BurgerFi – Windward

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday. Today we feature a guest review from Mike Christensen. Follow Mike on Twitter @SCSA31274.

The name BurgerFi reminds me of the Marine Corps motto, Semper Fi, which means always faithful.  BurgerFi must mean “burger faithful” because the place has been packed since it opened just a short time ago. BurgerFi opened to much fanfare and hoards of folks crowded the doors clamoring for the latest, greatest in burger offerings.

BurgerFi is a chain out of Florida with 47 locations. Alpharetta is the fourth location in Georgia.  They focus on all natural, grass fed beef with no additives or chemicals.  In addition to burgers, BurgerFi offers five different styles of hot dogs including a 100% Wagyu Kobe beef dog.

What goes better with a burger than a cold beer?  BurgerFi has several craft brews on tap as well as wine by the glass or bottle for your imbibing pleasure.  I was pleased to see Red Hare represented.

For your sweet tooth, BurgerFi offers frozen custards, frozen concretes and cupcakes.

Let’s start with the space itself.  BurgerFi took over a store front at the end of the small strip occupied by Fed Ex.  The first thing they did was blow out all the windows and walls to create a nice patio outside.  No fences and a hard, heavy roof lends a sense of both openness and coziness.  Large fans outside keep things cool. A variety of seating including picnic tables gives off a vibe of a neighborhood gathering place.

A large sliding door leads you inside. That’s where things go downhill.  It’s very busy inside with no real flow to get to order your food.  You have to squeeze past all the tables to get to the counter.  Seating is tight due to the large outdoor space.  If there is a line, which there has been every time I’ve been there, it extends into the dining area making seating that much more awkward.

You place your order and receive one of those pager buzzy square things. Have a seat, if you can find one. On our first visit, my wife and I had to stand around then leap on a vacated table, claiming it like an explorer in the new world.

Lighting is supplied by really cool chrome ice tongs with bare bulbs hanging beneath them.  The decor of stainless steel and light colored wood really works.  It’s industrial, yet warm. Unfortunately the chairs are a little small for the normal burger consumer.

On our first visit I opted for the basic cheeseburger along with fries and onion rings.  The burgers come with the BurgerFi logo branded into the bun.  It’s cute but it doesn’t really add anything.  The burgers are on the small side but big on flavor.  The bun had a soft, yeasty quality that was welcome on my palate.

The fries were crispy, salty and very good.  You can order your fries with numerous toppings including salt and vinegar, cheese, herbs or chili.  The rings were also good with a light coating over thick cut onions and good onion flavor.  They were greasy to the touch however.

Next time I ordered the cardiologist’s best friend, the B.A.D. (Breakfast All Day) burger. It’s a gut-busting combination of bacon, maple syrup, hash browns, a fried egg, onions and ketchup.  It tasted like any other burger, if not worse.  I couldn’t taste any syrup. The hash browns formed a thick potato mass at the bottom of the burger that made chewing difficult.  It was an interesting concept but poorly executed.

My wife opted for the Kobe beef hot dog.  Looking more like a kielbasa sausage, split and grilled, it was actually very good.  Then again, it didn’t taste much different than what you can make at home.

The milkshakes are extraordinary.  Making shakes with custard instead of ice cream leads to a creamier, smoother shake.

Leave your diet at home when visiting BurgerFi. The calorie count, listed on the menu, is enough to make your belt explode. But hey, who said burgers were healthy?

BurgerFi on Urbanspoon

Cost is the other negative.  Get happy with your choices and two people could rack up a $30 tab.  A burger, fries and a drink can run you around $12.  Add in a $4 shake or a $6 concrete, and your arteries won’t be the only thing taking a pounding.  It’s just a little pricey for a fast casual burger that doesn’t really stand out among all the other choices in the area.

BurgerFi is firmly in the middle of the pack in terms of the burgers.  The throngs of people roosting in the dining room seem to speak to Alpharetta’s desire for something new on the burger horizon.  Too bad there’s nothing really new or memorable at BurgerFi.

11 Responses to “BurgerFi – Windward”

  1. A June 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement, and did I hear they don’t do kids’ meals? I think I’ll pass.

  2. Travis Allen June 14, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    No kids meals.

    Their burgers are pretty good, but don’t expect much if you only get one with a single patty, similar to 5 Guys, if you’re gonna get one, get one with two patties.

  3. Mark June 14, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    I found the place to be very noisy due to choice of interior finishing materials. Even the outside area is noisy due to loud music over the speakers. As already noted, over-priced and not really any better than others IMO.

  4. Erin June 16, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    I agree with Mark. It was too loud and over piced (7 to 8 dollars for a hot dog and fries). My friend did buy me a root beer float which was delicious. If I ever go again I am just going to order something that has frozen custard in it and skip the main menu.

  5. Travis Allen June 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    I remain confused about the complaints regarding pricing.

    Having been to over 40 burger places so far this year, I find Burgerfi to be inline with most other places. They are in fact cheaper than many places.

    Maybe it’s just this area that drives a lower price expectation?


  6. Scsa31274 June 16, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    I think a lot of the price complaining for me is the sides. Fries and drinks have gotten pretty pricey. Places like this or most build your burger places are like buying a car. Select all the options and you will pay a lot. Want to save money, don’t check the boxes but do you really get a car (burger) that you want to drive (eat)

  7. Glen June 17, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    Yesterday I ate at the new Cheeseburger Bobby in Sandy Springs. $8.50 for a Cheeseburger, Fries, and Coke!!!!! These places are not worth it! I can get a much better specialty burger(Western, Guacamole, Wisconsin, etc,) great fries, and drink, + tip, and still have a few dollars left over! I was planning on trying out Burger Fi, but not at those prices!

  8. Tegan June 17, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    The one thing that has BurgerFi standing out for me is their “VeggieFi” quinoa burger – it’s absolutely delicious, and by far the best from-scratch veggie burger available in Alpharetta. Just the fact that it’s not a black bean burger is a nice step up, but the shredded carrots and zucchini really add to the flavor and make for a great patty. Even my ever-carnivorous husband asks for a bite of mine every time we go.

  9. Jessica June 26, 2013 at 1:00 am #

    I don’t understand why the complaining of the prices. Five Guys can run you about the same or maybe even more. At BurgerFi you are paying for quality ingredients. I personally think the prices are great for the organic grass fed beef their burgers are made of. The burgers aren’t overwhelming or greasy like Five Guys. Out of the 3 burger places on windward; Five Guys, BugerFi, and Smash Burger, BurgerFi definitely is the best choice. If you want to pay $2 for a burger, don’t expect anything other than low grade meat mixed in with nasty fillers.

  10. J July 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    With the rainy 4th canceling our grilling we got burgerfi to go today and it was really good. Price wasn’t excessive but maybe that was because we didn’t get drinks. I think it will do well in this location.

  11. Pete August 16, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    There are only two good things about this place….the custard which is terrific and the …….well, that’s about it. If you’ve been to Five Guys or Smash Burger or anything similar then this is the same but a bit more pricey. I haven’t figured out the success of this place yet. My burger was tiny and wasn’t bad but definitely nothing unique other than their name engraved in the bun. And what’s “Fi” in the name for anyways? Like wi-fi? burgerfi? I don’t get it.

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