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BurgerFi makes good first impression in Napa

BurgerFi Napa timeline-slide0
Kenneth Fish

First impressions are important. In fact, for a new business, especially a restaurant, even though the first impression it makes may not be representative of the establishment, it can be the only chance it gets to win a new customer. That is exactly what BurgerFi Napa did yesterday at their soft opening event.

Whoever organized this important event did a great job. Enough people were invited to fill every seat in the house, but no more. This made it so everyone was able to get in, get their orders placed, and get a seat in a timely fashion without creating a situation where scads of hungry people would be milling about anxiously trying to get a place to sit before their orders came out of the kitchen. If BurgerFi Napa remains this focused on the customer experience, they’ll have a winner on their hands for sure.

Located at 967 First Street right in the middle of downtown Napa, BurgerFi is situated on the tiny chunk of property where the Napa Creek meets the Napa River. The building, a decidedly modern take on a burger joint, was designed to take advantage of the amazing view afforded by its choice location. The giant windows of the first floor and the open rooftop dining area above it look out onto the river and creek, the constantly swooping swallows, three bridges, and beyond that, the steep hills that frame the east side of the valley. The nice accommodations and fabulous view give a rather upscale feel to this burger joint.

Location and style, while important to be sure, need to play second fiddle to the food. Luckily, this appears to be the case at BurgerFi Napa. The Brisket Burger (two patties of natural, 28 day dry aged ground brisket, Swiss cheese, blue cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and BurgerFi sauce) that I had and the BurgerFi Cheeseburger (Double natural Angus burger, double American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and BurgerFi sauce) my dining partner had were delivered promptly and were very tasty. These are substantial burgers, carefully stacked and wrapped to prevent the dreaded burger blowout. To go with the meaty goodness, we got an order of their fresh cut, skin-on fries as well as some Cry & Fries (onion rings). Both made it to the table crispy and piping hot, and despite the outlandish size of each individual onion ring, they remained crispy right to the end. The french fries were done to perfection - crisp on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, which is not an easy feat with fresh cut fries.

Overall, the BurgerFi experience is a good one. The prices are right, the portions are generous, and the store is handsome and well appointed. BurgerFi needed to bring its A-game to Napa, and they did just that. Bravo.

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