Newly Opened: Uneeda Burger
Uneeda Burger’s official opening was December 27th and then they took a long weekend for the New Year’s holiday. By the time I had lunch there on January 3, they’d really only been officially open for 3 or 4 days. So this post is not meant so much as a critique or even a report on my experience, but more to give you a little information about the place.
Uneeda Burger is the latest project by Scott Staples who also owns Zoe and Quinn’s. Each place has its own character and the trend seems to be towards a more and more casual atmosphere, although still with great, high-quality food. So while Zoe is fine dining and Quinn’s an upscale pub, Uneeda is a casual burger joint with an industrial feel. Wooden two-person tables with metal chairs fill the bulk of the space. The tables are easily moved to accommodate groups of any size. A stainless steel bar-height counter borders two walls: one wall is a garage door with lots of windows. Metal bar stools provide seating for the counter. Walls are a combination of wood and painted, corrugated aluminum. One wall contains a little section filled with name patches of the sort you might see on coveralls or work shirts. Outdoors there’s a partially covered deck with picnic tables. I’m sure it will be very popular once the weather warms up. In fact since the inside tables were full a couple guys braved the (literally) freezing temperatures and sat out in the sunshine and seemed to be none the worse for wear.
The menu is on a large blackboard behind the walk-up counter where you order. There’s a long list of burgers; some sandwiches, salads, soups and sides; and shakes and beverages. The kitchen is visible from the register where you order and pay. A very basic burger will run you only $4, or it can be customized with additions such as bacon, egg or cheese. You can upgrade the meat if the Painted Hills beef doesn’t suit your fancy. There are nine pre-defined combinations available for $7 – $9. You can also swap out the beef on these burgers or if you’d like to go beefless there’s a vegetarian option and a lamb burger.
I had the #2 burger which is topped with carmelized onions, watercress and blue cheese. Delicious and very rich. Next time I’d opt to share it with someone. I also had a side of onion rings, which were very tasty but were a little bit doughy inside and a little greasier than I would have hoped. It seemed to me the oil they were cooked in may not have been hot enough and this is something I’m sure will be rectified as the crew becomes familiar with their space. With a glass of wine my lunch bill came to just under $20. A little steep for a regular lunch tab but without the wine it would have been more like $12. If you choose the basic burger and a side of fries you’d be under $7.
My only nit was that the person at the register was not very customer-oriented. She did three things that I found to be either rude or thoughtless. Considering my small transaction, that covered most of it. I was really surprised since both Zoe and Quinn’s have really great staff. For now I’m going to chalk it up to opening jitters and still trying to get her footing. Scott was running back and forth between the kitchen and counter so I’m going to assume if there’s an actual problem he’ll get it straightened out. As I said at the start, they’ve not even been officially open a week so making a judgment on this transaction is very premature. In fact, making a judgement anytime on one transaction is never recommended. I guess I mention it since it seemed out of character.
I’m going to give them a week or two and then head back to try one of the other burgers. Or maybe the chili. Or the cheese sandwich. Lots of great sounding options!
(Jan 13: The site is still not live.) I couldn’t find a live website but it’s supposed to be http://www.uneedaburger.com. I’ll update that if the link is incorrect or once it’s live.
4302 Fremont Ave.