November 5, 2009
I’m a firm believer in the idea that there is nothing better than a good juicy burger. I apologize if you’re a vegeterian. But, apparently Jack Brown’s agrees with my belief too. So much so, that the only thing on their menu are burgers.
I headed to the burger joint located in downtown Harrisonburg last night and was greeted by the owner himself, Aaron Ludwig. We got to talking and he explained to me that before Jack Brown’s opened on April 4, it was originally just an idea between him and his long-time best friend Mike Sabin. Sabin has a good amount of experience in the restaurant business. Sabin and his partner in Miami run the busiest restaurant group in South Beach. The same dedication and preperation that Sabin puts into his Miami restaurants are replicated at Jack Brown’s, Ludwig explained.
Side note: Tom Brady and Gisele were seen at one of Sabin’s popular Miami restaurants this past weekend. Is there a chance that if they like the food there they’ll like it here? I like to think so. This also gives me the opportunity to insert another Tom Brady pic into the blog. Enjoy.
OK, good that’s out of my system. Now, back to the food.
I took a seat at one of the bar stools when I walked into Jack Brown’s. The bar itself is actually made from an old oak tree from Ludwig’s dad’s property. Proving their dedication to the restaurant, they cut and aged the wood themselves. When going to Jack Brown’s be aware that the restaurant is extremely narrow with only one actual table (other than the patio tables outside). Even with the 50 degree temperature last night, people were still eating outside. Weird.
For such a small area, the place is decorated with a plethora of random things (i.e. a disco ball, Sabin and Ludwig’s monumental beer can collection and rifles to name a few). While they keep the restaurant busy to the eye, they manage to keep the menu nice and simple. Your choices are a burger, cheeseburger, and the burger of the day. (Or a grilled cheese if you’re a vegeterian). Lucky for me, the burger of the day yesterday was the Elvis.
The ingredients — you made need to brace yourself– are as follows: Cheese, burger, mayo, smoked bacon, and PEANUT BUTTER. Wha?? On a burger? I was so intrigued by this that I had to order it right away.
And I’m glad I did.
When people order the Elvis Ludwig says he always offers the customer a cheeseburger if they don’t like it. He went on to say he’s never had to give that cheeseburger. I can see why.
There was not too much peanut butter on the burger so each bite was never overbearing. The bacon was thick and the cheese oozed over the waygu beef burger. Fun fact: Waygu beef is essentially cattle known for intense marbling and flavor. In other words, it’s high quality beef.
I can’t leave out the delicious crinkle fries either. Crispy and hot and served with their secret Jack Brown’s sauce. I don’t know what the sauce was but I know I was quoted as saying “I could literally drink this.” So yeah, the sauce is pretty good.
As I was eating all this I was washing it all down with the Sam Adams Winter Lager on tap. Three beers are on tap which are changed frequently, but they have plenty of bottles to choose from. You can also ask to sample one of the beers on tap too. And if you really like beer you can take a turn at trying to be part of the 100 North Club. Drink 100 different beers and if you’re one of the first 18 to complete the challenge (Jack Brown’s keeps a record sheet) your name will be engraved into a bar seat and hung on the wall.
After eating every bit of my burger and soaking all my fries up in that secret sauce (I’m still trying to figure out the ingredients as I type this) I then went on to order the fried oreo.
I know the picture is blurry but the fact that it’s called a fried oreo should be enough to make you want one. It’s served in a Chinese takeout box and sprinkled with powdered sugar. In fact, the batter recipe is the same as the one Sabin uses down in Miami. Do you hear that Tom Brady?
With the beer, fries, burger and oreo my meal was under $15.
I have to say, it was exciting to see how two best friends can make a dream reality. It was even more exciting to experience it. You should too. And uh, so should Tom Brady. Please.