The top talking point for Burgerim is its variety.
A sign over the kitchen door at the Israeli-born quick-service hamburger restaurant claims customers can build more than 40 million burger combinations, and, although I haven’t done the math, it’s probably true. Burgerim offers three different beef blends for both its miniature burgers and big burgers along with salmon, chicken, falafel and lamb options.
The name Burgerim actually means “many burgers” in Hebrew, as the staff will gladly explain.
In addition to the great variety, Burgerim serves high quality burgers and fries quickly, making it an easy spot for a half-hour lunch.
Open since early July, Burgerim's location at Essen Lane and Perkins Road is the chain's first Louisiana store. Situated at the Perkins Road end of the Ichiban Square shopping center, Burgerim is bright and busy, with televisions viewable from every table and a mass of four monitors pushing the company’s social media platforms in the middle of the dining area.
On my first visit to Burgerim, I breezed past the wall full of burger options and chose the first thing I saw, a ⅓-pound Angus beef burger ($6.99). It came dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and American cheese, and a creamy house sauce balanced the lightly seasoned beef. But the American cheese added an oily, gooey texture to the otherwise fine burger.
I chose a side of the house fries ($2.99 with a drink) — a pile of thickly sliced chips that were lightly fried, a pleasant surprise.
On another trip, I tried a mini burger duo ($9.98 with fries and a drink) with a crispy chicken breast and a cheeseburger with bacon (99 cents extra). When Burgerim advertises mini burgers, I assumed they were sliders. However, these are larger, and I struggled to finish both of them.
With the bacon, I liked this mini burger even more than the big burger. The chicken was as good as any quick-service restaurant fried chicken breast, with a sufficiently seasoned thin breading.
I tried the sweet potato fries on the side, which cost $1 more and weren't really worth the upcharge. Stick with the house fries.
The nontraditional burgers and sandwiches at Burgerim kept diverting my attention, so I returned for two more lunch breaks. While the falafel and lamb burgers were enticing, I could not pass up the Hawaiian salmon ($7.99), with its red cabbage slaw, a slice of pineapple, a ginger vinaigrette and barbecue sauce. But I wished I had tried the falafel — as I should have expected from a sub-$10 salmon, it tasted like frozen fish sticks.
The Burgerim grilled chicken ($7.99), though, made up for my disappointment. The tender, lightly seasoned grilled chicken breast came topped with tomatoes, avocado, mixed greens, Swiss cheese and a chipotle aioli. While I would avoid the low-quality cheese, the smoky and spicy aioli teamed well with the nutty avocado and savory grilled chicken.
Burgerim serves fast, high quality hamburgers with a few minor missteps. Avoid the standard American cheese and upgrade to cheddar or pepper jack for 79 cents per burger. And no matter how appealing the picture looks, avoid the Hawaiian salmon.
7673 Perkins Road
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
(225) 218-4451; burgerim.com
Pros: Nontraditional fries; variety; fast
Cons: Salmon burger; standard American cheese