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.”