The Unvegan

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The Real Custom Burger at Jake’s (CLOSED)

A good old fashioned, personalized burger.
A good old fashioned, personalized burger.

After a rigorous hike in the San Gabriel Mountains of Altadena, I needed some protein. Driving through Old Pasadena, I spotted the perfect place, Jake’s.

Jake’s is similar to places like The Counter, where you can customize a burger for yourself, only they’ve been doing it since the 40s. With a base price of 5.99, they’re also cheaper than The Counter, albeit with less options. Even so, there was enough to make an unvegan like me happy. Before ordering, the waitress enlightened us to the fact that all day on Sunday was happy hour, so we ordered some beers to wet our appetites.

I ordered the regular beef patty on a whole wheat bun (need the fiber!), with cheddar cheese, bacon and a fried egg. The sauce was the toughest choice. Since I couldn’t decide on just one and there was no extra charge for additional sauces, I ordered the barbecue sauce on the burger, but the buffalo sauce, chipotle aioli and teriyaki on the side. I also ordered some fries.

When my burger came, it looked just perfect. The bacon was nice and crisp, while the egg was nice and fried. I often feel like fried egg is one of the most underrated burger toppings. More places should offer egg as an option or even have special egg burgers because it’s so good. Each of my side sauces were really good, so I took turns dipping my sandwich in them and every once in a while I gave my fries a dip as well.

In the end, I really enjoyed the burger. I was happy to not be paying a premium price for a trendy place like The Counter, and the all-day happy hour was a nice touch. If only I lived closer to Pasadena, I’d be spending a lot of money at Jake’s.