The Exclamation Marks the Spot
By Ashley Bennett
Everyone has their favorite eating spot. It’s that one place of consistency like the bar setting from Cheers or McLaren’s Pub in How I Met Your Mother. You might remember them for the good times, but places like that just aren’t great restaurants. Actually, they sometimes just suck for lack of a better word. Sure they might have an amazing assortment of pretzels mixes but c’mon, you can do way better than that when it comes to your gut. With an exclamation of ingenuity and difference among your average bars, Eureka! Burger is an exception to the rule. Treat yourself to a hearty burger because you know as well as I do that making your way through the world today takes everything you got.
Eureka! Burger isn’t by any means a hole in the wall bar. You may already know its Redlands location, but its Claremont location is a whole different atmosphere. With an environment focused with dark wooden colors and wooden decor, you get the whole bar feeling at the Claremont addition without feeling claustrophobic. One entire side of the joint has windows allowing visitors to gaze outwards onto the busy streets of the Claremont Village. Better yet, it even has a dedicated outdoor area that turns your enclosed feeling of watching the game at the bar to an outdoor hangout that’s big enough for a large group.
Eureka! Burger truly delivers its own unique tastes via layers and with a few creatively minded individuals they’ve created some pretty sweet concoctions. Let’s start with the revamp of old school macaroni and cheese. Here, the variation of the Mac N’ Cheese Skillet is the start to a new mixture of creamy cheddar and jack cheeses generously mixed within as well as atop a colorful display of garnish, bacon bits (upon request) and drizzled sour cream. Following these cheesy treats, try the Eureka Truffle Fries for a heaping helping of thin fries mixed with addicting flavor of gruyere cheese.
As for salads, I normally avoid eating these when I go out to eat. Why would I pay the same amount of money that a burger costs to get a mediocre amount of lettuce and toppings that I could throw together at home? I can’t vouch for every salad that Eureka offers, but I can say this much: Its Watermelon Salad is one hell of a refresher and worth every penny. Mainly because at first glance the lack of lettuce will throw you off. Instead of lettuce, the main ingredient is quinoa (a type of grain that works surprisingly well) set in a large ball centered on the plate and surrounded by (and mixed with) a variety of ingredients such as cucumber, tomatoes, chopped walnuts, dried cranberry, “red bell pepper julienne,” carrots and topped with a crown of watermelon slices. Flavor is unexpectedly stacked as you take that first fork-dive into the quinoa, scooping up bits of toppings through balsamic lemon dressing and outwards through more toppings only to run into drizzled balsamic dressing on the plate’s border. I think I’ll call it “Quinoawesome” from now on.
To further succeed the flavor poundage of the salad, the Fig Marmalade Burger came highly recommended. Among melted goat cheese, a few strips of bacon, minced tomato, onion and a dollop of spicy porter mustard, the buns were lined with sweet fig marmalade smothered on the inner lining of the bun that really gave the burger something special. Much like a burger made of candy with a spicy heart, this two-in-one burger of flavors made for quite a meal. Not to mention a special side of Sweet Potato Fries powdered with a bit of cinnamon and lightly drizzled with honey, this meal made it into my record book of amazingly paired flavors.
Amidst all of a fun menu items (Jalapeno Egg Burger, anyone?) don’t forget that Eureka! Burger also sports a bar with an extensive supply of beer taps (about 30) including both local and imported microbrews to top off that sweet, sweet burger of yours. And an extensive list of some of the finest whiskey. So it’s the best of worlds; great food and great selection of drinks to boot. Cheers!
Eureka! Burger, 580 W. First St., Claremont, (909) 445-8875; www.eurekaburger.com. Mon-Thurs, Sun, 11am-12am; Fri-Sat, 11am-1am. AE, D, M, V.