This Thursday I visited Jack ‘n Grill, a mexican restaurant with three locations around Denver — one on Federal, Sheridan, and Belleview.
Why would the Burger Baron visit a mexican restaurant to review a burger? Great question. I love mexican food (and the plates of it I saw coming out of the kitchen looked great), but I’ve actually heard from several people about Jack ‘n Grill’s burgers. They are famous for being huge, and huge they are: the patties are 10 ounces, and the buns are gigantic. Easily 50% bigger than a normal, restaurant sized sesame bun.
My friend Brandon and I ordered and split two burgers: the classic cheeseburger, and the Therese (bacon, green chilies, cheese). Not green chili, mind you, but actual chopped green chilies.
When I asked about the cheese options for my classic cheeseburger, things started to smell fishy. Not literally, but figuratively. Reason being, they’ve only got one cheese option — shredded cheddar jack or similar — even though the picture on their menu indicates American cheese. The oddity didn’t stop there, because after I saw the actual burgers I realized that the burger picture on their menu is simply a stock photo and not representative of what you’ll actually be eating. Diner beware!
Jack ‘n Grill apparently does not have a license to cook beef to any temperature less than medium well. ”No matter,” I thought to myself encouragingly, “their beef is freshly ground in-house daily! It’ll still be nicely moist!” That’s right, Baronites. Freshly ground chuck that they source from Sam’s, Costco, etc. Even actual burger restaurants rarely grind the beef in house. I was hopeful for a decent patty, even though it’d be medium well.
I was wrong. Woefully, unforgivably, brutally wrong. My dear friends, this patty had been charred to oblivion. It’s as if Jack ‘n Grill goes the extra mile to make sure there is not even a molecule of moisture left in the beef. What’s worse, salt suffers the same fate. I’m not sure there was a grain of salt within 10 feet of this patty as it was cooked on its flattop. Such a shame. Freshly ground beef utterly ruined. It was an overcooked, saltless debacle.
I regret to say that things didn’t improve much beyond the patty. The bun is so huge that beef/bun/cheese ratio was totally skewed, and the dab of ketchup and mustard did little to add moisture to this behemoth. The lettuce was lackluster, the bun toasting uneven at best.
To their credit, Jack ‘n Grill isn’t trying to be a burger joint. In some ways, I suppose it’s unfair that I put them through an official Baron write up, but I had to see what the fuss was about. Because they don’t claim to be a burger restaurant I forgive them, for they know not what they do.
Did I mention the mexican food looked great? Stick to that part of the menu and you might make out okay. Order a burger at your own peril.