As a vegetarian for most of my adult life, burger chains and restaurants were mostly off my radar for many years. Around 15 years ago, gourmet burger restaurants started becoming more common and many of them often had a veggie burger on the menu. Sometimes these burgers were delicious creations involving interesting vegetable and grain combinations. Other times they were more like a dressed-up version of a frozen grocery store veggie burger.
I’ve visited BurgerFi several times with Dining Companion #2, who is also a lifelong ovo-lacto vegetarian. We both like to go find and try new veggie burgers, talk about veggie burgers, and cook new ones at home. I tend to prefer veggie burgers that are like the Impossible Burger or Beyond Meat burger, not because I prefer a meat-like taste, but because they most closely resemble the burger format that I grew up eating. Dining Companion #2 is different in that they prefer veggie burgers made out of veggies and grains. They don’t like the veggie burgers that are meant to taste like or imitate meat. They are like most vegetarians and vegans in this department.
We dined at the BurgerFi in Leawood that is in Park Place next to Town Center. DC2 had the VegeFi Burger, which is a quinoa and fresh veggies patty, with white cheddar, lettuce, tomato and sauce on a vegan bun. They found this burger to be one of the better restaurant veggie burgers. In fact, when Dining Companion #2 wants to go out for veggie burgers, BurgerFi is their choice these days.
On my visits, I had the Beyond Burger or the Vegan Beyond Burger. The famous Beyond Beef patty is accompanied by American cheese, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onions, on BurgerFi’s branded buns. While this didn’t taste exactly like meat, it really replicates the traditional burger chain burger experience. It’s tasty, not too dry, and enhanced by the veggies, condiments and bun.
Their regular burgers are made with grass-fed, hormone-free beef. BurgerFi offer a variety of meat burger combinations, including one with a veggie burger and a beef burger. They also have chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, fries and onions rings. Desserts include shakes and custard cups.
On another trip to BurgerFi recently, a friend tried their regular cheese burger and pronounced it “delicious.”
One of the themes I will be exploring in upcoming reviews of other Kansas City restaurants is the current craze with the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat on so many restaurant menus. I’d like to give extra credit to restaurants that had good veggie burgers before they added these new products and to restaurants like Burger Fi that have both a traditional veggie burger and the new Beyond Meat burger.
I can’t currently eat onion rings for dietary reasons, but they’ve long been my favorite side at burger restaurants. Love onion rings much more than French fries. Yeah, I’m the lifelong vegetarian who doesn’t like fries that much. I am not a fan of the fancy pants giant onion rings that are sometime available at gourmet burger restaurants, or, those scrawny, stringy rings you get at some bars. Burger King onion rings are my preferred style. The problem with ultra large onion rings is with the execution—the breading almost always falls off after the first bite, or, you can’t take bites out of the onion. BurgerFi gets big onion rings right. Might be that they fry them twice? Batter them twice?
The décor and atmosphere of the restaurant could be described as casual burger chain with a diner feel. Menus are easy to read and understand quickly. Staff were friendly and helpful on all of our visits.
BurgerFi, 11635 Ash St, Leawood, KS 66211