Steve Landeen, Deseret News
A Utah farm and fast-food joint is serving up a special kind of burger. Doug Reid, a beefalo rancher, says the meat has a future as a healthier alternative to regular beef. Photo taken Feb. 15, 2012 in Riverton.

RIVERTON — Burgers, fries and shakes. That’s what’s usually on the menu at fast-food restaurants. But the burgers on the menu at Bombdiggity's, 1481 W. 12600 South, are a little different.

"(It) tastes better than a hamburger, I think," said customer Chad Rawlins. "Definitely better than the fast-food joints around here."

"It" is beefalo: a cross between cattle and American bison, with between 17 percent and 37 percent bison.

Charlie and Cassie Lifferth and their children are regulars, too. "They taste a lot better than normal hamburgers," Charlie Lifferth said. "We come here a lot, probably once a week."

"I think a lot of people, at first, they hear the name and they're like, ‘Mmm,' because it's different," Cassie Lifferth said. "But you need to try it. It's so good."

"It's typed as a breed of beef, and the USDA stipulates it is a breed of beef, but because it's got the bison breed in it, it's lower fat," explained Doug Reid, a Duchesne County beefalo rancher and owner of Bombdiggity's.

"We raise the beefalo ourselves and take it to the butcher," Reid said. "It comes here, and you get it fresh."

Reid believes beefalo has a future as a healthier alternative to regular beef. He's spent the past four years developing his herd.

"They are raised all naturally, with no hormones, no growth additives, no grains; they pretty much live a natural life out on the range," he said.

Now, nearly a year after he started selling beefalo burgers, Reid is encouraged that beefalo is beginning to catch on.

"People seem to like the fact they can come to a fast food-type restaurant and get something that is healthier for them, a little healthier alternative. And then throw in the fact it is a beefalo, different than beef, (and) the response has been really good," Reid said.

Reid goes through about 400 pounds of beefalo at the restaurant every week. He also sells quarter and half beefalos and plans to hit a lot of farmers markets this summer to try and get the word out about beefalo.