Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Where: Jr’z Pub, 1722 S. Raccoon Road, Austintown
Hours: Monday through Saturday: 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.; closed Sunday
Menu: 4 burgers ($6 – $10)
Online: JR’z Pub on Facebook
Grade: 4 stars
By Anthony Fuda
All it takes is one.
That hit turns in to one run.
That one run wins one game.
That one game helps win one series.
And that series goes on to win one championship.
And it all starts with one. Tonight, that one thing is a mouthwatering burger from JR’z Pub.
We arrived at the Pub, 1722 S. Raccoon Road, Austintown, and first noticed the many TVs showcasing all the sports you could ask to watch. Being baseball season, we settled on the Indians game and looked over the menu. Which was perfect, because we were joined by AM 1390’s Sports Wrap radio host Ron Potesta. He told us that during football season, the folks at JR’z will put his Buffalo Bills on one of the TVs for him.
JR’z Pub is a popular sports bar that offers three mouthwatering, fresh, handmade half-pound specialty burgers, all of championship quality, and a:
Bourbon Bacon Burger (melted cheddar cheese, two slices of thick-cut bacon, grilled onions, topped with a bourbon glaze on a pretzel bun, served with lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion).
The Mac Attack (two fried mac n’ cheese bites with melted pepper jack cheese, topped with homemade five-cheese mac n’ cheese, two slices of thick-cut bacon on a toasted pretzel bun).
The Spicy MoFo (fresh Cajun seasoning surrounding a crispy jalape ±o popper with melted pepper jack cheese, sliced jalape ±os and topped with spicy sriracha sauce on a toasted ciabatta bun, served with lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion).
You can choose between pub chips, french fries or onion rings to go with your burger.
Our bartender/server, Natasha Fenby, took care of us throughout the evening making sure the food was to our liking, and we never did see the bottom of our glasses.
After making our burger choices, we took a walk around the bar and saw a giant room which, on the weekends, features local bands – and we heard the house is packed when the bands are playing.
The burgers arrived, and we were down to business.
Ron, who always has something to say, was at a loss for words while devouring his burger. He saw bacon and bourbon in the description and said, “Yes, please, adding, I liked the hint of bourbon with the taste of bacon. I could tell the burger was made fresh. The pretzel roll held up very well. A very good burger!!”
I also had the Bourbon Bacon Burger, which was cooked a perfect medium. It was seasoned well, and the result was shown in the great flavor. Two huge pieces of thick-cut bacon blanketed my burger, so I had a nice bacon taste in every bite. The bourbon glaze topped off a delicious burger, and the pretzel bun, which any bun aficionado would really appreciate, was firm on the outside keeping this juicy burger at bay, and soft and tender on the inside, soaking up any rogue flavors that tried to escape. A great burger worthy of many return visits.
Eric zeroed in on the spiciest burger on the menu, saying, “To no one’s surprise, I chose The Spicy MoFo for my meal this evening. Just the name alone taunted me, and I was not about to allow this call to go unanswered. Perusing all that was included with this burger, the name seemed appropriate with the jalape ±o popper, melted pepper jack cheese, sliced jalape ±os and sriracha sauce topping. I’ll start with the ciabatta bun, which I’ve always considered one of my personal favorites. It withstood almost all the burger had to throw at it and it wasn’t until the final few bites that it finally became too much to hold. The beef itself had an amazing flavor, and I must admit, I was very surprised to find that the only seasoning used was salt and pepper. It definitely works.
Now on to the toppings. I do believe in my travels I have experienced jalape ±o poppers on a burger but it was long enough ago that it was like a new experience for me. Each bite was a taste sensation and left me anticipating my next. On a heat level I was told that depending on the person, it is either too hot or not hot enough. Because I am of a different breed, for me it could’ve used more heat. However having said that, I do feel that what was lacking in heat (for my personal tastes only) was more than made up for in flavor. I can without a doubt say this burger is a great choice for anyone who likes to ‘kick it up.’”
After taking in JR’z atmosphere, JT said, “JR’z father-and-son team is firing on all cylinders. Owner, Josh Richards and his father, Jeff, have created a really fun venue for locals to gather and socialize, including, perhaps the largest entertainment stage in the county. And for me, more importantly, during football season, the NFL ticket along with enough TVs to watch any game I choose! A great location, friendly service and a really good burger. I kept it simple and ordered a $6 classic burger, medium-well, lettuce tomato, onion and had absolutely no complaints. The flavor of the ground beef was excellent, the burger was cooked to order, all of the toppings were fresh, and the bun held up to the last delicious, savory bite. Using our colleague, Johnny Spatar’s “wet-nap” rating system, I give them a solid 4 out of 5!”
With all the raving Ron Potesta did about his burger, he told us numerous times we have to come back to JR’z for the Philly Cheese sandwich (just make sure you substitute provolone cheese). He said the sandwich is just as good as the burger, and “It is the best Philly Cheese sandwich I’ve ever had outside of Philadelphia, hands down.” He said JR’z Philly Cheese is so good it would do well in the Philadelphia delicatessens.
With sports a twenty-four seven, 365 happening all year, stop in to JR’z Pub and enjoy any game and a championship quality burger – and we hope your team wins, unless they are playing one of our teams.
Keep reading the Valley food section each Wednesday for the best food the Valley has to offer.
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