116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — BurgerFiend has returned to the place where it all started, reopening at 2020 16th Ave. SW to give fiends of its all-beef products two locations for burgers, hot dogs, milkshakes and more.
There are a few things that make the burgers at BurgerFiend stand out from the pack.
For one, there are no pork products served on or in the burgers at BurgerFiend. Even the bacon ground in-house into the burgers and topping them is beef bacon. The meat itself is a premium Black Angus shoulder clod and chuck roll, which makes every bite of the product juicy, according to the owner.
Where: 2020 16th Ave. SW and 3980 Center Point Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids
Hours: Monday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Details: Available for dine-in and carryout. Delivery service coming soon through online ordering at burgerfiendonline.com
The lack of pork in itself is a draw for many customers, said owner Ali Igram, who runs the two BurgerFiend locations with his family. In addition to all-beef burgers, the joint serves beef hot dogs, turkey burgers, gyros and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Once you decide on the size of the burger and the toppings you want, your meal is set. The menu, intentionally simplified, tries not to complicate a good thing.
“There are a lot of places in town making some neat burgers, and they look pretty great,” said Sean Lekin, marketing manager for BurgerFiend. “But I think (their) concept is piling as much cheese and stuff (as possible) on it to hide the burger.”
In other words, the meat at BurgerFiend is the main attraction. Lekin said many customers don’t even add ketchup or mustard.
“We don’t want to hide that,” Igram said. “Our burgers are not your normal burger.”
Whether you’re in the mood for a junior burger, a half-pound Fiend Burger or a full pound of beef, BurgerFiend has your back. For those looking for less common toppings, options like caramelized onions, grilled mushrooms, fried eggs and peanut butter should satisfy.
Fries are hand cut daily, and milkshakes feature a premium, 15 percent butterfat ice cream.
BurgerFiend was previously open at its 16th Avenue SW location from 2014 to 2017, when it decided to focus its efforts on its other location, 3980 Center Point Rd. NE, which replaced the closing Spring House restaurant. Its new location at its old spot on 16th Avenue SW reopened March 30.
With limited resources and the instant success of its Center Point Road location, the Igrams decided to focus efforts there to avoid one location overshadowing another. Over time, management has learned how to streamline the concept, the menu and prices, making the experience easier for both management and customers.
Rather than splitting their attention, they decided to focus on managing one really well, Lekin said.
“It took us some time, but we think we got it,” Igram said.
The Igram family also owns CR Home Furnishings, located next to the new BurgerFiend, making it easier for the family to keep a close eye on its businesses together. Customer demand from loyal customers who had fond memories of the 16th Avenue SW location helped prompt the new move, too, Lekin said.
“It was time to come back to the west side,” Igram said.
The concept for BurgerFiend came after the family spent some time in the meat business, with Igram’s father, Jim Igram, as a butcher.
“We knew a lot about the meat,” he said. “We always thought it’d be a good concept.”
With a new website in the works, customers will soon be able to order online for delivery, adding convenience given BurgerFiend’s lack of drive-thrus.
Given the quality of the meat, Igram said it takes about 10 minutes to cook a burger, making the speed of a drive-thru moot.
“From the very start, I wanted this to be a ’dive.’ I didn’t want anyone to mistake it for a franchise,” Igram said. “That’s the kind of atmosphere I want. I want it to be off the beaten path — the best kept secret.”
But now with two locations, it may be a challenge to keep the burger restaurant’s success contained.
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