the state


-of jack brown’s.2 by jgrimsrud
Wednesday, 15 April 2009, 11:36
Filed under: -of eats, -of harrisonburg, -of jgrimsrud, -of localism, -of townie-to-townie

we stopped by harrisonburg’s new “beer & burger joint” the other night & posted a bit of review, a bit of commentary, here.

i appreciate the follow-up we received, and read some other pieces around the local press (the dnr, jmu eats).  i stand by our conclusion:  decent burgers, good beer, unfortunate lack of imagination.

kudos to short menus (this is why i’m worried about beyond, the new restaurant set to open around the corner, with its pan-international, sushi, etc. etc. cuisine idea–all good & tasty things, but can any one place, especially in harrisonburg, spread itself so thin?).   when i saw jack’s a’comin i hoped for a little less jess’ quick lunch and for a bit more excentricity.

a start would be a rotating summer special: each week bring in a different ingredient from the farmers’ market (one week roasted asparagus, next week heirloom tomatoes, next week grilled squash, and please, god, ¡don’t let a burger joing keep on trucking w/out bacon!).

the local brahs who started this place got the idea half-way there: do just one or two things, but do them really, really well, and the public will love you.

nick cave said, “weep not for their evil deeds, but their lack of imagination.”  i didn’t have a negative take on jb’s food: i had a fine dinner & drink.  but if you don’t explore that imagination, who is going to stick w/ your smaller downtown spot when they can pick up a strip-mall sandwich from 5 guys or ham’s?

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4 Comments so far
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It seems to me like Jack Brown’s is doing a pretty good job of being a “beer and burger joint” – they have the range from higher end beer on tap and in bottle to a tasty lager for a buck fifty. Granted they could use a bun upgrade, but I think that the burger itself is satisfying. Yes heirloom tomatoes and seasonal grilled and roasted vegetables would be delicious, but it seems like the space is so tight that storage and preparation would be extremely unpractical if not impossible. I don’t think Jack Brown’s should try to be more of restaurant than it already is – I like Jack Brown’s because I can go get fries with a burger and booze after midnight – and it is downtown! So please, keep being a beer and burger joint and you will keep me coming back…

Comment by jason

[…] small menu and the reality of a small space.  and i will have to disagree with johan regarding the rotating veg course idea because of these […]

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who’s gonna drive to a strip mall when you could walk downtown?

Comment by seth

seth, have you read my new post? i think that encouraging establishments to keep ingredients as local as possible will secure their place downtown. if they don’t, then the strip malls will most certainly win out in the long run…

it’s a fact that downtowns across the country are waning while the strip malls and mcdonald’s within walmarts are winning.

again, why not insist that our downtown establishments go the extra mile to set themselves apart and make themselves interconnected with the community so that we won’t have to drive to the strip mall?

Comment by vastate




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