Friday, September 16, 2016

BurgerFi Food Review II

The CEO (r) and Cry+Fry

First impressions are "muy importante," and my inaugural visit to BurgerFi (back in January 2014) went about as good great as it gets. That's a lot to live up to; yet each return trip has been as good, if not better. Time to make it official. Time for another review.

Lucky for me, a new menu item (The CEO burger) was available. Cue perfect excuse for my sixth or seventh visit. Trust me, if BurgerFi were closer (to home) than Silver Spring, that number would double or triple. As usual, it was fairly busy inside (6:15, dinner time) but the line moved quickly, and before you knew it, I was ordering the aforementioned CEO with super-nice General Manager Kayla. Choices abound, but I kept it relatively simple with a side of Cry+Fry (Fries & Onion Rings, $5.77) as well as two desserts... a Red Velvet Shake ($5.07) and Small Custard Cup (Vanilla & Chocolate Swirl, $4.07.) Prices are a bit higher than elsewhere (the CEO checks in at a Trump-like $9.97) but the quality is well worth it.

Red Velvet Shake

You may wonder: Why two desserts? You could argue greed; but on this particular occasion, there was a method behind my madness. The temperature inside BurgerFi's hip/spotlessly clean dining room was 83° (yes, I checked) and I thought the more ice cream/custard, the better. Call it bad luck (everyone's A/C breaks down eventually) but negatives are such a rarity at BurgerFi, I thought I'd mention it.

Swirl Custard Cup (with Sprinkles & Whipped Cream)

Food was delivered in just over five minutes, and the devouring began soon after. BurgerFi wraps its burger smartly, and still brands the bun (although with a lighter hand than usual.) Tucked inside, two rich patties of wagyu + brisket blend (an unbeatable combination) with a to-die-for Homemade Candied Bacon-Tomato Jam, that was equal parts crunchy (surprise) salty and sweet. It normally comes with Aged Swiss Cheese and Trufle Aioli; but I'm having my annual physical next month, and cutbacks have to be made (just pretend I didn't order two desserts.) The burger is sublime, ranking a close second overall to BTS' Six Buck Chuck for best fast casual burger in the entire DMV. The bun's nice & soft, and had I been smart enough to ask for a slice of tomato, the race for #1 would have been even tighter. Hopefully when you order it, you won't pass on the aioli & cheese (lesson learned.)

Fries were dirty (in a nice way) hot and generously/perfectly seasoned. Great on their own, but combined with BurgerFi's crispy, mountainous Onion Rings... pure bliss on a plate tray. The latter qualifies as second-best in the DMV (fast casual or otherwise, just behind Z-Burger.) Two #2 rankings for one restaurant is unparalleled, and merits lofty praise.

Dessert was well received (duh) and the Red Velvet Shake is even better than my previous favorite here, Coffee Mocha. It really does taste like a cupcake crossed with ice cream, only richer. BurgerFi's Custard Cup felt a bit like overkill towards the end of my meal; but their custard packs a distinctive taste (better than ice cream) that goes down well... unless it's served on the heels of a full milkshake. Lesson #2 learned.

Ambiance (heat notwithstanding) remains top-notch. Two and a half years later, and I'm still diggin' the industrial vibe; and the music (American Authors, Elle Goulding, Pink) keeps your toes tapping between bites. It's hard to believe this is fast food. Then again, why argue with success?