How one man went from burger connoisseur to burger maker

Billy Kramer’s NFA Burgers launched earlier this month in Chamblee
The BB Classic from NFA Burgers

The BB Classic from NFA Burgers

Billy Kramer estimates he tried more than 500 different burgers across the country while traveling for his job as a sales executive.

He started documenting each one on his Instagram account, @billysburgers, which now has 27,000 followers.

A few years ago, he realized he wanted to go beyond just eating burgers -- he wanted to be the man behind the burger.

“I knew I couldn’t be an expert if I couldn’t make one,” Kramer said. “I had to be able to have an intelligent conversation about what makes a burger good or bad, and I knew I could only do that if I was in the business in some way and learned how to make a really good burger.”

Flash forward to earlier this month, when NFA Burgers -- the NFA stands for “not fooling around” -- was officiallu born. What started out as a pop-up inside Galla’s Pizza in Chamblee several months ago has turned into a regular three-day-a-week business.

NFA’s menu features two items. There’s a BB Classic, a double burger made with American cheese, pickles and mustard and Sassy Fries, shoestring fries that come with Sassy Sauce made with Kramer’s Sassy spice blend.

The simplicity of the menu speaks to Kramer’s desire to keep things scalable for the potential to open standalone locations in the future.

“I wanted to make sure that whatever I’m doing is repeatable,” he said. “I’ve adopted the philosophy of having the fewest moving parts.”

He said that while his smashed burger is similar in style to places like Shake Shack and Five Guys, that each burger “does something a little different,” which for him means the way he melts his cheese and the seasoning he uses.

But sticking to a couple of staples doesn’t mean Kramer isn’t open to experimentation. He’s currently working on developing a “Billy Philly,” using a chopped up burger in a bun from Lee’s Bakery and covering it in cheese and a Pizzaco, which would use a mini ball of dough from Galla’s as the base for a taco using his burger as the filling.

Kramer has a team of friends and family who serve as taste testers.

“I always ask them to compare the food to last time and rate whether it’s better, the same or worse,” he said. Ne added that once a dish or sandwich is as good as he thinks he can get it, then his goal is for it to be the same every time after that.

NFA Burgers is open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday inside Galla’s Pizza.

4849 Peachtree Road, Chamblee.


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