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Eureka Burger titillates taste buds

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Leslie and Adrian Bergh complete their day at Eureka Burger in downtown Claremont. Adrian Bergh is a junior in high school and came with her mother, Leslie, from Galt, Calif., to visit prospective colleges. Leslie ordered the original burger, while Adrian ordered the Loma Linda vegetarian burger. Eureka Burger has been open for almost one year and offers more than 10 different burgers, including a jalapeno egg burger and a tortilla burger, as well as several craft beers. / photo by Candice Salazar

Alex Forbess
Staff Writer

A first-time customer takes a seat in the middle of Eureka Burger, eyes wide, and finally understands why everyone recommends this restaurant: It is awesome.

Thirty-nine restaurants inhabit the Claremont Village, but on 580 W. First St., Eureka Burger offers everything a customer is looking for: ESPN, authentic alcohol and burgers that have customers mesmerized with one bite.

The restaurant opened a year ago in Claremont and immediately gained recognition as a great place to dine, whether it is family time, strictly business or if customers just want great food and craft beer to have their taste buds dance in delight.

General manager Sean Ranallo has been here since the beginning and is amazed by the clientele this restaurant attracts.

“The fact that we have great food brings everyone here,” Ranallo said. “You would think we would only attract a college crowd, but it is actually diverse.”

When customers take their first step inside Eureka Burger, they see a collaborative connection of a bar and restaurant fused together.

While providing a great atmosphere with rhythmic music, this restaurant is part of an independent movement: making burgers and drinks from locally grown markets and family businesses.

“We buy from local bakers and butchers,” Ranallo said. “Nothing is frozen or pre-made and I think it is fresh ingredients like that the customers appreciate.”

While facing tough competition from major restaurants, this restaurant stands out with its unique culture, education, service, quality and beer program.

Ranallo said every bartender is a certified cicerone, which means they have developed a knowledge of beer brewing and creating margaritas.

Unlike major restaurants which use a margarita mix, the bartenders at Eureka Burger take the time to mix the ingredients from squeezing the lemon to applying the agave nectar for that sweet taste.

Each burger is so decorative that they holds its own personality, from the best-reviewed Italian caprese burger to the fig marmalade burger.

One bite of the Fig Marmalade Burger and customers feel the crunch of crispy bacon and the kick of spicy porter mustard – not to mention witnessing the goat cheese and minced tomatoes dripping down onto the plate.

The explanation for obtaining great feedback, including “Best Burger” and “Best Casual Dining” from the Inland Empire Magazine, is that Eureka Burger holds one key element to maintain this accreditation: the employees.

Along with the servers, Ranallo is always present, speaking with the customers and making sure they enjoy their dishes.

Busboy Andy Ingalls said the customers enjoy it when the employees interact with them.

“They are really cool people to be around,” Ingalls said. “This is a great hang-out spot and it is our job to keep it that way.”

Server Michelle Mercer believes this restaurant holds a vibe that everyone can appreciate.

“It is a family restaurant, but it is very mellow and laid back,” Mercer said.

While also sponsoring events like the Southern California Craft Beer Festival and Claremont Blues and Brews, Eureka Burger holds its own events, including happy hour and hosting live music every Thursday night.

They also host Steal-The-Glass every Wednes­day starting at 5 p.m.

“On that day, we spotlight a beer and we allow our customers to keep the glasses,” Ranallo said.

Before working here, Ingalls said he came to Eureka Burger whenever he wanted to socialize with friends.

“Overall, this is a great place for people who love food and want a great drink,” Mercer said.

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