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I anticipated that this, much like my other daytime fast-food experiences, would be one that robs me of consciousness. Every time I splurge on a really big meal, an alter-ego awakens within, and everything goes black. In the interest of good health (and basic economics), I try to minimize encounters with grease and thus eat oatmeal for every meal. However, in a noble journalistic endeavor, and for the overall betterment of the community that houses me, I decided to take a leap of faith and eat the damn burger.
I now present you with : my experience, recounted in 10 second intervals.
1-10s : The burger greets me, entering the scene with firm resolve, meat nursed by two sesame bun-blankets. I already get the sense this burger knows its place in the Arthur Ave scene. It doesn’t try to be something it’s not and hide behind the cloak of ricotta cheese. This AM-MEX burger stands unapologetically with pepper-jack as its co-conspirator, and I am immediately humbled.
11- 20s : I take a few seconds to assess the presentation. The lettuce lies uncharacteristically beneath the meat. Be it a daring choice or an accident, I am on board with this forward revolution. There is a very generous ratio of cheese : bacon : beef. In lieu of tomato, I overcompensate with ketchup, which I douse from a 50’s-esque squeezey bottle. Highly recommended for best results.
21- 30s : My first bite does not disappoint. I have an affinity for some good diner meat, and I would venture to say that a Burger Lodge’s AM-MEX burger is reminiscent of that same tasty, greasy (just the right amount), and savory adventure. At first I mistook the modest serving of guac to be frugal on their part – but I was wrong. I had jumped the gun in an “eyes bigger than stomach” moment, but Burger Lodge was already one step ahead of me. The hint of guac was just enough; admirably mindful of not crossing the line from sufficient to nauseating.
31-40s : I’m halfway through the burger in record speed. I find myself competing with scavengers, who appear as if from nowhere and claw at my fries. *You must always be armed for this kind of savagery to come from both dining partners and bystanders at tables too close for comfort. I dodge the enemy by fusing the fries into a fry-burger concoction, a move that my peers were not prepared for. I brave on.
41-50s : The waiter arrives, and in comes my drink. In the 49th second, I have a retrospective-episode-seizure during which I vaguely recall ordering this Salted Caramel Milkshake. There is no proof. Just my word and the waiter’s ears, which could have been rightfully clouded by an overwhelming desire to please the customer. I am left with no choice but to pretend it is all okay. I grab the milkshake, don’t question the pretzels drizzled so intricately on top, and sip as if by obligation. I realize that the overarching point of my visit, to inform the public, can not and will not be compromised because I am afraid of indulging in these many (sober) calories (at once).
51- 60s : The experience was truly everything I could have asked for. Burger Lodge is Rams but cheaper, with seats, and without the shame of being forced to consume late night indulgences in bed. It is truly the most dignified and economical “solution” we have seen here in the Bronx in a long time.
And now, a word from the founder, Mr. Ferso Ismail, GSB ’18
Can we just take a minute to acknowledge that this establishment came into being under the leadership of a sophomore at our university?
What made you want to start this business? Well, I was raised in this area, so I know Arthur Avenue fairly well. Arthur Avenue is mostly Italian food, and I wanted to target a crowd who was looking for something different to eat. I was on a trip with my family and we stopped by Johnny Rockets. I realized we should have something in the same vein by Fordham’s campus.
How long has been in the works?
This project has been in the works since the end of my freshman year. Before Burger Lodge it was a Social Club, but my family and I rented the property and wanted to revitalize and renovate the spot to for a different purpose. We filed for the corporation in August, and had intentions of opening around October- November. However, we wanted to focus more on renovations, and so our grand opening is now scheduled for April 1, 2016.
How does the food quality and experience differ from those in the area?
None of our food here is frozen. A local food distributor delivers fresh food daily, we grind the fresh meat on the premises everyday, and the fries are made straight from cutting potatoes, so good quality is guaranteed. In terms of experience, we aim to provide a comfy and homey vibe that, similar to the burger joints you see in 80s/ 90s movies, provides students with a comfortable, local, and affordable eatery. That is our overall mission- to provide Fordham students with their own burger joint and hangout.
If you were to leave the Rival readers with one meal suggestion?
APRIL 1st- GRAND OPENING
*While it technically opened on Feb 28th, all menu items/ delivery/ and breakfast are not yet available*
STARTING APRIL 2nd: Delivery and breakfast, all day
HOURS: 7 AM to 11 PM / Tuesday, Friday, Saturday open until 3 AM (this was a MISPRINT on the menu)
ADDRESS: 657 East 189 St. (Across from the Cage and next to Claudia’s Nails)
#: (718) 219-9888 // (347) 878- FOOD
DISCOUNT? 10% Fordham students with an ID // 50% off APRIL 1st GRAND OPENING!
TYPE OF FOOD? Breakfast, Burgers, Paninis, Wraps, Salads, Tex Mex, Falafel, Milkshakes, Coffee & Tea, and select Vegetarian options
“I had the Steak Lounge with Chili Cheese fries. Both the burger and the fries were delicious. It’s honestly a steal at the price they charge.” – Clyde Singleton, ’17
“I don’t know what possessed me to order a veggie burger, but I did not regret it. It was fantastic. ” – Morgan Conley, ’18
“I got a plain hamburger well done with plain fries and onion rings. That’s probably the most boring order ever, but nevertheless it was very delicious. Burger Lodge is definitely going to become a staple establishment in the Fordham community.”- Jonathan Ayaz, ’17