Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Roanoke Virginia – Historic Market + a Great Burger!

When I was researching our little anniversary trip to Roanoke, I look for quirky or ethnic restaurants and interesting attractions that we’d be interested in.  I also have to consider a few ‘shopping possibilities’ for my better half.  She’s not a big spender, most of the time, but she does enjoy perusing shops that are unusual or that offer quality products that are harder to find…

So…Roanoke’s old downtown market area, which appropriately enough is located on Market Street, was a natural place to look for interesting shops and popular dining ‘in spots’. 

Roanoke’s City Market District has been designated as a National Historic District.  The district encompasses 51 contributing buildings.  The focal point of the area's grid-plan is the City Market Building which is visible at the end of the street.  It was built in 1922.  Back in 1882, Roanoke issued licenses to 25 vendors to operate downtown.  A municipally owned market was formally authorized in the city’s charter in 1884.  The first permanent Market Building was completed in 1886.

This was our luncheon objective…Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint.  When we first checked, it was still prime time for lunch and the place was packed with a long wait list.  So we decided to do some shopping first and eat later…

Roanoke’s Market District includes open air vendors under covered walkways, galleries, boutiques, restaurants, antique shops, museum shops…and other unusual or unique places to spend your money.  It was a Tuesday in mid-spring, so the open air market was somewhat limited, selling mostly herbs and flowers.

I can’t resist a good specialty food store and Eli’s Provisions certainly fit that requirement.  This store focuses on Virginia made products and they have an interesting assortment of products including a big selection of craft beers, wine, peanuts, flatbread crackers, cider, chocolate, honey, condiments and a variety of other snacks. 

Another stop (with purchases) was made at Chocolatepaper, a store that sells some terrific chocolate as well as a variety of paper products, cards and other gift.  We did some damage at Ladles and Linens as well, picking up some 2016 Christmas gifts and other items.  

For more about Roanoke’s City Market, go to   Eli’s Provisions is located at 209-A Market Street, Chocolatepaper is at 308-3 Market Street with Ladles and Linens being situated at 302 Market Street.

Then, with the lunch rush over, we returned to Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint.  We decided to sit at the end the end of the long wooden counter where we could watch all the action and chat with the servers. 

I am not a beer connoisseur so I don’t experiment much.  Laurie likes to jump out there though from time to time.  She ordered a Crabbie’s Original Ginger Beer…and she liked it. 

This is a beer joint and the blackboards listing their selection of these brews seemed to go on forever.  Here are a few examples: Devil’s Backbone; 21st Amendment El Sully; Tusker; Champion Shower; Terrapin Sound Czech Pilsner; Kona Big Wave; Green Flash Passion Fruit Kicker; RJ Rocker’s Son of a Peach; Abita Purple Haze; Victory Golden Monkey; DuClaw Dirty Little Freak and; Stone Arrogant Bastard.

Remember, I did mention the word quirky… Yes, this is a disco ball draped with a plethora of bras!  I found an earlier photo on-line that shows the disco ball hanging from a wagon wheel…with only 1 bra dangling from it.  Apparently some of Jack Brown’s customers have been known to lose their inhibitions after a few beers!

Here are a couple more views of the interior of Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint.  Laurie’s eye for decorating prompted a question for one of our servers.  Yes indeed!  Part of the ambiance and many of the items scattered around the bar did come from the folks at Black Dog Salvage, the same folks who have the popular TV show, “Salvage Dawgs”.

Now on to our luncheon fare…burgers of course!  Laurie went for the Jalapeño Popper, a burger topped with cream cheese and pickled jalapeños.  She loved it and she’d order it again without hesitation… Note that slab of cream cheese!

We shared an order of the Yukon Gold crinkle cut French fries.  They were good too!

When I saw this burger on the menu I just couldn’t resist!  This is the ‘Chiflet’.  I ordered the double beef patty version.  My juicy burger patties were topped with applewood smoked bacon, a fried egg and lots of cheddar cheese.  I have always loved the idea of this combination in a burger but up until now, the creations I’ve ordered just seemed bland…like the ingredients cancelled each other out.  Not this time!  It was messy but this was a great breakfast/lunch/hangover burger creation!

FYI…other than a grilled cheese sandwich, Jack Brown’s serves burgers…and only burgers (with fries).  We liked this joint and if we’re ever in the other 5 cities in Virginia, or in Birmingham Alabama or Nashville Tennessee…where this small chain has a location, we’re going to stop by for a burger!  Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint in Roanoke is located at 210-B Market Street SE.  Phone: 540-342—325.  The company’s website is at

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a great little fun restaurant with lots of good food. I love eggs and I love burgers so maybe a fried egg on a burger is the way to go. Bet you enjoyed that one! take care