First Bite: Little Big Burger

Located in the bottom of the new Skybox apartment complex, Little Big Burger offers a simple, affordable menu.

Eugene’s location is one of four for the Portland-based company.

Inside, the atmosphere is modern meets gymnasium. The loud ’90s music encourages conversation that would otherwise echo off the walls for all to hear.

Burgers, veggie burgers, fries and floats make up the menu. The place has more beers than it does types of burgers (counting all types of cheese and the option to add in bacon, I think that number is somewhere around 5).  Hamburgers cost $3.25, cheese burgers $3.75 and beer is $2 to $4. Basically, you can get your “burger and a brew” in a fast-food type setting.

Fellow grad student Clare Hancock is my behind the scenes second opinion.

Perhaps it’s not the first place you’d think of when you want to get drunk, but it’s most assuredly one of the cheapest places to grab a beer in town… other than your couch and a case of store-bought PBR.

You need not look further than the large green trashcans that say “compost” to see that Little Big Burger shouts “Sustainable!” “Local!” Yet, they serve their burgers in paper bags instead of on trays.

Opening your bag, you might be a slightly disappointed about the size of your burger. Said one Yelp user, “They should call the place Little Little Burger. The burgers are tiny.” Pair it with some fries and a soda and you’ll be happy. I know you’re college students, but do you always need to stuff your face to the point that you think you’re going to puke? *

With cheeseburgers, you get your choice of cheese. It’s not your normal options though: Tillamook cheddar, chevre, Swiss, or bleu. 1/4 lb cascade natural beef burgers are served on puffy, buttery brioche buns (almost akin to a potato bun in my opinion).  Typical burger veggies are added: onion, pickle, lettuce–all of which are organic. And then there’s the ketchup: Camden’s catsup. It’s spicy. It’s not your Heinz ketchup, or your Hunts and it’s pretty obvious. According to Willamette Week, “The sauce is sweetened with honey, and is made from a thick and peppery mix of tomato paste, champagne vinegar, hemp seed and spices.”

Ok. Something new. That’s cool. The question is if other ketchup is available. If you’re not expecting it, the change can be a bit of a paradigm shift and not all may like it.

We’re not done with the burger yet though!

One more qualm: burgers are served just short of well-done, with a little pink. That’s risky. This isn’t steak where people expect a little pink. This is Burgerland. And in the land of Burgerland, you should ask before leaving pink in citizen’s burgers. It looks like they warn you on the bottom of the menu, but really, when you’re hungry, somewhere new and ordering a burger, you’re not going to check the bottom of the menu to see how your burger will be cooked! Plus, you’re probably still distracted by the beer choice.

Now we can talk about the fries. They are quite glorious and well worth the $2.75 they charge. They’re made from Yukon gold potatoes, so they pack some extra flavor. You might not even need the ketchup.

Floats come as a scoop of ice cream in a cup. You add your own soda. Which is annoying because you have to stand at the fountain forever, trying to not make a mess.

Overall, it’s a great little joint. Flavorful. Affordable. Fun. And if you aren’t happy with the food you can always get drunk off the $2-$4 beer, and forget that you ate. The place could use some milkshakes and a couple more burger options, or at least add-ons like guacamole or barbecue sauce. It’s the kind of place to grab a bite between classes. The longer you sit the more it becomes conducive to conversation, so if that’s what you’re looking for, just give yourself time to acclimate.

Little Big Burger|1404 Orchard St., Eugene, OR 97402, Eugene, OR 97403|541-357-4771| Menu here|Hours: 11a.m. to 10 p.m.

Overall rating: 4.0 out of 5

College student friendly? Yep| Food 4.0 out of 5| Prices 4.5 out of 5| Environment 3 out of 5

* (If you do want to, the endless lunch buffet at Track Town is always a good idea).

Please note this is a First Bite. This is a new restaurant, and new restaurants tend to work out kinks during the first few months.
Little Big Burger on Urbanspoon

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One response to “First Bite: Little Big Burger

  1. Pingback: Restaurant News « Two Pots of Coffee and A Slice of Pie at Midnight·

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