Certain Downtown dwellers (you know who you are) indulged in much hand-wringing and lamentation two years ago when it was announced that the Beat, the pioneering coffee house on Fremont and Sixth, would shutter and be replaced by a Hawthorne, California-based chain restaurant called Eureka. For some, this marked the end of Fremont East as a hip local hangout and a welcome to infiltrating tourists.
There’s only one thing wrong with that theory. Eureka, which has a couple dozen locations around the country, doesn’t feel like a chain. The warm, modern-industrial, beer-and-burger-bar vibes are closer to the feels you’d get from the handful of cool restaurants that popped up around these streets after the Beat’s arrival. While that cultural connection point was once crucial to Fremont East’s development, Eureka is an ideal present/future fit.
That’s because the food and drinks are solid and occasionally stellar. The all-American beer and bourbon selections make for an exciting tasting experience; recent tap selections include Revision Brewing Company’s Double IPA, Founders’ Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale, Odell’s Green Coyote Tomatillo Sour and local fave Able Baker’s Atomic Duck IPA.
If you’re pairing your brew with one of Eureka’s indulgent burgers, consider the Fresno Fig ($13.50) with sweet fig marmalade, melty goat cheese, bacon and spicy porter mustard, or the bison burger ($16) with bacon-jalapeño jam, grilled peppers and onions and smoked mozzarella. There are other irresistible entrées, from blackened fish tacos with avocado and mango salsa ($12) to an au jus steak sandwich with horseradish mustard aioli ($14.50).
The extensive “starters” menu could also be a beer- or booze-pairing adventure. Osso buco riblets ($9.50) and Polish sausage mini corndogs ($8) are tons of flavorful fun, while falafel bites ($8) are lighter but still delicious, thanks to tzatziki, feta, pickled red onions, fresh dill and red chimichurri sauce. Shrimp ceviche ($13) is served on crisp corn tostadas with mashed avocado, and trendy cauliflower ($8.50) is topped simply with lemon zest, bonito and garlic aioli. These are just $6-$7 during happy hours (3-6 p.m. and 10 p.m. until close).
EUREKA 520 E. Fremont St., 702-570-3660. Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-midnight; Thursday & Friday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-midnight.