by James Garcia Jr.
If you have spent any time on Facebook at all, you may have seen some promotion from a restaurant in Fresno called Eureka Burger. Quite amusingly, they post a definition for themselves on their website. It displays the word Eureka, offers the pronunciation and adds that it is an interjection. It goes on to list the word’s definition: 1) Used as an exclamation of triumph at a discovery; 2) The enlightening burger experience, accompanied by fresh ingredients, craft beer and rock n’ roll. Recently, my wife and I visited the establishment and we can report that it is exactly this.
The restaurant opened in Fresno in August of 2010 and is the second of four in the franchise, which also include locations in Redlands, Claremont and San Luis Obispo.
We stopped in on a late Saturday afternoon and seemed to beat the dinner rush, although the place was far from empty. Being a sports guy, my eyes were immediately drawn to the large flat screen televisions which surrounded the interior of the restaurant. Secondly, the sound of rock music leapt into my ears, reminding me a little of the Hard Rock Café franchise, although here the music is a bit more mainstream than fringe.
I had one beer and it was a domestic one because I’m boring that way; however, if beer is your thing, this very well might be your place. They have a full bar which includes a wide variety of craft beers and whiskeys.
My wife and I began our meal by sharing an order of their Bruschetta. It was an interesting take on one of my new favorite appetizers. It contained the usual diced tomato and basil served on charbroiled ciabatta toast; however, their version went with goat cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette that turned what I thought I knew into an imaginative new translation.
Other starters include a Short Rib Quesadilla; Eureka Wings, which are also available in a fire sauce; Nachos; and a few other items. Their menu also sports six different salads, including Balsamic Steak; Zumba Watermelon, which includes cucumber, tomato, zucchini, walnuts, cranberry, red bell peppers, balsamic lemon dressing, feta cheese and watermelon spears; Santa Barbara Chicken Salad; and something they describe as Your Mama’s 80’s Style Taco Salad, which is spicy ground beef, mixed greens, tomatoes, onions, kidney beans, avocado, sour cream, spicy Thousand Island dressing and cheddar cheese.
From there we moved on to the main course. My wife had the Original Eureka Burger, served with iceberg lettuce, pickle, sliced Bermuda onions, tomato and a special sauce. It was served with what they call their Signature Handcut Idaho Potato Fries, which are thin and curly and very tasty. Although she claimed that the sauce made eating the meal a bit messy for the fingers, she thought very highly of the burger. She told me that it was very good and quite flavorful.
I ordered the Hickory Pulled Pork Smoked Sandwich. This is a dry-rubbed, slow roasted pork shoulder served with caramelized onions and a North Carolina vinegar sauce on a homemade roll. This is another food item which has become a recent favorite. Once I doused the sandwich in the sauce, the flavors really began to come forth. The menu also lists a California Grilled Chicken Sandwich, a Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich and a Short Rib Sandwich.
Although at first glance this may seem like only a sports bar, it did not play like one. The conversations were not loud, the televisions muted and our particular crowd contained all ages.
The menu contained many options for everyone, including twelve different varieties of burgers which could be manipulated many different ways by substituting ground chuck, turkey or a veggie patty. They also have the option of doubling the patty or adding bacon, avocado, Herb Sautéed Mushrooms, caramelized or grilled onions and nine different cheeses. If the signature fries are not your thing, you can substitute Sweet Honey Potato Fries, Panko Crusted Onion Rings, Pacific Coleslaw or a side salad.
Beyond the menu and the drinks, Eureka Burger also hosts regular live music and sport events. With a lovely patio area to go along with their main dining room, interesting modern decor, a warm and engaging staff, and being just up the road from the River Park Shopping area, make this a friendly and inviting place to spend an hour or more with good friends or family.
Eureka Burger can be found at 7775 N. Palm Avenue, Suite 106 in Fresno, California 93711. The phone number is 559-320-1300 and you can learn more about them on their website.