ROM: Lee’s Burgers

Photo by Sarah Cardwell-Smith
                                                                                                      PHOTO BY KENDALL MCGOWAN

By Izzy Meyers and Lily Bermel

From the streamlined flow of ordering and the minimalist decor to the prompt delivery of the fresh food, the experience of eating at Lee’s Burgers was neat, tasty and brisk. The restaurant, which opened just a few months ago, offers unique twists on the classic burger as well as shakes and smoothies, all served fast-food style.

When we entered the restaurant we were greeted by cheerful pop music. The “standing only” area of the restaurant and sparsely decorated walls, including a menu that stretched from floor to ceiling, emphasized that this is a place for a quick bite but perhaps not a prolonged meal.

The cashiers took our orders efficiently, but once we were all ready to sit down we soon faced a dilemma; there was barely enough room to seat our entire party of 10 together. In the end we were able to push multiple tables together but there was not much room for other people to eat other than at the counter where customers can eat while standing.

Our food came out, for the most part, in the sequence that we had ordered it, and servers delivered it directly to the table on plastic trays. On the table were napkins, ketchup and an original mustard sauce.

With over seven signature burgers to choose from and the option of building your own Classic Burger (hamburger, cheeseburger or bacon cheeseburger) with 10 different types of condiments, ordering involved making some difficult decisions. All of the burgers were cooked well and thoroughly, with a barely visible tint of pink.

Photo by Sarah Cardwell-Smith
                                                                                                         PHOTO BY SARAH CARDWELL-SMITH

The unique Teriyaki Burger ($6.95) came with lettuce, cucumber, caramelized onions and teriyaki sauce. The burger was succulent with a fresh taste. The Portobello Deluxe Burger was the most expensive burger ($7.75) but was well worth the price. It had a cheese-stuffed portobello patty with barbecue sauce, onions and bacon. The flavor was slightly acidic with not a lot of mushroom. The Veggie Burger ($6.95) arrived with barbecue sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions. Cooked well throughout, the burger had a nice charred taste, but was not the best veggie burger in the world.

Like the selection of burgers, there was an overwhelming amount of sides to choose from. Out of a choice of seven different kinds of fries, we ordered the french fries ($2.75), cheese fries ($3.75) and sweet potato fries ($3.95), along with onion rings ($3.75).

The servings of fries were very big, and no one finished an entire tray. The french fries, sweet potato fries and onion rings were fairly small in size, but were large enough to satisfy when eaten with the burgers. Specifically, the onion rings were amazing, with a golden-brown flaky crust and thick-cut strips of onion in the center. Similarly, the cheese fries were cooked to perfection, crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. But they had a lackluster topping of plastic-like orange cheese, which tasted very artificial.

There are seven pre-customized smoothie options but customers can also create their own. We were delighted with the strawberry and banana shakes, both being creamy and rich. The Fantastic Day ($4.95), made with strawberries, bananas, apples, cucumbers and lemon, was also very tasty. It had a strong but not overpowering strawberry flavor and a smooth texture. Unfortunately, one of us found a fruit price sticker at the bottom of a drink, which was unnerving but at least proof that the ingredients were fresh and vouched for its extremely natural taste.

In general, the food was three-dimensional, full of popping flavors, with varying colors and textures. Everyone was satisfied with the meal.

Once we had finished eating, it became apparent that new customers needed to use our tables, as there were only about four other tables available while we sat down. While we didn’t exactly feel rushed to leave, the limited space made it difficult to stay comfortably.

Overall, the relatively low prices, quick service and flavorful fare more than made up for the lack of space. For the typical hungry high school student on a budget looking for better-quality fast food, Lee’s is definitely the place to go.

Izzy Meyers and Lily Bermel can be contacted at [email protected]