums up his desire to lead a "BurgerFication of the Nation."
Quote: "Our business plan is simple," says Steve Lieber, director of operations and training. "Hot juicy burgers and crispy crunchy fries in an exceptionally clean restaurant with motivated and energized staff."
Ambience: Industrial and warm at the same time, with wooden walls and metal grate ceilings. Polyurethane floors have a high-gloss black epoxy finish. Tables and chairs are classic French metal Tolix. There are recycled wooden tables, as well as outdoor furniture made from recycled water bottles. The music is loud — lots of Led Zeppelin the evening we dined — which is meant to remind the older crowd of their first foray into burgers. BurgerFi attracts everyone from families to couples.
Entree excellence: Burgers are made with vegetarian-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free Angus beef. The only time they stray from ground beef is to offer a brisket burger and a quinoa creation. These aren't gigantic, gut-busting burgers, but satisfying and flavorful without being greasy. The basic BurgerFi Burger is $5.47; the Classic cheeseburger $5.97. The Ultimate Cheeseburger ($9.97) is made with natural prime brisket. I'd recommend it. But I also liked the half-and-half burger ($7.97), one crisp-grilled quinoa patty and one Angus patty. It was satisfying, but not overwhelming. The quinoa burger is also available as a single patty ($6.77). There are 16 free toppings — from basic mayo and mustard to grilled onions and barbecue sauce. Among the 12 premium toppings ($1-$1.57) are a sunny-side-up egg, Peter Luger steak sauce, onion rings and hickory bacon. The only poultry offering is a chicken apple dog ($4.27) from Aidells Sausage Co. We also had a Kobe beef hot dog ($4.97) that had almost too much of a smoky flavor.
Side issues: Like the burgers, even fries ($2.77 regular, $3.77 large, $5.77 bucket) can be customized. They can be ordered extra-crispy, limp, topped with chili and cheese (Texas-style), or as parmesan-herb fries topped with garlic aioli. The fries are fresh-cut and delicious. Onion rings ($3.77 small, $4.77 large) are crispy, but I prefer a simpler breading.
Sweet!: If you have any childhood memories of frozen custard, they will come flooding back when you taste the stuff made fresh on the premises. Purists will love a vanilla cone or cup ($3.97 single, $4.97 double, $5.97 triple), while the more adventurous will want to try one of the Concretes ($5.57). It's frozen custard blended with mix-ins. We had a decadent Beach Blast: chocolate custard, peanut butter, chocolate truffle cookie dough, chocolate chips and chocolate sprinkles. The Fort Lauderdale Surfer mixed vanilla custard with caramel and fresh mango. You can also design your own.
Service: While you order at a counter and receive a pager to let you know when your order is ready, the staff is patient with first-timers and knows the menu inside and out. The dining room — especially that shiny black floor — was kept spotlessly clean by a devoted employee. My only quibble: If you want another beer, it appears you have to rejoin the sometimes very long line.
Liquid assets: Excellent selection of craft beers both on draft and in bottles. Along with wine by the glass, BurgerFi also sells five different half bottles of wine. I'm told a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, where guests customize their Coke with different flavors, is on its way.
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