After our review of Bogey’s, who claim to have “The Best Burgers on Earth”, we wondered if they could even claim the best burgers in Redmond? To test that hypothesis COE made a lunch stop at Jody’s Drive in to run the experiment.
To quickly compare the two:
Menu: Both are basically burger joints that offer sides and a few non-burger type foods. Bogey’s is pretty much a “build your own from the basic list” while Jody’s has an extensive list of specialty burgers and an option to BuildYO.
Ambiance: Bogey’s feel like a small place in a strip mall (becasue it is) and Jody’s feels like a shack next to a highway with a few picnic tables (because it is.) I suspect that most folks phone in their orders to Jody’s and pick them up to eat at home.
Service: At Bogey’s the service is attentive, fast, and friendly. At Jody’s… well lets just say it is slow and indifferent.
But the burgers? Jody’s wins hands down.
This time I tried a “Ragin’ Cajun” burger, which has grilled jalapenõs and pepperjack cheese. I opted for fried onions on top and a side of sweet potato fries. Since I’m not on a bike, I stayed away from the shakes, though if I’d have ridden there, I would opt for a chocolate malt! Maybe later this summer.
I’ve had many of their specialty burgers (Ortega Chile, Bacon & Bleu, etc) and have done the build-your-own thing often. Jody’s has never let me down in terms of a damn good burger.
Don’t come to Jody’s with high expectations of fine dining, or a pampering atmosphere. They just make great burgers. Grab one, and go.
Bogey’s advertises itself as “The Best Burger On Earth”. That’s a pretty outrageous claim. There are some damn fine burgers to be found on this planet. Hell you can find some pretty awesome burgers just in Redmond alone. (Jody’s comes to mind…)
To test their claim, I’ve visited the Redmond location several times.
Bogey’s is a counter order sort of place, with about a dozen tables in the dining area and outside. It is a bit back off of the road, so the noise outside isn’t a big problem. They serve beer, and ice cream in addition to big or little burgers, chicken (in tenders, wings, salad, and sandwich form), hot dogs and grilled cheese. They’ll custom build your burger from a list of options. Sides are fries, waffle fries, or onion rings.
Bogey’s always seem to have a couple of specials, which are priced well, but are rigid, allowing no substitutions.
On my first visit I ordered a “little” bacon cheeseburger and a side of onions rings. You can choose your cheese: Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Swiss, or Blue cheese. All Bogey’s Burgers come with: Fry Sauce, Lettuce. Onion, Pickle, and Tomato. You can also add: Mayo, Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, Steak Sauce, Hot Sauce, Red Onion, Sautéed Onions, Sautéed Mushrooms, Jalapeños, or Pineapple.
I opted to swap the tomato out and add jalapeños into my burger, and added BBQ sauce…
The rings were damn good, with a great onion-to-ring ratio. They were fresh out of the fryer so having the fry sauce was handy to cool them down. You can also choose Ranch dressing for your sides dipping pleasure.
The burger was pretty good. Though hard to call it the best burger on earth certainly.
On subsequent visits I tried varying the size to “big” and trying the different sides and toppings.
Have to say that sautéeing the onions really improves the burger. Given that on this visit it was quite crowded and I had to wait a long while to make it through the queue and order, the extra time to sautée the onions didn’t seem to add any wait time for my lunch to get delivered.
The staff at Bogey’s are very friendly and pleasant. From taking your order, to delivering it to your table with a smile. Every time I visited they were very nice, and swiftly completed their tasks in a pleasant manner.
The burgers are pretty good, and the option to customize your condiments is excellent. The sides are great, and after trying them all I prefer the onion rings, which are damn near perfect.
Though I did find that once the stick is removed long-cut pickles make the perfect sliding surface for your bun.
On the downside, the layout of the dining room leads to crowding around the drink dispenser, extra condiments, napkins, and self-bussing station. Grab extra napkins there when you can, you’re going to need them and they’re not on the tables and they don’t come with your food. There are extra condiments at the tables, but they’re packed so tight I spilled salt every time I visited as I tried to pull the shakers out of the too-tight condiment holders.
There is a sign on the drink dispenser that says “ONLY ONE FREE REFILL” which contradicts the menu which says “Fountain Drinks (free refills) $1.95 … so which one is it? Mind you, I rarely refill my drink, but when all of your customer service posture is super-positive, this sign sort of feels school-marmy and finger waggy, which is a total turn-off to an otherwise great experience.
Road Food. That is what I think of when I think of the Black Bear Diner. I always associate eating there with road trips. I have some personal rules about road trips, but the ones I put highest in priority are:
No Fast Food.
No Eating In The Car.
I like to get off the road, sit down, and have somebody bring my food to me, enjoy some conversation with my traveling companions, and enjoy the respite from the road.
Black Bear Diners can be found in almost every mid-sized town down the west coast from here. I have made many a road trip down to California and back, and have likely eaten at every Black Bear Diner between here and the Bay Area. Why? Consistent good quality food and service. Sometimes I’ve eaten every meal in one day’s (slow) drive (with a truck and loaded trailer) at Black Bear Diners, with breakfast in Klamath Falls, lunch in Willows, and dinner in Tulare.Oddly, I have eaten at the locations in California far more often than I have the ones right here in Central Oregon. Mostly due to that “road food” association in my mind. The Madras location is my most often visited local stop, either as a breakfast, or dinner break on trips to and from the Portland area. Madras is a good stop for an early breakfast stop to gather ODOT pass condition data (All BBD’s seem to have free Wifi in my experience) before going over Mt. Hood. It also makes for a good stopping point on those late night runs home from Portland where you just want to get out of the car before that last hour of US 97 traffic to get you home. So the Road Food mentality rules again, even close to home.
The menu at BBD is huge. It is presented as a newspaper, with the outside of the folio being a reproduction of that town’s newspaper from the past, complete with local ads. The ones I’ve seen range from the 1930s through the 1960s. It is a fun thing to read. The inside of the folio is the full B/L/D menu.
You’ll also find a laminated flip menu on your table with some amazing dessert choices. Black Bear Diner’s berry pies are amazeballs. The only pie I’d steer you away from is the coconut creme pie. I bought one from the Redmond location once to bring to a friend who loves coconut creme pie, and it was a bust. But their berry and other fruit pies are fantastic.
On a recent road trip we stopped and had a dinner after an exhausting day in the car. It was quite late on a weeknight, so the place was almost empty, with just one or two other parties finishing up their meals. In fact a hostess was running a vacuum over the floor when we walked in. She stopped immediately and seated us in a booth. As it was late we opted for a light meal and ordered two salads. My companion picked the “Cheeseburger Salad” and I chose a Chicken Caesar.
The meals arrived promptly, and were fresh and delicious. My companion didn’t like the bacon on her salad, as she said it wasn’t crunchy as she likes it. I happily took it off her salad and added it to mine, as I like bacon any way I can get it! Otherwise she loved the cheeseburger salad.
On other occasions/visits I’ve enjoyed their bacn & eggs, eggs benedict, several sandwiches, and even a steak dinner. All have been great values.
As a final test, I thought I’d test their hot sauces for you dear reader. Not having eggs at this dinner (even though they serve breakfast all day) I tried them on a spoon. Starting with the “Baby Burn” and working up to the “Papa Burn”…
They’re all quite good. None of them are “mild” by any stretch of the imagination, even the “Baby Burn” has some heat. All had some savory flavor to go with the heat. Try them yourself next time! Yum.
A midwinter sunset is approaching and Testa Rossa says “I want a big Caesar salad for dinner, do we have the stuff to make one?”
“Nope, but we can go to the Brickhouse and have a great one.” I reply.
“Oooh, I like the way you think. Let’s go!”
Not looking for a full dinner service we drive over and beeline for the bar in the back. We’re blown away by the near full-house on a Tuesday night. Every table but one is full, and the bar is packed shoulder-to-shoulder. Thankfully the have a long “bar buddy table” between the bar and the last few two-person tables towards the back with several stools open. We grab our spot at the end of the table, and are warmly greeted by the staff.
I will admit to being a regular diner at the Brickhouse’s original Redmond location. Why? In an industry that sees likely the highest employee turnover in the USA, the serving staff at the Redmond Brickhouse has remained solid. Servers LJ & Leslie, and Bartender Brian have been there as long as I can remember (which is about eight years of eating here. Anyone remember the wooden menus?) They are true professionals and really make a visit to the Brickhouse something special. Even though we’re here for just a cocktail and a salad, they care for us the same as they would any other patron.
We order a couple of Brickhouse Manhattan cocktails, and I arm-twist Testa Rossa into an order of clams as a starter. She reminds me of our diet, so I request no bread on the side, which is a true hardship becasue the bread at the Brickhouse is sublime!
The cocktails are perfect expression of what a Manhattan should be: savory and tart, rather than sickly sweet. Perfect balance of flavors, and beautifully presented in a martini glass.
If you like steamer clams, then get yourself to the Brickhouse as quick as you can. I love them, having eaten them since I was a little kid. Having spent a large portion of my life in the Puget Sound region (“…Surrounded by Acres of Clams!”) I know good clams when I find them. These are DAMN good clams!
Small, tasty, and swimming in a wonderful white wine, garlic, and clam juice broth… we devour the clams swiftly, with half of them being gone before I can remember to snap a photo of them for you. They really should serve the clams with a spoon to allow you to slurp up all the clam broth, because that is the best part. Oh wait, that is what the bread is for… oh well. We make do with clam shells, and clean the bowl.
Despite her initial hankering, Testa Rossa orders a “Local Organic Greens” salad, while I stick to the initial mission profile and land a Caesar. Ever thoughtful our server LJ asks if I’d like some chicken with the salad, which I thankfully accept. Our salads arrive just as we’ve put down the clam bowl for good. My Caesar is heavenly. Leafy and green, with just the right amount of dressing, with that slight essence of anchovies that makes it real… makes it tangy. The chicken is a perfect accompaniment.
We had to pass on their amazing dessert menu this time (try the cobbler!) but we will be back and I’ll prepare a full review. Their steaks and seafood are amazing, as is their wine cellar. If you are a wine nut like I am, you have to visit if only to see the wine cellar. Behind the bar it is a work of art, both of carpentry and of the vintners craft. The Brickhouse locations:
I’m not a big fan of fast food. I prefer sit-down dining and fresh stuff. But sometimes eating has to take a back seat to more pressing concerns. Yesterday I had to drive to Portland for a funeral. As I’m heading out of Central Oregon I stop to fill up the tank at Freddie’s in Redmond and my tummy was growling. Where should I go? Heading north my choices are a few Burger places (Sno-cap, Bogey’s), Sonic, and a couple of sub sandwich places. Then I recall a great Carne Asada combo plate I enjoyed at Rigoberto’s on Antler and 5th last summer. I decide to swing by and grab a burrito to go.
There is an art to rolling a burrito so well that it can be eaten one-handed. I can recall a burrito shop I frequented back in the early 90s that could wrap a football-sized one so well it would maintain cohesion down to the last grain of rice. I figured it would be a good test for Rigaberto’s.
Above: The Burrito, in hand.
The service is quick, I have my burrito in hand and am underway in minutes. It is a chicken burrito. Heavy, and well-wrapped. The paper wrapping is easy to partially undo to facilitate eating. The tortilla wrap is perfectly constructed. The filling is a wonderful concoction of an earthy red sauce, chicken, rice & beans.
Honestly it is one of the best chicken burritos I have ever eaten.
So much better than a fast-food hamburger to be honest. I wolf it down before I arrive in Terrebonne. True to form, it maintained its shape as I ate it. No “burruption” risk at all.
Tummy satisfied, I drive non-stop to PDX and on arrival I note that in the bag are some sauce samples:
The burrito of course is long gone, but I open one of the green ones and have a taste. So good I down the whole container! Again, a spicy/earthy/savory delight.