The Buck Burgers and Brew
Last weekend, J and I asked our parents if they wanted to meet in St. Joseph for Mother’s Day. The restaurant I really wanted to eat at decided not to be open on that day, so we had to come up with a Plan B. Fortunately for us, there are a lot of great places in St. Joseph. Unfortunately, they were all doing a brunch instead of their regular menus.
J’s mom came home with us from St. Joseph for the week which means she didn’t have a car here. We needed to meet back up with J’s dad so J’s mom could get home.
We decided to meet again in St. Joseph. This time, eating at the restaurant we had originally planned for Mother’s Day.
The Buck Burgers and Brew is a restaurant that has been on my radar for a long time. Seriously. Burgers and Craft Beer. Does that not describe me?
The restaurant is in the heart of St. Joseph’s downtown on State Street. There’s a modest facade on the downtown building but there’s a big outdoor patio which is visible from Lake Boulevard.
We were pulling in to town just a little before noon which turned out to beat the rush by mere minutes. A hostess showed us to a booth right next to the front door which seemed a little odd considering we needed a high chair. I thought the chair seemed to be in the way, but that’s where we were put. J wasn’t super happy at first because there didn’t seem to be a lot of space between the booth and the table and we like to hold L until we get food. We realized the table could move so we pushed a little towards J’s parents so L could fit in the booth on our laps.
The beer list at The Buck is pretty damn amazing. 74 taps…almost all craft beer. It was incredibly overwhelming even for a beer drinker. I skimmed the list looking for something to try but ended up picking Arcadia Ales’ B-Craft Black. I love the beer and knew full well I would love it, so that’s what I chose. After the waitress left, I looked at the menu a little more and noticed Dark Horse Brewing had some of the Crooked Tree IPA specials on draft and there was a couple of beers brewed by the Livery special for The Buck with home grown hops. Next time, I will take a little more time to study this huge beer list so I can really get something special.
The menu is pretty typical pub fare with the focus on burgers. I jumped right in for a burger without even looking at anything else. The selection was the Farm Fresh Burger. The beef patty is topped with bacon, a fried egg, and provolone cheese. When a place specializes in burgers, they need to be good…and it was good. Delicious, juicy meat with just a hint of pink in the middle. The fried egg was just a little bit runny which makes for a great sauce once it combines with the cheese and grease from the bacon. I upgraded my side to an order of fries. The very crispy battered fries were delicious as well. Nice crunch with lots of flavor.
J’s dad did The “Buck” Burger which is a pretty standard burger that comes with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, bacon, white cheddar and a side of BBQ sauce. He asked for raw onions instead of grilled and they gave him both. He just scraped the grilled off and seemed to enjoy his burger.
J’s mom ordered another one of the burger selections which looked really good to me. Her burger was the Stuffed Bleu Cheese Bacon Perfection. The meat is stuffed with bleu cheese and bacon then topped with lettuce and tomato. She was a big fan of this sandwich and commented how tasty the bleu cheese stuffed in the middle was.
J didn’t really see any burgers that stood out to her. She instead selected the Southwest Chicken Wrap. The Southwest tortilla is stuffed with grilled chicken, bacon, corn, a ranch sauce, red onions and romaine lettuce. She wasn’t a super huge fan. She was hoping for a pressed or warm wrap, but the wrap was served cold. She ate half of it and sent the rest home with her mom. For her side, she chose to stick with the chips that come standard with sandwiches and she was glad she did. The home made chips were delicious. Crispy and golden brown with a slight salt dusting.
L’s lunch was probably the biggest surprise to everyone. We ordered her the Kid’s Chicken Bites basket and man, were they were good. The freshly battered chicken is tender and juicy with a deep, golden brown fried batter exterior. L wasn’t in to them, but J and I were. These things were really good. Really good.
The bill for the five of us with two beers was a little over $60. Right after we sat down, the place really filled up quickly. By the time we got our food, there was a line out the door waiting for seating outside on the patio. There were still a few seats inside, but not many.
The Buck Burgers and Brew is a pretty fantastic concept that is right up my alley. The large selection of beer alone makes this place worth the trip to St. Joseph, but the food does a pretty good job of standing on it’s own. We’re hoping to spend more time in St. Joseph this year and The Buck could easily become a regular spot for us.