JSK Cafe
 Akron, Ohio        Date of Visit  08/05/16        

Surprise. We are dropping off materials for commencement and lucked into the burger battle in front of the John S. Knight Center. We’ve never been treated anything less than stellar in the place (they really hire hospitable folks) and they have been serving lunch (or maybe having the burger challenge) for 17 years, we had no idea. Keith, who has been facilitating Steph’s graduation ceremony for years, was kind enough to lead us to the goods and was even willing to sit with us in public. He’ll do just about anything to make us happy and comfortable.



It’s a nice day outside so the grills and goods are out on the sidewalk with clouds of smoky promise blowing up the streets and attracting people from their offices. You can enjoy the sun or the air conditioning inside, your choice. The line stayed consistently busy the entire time we were there. Before the burgers, lets chat about the plus. There is a set price for said burgers…$8 (today at least). Everything is 8 bucks actually. In addition to your sandwich (burger, chicken, pulled pork, turkey/veggie burger) there are grilled veggies, chips, a buffet style setup of toppings and sides, beverage, and what I am just going to refer to as the goop extravaganza. Shrooms are sautéed earthy and the onions sweet. The pasta and fresh fruit salad were actually excellent. My only disappointment was passing on much of the toppings and goop. Since we had ordered both of the challenge burgers we were going to try them as they were intended to be. Soon, I might return to create the “Need a Bib Burger”. Maybe it'll even be next year’s contender. What we did try was much better than I would have expected just walking up to the place.





...Glorious Options.


The burgers and chips. Chips are a brand I haven’t seen before (Metro Deli) which were thick, crisp and flavored with a mix of punch and restraint. The burgers were set into nice rolls, one sourdough. Both Black Angus patties were ground to offer some texture, were well-seasoned, and grilled to a juicy interior sheathed by a crispy and crunchy crust. Nice start.

The champ returning from last year is The Cowboy: Cheddar, grilled onions, bacon, lettuce, spicy mayo and bbq sauce. They’re a familiar mix for a reason. What stood out for me were the sauces, either one of which or both delivered a mildly fiery bite against the richness of the whole package. That being said, if we had remembered to vote, I would have dropped a ballot for the challenger. Crap! I should have voted it would have been nice to make a relatively easy decision between two things I liked, compared to trying to decipher which November option is least despicable and likely to bring about the end of the world. Maybe I’ll write in a burger.

Anywho, the challenger I would write in is the confidently designated Greatest of All Time. Same patty, but this one comes topped with tangy goat cheese, lightly bitter arugula, and a tart and sweet cranberry & onion balsamic vinegar marmalade. Maybe less familiar combination in some places but hits the entire flavor spectrum available to humans. Earthy umami, rich and fresh, tangy and sweet and bitter and nutty (Oh yeah, this is the one on the Multigrain roll) and green and so on. That’s my vote. I would also like to vote for another reason to be at the JSK Café on a Friday between June and September. How do I get Super-Delegate votes? Almost forgot. We got cookies. Super crumbly, loaded with chocolate chunks, cranberry and peanut butter. Hard to go wrong at the JSK, especially when Keith is looking out for you. 

Last Years Winner, The Cowboy

Q Sauce Has A Great Kick

This Years Challenger, The G.O.A.T (greatest of all time [not actual goat])

Except For The Cheese (goat) With Loads Of Tangy Awesome

Crispy Chips Included

Sweet Summer Fruit Included

Rich & Summery Pasta Salad Included

I Think The Cookie Was Extra



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