Restaurant of the Week: Eureka Burger

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Eureka Burger, 580 W. 1st St. (at Cornell), Claremont

When it was announced that Eureka Burger would take over the Claremont Packing House space formerly occupied by the high-end steakhouse Three Forks, I was skeptical. Sure, the economy had crashed, but going from steaks to hamburgers seemed like quite a comedown, even if Eureka has only two other locations, in Redlands and Fresno.

A peek at the online menu near the restaurant’s opening, however, showed off some mouth-watering burgers. And a recent visit with a group of friends proved Eureka to be a winner.

The wood-intensive interior still seems high end, there’s a bar with craft beer and there’s service at the tables, about half of which are outside on the deck.

Burgers range from $8.75 to $10.50. I had the Pearl Street Blues ($10), which is premium Angus ground chuck topped with melted bleu cheese, wild mushrooms, grilled onions and chipotle ketchup. It’s served on a sesame bun and was large enough to use a knife to cut it in half. The burger was, in a word, outstanding, among the best I can remember.

Everyone else liked their burgers as well. One got hers rare and remarked, “There’s not many places you can get a rare burger.” We also enjoyed a couple of orders of the enormous onion rings ($4.25), which use panko bread crumbs for a light batter. The menu also has salads and other sandwiches.

Eureka would seem to be in direct competition with the Back Abbey, another fancy burger and craft beer place two blocks away. Back Abbey is usually jam-packed, which I hope means both places can thrive because they both deserve to do so.

Eureka’s service was friendly. Servers all wore black T-shirts with varied slogans. One: “Respect Beer.”

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‘A Chump at Oxford’


Thursday brings the final movie in my “College Daze” series of campus comedies at the Ovitt Family Adjective Community Adjective Library (215 E. C St., Ontario): “A Chump at Oxford.”

This 1940 Laurel and Hardy movie features the usual dimwitted behavior and slapstick antics as you’d expect as the fat-and-thin duo head off to England for a real education.

The movie starts at 6:30 p.m. on the dot. Entry is free. Hope to see some of you there.

Here’s a link to the movie’s Wikipedia page (the synopsis gives away the entire plot of the movie, so be careful). And below is the trailer.

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Yangtze Chinese Restaurant in downtown Ontario marked its 50th anniversary on April 22. Reader Jane Vath O’Connell shares a copy of an old menu. Click on the thumbnail below for a readable view. One highlight: “Lobster Cantonese $2.35 (Shelled $2.45).” I say, live it up and pay the extra dime.

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Restaurant of the Week: Five Guys

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Five Guys Burgers and Fries, 7945 Haven Ave. (at Town Center Drive), Rancho Cucamonga

The Inland Empire’s first Five Guys outpost of the East Coast chain opened in March in the Terra Vista center north of Foothill Boulevard. Lines are usually out the door, showing either strong curiosity or repeat customers, probably both.

I visited with three pals on a recent Saturday at high noon, in retrospect perhaps the worst time to have picked. The place was jam-packed and noisy and tables were scarce.

It’s a simple menu of burgers, fries, hot dogs and a couple of veggie sandwiches, and no milkshakes. They have free peanuts while you wait. Bags of potatoes are stacked around the otherwise utilitarian red and white interior. (A familiar color scheme…) A chalkboard sign notes where the day’s potatoes are from. OK, so they’re a little fanatical about their potatoes.

Burgers ($3.59 to $5.79) come with your choice of toppings, all the standard stuff plus rarer ones such as jalapenos, grilled onions or mushrooms and hot sauce, all free. A burger, fries and soda will run you about $10.

Your order comes in a paper bag. Even the regular fries ($2.59; $3.89 for a large) filled a cup with twice as much more in the bottom of the bag. They’re good, very potato-like. In the hubbub we overlooked the option of Cajun fries, darnit; others rave about them.

The standard burger turns out to be two patties; the menu’s “little hamburger” is one. It was fresh and filling. But the presentation looked sloppy and the burger is messy if you get a lot of toppings, which I did. I will go back, but my initial take is that I prefer the tidier offerings (and less hectic atmosphere) of Fatburger and the Habit, not to mention In N Out.

My friends were less ambivalent. (We’ll ignore the one who got the veggie sandwich, which was a bun with a bunch of vegetables on it.) One praised the peanuts as a welcome touch and the fries as excellent. The other said: “I would give this a thumbs-up over In N Out. I thought this burger was tastier. But In N Out sure has a shorter wait.”

* Update: I returned later in April for a single burger with ketchup, mustard, pickles and onions and found this simpler burger neatly presented and quite good. The Cajun fries were a nice change. However, the music remained far too loud and I couldn’t concentrate on the book I’d brought. Five Guys has its uses, but it’s just too pumped up for me.

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Thursday’s film in my “College Daze” series at the Ontario library (a.k.a. the Ovitt Family Community Whatchamacallit) sums up the series in its one-word title: “College.”

This 1927 silent comedy stars Buster Keaton. The screening begins at 6:30 p.m. sharp in the community room of the library, 215 E. C St. And yes, it’s free.

Keaton plays a scholarly freshman who decides to pursue sports to impress a female student. (Here’s the Wikipedia entry on the movie.) A sequence in which he tries and fails at various track and field sports in succession is especially funny. Here’s one example via YouTube:

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