TLDR - 3 1/2 stars overall. Good food, mostly reasonable prices, a bit of a swing and miss on the style they are going for.
It's not often my whole family is available on the same night (my wife and I, and our 3 adult (unmarried) sons), so we decided to go get some dinner. To avoid the whole "where do you want to eat"... "I don't know, where do you want to eat?" ... "I don't know, anywhere is fine" conversation, I got on google maps and looked up a cluster of restaurants I had passed recently on University Ave that none of us had been to and texted the group - we can go to Mountain Mikes Pizza, Fancy Burger, or Mr. Shabu. The consensus was Fancy Burger, so not knowing anything about it, we met there at 6:30 yesterday evening.
The ambience they are going for is tongue-in-cheek fancy. You can see the pictures on their website (or google), but there are black drapes covering the front windows, creating a dark atmosphere inside. Next to the entrance, there's a piano for live music. Last night, there wasn't a pianist while we were there, but there was a guy playing Christmas carols on a violin. The space is small, with various booths along the perimeter and and some small square tables in the open space. Art on the walls.
The menu consisted of two half-page heavy card-stock papers. Drinks on one (sodas and other non-alcoholic on one side, wines and beers on the other) and food on the other (burgers on one side, desserts on the other). The drinks were brought out in their cans, with a small glass cup of ice that reminded me of the glasses we used to have in elementary school. Our waitress was dressed in a black "formal" dress. I appreciate the go-all-in style of the effort to be a fancy restaurant that sells burgers, but it ultimately came across as an SNL skit that has a funny premise, but lacks in execution.
To the food... You can see from their online menu, the offering is sparse. Two regular burgers ("Plain Luxury" and "Classic"). The Plain was the bun (which was very good), meat, cheese, and mayo. The Classic was the same, but adds tomato and lettuce. The pricing was interesting. For each burger, you could get a single, double, or triple patty. Prices for the Plain were:
$5.50, $8.50, and $12.50. So, $3 extra for the 2nd patty, but $4 extra for the 3rd patty. If you splurge for the Classic and pay for adding lettuce and tomato, the prices are: $8.50, $10.50, and $12.50. So, lettuce and tomato is $3 extra if you get a single patty, $2 extra for the double, but no extra for the triple. I guess I should mention they use kewpie mayonnaise, which I had never heard of but is apparently the favorite mayo in Japan.
Fries were $5 per order. Their paper menu advertised Rosemary and thin-cut. The online menu advertises Rosemary and thick-cut. What they actually had was sweet potato and thick-cut. So, I guess it depends on what day you go in. The fries were good - we ordered two thick-cut and one sweet potato for our group of 5 to share. Our waitress threw in a 2nd sweet potato order on the house.
Their online menu advertises a Pastrami burger, which is the Plain Double with a slap of thick-cut pastrami on it. It wasn't on the menu they gave us, and I didn't ask about it because I didn't want to pay $19 for a burger anyway.
They also have a "Fancy Burger" which apparently changes from month to month. It's a $30+ dollar burger. I didn't see anyone in the restaurant with one on the table.
The burgers were tasty enough. I got the plain double. I liked the bun. I'm not a big fan of the smashed-thin style burger, but it was hot and flavorful. Maybe a touch greasy.
I mentioned the pricing above. Overall, I thought the regular burger prices were reasonable for a sit-down restaurant - although the upcharge for lettuce and tomato seemed excessive. Our group of 5 ended up paying about $90 (5 burgers - a single, 3 doubles, and a triple; 4 sodas, 3 fries, plus a 20% tip).
Overall - I'd say it's worth trying out if you're just looking for a no-frills burger at a unique place. But if you're looking for more options to choose from - this isn't the place for you.
Here at the fancy burger, we are creating a new and exquisite way to eat burgers. We know the burgers tend to be casual and fast, but we wanted people to have a luxurious experience eating our burgers. Our bun is made in-house, it's a Hokkaido milk bun, aka cloud bun.