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American burger chain Eureka! recently opened a restaurant in Irvine’s University Town Center (UTC). The atmosphere is suitable for younger, hip adults, as various sports games are played on many TV screens and as well as a full bar with a wide variety of craft beers and whiskey. The main dishes consist of appetizers and burgers, perfect to go along with the sporty, dimly-lit ambiance. The outdoorsy, rustic feeling is furthered by clear light bulbs hanging from strings attached to the ceiling, making them look like twinkling stars. The wooden tables and chairs towards the perimeter of the restaurant have open window seating, separating the table from the sidewalk with only a metal railing. In the outside seating area, there are modern firepits which also function aesthetically as decoration pieces. Depending on the day of the week, there is live music to accompany the food, giving the customers even more entertainment as they enjoy the delicious meals. Even their servers are approachable and friendly, always willing to share their favorite dishes and the hot picks of the day. Overall, the environment is very laid back and relaxing.
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For our beginning appetizers, we chose a giant plate of Nacho Average Nachos, which were layered in all sorts of sauces and toppings. It tasted amazing and unique, with an unexpected hint of a sweet sauce drizzled over the chips. We cleared the nachos quickly and were eager to try our main entrees.
We first ordered the fried chicken sliders as a main entree alongside a glass of a light, citrusy wheat beer, recalling the taste of a Blue Moon. The two fried chicken sliders were nicely displayed on the plate with a small bucket of fries presented in the middle of the plate. Despite the appealing presentation of food, the sliders were lackluster, served on biscuits as opposed to the usual slider burger buns. Like the nachos, the fried chicken Sliders had the same unexpected sweet taste, however the taste seemed to work more harmoniously with the nachos than the biscuit burgers.
Photo c/o Lexi Viernes
For our second entree, we ordered the Napa Burger, made with pesto and a veggie pattie, just to try out the vegetarian options. The soft buns melted upon the first bite, and the veggie pattie was actually very appetizing. It was made of beets, as opposed to the typical meat-replacements you would find at a fast-food joint. Along with all the entrees you also get a side of your choice. We chose to have the classic french fries, which were crispy and just as delicious as the rest of the meal.
Photo c/o Manisha Sriram
We were too full to eat any dessert, but the waitress was happy to check up on us consistently throughout the meal. Overall, Eureka Restaurant is a great addition to Irvine’s consistently evolving University Town Center. The price may be a little high for the average college student, ranging around a $25- $30 for a glass of beer and an entree, however come during their happy hours and you’ll be keen to find $2 off all beers, whiskey and appetizers. With the Anteater Pub & Grille as Irvine’s only close-in-proximity pub, Eureka! offers a fresh alternative for beer lovers looking for a slightly more upscale place to drink and dine. Ever since the opening of Eureka!, the restaurant has been consistently busy, but the staff shared that they all work well together and function as a team to make this restaurant ultimately a hit for their customers.