Bad As’s Burgers’ explosion of melty meat is high quality — and out of control | REVIEW

Two patties = half a pound of buttery melty meat, and when you get Bad As’s Burgers, it’s Australian Wagyu beef, a new joint commandeered by Orlando sandwich captain John Collazo, whose Bad As’s Sandwich has been selling some in the Milk District No-nonsense handheld since 2017.

These include specialties such as lobster sauce stuffed with lobster and crab, seafood towers slathered in mayonnaise and a bun they call Poseidon, and the most recent DVS — made with Australian Wagyu flank and Truffle Manchego cream and freshly baked Telera crispy onions on bread. The latter sells for $25. People are buying them all day long.

But it’s not always like that.

The Eddy: smoked cheddar, bacon, arugula, crispy onions, homemade pickles, and black garlic aioli, which my dining companion calls "a star." The double patty costs $17.

“In the beginning, we had a lot of people going, ‘Gee, it’s expensive,’ until people understood what our concept was, which was to bring a quality product. It was the same with burgers.”

Located in a prime commercial area in Curry Ford West, this new location offers fast casual and a clean liner, but no frills.

They save all of that for the burgers, which are either curated by the chef or made in-house. Toppings include candied tomatoes, crispy jalapenos, homemade pickles, and more, with upgrades of up to $2 per item. Cheese also costs more. Unless you go to Manchego, it gets $1.50. And truffle manchego cream? three dollars.

But damn if that sauce didn’t send my hamburger — a Gruyère-encrusted arugula, caramelized onion, tomato, green chili sauce, and a runny fried egg topping — to somewhere On a strangely flavored moon of a distant planet, damn it.

The burger itself costs $15.50.

A cross-section of its own construction. With add-ons like fried eggs, cheese, and homemade Manchego truffle cream, it ended up costing twice as much as my friend. The Butter Potato Fries are the best I've ever had.

Add the $9.99 combo — which for me included sweet potato fries and a hand-spun, Whopper-studded malted milkshake — and you’re looking at $25.

Sounds expensive. Kind of like, if you compare it to checkers on the block. But actually, you can’t.

The sauces are all made here. The buns are baked here. Best of all, you can get a basic dressed-up quarter-pounder burger/fries/drink combo for $13 if you want. On par with any Burger Fi-and-comparables out there.

Even so, the opening was a gruesome prospect for Collazo, who enjoyed a pleasant two months of recognition — even if some newcomers balked and dropped out.

“At the end of the day, what I see is that this is exactly what a lot of people are looking for: better quality meals, something conscientious, something traceable. People want to know more about their food and where it comes from. It’s Great opportunity to educate people.”

It's a clean, fast-casual establishment that's pretty unpretentious—because the burgers are everything.

He’s not trying to sell you chips as a health food, though.

“But we’re using tallow, which is healthier than the refined oil that many people use.”

So yes – vegans can’t make chips here. But the perfect crisp and saltiness on those usually fluffy and bland sweet potato fries was impressive.

Equally inspiring is the baking program – Collazo has full-time help from head baker Peter Irizarry – making each loaf in-house, as well as the baguettes served in an impressive French onion soup, which is virtually Great value. Eight bucks gets you a big bowl piled high with gooey mozzarella and Gruyère and stuffed with onions in the middle of those starchy croutons. It’s lunch in itself – if you can resist the temptation of a double patty like Eddy’s.

The French onion soup, layered in Gruyère and mozzarella and served with homemade baguette croutons, is a great value at $8. It's lunch in itself.

One of the most popular signature dishes, a full half-pound Australian Wagyu beef topped with smoked cheddar, arugula, crisp onions, homemade pickles, and thick slab bacon and black garlic aioli, I My dining partner called it a “star”” It’s a $17 burger monster, but you can drop a patty and get it for $13.

We all went for the shake combos. He, Boss, a fudge-infused, chantilly cream-topped monster that would make any chocolatier jump off the wagon. Mine is a special offering, Waitress, inspired by nostalgia—and Collazo’s love of Whoppers. Both are $6.99.

“It’s a dinner shake,” he said. “It’s the all-malt thing, and when you go to the old-fashioned coolers… nobody really likes that anymore. It’s a thing that’s disappearing. The flavor reminds me of my childhood.”

I don't have many shakes, but when I do, I want them to be as good as this Whopper-inspired malted Collazo "waitress."

The crunch of the Whopper crunch, which holds its own even in a bath of creamy, salted caramel ice cream, is addictive. Worth a try.

At $7, it will be an inexpensive visit. With that soup, $15 makes for a decent lunch. If not calorie friendly price wise.

Our bill that day with tip came to $75. Burger joints sound steep, but we’re all for it. you should not.

Fair warning though: around this level of quality, you might find yourself getting a little out of hand.

Bad As Burger: 4205 Curry Ford Road, Orlando, 407-601-4363; www.badassburgersfl.com

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