Monday, October 12, 2009

Dickie Jo's: My First Diet Burger

So, when I started this burger blog, going on a diet was obviously not in my plans.  I consider myself a fairly in-shape fellow; I work out every day because of my gluttonous appetite, not merely in spite of it.  I know that I'm not the trimmest fellow, but I still run a sub 20 minute 5k, and I can drag myself to the top of Mt. Pisgah without feeling like I am going to puke.

What in the world would I want to diet for?

Well, it turns out that my future employer has some fairly strict height and weight standards (who would have known?).  It also turns out that I am exactly at their maximum allowable body fat percentage.  Amazingly enough, they didn't accept the "but I can climb Mt Pisgah" argument.

What does this mean for me?  It has occurred to me that being at, and not over, the maximum allowable body fat percentage technically means I don't have to do a damn thing.  I passed the test, dammit.  On the other hand... well... lets just say I should probably go on a diet.

What does this mean for you?  Good news: probably very little.  I am an innovative fellow, and have devised a diet that allows me to maintain my burger eating habits.  The downside is that I pretty much only get to eat broccoli the rest of the week, but I think it's a fairly reasonable tradeoff.

With that, on to the burger.

When I originally put out my feelers regarding starting a burger blog, the most requested establishment I recieved was Dickie Jo's.  Dickie Jo's is a relatively new place; it just went up this summer, but nearly every one I talked to had an opinion... whether they had been there or not.  Some folks loved it, some thought it was overpriced and the waits were obnoxious, and others were turned off merely by the chain aspect.  Technically Dickie Jo's is not a chain, but it is owned by the same folks who own Mucho Gusto and Fina Taqueria; whether or not that puts it into the chain category, I will leave for you to decide.

Dickie Jo's is on 13th and Pearl, and is really pretty convenient.  When I set out, I had it in my head that it was down-town, so I found the first spot on the side of the road, and parked; less than a block away felt pretty good.  Turns out, they have a big ol' parking lot.  Oh well.

The restaurant  looks really cool.  It has big a big attractive neon sign, that helps to invoke that 50s feel before you even walk in.  The inside is immaculate, with a retro styling that nevertheless feels completely modern.

The menu is hung above the counter that you order at.  They bring your food out to you.  For all the complaints about long waits I had heard, I was pleasantly surprised to be the second one in line; we waited less than ten minutes total for our food.

The burgers start with a $5.95 base price for an "all natural Painted Hills beef (USDA Choice)" patty with standard veggies, special sauce, and fries.  Extras are... well... extra: 50 cents each for cheese, bacon, grilled onions, etc...  and $2 to double the beef.  What are people whining about with these outrageous price complaints?  It's certainly not cheap, but it isn't even close to the priciest place in town.

The only price complaint I had was regarding DJ's beer selection.  They only carry 12 oz. bottled beers, and they are all $2.99.  There is nothing awful in that alone, until you consider that a PBR is the same price as a Mirror Pond.  Ridiculous, but whatever...

I was feeling kind of simple, so I ordered a bacon cheeseburger (single patty) with american, and an Inversion IPA.

My first reaction was that the burger looked fresh, hot, and... a little small.  Maybe I should have ordered the extra patty, but at nine bucks... OK, maybe Dickie Jo's is a tiny bit spendy.    

Upon first bite, the burger is good.  The beef is excellent, the bacon is thick and juicy, and the bun is... wait... the bun is kind of weird.  It is not bad, on the contrary it is really pretty good, but it has a familiar quality that I just couldn't quite put my finger on...

And then I realized, it tastes just like the bread at Big Town Hero: fresh, soft and sort of sweet.

Never in a million years would I think that a bun would be the defining characteristic of a burger, but here it clearly was.  Dickie Jo's bakes their bread in-house each morning, and it shows.  I am guessing that some people will love it, and others are going to hate it.  You have been warned.  That said, I really enjoyed it.

The fries were decent.  Nothing to write home about, but no complaints either.  They were hot, crispy, and light.

I didn't order a milkshake, but our server, was so confident that we would love it  she brought out one for me and my buddy to share on the house (she even put it in two glasses as opposed to just bringing out two bendy straws).  She recommended the peanut butter fudge, so we went with it, and were blown away.  Excellent, and recommended; get one.

Dickie Jo's is really really good.  I say go when it's not likely to be packed, and order that second patty.

Dickie Jo's Burgers
201 East 13th (corner of 13th and Pearl)
541 636 4488

Bookmark and Share  Dickie Jo's Burgers on Urbanspoon


  1. How do you go to the place I recommend and then not invite me?! I'm pissed.

    P.S. And way to park all far away hot shot.

    P.P.S. Good luck on the diet.

  2. Truth be told Lauren, this was actually a few weeks ago, and we did invite you (you were busy with something).

    I had a different burger this week, but the pictures are awful, so I pulled these out. I wasn't a huge fan of theses pics, but they are like Ansel Adams compared to the others, so I went with DJs.

  3. You mean, the EBB is scripted? Crushed.

  4. Scripted? Nothing of the sort. I simply had a review in queue knowing full well that I might get busy, or pictures at a restaurant might be awful, etc...

  5. anonymous burger ladyOctober 13, 2009 at 12:36 PM

    Dickie Jo's is equivalent to Burgerville without the drive through. But it holds itself out as something better. Basically, I think Dickie Jo's is fine, but not as good as it pretends to be. Its conceited.

  6. I don't completely disagree burger lady.

    I think DJs has a place in Eugene, b/c there is no BurgerVille and no In-N-Out.

    That said, I think if DJs charged 70-80% of what they presently charge, it would be an awesome place.