By Richard Currey
Burger 21 recently opened in the newly renovated International Plaza on University, just down the road from UCF. This is their second location in the area having opened one by Mall of Millennia in the past several months. They are just the latest in a group of high-end burger chains to move into the area.
Looking to celebrate the end of another UCF basketball season, a group of friends and I decided to give the new place a try. The décor is one of a restaurant that prides itself on cleanliness. The white on white décor makes the signature Burger 21 red accents pop. It actually reminds me of the styling of the local froyo places.
Enough with the décor, onto the food. Being a fast casual restaurant you order at the counter and then take your number to be served at your table. I was pleased to see a selection of craft beers at the counter before ordering and was happy to find out that my burger was prepped to order and available at any temperature I pleased. I ordered the 6 oz. Shroom Burger ($7.29), which is a hearty burger with lettuce, tomato, cremini mushrooms, onions and fontina cheese on a toasted brioche bun. The burger was a little salty for my taste and although cooked perfectly medium was pretty unmemorable. The fries ($2.49) were also pretty unmemorable and seemed to be frozen shoestring fries. However, the sauce bar does have some interesting choices for dipping. The Thai Ketchup has a nice soft heat and the cider dip is a sweet treat for dipping. On the more unique side, the marshmallow dip for the sweet potato fries ($2.99) is also a sweet and savory treat.
The most memorable thing that I tried was the shake. Being a fan of the dessert, I ordered a crème brulee shake ($4.99). It has a wonderful custardy consistency with a sugar tuile that I crunched up into the shake. Another member of our group ordered a chocolate peanut butter shake that was immediately passed around the table. I don’t think one member of our group left without going back and ordering their own shake.
Overall, I would say that Burger 21 is a decent burger but with a number of new fast casual burger joints opening in the area, including Graffiti Junktion, they will have their hands full with trying to become East Orlando’s go to burger place.
Richard Currey is a writer/editor that has lived in east Orlando for the last 14 years, moving here to become a student at UCF. You can follow him on twitter at @FatGuyFix to keep up to date with his food travels as well as his other personal thought.