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?

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