Everyday Eats: Fig Marmalade Burger at Eureka!
Creative toppings rule at the latest burger chain to open in San Diego
The San Diego dining scene has seen a lot of new openings lately, many of them chains. From healthier options like True Food Kitchen and Seasons 52, to fast-casual pizza spot Project Pie (opening soon, in Hillcrest), to Eureka!, a Redlands, CA-based chain with a focus on Angus burgers, craft beer, and fine whiskey. The San Diego outpost, located in the Westfield UTC mall, officially opened on Sunday.
There is a generous selection of smartly-priced appetiters, and a few salads, but you'd be well advised to stick to what the restaurant does best: creatively topped burgers. Options range from the Catalina Bison burger with charred peppers, smoked mozz, and bacon-infused jalapeno jam, to the LULU burger, a beef and lamb patty with brie and sweet mint aioli. I was sucked in by a sweeter selection: the Fig Maramalade burger, ($10.95) with melted goat cheese, bacon, a generous handful of arugula, and a smear of spicy porter mustard.
A lot can go wrong when you stack so many competing elements on a burger, but the minds behind this one clearly aren't just going for shock value. The flavors and textures are masterfully balanced, and work together to create a burger far tastier than the sum of its parts. The excellent craftmanship wasn't a fluke -- I also stole a bite of the Napa burger (with oven-roasted tomato, pesto aioli, pancetta, and havarti) and it was equally stunning.
One thing to note: as well engineered as these burgers are in terms of taste, they're still plenty messy. Have your napkin ready well in advance of their arrival.
One upgrade that's totally worthwhile is subbing out the regular fries for the sweet potato version. The spuds are glazed with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon, which brings out their natural sweetness, but not to the point that they taste too much like dessert. Next to a sweet-leaning burger, they really shine.
Eureka! is located in the Westfield UTC mall, on Level 1 near Macy's. Go on Thursday night if you want to listen to live music while you eat.