Choice Wagyu burgers hidden within a supermarket cafe
Just Burgers –
Salt Lake City, UT – Burgers, Fast Food – $ – Casual
”Brandon O. - Pro Sifter and PhotographerOct 22, 2019
Overall 4.1 / 5.0
Housed on the east side of the Harmon’s City creek cafeteria floor you’ll find a surprisingly good burger, managed by the grocery store itself! They use a blend of Snake River Farms Wagyu and Double R Ranch choice beef in a 1/3 lbs patty. Keep in mind, this is the same meat that top restaurants like Copper Onion, Pago, HSL, and others use. The difference, it’s significantly less expensive, served in an open kitchen fast-food setting, and you can dress it up with your own topping in a self-service bar. This twist on burgers is worth your time to check out.
At $8 for the burger alone, this may be the best value in the city for local, fresh Wagyu beef besides Whitehorse. Upgrade to a meal for $12 which includes house-made fries, unlimited soda, and a burger.
Most popular dishes:
Their menu is very simple. You have a choice of a hamburger, cheeseburger, or a ground chicken sandwich. In addition, they also suggest topping combinations. The Aussie, the ’97, and the Ute combos are the most popular.
What I ordered:
The cheeseburger meal with house-cut fries and fountain drink. I went with the Aussie combination and also tried each topping and aioli independently.
My burger was served open-faced with a slice of melted American cheese next to a medium-sized pickle and a heaping amount of fries. The patty was served medium-well on a soft, flaky, buttered and toasted ciabatta bun. I prefer real versus processed cheese so I asked for alternative options but “Just Burgers” only offers American cheese.
Just Burgers uses a blend of Snake River Farms Wagyu and Double R Ranch choice beef. Because of the high concentration of marbleized fat, Wagyu hamburger can sometimes be greasy and this burger was greasier than others I’ve had. Concerning the flavor, the patty was lightly salted and peppered and had a pure, clean umami flavor. It was also extremely juicy. Concerning flavor, it tasted closer to grilled steak than your typical patty. I could have easily enjoyed the meat alone without condiments or toppings.
Other than the cheese, all of the toppings are served cold in a self-service bar. The bar offers combination suggestions to create your own burgers, like the Wasatch, Aussie, or The Tutu burger. The topping buffet itself offers iceberg lettuce, arugula, marinated portobello mushrooms, roasted garlic, raw onions, canned pineapple slices, sliced tomatoes, beets, and an assortment of condiments including a chipotle, sweet aioli, savory aioli, and fry sauce. While the various aioli and toppings were of good quality, I found myself wanting warm mushrooms, grilled or sautéed onions, warm garlic, and grilled pineapple to complement my hot, juicy meat and toasted bun. The cold elements really brought the experience down for me. On my way out, I noticed people taking toppings to the cook to have them warmed up. I highly recommend doing this too until “Just Burgers” realizes that they need to get burners and warmer pans for their toppings bar.
The burger combination:
I went with the Aussie suggested topping combination. It consisted of arugula, savory garlic aioli, a pickled beet, and canned pineapple. For me, the diversity of flavors and varying temperature of the combination didn’t pair well. I found myself removing the beet and pineapple and going back to the toppings bar to add mushrooms, roasted garlic, and tomato to create a more savory burger.
They were extremely crisp and not too salty. Instead of traditional fry sauce, pair them with the savory aioli for a nice zesty, garlic flavor! Overall, excellent fries!
This spot isn’t for vegans, but if you have an allergy you can likely eat here since you form your own burger. People with gluten allergies can forgo the bun and make a lettuce wrap. Those with dairy allergies can forget the cheese. There are also lots of good options for the Ketogenic diet. As always, be sure to ask the server prior to ordering if you have allergies.
Just burgers are housed on the cafe level of the City Creek Harmon’s. The ambiance itself is no-frills. Apart from the modern tables, tall ceilings, and open kitchen, the surrounding noise of the cashiers and people buying their groceries doesn’t set the greatest mood. It’s a good place to grab a quick lunch during work but not somewhere you would go to woo a client.
The turn around of the food was fast with a crowd of six people. I waited in line for four minutes and my order was ready within five minutes. Keep in mind the cashier was also my cook. It could see slower turnaround times with larger groups if this represents Just Burger’s typical staffing. This also resulted in many dirty tables near the allocated restaurant space. Not everyone discards their trays despite it being self serve. The tables we’re cleaner in the shared cafe seating areas.
What I liked most:
The quality of the meat, bun, the fries, and the savory aioli.
What I disliked most:
The cold toppings and lack of cheese options.
I’ll be back but will build my own burger instead of using the suggestions. I’ll also ask the cook to warm up a few of my toppings on the frying pan.
Food prepared in this establishment may contain wheat, shellfish, dairy, eggs, soy, and nuts. Please ask the establishment prior to consuming any food.