New Burgers in Downtown Roanoke
It’s one of the smaller restaurants in Downtown Roanoke and I believe it can hold about 50 or 60 people. I think this helps create a lively atmosphere because people are within close proximity to one another. The restaurant also has some interesting decorations, including bras hanging from one of the light fixtures.
For the food, the menu is pretty straightforward. It’s about burgers. You can order the classic hamburger, cheeseburger, or a variety of specialty burgers on the menu. Some of the ‘Everyday Specials’ include a burger topped with peanut butter and bacon, one topped with cream cheese & jalapeno jelly, and one topped with bacon, egg, & cheese.
There is also a daily special for each day of the week. Sunday features the Big Lick – burger topped with bacon, egg, & cheese on a glazed doughnut. Friday features the Greg Brady – burger topped with mac n’ cheese and BBQ potato chips. And Wednesday features The Popeye – burger topped with spinach-artichoke dip, pepperjack cheese, and fried onions.
With a menu that has so many interesting looking burgers, I was excited to try it when a friend and I decided to have lunch at Jack Brown’s last week.
Even though I’d been warned by someone else, I was surprised at the size of my meal when it was served. For a burger to be $6.99 and a side of fries to be $2.25, I expected a pretty big burger and a generous amount of fries. Instead, my burger was relatively small and it was just a regular amount of fries.
The beef had really good flavor and the sweet, melted peanut butter was a really nice topping with the salty, crispy bacon, and I definitely liked the way it tasted. I also thought the fries were very good and they reminded me a lot of the fries from Shake Shack – nice, crunchy, crinkle cut potatoes. The fries are served with a dipping sauce that tasted similar to Zax Sauce from Zaxby’s. And I’m of the belief that Zax sauce tastes good with anything.
My biggest disappointment is that, even though my food was good, I didn’t feel like it was a good value at all. I compared Jack Brown’s to other nearby restaurants that serve great burgers nearby and I don’t think they measure up when you consider portion and price.
There are a variety of burgers at Allsports Café on the Market, and while the toppings aren’t as crazy as what you can get at Jack Brown’s, the quality is still very good and they’re served on buns made by On the Rise Bakery. You can get a burger, which is burger than those at Jack Brown’s, with a side for $8.00.
Even compared to Five Guys, which has a reputation of being very good but expensive, Jack Brown’s doesn’t measure up. A $7 burger at Five Guys is a huge double cheeseburger that comes with as many toppings as you want. Fries are a-la-carte but one order of fries at Five Guys is enough to serve as a side for three people.
I won’t argue with the quality and taste at Jack Brown’s. I just think it’s not worth the price you have to pay to get it. And based on the other three places I just mentioned, which doesn’t even include Burger in the Square, I think there are other options in Roanoke where the taste as just as good and there’s value to go along with it.
That’s a fact, Jack.
Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint
210 Market Street SE
Roanoke, VA 24011