Billy Kramer is NFA

Billy Kramer is NFA
Words by Lucy Graves
Photos by Erik Meadows and NFA Burger

NFA or “Not Fooling Around” Burger is a classic smash-burger lover’s paradise hidden away in a Dunwoody Chevron just outside of Atlanta.

Owner and creator Billy Kramer found himself immersed in the world of burger culture throughout his traveling in the media business in the early 2000s. Instagram came out, and Billy began to chronicle the burgers he ate all over the United States, gaining a large following in the process.

When Kramer would come home from traveling, he would explore and learn about how to cook burgers and what makes a good one. 

In March of 2018, after losing his job, Kramer announced his first burger pop-up at Battle and Brew in Sandy Springs on Instagram. “It was a glorious disaster,” said Kramer.

“I learned so much about how a kitchen works,” said Kramer. It taught him what worked and what did not, and how he could solve those problems himself.

“If I went to a restaurant for a burger, I would ask the chef if I could see the kitchen every time,” said Kramer. He threw himself head-first into learning all he could about how to be a successful burger joint and kitchen. “At Shake Shack, instead of sitting down, I would stand there by the kitchen and just watch everything,” said Kramer.

“So, when I was playing this game in my kitchen at home in order to decompress from my career, I was like, okay if I did a burger, what burger would I do? What annoys me about a burger?” said Kramer.

“A smash-burger comes out one way,” said Kramer. It’s dependable in how it will always be cooked the same way as compared to cooked to order burgers. Kramer learned through his numerous pop-ups around Atlanta how to make a consistent burger when cooking at a larger scale. 

Soon after, the owner of a small Dunwoody Chevron reached out to Kramer and asked if he would run a restaurant in his gas station. He told the owner, “One day, I think you’re going to look up and say the best burger in the world is made in your gas station.”

The rest was history. On Dec 3, 2019, NFA Burger was launched. On Saturday following the Facebook announcement of NFA, there was a line wrapped around the building. 

Kramer had no idea it would be as successful as it has been. “I really thought I would go in and cook about 50 burgers a day,” said Kramer.  

Ever since then, NFA has grown in popularity. During their first two years of business, they have received numerous awards such as Food and Wine’s Best Burger in Georgia, Thrillist’s Best Burgers in America, and Atlanta Magazine’s 2020 Best Burger.

NFA also has great dogs with both Vienna all beef polish sausages, and Angus all-beef hot dogs with a wide array of toppings like turkey chili, bacon or onions. 

Our favorite pick is the “not just for kids grilled cheese” with Kramer’s sassy sauce and American cheese between two butter toasted slices of Martin’s potato bread.

Kramer cares about what the kids think, most importantly. “I’ll go up to a family and ask how is everything? The parents will answer good, but I’m really wondering what the kids think,” said Kramer.

When I think of the burgers my southern father made for me as a child, I think of the juicy pickles, cheese and mustard from the local grocery store all atop a warm, charred burger. The best part about NFA’s burgers is that they’re classic in the way I’ve always known.

All burgers made with Kramer’s homemade seasoning come topped with American cheese, French’s mustard, Mt. Olive pickles and Kramer’s homemade “sassy sauce” packed in a soft Martin’s potato bun. Pair this with a side of sassy tots, and you won’t regret it.

Kramer has elevated the classic burger perfecting it to well, perfection. Although Kramer claims on the NFA website that he knows not everyone will love his burgers, we sure do. It’s messy and delicious, just as a burger should be.

NFA’s mission is for every customer to leave full and happy and to tell them if you don’t. Kramer has always been about learning to perfect his craft and will continue to do so even with the best burger in Georgia, hands down.