Address: 7015 Manchester Boulevard, Suite E, Alexandria, VA 22310
This place cropped up on my radar after I was looking in the area for some other local places that I could grab a burger. After reading some initial reviews (some people compared it to the likes of Five Guys and In-N-Out) and looking over their menu, I decided to stop by for lunch while I was out running some errands yesterday.
The style of the restaurant is very similar to that of Five Guys / In-N-Out, where you go up to the counter to place your order and wait for your order number to be called up when its ready. Boardwalk also features an expansive list of ingredients that you can customize your burger with, including cheeses, toppings, or sauces. They even had the option to go with a regular or a whole wheat bun for the burger.
Thankfully, they had a sign right next to the cash register that laid out all of the different options that I could go with, so I basically just read right off of it the entire time. In addition to the “build your burger” option, they also have three signature burgers that you can add onto as well: the Bacon Bleu, Mushroom Swiss, and BBQ Bacon Cheddar. However, if you’re not feeling burgers that day, you could also order a hot dog, cheesesteak, chicken sandwich, or salad.
The dining area in this location was very spacious and comfortable, with some available outdoor seating for the nicer days. The food was also turned around very quickly, as it took probably about 5 minutes from when I placed my order to when I started to dive into the burger. This time I went with a cheeseburger on a wheat bun with lettuce, tomatoes, grilled onions, mushrooms, pickles, Swiss cheese, Chipotle sauce, and mayo. Although with the number of different toppings there are plenty of other options to try upon future visits. To compliment the burger, I had a regular side of their Boardwalk Fries.
I really enjoyed the flavor of the burger when I took that first bite (pretty sure that I got a bit of every topping that I added in). Everything tasted very balanced, and there was no single ingredient that was drowning everything else out. The single patty on the burger did stray a little on the thin side, so next time I might go for the double patty.
One thing that I certainly noticed about this burger was that I didn’t get that heavy, sinking feeling after I finished it, unlike at some of the other places. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly times when it’s satisfying to chow down a mouth-watering greasy burger. But because burgers leaned on the heavy side, I would almost always save them for a dinnertime meal. With Boardwalk’s burgers, I’d be open to it for a lunchtime stop.
I have to say that I really enjoyed their fries. The potatoes are freshly-cut and fried until they have the right balance between crispy and soft. I found that the fries are also lightly salted at just the right amount for my own personal taste. The condiments counter also gives you the option to throw some Old Bay on there to round out the fries.
As a place with good-tasting food and a nice atmosphere, Boardwalk Fresh is a place that I would recommend for others to try for a change of pace in the fast-casual burger scene.
Here are my rankings for Boardwalk Fresh:
Food: 4 / 5
Good burger combination flexibility and some great tasting fries really hit the spot for me. Their milkshakes are also quite tasty as well.
Atmosphere: 4 / 5
The dining area is nice and open that doesn’t get very loud, even if a table near you is having a conversation. With the open kitchen in the back of the restaurant, the smell of cooking food certainly drifts around.
Service: 4.5 / 5
Food was made fairly quickly, and the person at the register was very pleasant to talk to.
Price: 4 / 5
I felt like the price I paid was pretty reasonable for the amount of food that I got. It was actually slightly lower than some of the other fast-casual burger places.
Overall: 16.5 / 20 (83%)