Dining & Drink

Burger Bonanza

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(Staff Photo: Richard Davis) The Burger Life sign outside the restaurant on Joyce Boulevard near the Malco Razorback Cinema theater in Fayetteville.

Joint offers cornucopia of sandwich options

By Rachel Birdsell

TFW Contributing Writer

Preamble Ramble

I noticed Burger Life a couple of months ago. It’s on Joyce Street in the building that previously housed Marketplace Express. Upon doing a little research, I discovered that Burger Life is the newest venture of the owners of Marketplace Grill and Express. I’m always up for trying a new burger joint, so I thought I’d give it a go.

Food for Thought

The folks at Burger Life claim there are hundreds of thousands of burger combinations, and given the choices they offer, I think they’re right. You have a choice of six different types of burgers: Angus, chicken, turkey, veggie, tilapia and grilled cheese. Most of these aren’t what immediately pop into our heads when we hear the term “burger,” but if they want to call their chicken sandwich a burger, it’s all good with me. Whatever blows their collective skirt up, right?
You also have your choice of five buns, 12 different cheeses, 33 toppings and 21 sauces. But be careful with how much you put on your burger. There’s a limit as to how many are included in the base price, and after that you pay extra for them.
When you enter the restaurant, you grab one of the laminated menus and a dry erase marker and proceed to fill in the circles beside your choices.
Here are the circles I filled in:
Burger: tilapia
Bun: brioche
Toppings: avocado, red onion, cilantro, pico de gallo
Sauces: lime chipotle; boom boom
Extras: homemade onion strings
The tilapia was good. It was grilled, had a nice flavor and was a hefty size.
The toppings were generously applied, too. Luckily, the sauces come in little cups so you can taste them before you put them on your sandwich, because I didn’t like the lime chipotle sauce.  It was too, I dunno, cheap tasting. Tawdry, even, and no one wants to eat tawdry sauce.
The onion strings are just really skinny onion rings, but I suppose that “homemade onion strings” sounds  better than “anorexic onion rings” (probably also explains why I don’t have a job writing restaurant menus). I enjoyed the skinny onion rings immensely. I’m usually not an onion ring fan, mostly because of the batter that’s used, but this batter was very light and flaky.  The boom boom sauce I’d ordered to dip them in was a lot like the sauce you get at other restaurants with fried onions, but it was spicier, and spicier = better.

The Sporkcast

(1-5 sporks)

Atmosphere: 3.1 lime green sporks with orange circles on the handle
The décor is tranquilized industrial, which I’m almost positive isn’t a true decorating term.  The actual design didn’t bother me, however, the choice of music did. There was country music playing pretty loudly overhead, and I detest country music. In fact, the only thing I can think of that would have been worse would be if Sarah Palin had been serenading me with a rousing rendition of “You Light up My Life.”
Food: 3.4 shiny aluminum sporks with extra crispy tines
With the exception of the lime chipotle sauce, my entire meal was pretty darn tasty.
Staff: 3.5 sporks that wink at you in a nonthreatening way
The woman who took my order was awesome. She was extremely helpful and very friendly. The guy that gave me my food was not so friendly. In fact, the only thing he said to me was “You can put your buzzer in there” after becoming exasperated with me because I failed to place my buzzer in the holder, but instead had the audacity to place it on the counter. He really could benefit from a course in Personality 101. Or maybe even, Faking a Personality While You’re Working 101.
Dollars spent: My total was around $12, which seems a little much for a sandwich, onion rings and a drink.
Chance of returning: I can see going back to grab a sandwich to go or eating on the patio, but I don’t know that I’d eat inside again. I have a fear that listening to country music will cause horrible things to happen, which would end with me standing in the kitchen sporting a bedazzled NASCAR sweatshirt and stretch pants while frying Spam and declaring that as long as I used the fancy crackers as a coating “IT’S GOURMET!”

If you know of a great eating place, drop me a line at rabirdsell@gmail.com. I’ll check it out and let you know what I think.

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