The classic steakburger is a time-tested American food staple that represents life before the frills and posh of burgers topped with avocados and lobsters.
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Though dozens of contemporary burger boutiques like Shake Shack and FLIP Burger have captured the hearts of America’s millennials, Thrillist has chosen a lesser-known family burger chain as its crème de la crème.
Thrillist writer Lee Breslouer recently ventured out to Louisville, Colorado, and he came across what the online publication has crowned "America's best burger chain you've never heard about."
Brousler writes: “The food − a double steakburger, fries, and an order of fried pickles − was spectacular in its own right.”
That spectacular burger experience took place at fast-casual restaurant chain Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. The restaurant opened in Wichita, Kansas, in 2002, with brothers Bill and Randy Simon seeking to recreate the simple tasty fare their father, Freddy, mastered. In just 16 years, the restaurant, also founded by restaurateur Scott Redler, now has more than 280 locations in 30 states, including several in metro Atlanta, Kentucky, Colorado and California.
“Mind-blowing is the fact that Freddy's has managed to expand exponentially over the past 16 years, yet still remains curiously under the radar in a country where talking about burgers may well be the national pastime,” Brousler wrote in his Thrillist article.
The hometown-feel, 1950s vibe of the burger joint, which serves Vienna beef hotdogs, steakburgers and, of course, their signature frozen custards, is no coincidence. The owners actually intended just to open one in their hometown.
“People were used to opening restaurants. We had individuals come up to us and say, ‘Hey, we want to open a Freddy’s!’ After we heard that enough times, Bill, Randy, and I decided it was a good idea,” Redler told Thrillist.
Now, the franchise has grown by leaps and bounds. It’s the “thoughtfully sourced” ingredients that’s won over many. The fans of the restaurants are called FredHeads.
“They smash it down to make it pretty thin, but it’s still [got] a good bite to it,” said FredHead Eddie Andreo, who’s visited at least 30+ locations in five, told the publication. “Each bite is completely juicy; it’s nice and thin with a little bit of crisp on the edge.”
Read more about the business prowess and FredHeads behind this burger chain here.