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Mace & Crown | March 26, 2017

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Take a Bite Out of Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint

Take a Bite Out of Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint
Jacie Litz
Contributing Writer

Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint may be small, but offers quality hamburgers and a huge selection of beer. With a rotating draft menu of eight beers, 12 seasonal beers and over 40 domestic and imported bottles, Jack Brown’s provides a beer for any palate. Though the 11-burger menu may be shorter compared to the beer menu, it still delivers a variety of fun toppings.

The brick front located on Granby St. in downtown Norfolk has a Route 66-meets-hipster vibe. The wooden walls are covered with old license plates and other vintage signs. Yellow, gray, black and red metal stools are the only seating. A disco ball hangs from the ceiling and happens to be covered with feather boas and female undergarments. A deer with a helmet and an antique bike also adorn the walls. Behind the bar, a wall is covered with signed dollar bills of customers and drafts are poured from the front of an old pickup truck. The front bay windows can open up to the street to furnish a modest patio with a wooden bar.

Jack Brown’s uses American Wagyu beef for their burgers. American Wagyu is the cross between Japanese Wagyu cattle and Angus cattle. Known as the American-Style Kobe, the beef is prized for its intense marbling, or fat content, and tenderness. The cattle are raised with special care on Jack Brown’s own ranch in Idaho. This unique beef adds a deeper flavor to the burgers without being greasy.

The burger menu, with 11 staple burgers, gives a range of options. There is the simple cheeseburger, or for a more adventurous eater, the Elvis, which comes with mayo, Applewood smoked bacon, cheese and, of course, peanut butter. The Jack on Piggy Back comes with pickled jalapenos, cheese and a griddled hot dog. The Shocker is topped with fresh jalapenos, fresh habaneros, pepper jack cheese and shocker sauce. For something more comforting, try he Greg Brady. With a perfectly grilled beef patty topped with house made mac-n-cheese and BBQ chips, the layers of texture and cheesy goodness will have your inner child smiling.

The joint also offers a daily specialty burger. On Monday the Chili Verde burger comes with roasted poblano chilies and pepper jack cheese. The Popeye burger on Wednesdays is topped with house-made spinach and artichoke dip, pepper jack cheese and fried onions. Saturday is the freestyle burger, which will be a surprise topping. There are also the options of crinkle cut or sweet potato fries. Each burger also comes with their special sauce and a pickle spear. When asked about the special sauce, the waitress only knew it was cream based with onions, tomatoes, and “magic.” The ingredients may be a secret, but the slightly sweet yet tangy sauce is a great dip for fries, or to even add on to your burger.

While the mac-n-cheese burger may bring back childhood memories, the extensive beer menu will have any adult jumping for joy. Being fall, the seasonal menu provides a variety of pumpkin and stout beers. The Bullfrog Lemon wheat gave a bitter hops taste in the front but ended with a refreshing lemon note. The beer list presented beer from California to Maine, Louisiana to Michigan, and England to Germany. There are even a handful of beers from Virginia. This large spectrum of beer listed fruit beer, pilsners, lagers, wheat ales, hefeweizen, saisons, ambers, IPAs, and pale ales. The staff is knowledgeable about all the beers and can recommend a cold one to go along with your hamburger.

To keep up with events and specials follow Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint on Facebook. Their website, jackbrownsjoint.com, also has menus for the beer and burgers. They are open daily from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m.