Bad As’s Burgers (https://badassburgersfl.com/) is the newest restaurant venture from John Collazo, the chef and owner of Orlando’s beloved Bad As’s Sandwich. I’ve been to Bad As’s Sandwich dozens of times and tried almost everything on the menu, to the point that my detailed review from 2019 barely scratches the surface. But never content to sit still or rest on his laurels, Chef John launched his new burger concept on Curry Ford Road in late 2022, and my wife and I recently tried it.
At Bad As’s Burgers, you pretty much know what you’re going to get: smash-style burgers made with high-quality Australian wagyu beef, with a variety of creative toppings on fresh-baked buns. Just a warning to vegetarians and vegans — there are no veggie burger options at Bad As’s Burgers, at least not yet.
Similar to the menu at Bad As’s Sandwich, there are plenty of chef-created combinations to choose from, or you can build your own burger. My wife is the opposite of me, in that she likes burgers and sandwiches very plain and free from extraneous toppings, condiments, and sauces. She ordered a plain burger with a side of fries, and she seemed to really like it. These fries look and taste a lot like McDonald’s fries from times past, and that is because they are fried in beef tallow, just like McDonald’s used to, at least through the 1980s.
When I placed our order at the register, she didn’t notice on the menu that you could get sautéed mushrooms as a topping, but she really likes mushrooms. (That makes one of us.) Luckily for her, you can also order a generous side order of the mushrooms:
I was having a hard time choosing from all of Chef John’s creations, but when I saw they had a daily special that wasn’t on the regular menu, it became an easy decision. This was the Drew, a burger topped with French stewed onions, crispy onions, Bleu cheese, and some kind of tangy aioli. I had actually been fantasizing about French onion soup that very day, so it was a perfect burger and a perfect decision.
Here’s an extreme close-up of the Drew:
Chef John is great at mixing up different aiolis, which I knew from Bad As’s Sandwich. But I just love ketchup on burgers, too. Sorry, not sorry!
I opted for sweet potato fries so we could try both kinds of fries, and they were spot-on, with nice, crispy exteriors and soft, yielding centers. In fact, we both agreed that we preferred them to the beef tallow fries, despite our shared ’80s McDonald’s nostalgia.
My wife couldn’t resist a chocolate shake, and she said it was great. I appreciated Bad As’s Burgers not following the milkshake trend of adding a lot of sticky, messy, drippy stuff to the outside of the cup, hoping to appeal to the Instagram crowd but creating sticky situations.
I think Bad As’s Burgers will continue to survive and even thrive in a market full of fast-casual burger joints because of Chef John Collazo’s creativity and insistence on the highest quality product. This doesn’t feel like a corporate chain “gourmet burger” place because it isn’t. It has that uniqueness and love that you find in the best locally owned and operated restaurants. Is it the cheapest around? Absolutely not, but you pay for quality. As much as I love the cheap, tasty sliders at White Castle and Krystal, if you go to Bad As’s Burgers, you can expect top-quality beef, toppings, fries, and even fresh-baked buns. You taste every bit of effort, care, and attention to detail with every bite, just like at Bad As’s Sandwich. And even if you consider it a splurge, sometimes you just have to treat yo’self.