ENTERTAINMENT

‘Watts for Dinner:’ BurgerFi bounces back, mostly

Will Watts
Correspondent

Our next dining destination is BurgerFi in South Naples. Before we get started, I’ll quickly remind you that our last visit, of July 2021, didn’t go so well. There were numerous issues that led to me writing the most negative review I’ve ever done.

I mention this because I was kind of dreading this visit. And when I stepped inside and saw that the custard machine, one of the two soda machines and three out of the four menu monitors weren’t working, I expected the worst. But I’m happy to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Highlights include me trying a “Swag” burger for the first time and BurgerFi’s chicken offerings!

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Things got off to an appetizing start with the “Fi’ed Chicken Tenders” ($8.49). The dish features all-natural, cage-free chicken breast tenders served with your choice of dipping sauce: Bacon jalapeño ranch, ghost pepper honey, truffle aioli, garlic aioli, Fi sauce, honey mustard BBQ, or Memphis sweet BBQ.

The breading was crispy. The tenders were thick. And the meat was white. A little too white. Eerily white. But delicious!

For my main entrée, I selected the “Swag” (aka Spicy Wagyu) burger. The meat is actually a Wagyu and brisket blend. The burger features charred jalapeños, candied ghost pepper bacon, sweet tomato relish, pepper jack cheese and hot steak sauce.

The meat has an amazing flavor ($11.99). And even though the patties aren’t super thick, one would have definitely been enough. If I had to complain, I would say that perhaps the Swag is a bit of overkill. Perhaps just one less topping.  

The fresh-cut fries, made in house with real potatoes, were a nice compliment. However, the restaurant has not recaptured that crispiness that I remember sampling the first few times I ate there. 

My dining companion selected the “FI’ED Chicken Sandwich” ($7.49) featuring the same chicken as the tenders, just in patty form. The sandwich is topped with organic honey mustard BBQ sauce, pickle chips, lettuce and tomato. He was happy with his selection. The chicken sandwich wars are tough. And we’ve tried nearly all of ‘em. So, this is high praise.

He paired his sandwich with the beer-battered “Colossal Onion Rings” ($4.99). BurgerFi has some of the best onion rings around. And they’re the only place I know where you can order the fries and rings in one dish, the “Cry Fry.”

Service was prompt and attentive to our needs. Despite some equipment failures, BurgerFi has show great improvement in the year-plus. Here’s hoping it sticks! We love a great burger! Happy eating!

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This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food. Not all dishes are featured in print, but you can find a gallery of all reviewed dishes online at marconews.com. 

If you go

BurgerFi

  • 12712 Tamiami Trail E, Naples
  • 239-331-3606
  • burgerfi.com