Good Burger just entered the downtown marketplace, and they didn’t do it quietly. The founder of the burgeoning burger chain recently claimed that they serve “the best fries in Idaho.”
Now, any time you declare yourself the best at anything, you’re probably wrong. Good Burger’s audacious claim is nothing more than shrewd marketing.
But it’s a marketing trap that I will gladly fall for! Enticed by Good Burger’s confidence, I decided to compare it to competing local chain (and member of many a “best French fries” listicle) Boise Fry Company.
The spuds themselves:
I’m troubled by the inconsistency of Boise Fry Company’s fries. BFC offers a kabillion different types of fries, but they can’t fry them all at the same time, and too many of them turn limp and greasy on the cooling rack. The upside, of course, is that you get to choose between a kabillion different types of fries. And when they’re hot, you’re happy.
Good Burger only offers one type of fry — classic cut and battered. They’re reliably crispy but the batter doesn’t do much in the way of flavor. Sadly, Good Burger’s dreams of serving the best fries in Idaho are just that.
The all-important sauce:
For a condiments guy like myself, the sauce is almost more important than the fry. Good Burger provides perfectly acceptable special sauce, but Boise Fry Company destroys the competition with a freaking flotilla of ketchups, mustards, and magical mayos. The garlic aioli is so good I would use it to exfoliate.
What about those burgers?
BFC’s burgers have always been better than their fries. But like their fries, BFC’s burgers are occasionally too cold and/or curiously small. That said, the quality of the ingredients is always evident. I can’t complain about Good Burger’s meat and melty American cheese, but the bun is distractingly elastic. (I almost wondered if it was *gasp* gluten-free.) The quality of BFC is a cut above.
Now, some serious analytics
I don’t think either of these restaurants is the best option for fry fans. Let’s look at a standard order at both places:
Boise Fry Company: Burger (5.99) + Cheese (.50) + Small Fry (3.15) + Tax (.59) = ~$10.23
Good Burger: Burger (6.27) + Cheese (included) + Small Fry ($2.87) + Tax (.55) = ~$9.69
They’re very close in price. I like to eat my weight in complimentary sauce, so I’ll take BFC.
BUT, right now, I think Fork makes the best fries in town. (BFC’s burger is slightly superior to Fork’s. But BFC’s fries are inferior to Fork’s parmesan-coated happiness sticks.)
And you might think, “well sure, but Fork is fancy.” But look at the numbers:
Fork: Burger (10.95) + Cheese (2) + Fries (included) + Tax (.78) = ~$13.73
I assume we’re all great people who will tip 20% everywhere. But even if you tip 10% at the fast-casual spots and 20% at Fork, we end up here:
Good Burger ~$10.66
Boise Fry Company ~$12.28 ($1.62 more than Good Burger)
Fork ~$16.48 ($4.20 more than Boise Fry Company)
If we assume that the experience of sitting in a nice restaurant and getting waited on is worth at least $3 per hour, and Fork’s improvement in fries over BFC is worth $1.25, we can calculate that:
Sit-down restaurant (3) + Fry upgrade (1.25) > $4.20
Fork is the best deal. Because you pay $4 more to get a burger that’s comparable to BFC AND better fries AND you get to sit down in a nice room for an hour while someone refills your water.
I could have skipped all of that by simply telling you this:
Good Burger is just okay. Boise Fry Company is flawed, but their sauces will always be perfect. And I’d leave them both behind for Fork’s rosemary and parmesan-encrusted fries.
As you were. ∎
4 thoughts on “Good Burger Claims It Serves the Best Fries in Idaho. How Do They Stack Up?”
Thanks for the heads up on the fries.My favorite burger currently is The Habit near the mall in Meridian .Next would be Judds in Boise. More homework for you.
Everyone has their own flavor they prefer. I built my burger company around the particular flavor that I prefer…. However, this is by far one of the best articles I have ever read on the internet. Thank you for writing it! How did I not know your blog existed!? You are extremely talented.
Thank you for coming by. Well written and great job!
-Nicholas (the owner)
Henry! Here are my burger and fries of Boise thoughts:
Just ate at Good Burger today with my office crew. The best fries in Idaho? They’re not the best fries in a greater 5 block area.
A great burger is a combination of simple, high quality ingredients assembled and served fresh. GB did a decent job, but man, that bun flat out sucks.
Fork’s Urban Burger is one of the best in town. I flip between it and BFC’s bison for top burger honors. The grilled-over-fire burger at Diablo is a contender for top burger honors, too. I’m also a fan of the burgers and fries at Cloud 9.
My best burger award for years went to BC’s Spicy Lamb Burger. Although not beef, it was a fine representation of what a burger should be – juicy, full of flavor, delicious. Something has gone south at BC. I’ve now had 3 totally meh versions of this classic and no longer consider ordering it. Don’t know what happened there, but it’s a bummer.
My fave fries are a toss up between Bitter Creek and Gernika. Real potatoes, cut into fry shapes, double cooked and served hot. (Strangely, the fries at Diablo are not up to par with BC. WTH?)
It’s shocking how often burgers get f’ed up. If you really want to eat a kick ass burger and fries, a person can make them at home. Of course, few folks do because just about every place in Boise serves a burger (and tacos these days).
The best burger deal in town is at The Dutch Goose on Tuesdays. 2 for 1 old school, better than fast food burgs served with batter coated fries. Take a friend and buy them lunch.
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