Dining review: What you can get for $25 at downtown Asheville's H&F Burger

Matthew DeRobertis
Special to Scene

If you’re a burger lover, there should really be no question in your mind over whether you should check out H&F Burger.

The famous burger sold there started as late night, small batch runs at Atlanta’s Holeman & Finch Public House. It's since advanced to burger stardom with three locations devoted to it. 

So, with $25 in my pocket, the question was, do I blow it all on burgers or do I branch out into something else completely? That something else was the hard part. My burger choice was easy.

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There was no other option for me than the original H&F burger, a double patty with bread and butter pickles, shaved red onion, housemade bun and American cheese.

Here's the thing about the cheese. It's not just any American cheese, it’s Kraft American cheese. Sure, there are organic American cheese slices to be had, but they don’t have the same melt a Kraft single does, a fact H&F knows wells. This burger will run you $11.99, and it’s worth it. Heck, the paper it comes wrapped, smeared with the remnants of the melted cheese from the burger, is worth $11.99.

Takeout fried chicken from H&F Burger.

What to do with my remaining $13 was the real head scratcher. It would be super easy to hit that “how many would you like” button to two burgers and call it a day. 

Or, you could also add on any starter on the menu in that price range. Whether it’s pimento cheese with housemade saltines, deviled eggs three ways, slow cooked Benton’s bacon or any of a host of starters, they all read like they would make you pretty happy. 

The problem with starters is that I could only grab one. So, I scrapped that plan for a plate. If you’ve been through Ponce City Market in Atlanta, you may have seen or even visited Hop’s Chicken, which focuses on fried chicken.

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Fried chicken dates back to the Restaurant Eugene days of Hopkins & Co. The dish might not have the notoriety of the H&F burger, but it’s no slouch. At $12.99, you get a wing, breast, leg and thigh, which genuinely is worth the price.

The crust on this chicken hangs on with every bite. It’s seasoned superbly and said seasoning can be seen right in the crust. The meat is the antithesis of dry, a sign that there was plenty of trial and error in finding the perfect cook time that doesn’t sacrifice a proper crunchy crust. 

Yes, sure, I only walked away with 2 dishes at H&F, but it was such a great use of $25. Aside from everything being so well crafted and even tastier, you end up with considerable value. 

The Original H&F Burger with double beef patty, pickles, shaved red onion, American cheese and added bacon from H&F Burger on Biltmore Ave in Asheville January 30, 2020.

For example, the fried chicken comes with housemade hot sauce; the burger has a housemade bun, ketchup and mustard. Each in-house component means you get even more bang for your 25 bucks. 

But, what about the process of ordering? A link right at the top of their website brings you to online to-go ordering. You can choose your time or select pickup ASAP, a convenience not found at every restaurant.  

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Aside from offering the full food menu, the online form also includes dessert, shakes and beverages. Though the restaurant has an in-house bar, the online menu doesn’t offer alcoholic drinks. But, you can add on bottles of house ketchup, mustard, biscuit mix, pickles, T-shirts and more.  

Inside H&F Burger on Biltmore Ave in Asheville January 30, 2020.

Pickup isn’t completely contactless. The order ready text indicated pickup happened at the window. Pulling in the lot, I didn’t see a window or sign mentioning a window. Once inside, however, the host at the front door was ready to hand me my bags. 

Granted, the host station is separated from the restaurant's very spaced seating, so you can keep your distance. It’s not a drop in your backseat sort of pickup, but it is an easy process and, from the time you receive the “ready now” text until walking out the door with your food, mere minutes will have passed. 


Where: H&F Burger Asheville 

Phone: 828-417-3053 

To order online: www.hfburgeravl.com.

Beverage notes: Soda, shakes and nonalcoholic options. 

Contactless pickup available? No. 

Matthew DeRobertis is a chef, writer and father to a kid who loves food more than her dog. Contact him at matt@chefdero.com.