a couple's adventures in eating
Location: 538 South Park Avenue Winter Park, FL 32789
WHAT SHE ATE: VegeFi Burger with lettuce, white American cheese, pickles and special sauce
The Critique: Ok. We did it. We hit up the big hot spot that eeeeeverybody’s talking about: BurgerFi. Not only that, we did it with some of Orlando’s top food bloggers at our very first food blogger meet up (we felt so fancy!). Allow me to begin this review with a dated nineties reference that, likely, only my 20-something comrades will comprehend.
Burgerfi is to Five Guys as Mondo Burger is to Good Burger.
For those of you who don’t grasp the simple message behind this statement, let me enlighten you. Mondo Burger is the big, good looking, machine of good looking burgers that make you feel like the popular kid in school for eating them, even though they just. don’t. taste. that. good. Good Burger, like Five Guys, unadorned with white walls and a simplistic menu, makes a far better burger without all that trendy hipster stuff to distract you as you eat. But, enough with the Kenan and Kel metaphor.
I’ll admit, I made the first mistake. General rule of thumb: If you eat meat and find yourself in a bustling burger joint, don’t order a veggie burger. The VegeFi Burger is a quinoa patty on a multi-gran bun that I’m pretty sure was stolen from Chick-fil-a’s Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich. I guess if you want to eat healthy at BurgerFi, you are no longer eligible for their signature bun stamp of a bold and blackened “BURGERFI.” I take my first bite into the patty, anxiously awaiting a brilliant explosion of garden-fresh flavor. Immediately, my mouth is met with some type of flavorless, wet, paste, clearly trying to hide itself beneath the melted cheese and crunchy pickles. I’m not fooled, quinoa patty! You are tasteless and dull and you know it! I give it a few more go’s before settling for just the pickles and staring longingly at my fiance’s real burger.
Pitifully, I try to distract myself with the salt and vinegar fries that I want so badly to love. It’s difficult to love a soggy fry drenched in vinegar bearing an odor that I can only describe as “off.” Good thing Christine from Cook The Story offered me some of her Parmesan and Herb fries to leave me thinking BurgerFi wasn’t completely without merit.
The restaurant’s atmosphere was nothing short of cool. Dimly lit lightbulbs cleverly melded to meat hooks hang above our heads. Funky lime green menus on larger than life flatscreen TVs stare down at you and those newfangled soda machines with the eleventy billion flavors keep you excited for every refill. Don’t expect to a quiet dinner for two over candlelight. The sheer madness of how popular this place is keeps an elevated volume of chatter the whole night through.
At the end of the night, my eating experience wasn’t great but good times were had with new friends around the table. Special props to Eat Local Orlando for bringing us mouth-watering chocolate covered bacon from Peterbrooke Chocolatier.
The Verdict: BurferFi? More like BurgerSIGH.
WHAT HE ATE : Classic Cheesburger: double Angus burger, double American cheese, leutuce, tomato, and secret sauce ($5.97)
The Critique: BurgerFi is by far the newest restaurant that we have yet to sample. We went via an invite from Eat Local Orlando to meet up with some other food bloggers (see links below) for a fun evening. It was a blast. It also let us newbies to the food blog world meet some seasoned, well-spoken, and fun people over some of Winter Park’s newest eats.
Now you know about the company, lets talk cuisine. I got the Classic Cheeseburger. I ordered it with lettuce, white onion, special sauce, and NO TOMATO. Please see the photo above. Last time I checked, red thing…that’s tomato. I love tomato in all of it’s various cooked forms, but a raw tomato can be described with one word: yucky. For me, even when a slice of the ‘mater is removed, the ‘mater matter remains on the food it touched, no matter how hard you try to remove it. I said all that to say this…I ordered the burger with no tomato. If you can give me a fancy GPS device to put on the small magic mat in the middle of the table so that you can determine my location, you should get my order right.
Special sauce? Where? It was if they had a technology back behind the counter that could turn the sauce into a whisper, and then whisper the sauce across my burger. It may not have even been there. I don’t know.
The burger was good. It wasn’t great, it was good. It is a burger, and burgers are good. I was looking for BurgerFi to push the envelope a little bit, and give me a product I couldn’t find elsewhere, but I’m afraid the ball was dropped.
We also got the Fresh Cut Fries with the Sea Salt and Vinegar topping. $2.77 for the fries, and $0.77 for the topping. They love the number 77 here. The fries looked great. They were clearly fresh cut, they were nice and brown, and looked to be crispy. We got the “regular” serving, which was a small tray with a healthy portion of fries. The portion wasn’t staggering, but it was enough to share. The only thing I disliked more than the salt and vinegar topping, was the fact that we had to pay for it. I don’t know exactly what I anticipated, but I wanted some powdery concentration of salt and vinegar sprinkled on the fries. Instead, we got fries soggy with malt vinegar, and the salt that would normally go on the fries, except we got the honor and the privilege to pay for ours. I often find malt vinegar as a complimentary condiment on most every pub food and burger joint. Not cool, BurgerFi. Not cool.
“Local, Fresh, Craft, Locally Grown, Scratch.” If you want trendy buzz words to adorn your food, go to BurgerFi. It’s a hip place. One time visit for me and just not my thing. The words don’t back up the product for me.
The Verdict: Bring on the Five Guys. Bring on the Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy’s. Bring on any other burger joint than this one. I look way down on this location. Let your words back up the food.