Folks of the greater Glendale area know the feeling of accidentally spending too much time wandering around the Americana and working up an appetite that hits unexpectedly. But where to eat? Everything’s a little pricey, and there’s a 20-minute wait for a table anyway. There’s the food court in the Galleria, but, come on, we can do better than that. Quick, yummy and affordable all come together just across the street in the little paseo at Better Fresh Burger.
This Glendale location has been doing business for just under two months, but its first shop in Burbank has plenty of fans, so it’s no wonder the staff is already in the swing of things. Upon first glance, I was wary. Lime green walls and bright lights aren’t exactly appetizing. The menu seems too big for them to be doing everything well. Admittedly, I haven’t worked my way through the whole selection yet, but so far so good for BFB. A burger and a table outside were exactly what I needed on a sunny summer day.
This is not up for debate: Onions and mushrooms are two of the most failsafe and versatile ingredients in existence. However, few mushroom and onion burgers are done right at a fair price. Happily, the BFB Ring & Mush (onion ring and mushroom) Burger with pepper jack left hardly any room for improvement. The burger itself had an excellent char flavor. A beautiful hunk of crunchy lettuce was infiltrated by the “secret spread,” adding to the burger rather than just being an obligatory piece of greenery. Tomatoes and cucumbers (an uncommon but enjoyable burger topping) swooped in with even more welcome freshness. All these on a perfectly toasted bun come standard on BFB burgers, so any order is bound to be a solid choice. This specific sandwich I recommend with cheese, as it melted perfectly over the ’shrooms, enveloping them and leaving no room for escape out the sides of the sammie. To top it off, a crispy onion ring halo adorned the already angelic burger. Was it necessary? No. Am I still very glad it was there? Of course.
But backtracking to those perfectly toasted buns, this is what really made this burger for me. Not only were they big enough to contain the multitude of toppings without being overwhelmingly bready, they tasted almost caramelized. Everyone knows the primo burger bites are at the center of the sandwich, but the crunchy, buttery perimeter of the buns here had me hankering for burger edge bites as well. Kudos to Better Fresh Burger. It truly is a better, fresher burger.
Moving on to another popular menu category. There are many tragedies that may befall any given breakfast burrito consumer. The initial and final all-tortilla bites. Poorly distributed ingredients which make one mouthful all egg and the next all potato. Hashbrowns as cheap filler instead of a purposeful, crunchy addition. Skimpy meat. Rubbery eggs. Mediocre salsa. But to my joyful surprise, Better Fresh Burger quelled my worries with each successive and successful munch. The only thing I could have wished for is a little time on the griddle post-wrap to get that warm and slightly crispy tortilla effect. Other than that, I was once again left wanting for nothing.
Of the two breakfast burrito varieties yet tested by yours truly — chorizo and sujuk — I recommend the latter. This is Glendale after all, so the sausage of choice has got to be Middle Eastern. Don’t get me wrong, chorizo is a great standby. It always is. But after having this smoky, salty, season-y, salame-esque protein wrapped up happily in my warm tortilla bundle, I’m not sure I can go back to regular breakfast sausage.
On top of a delicious burrito, Better Fresh Burger offers two house-made salsas: a green with a little more vinegar and heat and a red with a fresher, more roasted flavor. Gun to my head, I’d choose red over green here, but my life isn’t actually being threatened, so porque no los dos?
There are even more choices to be had at BFB beyond which salsa to slather on your burrito. The menu boasts 60 or so items encompassing salads to salmon burgers to kid’s meals to carne asada fries to vegan options to chocolate pancakes and so on. Everything is advertised at $7.50 or less and is sure to fill you up, so this place is a crowd pleaser for sure. What’s more is the friendly and informative service. Multiple times during our meal, our sweet cashier came outside to check up on us, bring us napkins and answer our questions.
The shop is all set up by 7:30 on weekdays and 9 on weekends so you can grab a bite before work. Doors stay open until 11 on Fridays and Saturdays and 10 every other day for your late night munchies. Friendly service is there for you all day in between in case you want a yummy and affordable bite before getting your nails done across the pathway (for cheap, too! I need to head there soon…) or to refuel after a day at the mall. BFB’s quality, consistency and affordability will not disappoint.