A burger is a burger to some people, but at BurgerFi, the American standby is anything but basic.
Diners at the craft burger chain have the option of a simple cheeseburger with American cheese or The CEO burger, which has a patty made of wagyu beef and brisket blend, a candied bacon-tomato jam made in-house, truffle aioli and aged Swiss cheese. Wagyu beef refers to several Japanese beef brands of cattle that are genetically bred to produce intense marbling.
BurgerFi quietly opened to the public on Aug. 8, but this weekend it is inviting the community to try the Palm Beach-based chain’s crafty concoctions in the name of charity.
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On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, BurgerFi Sarasota will donate 10 percent of the day’s proceeds to the Humane Society of Lakewood Ranch, Susan G. Komen Florida Suncoast and Suncoast Charities for Children, respectively.
164 seats available at BurgerFi; 72 inside, 92 outside
For gluten-free or health-conscious burger fans, BurgerFi can make any burger “green style,” which swaps a regular bun for lettuce. In addition to creative burger combinations, BurgerFi has carefully seasoned side dishes such as hand-cut french fries with rosemary, parsley, garlic aioli and parmesan.
Manager Landyn Crabtree’s favorite part about working for BurgerFi is the preparation process.
“It’s more work than maybe other fast-food places, but the flavors definitely make it worth it,” Crabtree said.
The chain prides itself on using antibiotic- and hormone-free beef and bringing in and cutting fresh potatoes for fries, according to burgerfi.com.
Once a month, BurgerFi has pairing dinners with local breweries at the BurgerFi Sarasota location. This month’s features JDub’s Brewing Co. on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. Next month’s will feature Motorworks Brewing.
Father and son Mario Comparetto Sr. and Mario Comparetto Jr. testified to BurgerFi’s fresh-made process.
“The burgers were awesome,” Comparetto Jr. said.
“I’m very fussy but it’s been a pleasant experience,” Comparetto Sr. said.
What impressed him more than the food was the level of service at BurgerFi Sarasota.
“From the time we walked in, (BurgerFi employee Jacqueline Weeks) was super great. She guided us and explained everything,” Comparetto Sr. said.
It was the Comparettos’ first time at BurgerFi, but they said they plan to make a return trip.
Crabtree said she can’t wait to meet more of the Sarasota community this weekend and do what she thinks is one of the most important parts of running a business: connect to a larger purpose.
“It doesn’t make sense to build a restaurant in a community and not give back,” she said. “We’re giving back to the people who are giving to us.”
If you go: BurgerFi Sarasota
Address: 257 N. Cattlemen Road
Phone number: 941-800-1800
Prices: Between $5.97 and $9.97 for burgers, $4.17 and $5.17 for hot dogs, $4.77 and $5.77 for sides (toppings cost extra), $4.57 and $5.67 for custard desserts, $6.97 for a kid’s meal and $2.37 and $2.97 for beverages. Craft beer and wine is also available at varied cost.
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Local bands performing at BurgerFi Sarasota’s grand opening weekend
Friday: 6-9 p.m., DJ Nate Brown
Saturday: 1-4 p.m., Chris Otto, 6-9 p.m., Marcel Almanzor
Sunday: Noon-3 p.m., Kettle of Fish, 4-7 p.m. Scott Curts