By Jane Hudson
Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint is all about two things: beers and burgers. Oh, and fried Oreos, too. And that yummy JB sauce for dipping the fries ...
Jack Brown's, which opened in Greenville on Monday, April 9, has a large selection of beers, a select menu of great burgers and a hipster vibe.
It's the perfect addition to the blossoming Dickinson Avenue business district, where soon it will be joined by Stumpy's Hatchet House and Ford + Shep Restaurant and Bar.
Founders Aaron Ludwig and Mike Sabin set out to open "a bar that happens to sell a really fantastic burger," according to the company website. Ryan Naegel is the general manager of the Greenville restaurant.
About the burgers:
They're made with all-natural American Wagyu beef and cooked on a flat-top griddle.
The basic burger ($4.99) is really basic -- just a patty and a bun. You add the ketchup, mustard, Sriracha and other condiments at each table. You also get a pickle wedge. There's no lettuce and tomato offered here. (You won't miss it.)
Each burger also comes with a container of savory JB sauce, which a server said is made from "Duke's mayonnaise, onion, garlic and secret stuff." It's good to smear on the basic burger -- and it's great for dipping the crinkle cut fries ($2.25 for a basket large enough to share). Sweet potato fries also are available.
But Jack Brown's is not about being basic -- it's about being special. So there's a roster of eight creatively topped specialty burgers for $6.99 and $7.99.
Specialty burgers include:
* Danny Larusso Burger topped with cream cheese and jalapeno jelly.
* Greg Brady Burger topped with house-made mac n' cheese, American-Cheddar blend cheese and Martin's BBQ Potato Chips.
* Chiflet Burger topped with applewood smoked bacon, egg and American-Cheddar blend cheese.
*Elvis Burger topped with peanut butter, mayo, applewood smoked bacon and American-Cheddar blend cheese.
* Jack on Piggy Back Burger with a split and griddled hot dog, pickled jalapenos and American-Cheddar blend cheese.
Daily special burgers, for $7.99, also are available,
Sunday's burger is The Dapper Dan, topped with applewood smoked bacon, egg and American-Cheddar blend cheese, with the bun switched for a glazed doughnut.
Tuesday's burger is The Rickety Cricket, topped with house-made chili, caramelized Tabasco onions, shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream and Fritos.
Wednesday's Popeye Burger is topped with house-made spinach-artichoke dip, Pepper Jack cheese and crispy fried onions.
And Friday's burger, The Ponch, is topped with house-made guacamole, applewood smoked bacon, white Cheddar cheese and Sriracha mayo.
On Saturday, the Jack Brown's cooks are empowered to create and name a specialty burger; check Facebook for details.
The burgers are delivered in a brown paper basket and wrapped in a wax paper sleeve to make it easy to eat.
If you don't eat meat, a grilled cheese sandwich is offered for $3.49.
For a sweet ending to your meal, try a Fried Oreo ($1 each), battered and fried, topped with powdered sugar and served in a small paper Chinese takeout container.
A record of the location's champion burger and fried Oreo eaters is on the blackboard by the door.
About the beer:
Jack Brown's sells more than 100 different craft beers, including all styles, seasonal selections, local favorites and rare brews from around the world.
There are bottles and cans in a cooler -- and beer taps installed in the back of a Lincoln Continental mounted to the wall behind the bar.
Selections include Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout from Farmville, Mother Earth Oatmeal IPA from Kinston, Outer Banks Brewing Lemongrass from Kill Devil Hills, Aviator Devil's Tramping Ground from Fuquay-Varina, and Tarboro Seed Spitter Cider from Tarboro.
You can earn a spot in Jack Brown's Notch Club by keeping a record of your visits and sampling a total of 100 beer varieties .
About the joint:
The long, narrow room has a bar on one side with the flattop griddle behind it. There's seating at the bar, at high tables with metal bar stools and at seats in the windows on either side of the door.
There's classic rock on the sound system.
The eclectic decor includes recycled items like painted wood doors and wood pallets with vintage license plates and beer signs. A wooden wagon wheel hanging from the ceiling is draped with a black bra and a dangling disco ball, and there's a ledge filled with castoff toys and small appliances.
The Greenville restaurant is the first Jack Brown's location in North Carolina. There are six locations in Virginia, three in Tennessee, and one in Birmingham, Ala.
Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint
805 Dickinson Ave.
Open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily
For carry-out orders, call 252-689-6827
Jane Welborn Hudson, a native of Greenville, wrote The Daily Reflector's Hot Dish restaurant column for 12 years and the Greensboro News & Record's Short Orders restaurant column for 8 years. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.