Wagyu! Wagyu! Everywhere wagyu! Especially Australian wagyu, which isn't nearly as luscious or marbled (or expensive) as actual Japanese wagyu, but has its fair share of buttery richness that any beefatarian can appreciate. Beefatarians like John Collazo, the affable gent behind Bad As's Sandwiches, Collazo's' Grit's 'N' Gr'avy, The Possessive House of Pork, and his ultramodern, one-seat, multicourse chef's tasting concept, ApostroFeed. The last three may or may not be actual concepts, but Bad As's Burgers, subject of this dripping assessment, certainly is.
Much like the handhelds Collazo serves from his Milk District sandwich house, the ones at BAB are bloated and bangin'. Here the burgers come double-pattied, with 16 ounces of Aussie wag stacked between house-baked, sesame-specked, butter brioche buns. With apologies to Dr. Tongue (RIP John Candy), it's clear Collazo is out to blow the arteries out of the whole "better burger" movement with this 3D House of Beef.
A pal and I thrust a trio of burgers into our faces on our memorable first visit to the Curry Ford West joint. First was "The Marley" ($16), sporting a mix of roasted pineapple and jerk mayo layered with caramelized onions and gooey gouda. The sweet and spicy island vibe in between those spongy drums really got us into a rhythm. "The Professional" ($17) pays homage to the French dip (no, not Jean Reno), with melted gruyère and seasonal mushrooms (oyster, hen of the woods and cremini). The burger comes cut in half, making dips into the jus all the easier.
But "The Warbucks" ($24) is the big daddy of them all. Crispy onion and arugula aside, it was the foie gras pâté and truffle-manchego cream that had us wondering if the sun would come out in our tomorrow. The thing is rich, but it isn't spoiled rich with gold leaf or caviar or a burger diaper made of $100 bills.
Which brings me to the elephant in the room — the prices. You'll notice that these burgers don't come cheap. But you should know that a single-patty burger here starts at $8 – about the same price as a burger at Shake Shack. A drink and fries (fried in beef tallow) costs an extra $3.99; $6.99 for fries and a shake. And those shakes are worth a shake — try the strawberry shortcake fashioned from strawberry compote and house-made shortbread or the "American Pie" with caramel apple and graham-cracker crumbs. Also worth a slurp is the French onion soup ($8), which may seem like an odd offering at a burger house, until you realize the broth is just as beefy as anything else served here.
I had to make a return trip to sample the newest creation, dubbed "The Firestarter" ($16) and packing housemade kimchi, jalapeños, green chili sauce and havarti cheese. Did it combust in my mouth and blow my yap into oblivion? No. Did that make it a bad bad as's burger? Also no. It was a juicy, medium-well, double-pattied napkin shredder, just like the rest of the Australian wagyu burgers I scarfed. And no matter the price – $8, $16 or $24 — scarf you should.
As my Aussie friend likes to say, wrap your laughing gear 'round that.