First Burger User Reviews

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5/20/10 AB: I finally made it into First Burger on First Street in Albany and was quite impressed with their quality of food and service. The place was packed on a Thursday afternoon, I didn't know this happened anywhere during lunch in Albany! I soon figured out why when I got my food. Unlike Red Robin, they offered the option to substitute a vegetarian(or Chicken) burger on any of their meals, at NO charge. I liked the fact I was able to order almost anything off their menu instead of having my usual 2 or 3 options. My server was happy to let me fine tune my burger to my exact liking without getting that dirty special order look. Overall for the money it was a great tasting and filling meal at a very reasonable price. I loved the farm fresh decor. The waitstaff seemed very polite and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend First Burger for quality and price and will definitely be going back. A fantastic addition to Albany, Thank You!

5/17/10 MM: My wife and I have eaten at First Burger six times, sometimes with friends. The burgers are superb and the use of local, carefully sourced ingredients is a heartening lesson for our times. Support local restaurants that use local ingredients and we'll help get Oregon out of this recession! Staff are friendly and attentive. The no booking rule for groups under four works fine as the individually prepared meals arrive very promptly and table turnover is pretty quick.

[Ed note: The following is the First Burger owners' response to the below review] I was very sorry to read of this experience. Our aim at First Burger is to supply good food and a happy dining experience. We seem to have achieved this with our burgers, but not with our attention to your needs. Our customers are entitled to time their food order to suit their convenience. We do not have a "wait" policy and I have spoken directly to the manager and staff members about this. It will never happen again. The accusation of "double tipping" is very serious. Our policy on the auto gratuity of 18% on parties of 6 or more is stated on the menu, the individual check, and is pointed out verbally by the server. In addition to those measures, to help avoid "double" tipping, servers are currently circling the tip on the individual check to help point out that it is included. Although our check points out the standard 18% for parties of six or more, this diner's experience has made us realize that the practice should be clearer, so to avoid any risk of double tipping we are switching to a neon highlighter pen to ensure that guests see it. We hope to have the opportunity to serve you again.

5/12/10 SS: First Burger in Albany: A group of twelve of us reserved a table for lunch. The food was good, but there were two significant problems: Our reservation was for 11:30, and by noon, ten of the twelve were there and we still hadn't been asked what we wanted to order: When one of us reminded a waitress of this, we were told that their "policy" says none of us could place our order until the rest of the party had arrived: At this point, some us of had been there three-quarters of an hour. One of our group insisted we order NOW, because the missing two people might be late or not even show, and they very reluctantly, after a long conference with the mangager, finally took our orders,resulting in and almost-two hour stay 'til we'd eaten..... Everyone agreed that we would never go there again. Then, when our checks came, nine of the now-arrived twelve people looked at the total on their check, as most folks do, calculated a tip and paid...only later did it come out that tips had been added into each check, so nine people were tricked into double-tipping. I recently read in a restaurant magazine that this is a common practice by some less-reputable restaurants in larger cities, a sort of "ha-ha-you-didn't-read-the-fine-print" scam...the idea being that most people only look at the total. A sort of sleazy way to legally pick pockets. We learned that Clemenzas (which it turns out has the same owners, does the same thing..Tips, and their amounts, are traditionally an option reflecting what kind of service and food you got....the food was good, service bizarre, the management tacky.

FK 05/06/10: After hearing great things about First Burger we decided to give it a try, and oh my goodness! It is now our #1 choice in burgers! Delicious burgers that are not only freshly ground on site, but local! And they fries, wow. Love that they are also cut on site and fresh, no preservatives and not frozen which is so, so much better than fast food. Even better than the fries are the cornflake crusted onion rings. Super crunchy and flavorful. Love the environment too. Great for big groups and kids. Milkshakes are awesome! So glad they have extended their hours. Fantastic LOCAL food, drinks, environment, service, and prices! What more could you want? Honestly can't say enough good things!

SC 05/01/10: We received a gift certificate for Restaurants on First, so we thought we would checkout First Burger and see what the buzz was about. We got there about 7pm and they were full We were told there would be about a 30 minute wait and if we would give them our phone number they would call us when a table was open. However is was pouring rain out, and all the businesses on the street was closed, so where were we supposed to go... home? We wound up standing near the back by the bathrooms waiting for a table, it only took about 15 minutes a table for two opened up, so we were seated right next to another couple. The place is small and loud, so if you want to have a nice quiet private conversation, go elsewhere. I ordered an Uncle Sam Blue Cheese burger with fries and my wife ordered The Onionater with fries. The food was delivered quickly, and we noticed the fries looked burned and limp. We asked the waitress and she said they are trying something new with the fries and they all look this way. She said some people like and it some don't. We tasted them and we did not like them at all. They were burned, soggy, full of grease, basically the worst fries we ever had. The waitress offered to change them out for a house salad which we accepted. The burgers themselves had very little flavor. We tasted the meat separately to see if it was just the burger "add ons" that killed the taste, but the meat was bland and very greasy. The grease soaked through the bottom bun and it made eating it difficult at best. We both had the same problems and were unsure what to do about it. We ate what we could, told them to toss the rest. My wife never got the Altoid they advertise came with the Onionator, but we did not really care. We paid the bill above and beyond the gift certificate and we left a nice tip, after all the waitress did a nice job, and the bad food was not her fault. Maybe it was just a bad night or a bad cook in the kitchen, but for $25 (tip included) for two burgers we expected a lot more. As others have mentioned some of the fast food places put out a good Angus burger for a whole lot less and no tip required. Regardless of what it cost, the burgers were bland and greasy, the fries were uneatable and the salad was basically iceburg lettuce. Even if the meal was 1/2 the price we most likely would not go back nor recommend First Burger. We feel bad about this review as we love Sybaris and although we did not expect Sybaris quality we certainly expected a decent meal, which we did not get at First Burger. So if you feel like going out for a burger, hit up ****** for a $6 burger or an Angus Burger at ** and call it a day.

BP 3/31/10: I've driven by this place 50 time and finally got around to eating there. After I got off work one day I was hungry and decided to stop and pick up a burger for the trip home. I work a 7-3 shift and when I got there, CLOSED. Only open from 11:30 - 2:00 and then open back up again at 5-8 so I was out of luck. Kind of strange and it almost made me mad enough to not go back. About a week later It was 7:30 pm and I decided to give it another try. I looked the menu up on the web and ordered over the phone for myself and two kids. I had the First burger and added cheese and bacon(8.47) I wanted this to be a real hamburger. My son got a first burger with cheese(7.48) and my daughter got a little burger and fries(3.99) from the kids stuff part of the menu. First let me say that they weren't kidding when they names this "little burger". It was the size of a silver dollar and was just the meat and bun. We did have a lot of fun making jokes about the size of this microscopic burger for about an hour afterward. It did come with fries and jello. Milk was suppose to be part of the deal was they forgot it. Anyway, I thought the burger was ok but it wasn't anything to write home about or brag about at work tomorrow. The fries were ok also but I'm not a fry eater so that didn't really matter to me. They were a bit soggy but I did get my food to go so they could have gotten that way in the box on the way home. I was expecting to be wowed and wanted a BIG giant burger that would be great and fill me up. Instead I got an ok burger and I was still hungry afterward. I figured for almost 9 bucks I should be full. I would compare it to one of Red Robin's burgers I guess. I don't go there anymore because I don't thing its worth paying 9 bucks for a burger plus tip if I eat in and still leave hungry. Maybe I should have added an extra patty but that would have pushed the price to 11.46. That's out of my price range. I can go to Carls' Jr and get a six dollar burger for under 6 bucks. It's pretty big and not to bad really. I know it's a factory burger but I still think for the value it's a better deal. I don't really care if the truck brought the meat in patty form or someone ground it in the back room. So to end this review I'll give it a C- mostly because of the price and the size of the burger. I would think they are losing customers with the 3 hour closed thing in the afternoon. There are a lot of guys that get off work at 3 or 3:30 looking for something to eat. Im stopping at Calapooia brewing from now on. They make a pretty darn good burger and the price is right.

3/31/10 SK: I have dined at First Burger twice now. Once in house and once for take away. Both times I found the staff to be extremely friendly and courteous and the food was just outstanding! First Burger is bar none the best burger place I have ever experienced. The hamburgers are; the only word that I can think of that is adequate enough is succulent. They are juicy, tender, and full of flavor without being underdone. And the fries, oh the fries are so amazing! Crisp and delicious, double cooked with just the right amount of salt. I could eat the fries all day! If you're in the mood for some great food and friendly people check out First Burger!

RJ 3/23/10: Since opening I think I have eaten at "First Burger" at least 10 times. They are the best burger & fry joint in the Valley by Far! Mt. Dew, Chocolate Malt & The First Burger with cheddar cheese is my selection of Choice. Their hand ground burgers with the house sauce are juicy and full of flavor. (they do like to cook them a little on the pink side, so just keep that in mind when you are ordering) Their hand cut fries, I think, are perfect. They are not overcooked, they are salted to perfection and they taste even better when offset with a Crystals Hand scooped Malt! (sweet and salty) If there was one thing that I would change, it would be that they were open on sunday afternoons, Then I could [bring] my family and friends out for a good burger after church. If you like great burgers, fun atmosphere and service with a smile, i would head down to first burger and give it a try. Just writing this review is making my mouth water. I think I will go there for lunch today!

SK 3/18/10: Tried First Burger on 3/18. We went around 5:30 p.m. We were seated at the bench tables right in front of the door so, every time the door opened it was freezing. The table was uncomfortable due to the fact one seat is on the very high bench which runs along the wall. My feet didn't reach the floor and the table was literally an inch from my lap. My daughter had a First Burger with pepper jack cheese and fries. The burger was good, the fries tasted okay but were not in the least bit crisp, pretty much limp. I had a wedge salad, which was unexceptional, a tiny wedge of almost colorless lettuce with bacon and chopped egg scattered next to it on the plate, very poor presentation. I also had the cream of spinach soup which was very good. The service was okay, after waiting awhile,for the bill to come, I finally went up and requested it, the server seemed flustered and said they had to bring it to the table although I had my card out ready to pay and another customer was paying at the register. I would give this place a B+ for the burger, and an AÂ for the soup, but the service, salad and fries a C at best.

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