When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).
Restaurant: Burger N' Fries Location: 10392 N. Scottsdale Road Open: About a month Eats: Burgers Price: $15 or less per person
The newly opened Burger N' Fries is basically the love child of two of the biggest food trends right now: fast-casual restaurants and healthy dining. In many cases that combination results in a salad-centric spot with cutesy décor (see: Flower Child, Original Chop Shop Co., Chestnut, etc.).
In this case, it means grass-fed beef burgers and all natural fresh cut fries served in a sleek space.
The restaurant, found in a strip mall on the southwest corner of Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard, joins a crowded dining scene in the north Scottsdale neighborhood. It's primary point of pride is certainly its "source verified, documented Black-Angus" beef, which the company says it gets from Creekstone Farms, a processing plant in Kansas.
The burger portion of the menu is pretty straightforward. The options include three beef burgers, one veggie burger, and a build-your-own option. There are also three hot dogs priced at $3.50 each: Chicago-style, New York-style, and Texas-style, a.k.a. a chili-cheese dog.
The All-American ($4.25/single) is nothing more than your basic burger, while the 'Shroom Burger ($8.50) benefits from sautéed mushrooms, aged Swiss cheese, tomato, lettuce, and Burger N' Fries sauce (read: Thousand Island dressing).
At first glance it seems like a rather small portion for the price, but we have to admit we were fully...well, full when we finished our burger. We were very pleased with the flavorful patty, which was cooked to a perfect pink on the inside, crisp on the outside texture. And though the bun didn't look like anything special, it was toasted to a nice golden brown on the edges (a la In-N-out) and did a fine job of supporting the innards of the burger.
If you're a fan of the fries at Five Guys Burgers then you'll appreciate Burger N' Fries' thick-cut versions as well. A regular boat ($2.75) will satisfy a single diner and are particularly enjoyable when upgraded to include Hot Cajun Spice. On the downside our order was neither as hot nor spicy as Five Guys' Cajun fries; we'd recommend remedying that fact by asking for extra spices when you order.
The onion rings at Burger N' Fries were definitely the low point of our meal. (Perhaps we should have been warned by the name.) The regular boat ($3.50) featured a dozen or so rings covered in a spongy, thick batter. Without any crunch to speak of these rings were just sad. A few more moments may have been all they needed; there was a single crisp ring in the other that wasn't half bad.
You might be surprised when you realize that about a third of the Burger n' Fries menu is dedicated to desserts. The selection consists of custard-based Concretes, shakes, and floats.
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The Concretes are basically what you get at Culver's (even the name is the same) and include options such as the Choco-Nutty, which features chocolate custard with peanut butter, brownie, and chocolate chips. We opted for the Red Velvet "Elvis" Concrete the best part of which was the creamy, rich vanilla custard itself. The pieces of red velvet cake mixed inside added little in the way of flavor.
All said and done, Burger N' Fries certainly isn't doing anything original. Even the build your own burger topping selections are pretty pedestrian: bacon, onions, chili, grilled mushrooms, and the like. The most unique item was a tasty avocado aioli -- and that was pretty much just avocado-flavored mayonnaise.
We won't be going out of our way to return, but as a neighborhood burger joint this might suffice.