Fast and cheap … and huge
Oroville’s Jake’s Burgers & More is the place to fill up for lunch
Jake’s Burgers & More1751 Oro Dam Blvd E
Oroville, CA 95966
High school students know where to eat fast and cheap. And when I recently asked a few soon-to-graduate Las Plumas High School students where’s the best place for off-campus lunch in south Oroville, they told me about the daily $1.99 double-cheeseburger special at Jake’s Burgers & More.
The burger joint is found along busy Oro Dam Boulevard, nestled in the middle of a little 1970s strip mall, where the restaurant has been for more than 12 years. The spot’s décor has acquired a look that can only be achieved over time. The walls of the dining room are covered with collections of photographs of modified cars, speedway posters, old license plates and ’50s Hollywood icons. Tables are arranged for large and small parties that probably fill up after home-team games and bowling championships. Jake’s certainly has a wholesome vibe, which in my book is a plus whenever ground meat is concerned.
The menu items are just as the name suggests. Burgers are the star attraction here, but there is much “more”: there is a variety of grilled sandwiches: broiled chicken ($5.25), barbecue chicken ($5.89), ham and cheese on sourdough ($4.99); two hot dogs and fries special ($5.59); and even salads, including a green salad with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions ($3.99), or the much larger broiled- or breaded-chicken salad with cheese ($7.49).
The variety of ways you can order your burger is impressive. First you choose the size: A basic Jake quarter-pounder is $3.99; Big Jake the half-pounder is $4.99, and the three-quarter-pound Big Bad Jake, heaped with barbecue sauce, bacon and American cheese, costs $7.25. (There is also the Baby burger, which is described on the take-out menu as “very small” and costs $2.25.) But what makes the burgers shine are the available extras and sides: guacamole, mushrooms, Ortega chilis, jalapeños, pepperon-cinis—combine to your taste at 99 cents per item.
Jake’s also features two burger specials—the daily $1.99 double cheeseburger, and on Wednesdays and Sundays the single hamburger for only 99 cents!
For my first trip, I ordered the Big Jake meal ($8.69, includes fries and drink) with the usual toppings: lettuce, tomato, pickle, mustard. “Jalapeño?” the short-order chef asked me encouragingly. I declined, keeping it simple the first time.
The half-pound Big Jake was certainly big. Huge, in fact. Of course, no burger can be saved by toppings if the meat isn’t great, and the meat patties were delicious. I was told by the chef that the meat comes direct from a provider in Redding.
The french fries were cooked just as I like them: golden crisp outside and warm potato mush inside. Although I was hungry when I went into the restaurant, I was not able to finish the Big Jake meal. Satiated, I considered the collection of photos and memorabilia on the walls as much of my half-eaten burger slowly disappeared.
My next visit, I tried the Sourdough Burger meal ($8.69, includes fries and drink), a tall half-pounder replete with grilled onions and American and Swiss cheese served on two lightly grilled sourdough slices. The sourdough bread held together throughout the meal and added an extra flavorful element to the burger, but once again I couldn’t eat it all, even leaving half the fries behind. I realized that for my next visit I will have to downsize to the quarter-pounder.
For those with appetite to spare, Jake’s has all the usual sides, from onion rings ($2.99) to fried zucchini strips ($3.69), and desserts, including six flavors of milkshakes (in three sizes, up to the 44 oz. for five bucks), plus ice cream cones ($1.69) and chocolate sundaes ($2.99).