by Jessica Martinez
When I first visited Eureka! Gourmet Burgers & Craft Beer about a year ago, my experience was disappointing, so I was very excited, though a little hesitant, to go back to try it again. My parents, boyfriend and I went on a Wednesday night. The restaurant was almost full, but there was no wait for our table. The restaurant had a cool, fun vibe, and was filled with people of all different ages. The staff wore t-shirts with funny sayings on them, such as “Respect Beer.” The music played was catchy and loud enough to sing along to, but the conversations were even louder. Although Eureka! is known for the burgers, they offer a variety of dishes. Our server was extremely patient and gave us ample time to thoroughly look over the menu.
We settled on the truffle fries as an appetizer. These were my least favorite part of the meal. While they were topped with truffle oil, cheese and green onions, the fries themselves were bland. We all took turns passing around the salt and pepper shakers, which made a significant difference in the flavor. Although there were many dishes on the menu that we wanted to try, we all decided to sample the burgers.
Of the 11 burgers on the menu, we ordered four: The Original Eureka! Burger, the cowboy burger, the Catalina bison burger and the vodka burger. We chose original fries, onion rings and sweet potato fries as our sides to try them all. I had the Cowboy Burger paired with onion rings, and was pleasantly surprised by how good the burger was. I ordered this burger on my first visit to Eureka! and was not impressed by it. The buns had been soaked in oil, the patty was bland and overcooked, and the onion rings also dripped in oil. I could practically feel my arteries clog up after just a few bites. This time, the buns were fluffy, lightly toasted and smothered in a sweet, smoky barbeque sauce. While the beef patty was very juicy, cooked perfectly and generously topped with cheese, bacon, and shoestring onion rings, I was disappointed by my side of panko crusted onion rings; the crust was crispy and well-seasoned, but the onions weren’t fully cooked through. The sweet potato fries were a delightful treat: they were glazed with cinnamon and honey. We all enjoyed our meals, as was indicated by the four clean plates we left in front of us.
My dad said, “I really liked the uniqueness of their ingredients. It makes it different from all the places I know in Bakersfield.” Next time, we’ll have to save room to sample the desserts.
What impressed me the most about Eureka! was the service. On my first visit to Eureka!, the service was slow and neglectful. This time, our server was extremely patient, knowledgeable and genuinely kind. Our drinks never reached the halfway mark, as they were constantly refilled, and all of the food was brought out in a timely manner.
My mom said, “The coffee and food were good, but the service was great. I would definitely recommend it to my friends.”
My boyfriend, who works in the restaurant industry, said that the service “made sure our time there was definitely not our last.” The entire staff worked well with one another to help meet the needs of each table.
Overall, Eureka! is a great addition to the Bakersfield restaurant scene. It’s a place where people of all ages can hang out and enjoy terrific food and resonant music with great company. I look forward to visiting again soon to try out more exciting dishes.