Boulder is full of spots to grab a quick meal and there is a ton of competition when it comes to burger joints. It’s convenient for the college population and the relatively large high school. Businesses can capitalize and those that cater to that population seem to do well. Obviously Five Guys was happy with their business on the hill because they just opened a new location in the 29th Street Mall. Burger King and McDonalds are right next door to that new spot and Wendy’s has a location farther south. Mustard’s Last Stand (review to come) is probably our favorite fast food burger spot but recently Snarfburger opened on Arapahoe.
My man Ryan outside Snarfburger
Snarf’s is probably our favorite fast grab sandwich shop in town so we had to give their newest creation a try. I went with my boss twice already and I’ve had the same feelings each time. It’s okay but the comparisons to In-n-Out cannot be justified. Those who say it is better than In-n-Out are a little bit off, in my opinion. You go with the comfort of knowing that it’s not a chain, but at the same time it doesn’t have that same taste as a place like White Mana (Hackensack, New Jersey) who serve the best burger that I have ever had.
Here is some more information with some positives and negatives. The parking is horrible and the lot shouldn’t even exist. A dumpster takes up one of the few spots and the recent construction on Arapahoe has surely destroyed business in the summer. The small shop is well-air conditioned and there’s a decent amount of seating between indoor and outdoor options. They also have your typical soda fountain and offer milkshakes and concretes, which is nice. I have a hard time going to a burger joint when you can’t get a milkshake. Service has been fast and slow but that usually just depends on how busy it is. They usually have 3-4 employees during lunch rush hours and I’m sure you can’t fit many more in that small kitchen.
As for the meat, they have your standard burgers (with hot sauce), hot dogs, veggie burgers, and fried bologna sandwiches. I haven’t had one yet because they seem overpriced but that’s a favorite back east. And of course they have fries. The fries and shake are solid, although the fries aren’t as good as Mustard’s. And the prices are somewhat comparable to Mustard’s, but still seem a little on the high end. Nearly 4 dollars for a small single burger is a bit much. Especially when the majority of the patties I have had have been overcooked, pretty hard, and chewy. I think they try to caramelize the outside but they overcook the inside in the process. They probably don’t have a ton of experience making burgers so they’ll get better with time.
The absolute top reason for returning is the custom options for your burger. I’m not talking about what you can do at Five Guys with all the toppings. You can get the typical condiments and veggies thrown on, plus bacon if you desire. I’m talking about their willingness to throw 6 patties onto a single burger. You can add a patty for $1.50 and that’s what I do, six times. They get all excited when you do it and apparently I have the record for biggest burger ordered thus far. I’m sure someone (if not a CU athlete, I will return) will get a bigger burger. That one took me about 7 minutes to finish but I did it with no water or drink whatsoever. That was fun.
The bottom line is that the food isn’t good enough for me to suggest going to Snarfburger but if someone else does, I would oblige. I’d get a double bacon cheeseburger, shake, and fries and be pretty content with paying a bit more than I should. Just know that parking will be bad and the wait could be long if you go at a busy time. Oh, and I don’t know what they plan on doing in the winter with such limited seating indoors.
Snarf’s might not have hit the gold mine like they did with their sandwich shop but they still have room for growth here and I’m sure Hungry and Fit will return in the future. Because an occasional “cheat meal” at a burger joint can be a tricky way of staying hungry and fit!
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