Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jackalope Lounge: A Really Big Frickin' Burger

Editors Note: you may notice a slightly different look, and some new stuff on EBB this week.  We are now on twitter, so feel free to come and... err... follow (seriously please do; at this point there are zero followers and it's a pitiful sight).  Also, urbanspoon has added The Eugene Burger Blog as a feature blog on its Eugene restaurant page.  Check them out; they have reviews of almost every restaurant in Eugene, and everywhere else for that matter.  

Clearly, not all burgers are created equally. Arguably there is as much variety in burgers as in practically any other genre of food on earth. At its simplest a burger is a hunk of ground beef in between two pieces of bread, and at it's most complex... well, the sky is the limit really; whether you want a burger with grilled cheese sandwiches in lieu of a bun or an all Kobe beef patty with foie gras and black truffles, you can find it somewhere.

My methodology in choosing burgers to be reviewed at this point has been to review what I consider the staple of the industry at each restaurant: the Bacon Cheeseburger.  The Bacon Cheeseburger is a beautiful thing when done correctly, and it's an excellent indicator of the way a burger joint conduct its business.  It's a simple thing, but complex enough that a chef can't get off the hook with a lazy effort.

Now, that said, I think this blog is getting a bit boring.  Further I don't even usually order a simple bacon cheeseburger myself.  I've been limiting myself, because I have never been a blogger before and I was trying to keep it simple.

Well, I'm done with that.  I'm not saying that I will never review another bacon cheeseburger, because I almost certainly will, but from here on out I'm going to try and keep it fresh from week to week.

This week I decided to get crazy at one of the restaurants that has garnered a few requests from EBB readers: The Jackalope Lounge.

By all accounts, the Jackalope had some of the biggest and meanest burgers in all of Eugene, so I really don't know how it took me so many burgers to get there.  On their website, they claim to have the best sliders in town, so I was all set to eat me some mini-burgers, but when I opened the menu, I saw this:

The ultimate of all burgers topped with ham, 
bacon, sauteed mushrooms, a fried egg,
swiss and cheddar cheese

All that meat, plus an egg and two kinds of cheese?  That's my burger. To make it better, Jackalope makes all their burgers with a half pound patty, making this by far the biggest burger I have reviewed even before all the extras. I immediately decided to unbutton my pants in anticipation of the food-baby that was sure to be coming.

The burger came out in no time at all, and it was enormous. Now, don't get me wrong, it was not as big as some of the novelty "biggest" burgers out there, but for a standard, no picture-on-the-wall burger, this thing was huge.

It came out with a beautiful fried egg on top, two perfectly cooked pieces of bacon, a full assortment of veggies, and big pile of hot french fries, the latter of which I promptly engulfed; this would prove to be error.

The very first thing I noticed upon biting in is that the bread was home cooked; how many places in town serve home cooked buns?  I love it.

The burger was delicious, with egg all over the place, and bacon every which way, but way too big...  Wait, what?  Did I just say that?  Too big?  What has gotten into me?

Here is the thing folks, I am of the opinion that bigger is not always better.  I am a big fellow, and I love big food, but there is a threshold where a food item goes from being tastefully big, to over the top overwhelming.

Here it wasn't the size of the meal so much, I could always pack up half (I didn't by the way, which is why I regretted the fries), rather it was the size of the patty.  The menu says 1/2 lb., but I would venture to say that it was bigger;  It was too big in relation to the rest of the burger, and it did not suit me.  Some folks are gonna love it... and some folks also enjoy Guinness, so go figure.

Aside from the sheer size of the patty, I had zero complaints about the food at Jackalope; It was really very good, but I'm trying to be discerning here!  The service was awesome, and the beer was cold (I had a Desolation IPA from the Amnesia Brewing Co. in N. Portland, which was great).

Jackalope is worth a trip, but think big on your way in, and consider leaving some of your fries.

The Jackalope Lounge
543 Willamette St.
Eugene, OR
(541)485 8519

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  1. OH MY GOD.

    It's like an instant cure for protein deficiency.

    Looks amazing!

  2. I don't believe you left behind fries. I'm shaking my head right now.

  3. Hmmmm. I'm not a 'ton o beef' gal myself. All things in perspective. Love the blog, so much