“Part of the fun is trying to find us!”
What a great AND true slogan that is. My GPS decided to cut out on me just as I was getting onto I-86. I knew the general area it was in, but really had no clue how to get there, so it was a fun journey to Findley Lake. We arrived at the Pine Junction Tavern around 6:30 pm on Monday and were greeted by a large snow dog statue at the front door. I knew right there that this was going to be good. Amanda and I grabbed a table and waited for my other co-workers to join us. Our server grabbed us some waters while we looked through the menu. One of the first things that caught my eye was the Reuben Balls. Seeing as how a Reuben is my favorite sandwich, balling it up and deep frying it sounds amazing. We put in an order of those and decided to wait for the rest of our party to order our food. The Reuben Balls were everything I could have asked for. The Swiss cheese was creamy, the sauerkraut was tart, and the corned beef was juicy. They came out piping hot with a side of Thousand Island dressing for dipping.
Shortly after we finished our appetizer, my co-workers Terry, Laurie, Laurel and her daughter, Beckett, joined us. They ordered some drinks, glanced at the menu, and then we all were ready to order. I ordered their Trail Burger, Amanda ordered the Bourbon Burger, Terry ordered the Angry Angus Burger, Laurie ordered some chicken wings, Laurel ordered a cheeseburger, and Beckett had the kids cheeseburger.
The food arrived, and there was a lot of it. The first thing we did was cut our burgers for sharing. I got a quarter of the Bourbon and the Angry Angus to go along with my Trail burger. All of them were fresh, 1/2-pound, hand-pressed patties and topped with all the fixings. I started with my own Trail burger. The beef was topped with a few slices of bacon, “specialty” BBQ sauce, and a slice of pepper-jack cheese. The sauce was a smoky BBQ mixed with some sort of Cajun spice. It had a lot of great flavor and went perfectly with the bacon and the beef. I was dipping my fries in the sauce that dripped off of it.
I moved on to the Bourbon burger. Covered in a bourbon sauce, bacon, and American cheese, this burger was awesome. The sauce had a good, sweet and tangy flavor to it.
Finally came the Angry Angus, and boy, was it angry. With a large handful of jalapenos (seeds and all), topped with Thousand Island dressing and provolone cheese, this was a big burger. Terry has had this burger before, and he even said that it was extra angry. The Thousand Island dressing helped cut some of the heat and really gave the burger a good flavor, but it was still quite hot.
With each burger, you get a choice of regular fries, sweet potato fries, or for $1 extra, seasoned curly fries. We got a mix of the regular and the sweet potato so we could try them both. Both were delicious; hand-cut, well fried and perfect. The sweet potato fries came with a cinnamon-brown sugar dipping sauce that was incredible. I was actually dipping my Bourbon burger into it, it was so good.
If you aren’t familiar with the categories below, check out my first burger post.
Drippage Factor – The burgers were all cooked to order, so the medium burgers were super juicy. Between the burger and the sauces, these burgers were made with napkins in mind.
Herd Size – The 1/2-pound patties were hefty. I was surprised that they didn’t have their own pasture so you could just pick out your cow.
Handling – Two hands for sure. And if you had a third, you needed it to eat some fries.
Financing – All of the burgers were $8.99 and came with fries. These were right down the middle of my prices so far.
Overall, I liked the burgers. The patty is what made them for me, though. Well seasoned, hand-pressed beef really makes the difference. Thank you to our server and to the owner, Shirlee. You took great care of us and made the whole trip worth it. I hope to see you again soon.
Until next time,
Andrew – Beard vs. Food