For days, I have this voice whispering in my stomach. It keeps saying, ‘burgers! burgers! burgers!’ Yun lang pala, haha. I blame it on the ever growing burger scene in Riyadh. Have you counted the number of new burger joints opening over the past few months? I have this one very much-franchised burger store in mind that I wanted to try because it’s suddenly everywhere (can you guess?) but luck and schedule seem to be not on my side. I still haven’t tried it. My burger hunger pangs have been satiated though by a newcomer in town… Boardwalk Fresh Burgers and Fries along Takhasussi Street. Move over Tahlia Street… the hippest street award is being stripped out of you, haha!
I wasn’t really expecting to find this branch of Boardwalk Fresh Burgers and Fries because there’s one branch in Panda Azizia, also along Takhasussi Street, near King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, that we’re waiting to open. I mean, why would they build two branches which are just a few kilometers away from each other on the same street right?! Anyway, that one is still closed and this branch near Caffe Bene is open so we opted to go.
The door to the Family Section is at the side. The order counter is at the first floor and we just had to look up at the menu board. The promise of beef patties never frozen is evident on this burger franchise from the US. I like burgers, any kind for that matter. It doesn’t matter if it’s gourmet, refined, or whatever. I just like burgers so I’m not sure what’s up with the promises of unfrozen, handmade, etc. My stomach is not sensitive and I’m not a picky eater. So if a burger is good, it’s good. (It does seem like I’m ranting here but I’m not, haha!)
Anyway, fries are the first product of Boardwalk that started in 1980. Brothers Dave and Fran DiFerdinando had the idea of opening a fries stall in the famous boardwalk of Ocean City, Maryland. Their fresh-cut fries seasoned lightly and served piping hot gained momentum and people started clamoring for burgers to go with it. Imagine, the fries came first before the burger?! When did that happen? I always thought of the potato strips as an accompaniment to the main dish. Anyway, their burgers had to be consistent with the freshness of the fries that’s why their burger patties are handmade every day too. Like most burgers nowadays, Boardwalk’s can be customized any way you like.
On first time visits, I don’t like customizing (fine, I’m just lazy) so I settled for the Boardwalk Classic. I chose the double patty version because I had a burger craving remember? I had the tomatoes and pickles removed because I want to taste the unadulterated beefy goodness that this sandwich packs (okay, I also hate tomatoes and pickles on anything). For SR 38, this burger is a tad expensive but at least it’s already double the patty. Other burger joints still has one patty and you’re already paying SR 40 for it!
After ordering, we were given paper cups for our unlimited soda. We went upstairs and settled in one of the couches. The entire place is devoid of decors that are masculine in nature (which some burger restos use to achieve a strong look), thank goodness. The area is airy and light. The tall glass walls stemming from the bachelor section allows light to come through and give the area a nice, summery look. All the more reason to enjoy the burgers. There’s no boardwalk here that overlooks the beach but our imagination can run wild with such a bare interior canvass.
Our burgers arrive and they come in their own plastic baskets. For a double patty, my burger is not that tall. I owe it to the fact that it’s missing the tomatoes and pickles. Haha! The bread looks soft and the lettuce peeking through the bun looks fresh. The cheese oozes out perfectly without messing up the entire plate. This burger is not a complex one but it’s well-crafted. The beef patty is juicy enough without the oily factor. The classic ingredients strike a pretty balanced taste. The soft bun gave in when I pressed it with my palms, needed to be done so the burger fits my mouth. I still eat like a refined lady you know, haha.
My friend’s Swiss Mushroom Burger has more of that skyscraper aura with layers of swiss cheese oozing out. It looks pretty lean and sinful even though we couldn’t see the mushrooms at first. We were sure it was under the heaps of patty, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cheese. I barely see my friend go through a burger and finish it all in one sitting but she did this time. Another friend ordered the burger with the BBQ Bacon Turkey. The barbecue sauce added a sweet zing to the otherwise classic burger.
For a restaurant that started with fries, they didn’t get their fries right. They were too salty! Although slightly crispy on the outside and smooth in the inside, the fries were sprinkled with too much salt. We enjoyed the Chili Cheese Fries than the normal ones maybe because the cheese is more fun to bear than the grains of salt. Haha. We didn’t manage to finish our fries.
If you can’t find the burger you want on their Signature menu, you can build your own burger. Aside from beef, there’s also turkey patty for the health-conscious or for those who want to try something else. Pick your kind of cheese from American to Swiss to Cheddar to Bleu, and pile on the toppings of lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, mushrooms and jalapenos. And finally, pick your sauce; chipotle, buffalo, and honey mustard are worth trying.
Boardwalk Fresh Burgers and Fries also has hot dogs and chicken burgers on their menu. And if you’re cheating your way to thinking that you can be healthy before you get down and dirty with the meat, then so be it with their Boardwalk Salad. Drinks are bottomless (or how much your legs can muster the up and down trip to the beverage filling station beside the counter). Also their ketchup. Ketchup is bottomless. Awesome yeah? For a more indulgent meal, pair up your burgers and fries with shakes because that’s how it should be.
What I like about Boardwalk’s burgers is how simple it looks but how deceivingly indulgent they are. We didn’t realize that we’ve already consumed our burgers until we’re down to the last bite.
Boardwalk Fresh Burgers and Fries
Takhasussi Street, Riyadh, KSA