What: The Smokey and the Jalapeño Egg Burger at Eureka!
Where: Eureka!, 74985 Highway 111, Indian Wells
How Much: $13 (Smokey) and $11.50 (burger with fries)
Contact: 760-834-7700; eurekarestaurantgroup.com
Why: A perfect cocktail with a perfect burger.
Regular readers of this space know I have a love of good, unique craft cocktails. Regular readers of this space also know I have a love of all things meat.
Therefore, I now have a love of Eureka!
There are a dozen or so Eureka! restaurants, most of them in Southern California, and one of the newest locations opened not too long ago in Indian Wells, in the spot that once housed Le St. Germain. Burgers are one of the figurative stars here, although salads and other entrées (like pan-seared salmon and a beer-braised duck that I must try on a future visit) can be had, too. The other star of the show: booze, including an impressive variety of beer and some of the tastiest-sounding cocktails you’ll find in the valley.
I met The Beer Goddess for a recent lunch at Eureka!, and after reading the irresistible description of the Smokey cocktail—Corsair Triple Smoke whiskey, plus vermouth, cherry liqueur and orange—I faced a dilemma: I really wanted this cocktail. However, I normally avoid hard liquor during weekday lunches—plus, I was meeting The Beer Goddess, and Eureka’s selection of beer is close to stunning, and the Smokey is decidedly not beer.
Well, I ordered the Smokey anyway. As the saying goes: You only live once.
I was glad I did. The cocktail was the perfect blend of savory (thanks to the not-overwhelming-yet-present smokiness), sweet and citrus. It took amazing self-control to limit myself to one—but there was a long drive (and half of a workday) ahead, so limit myself, I did.
Of course, we were having lunch, not just drinks, so I also ordered the jalapeño egg burger—and it was also endorsement-worthy. The burger was prepared to order—a spot-on medium rare—and came out juicy without being greasy. And how can one go wrong when adding egg, bacon, jalapeño slices, cheddar cheese and just a bit of chipotle sauce? You can’t.
It was one of the better lunches I’ve had in a while. Eureka!