EASTSIDE — Sometimes things happen for a reason.
When I made up my preliminary list of burger places to hit over the next couple of months, I started with 11 names.
During a discussion sports editor John Gunther and I had on Friday, he suggested Friends Cafe since we hadn't been back there since just shortly after they had opened.
"It's probably time to go back," he said.
As we walked up to the door on Monday, there is a sign just off to the right that read: Spider Burger.
My first thought was, "OK, we have a winner."
So we go inside and on the restaurant's north wall is a huge chalkboard with all their specials.
The specials board at Friends Cafe extends the entire length of the north wall of the restaurant.
The Spider Burger comes with ham and Swiss and choice of side for $8.95.
So the first thing we asked was about the Spider Burger, and if it was a special until Halloween.
We were told it was their special of the month and that the Spider Burger is their regular Tioga Angus Burger with all the usual fixing and a stack of ham and Swiss cheese. What John didn't know (because he hadn't looked at their Facebook page) was that the burger came decorated with legs (fries) and eyes (olives on toothpicks).
The result is awfully cute. And tasty.
John ordered it and got fries for his side dish.
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When it arrived, he looked at it for a minute trying to decide if he could pick it up without removing the legs.
Nope. So one by one they got plucked off before the eating could commence.
On the menu, Friends does one burger, the Tioga Angus Burger, which is a 5-ounce hand shaped Angus patty with tomato, lettuce, onion, pickle, mayo, mustard and ketchup. This for just $5.25. Then you can add on to suit your taste.
The Tioga Angus Burger with Pepper Jack cheese, avocado and bacon. I also ordered a side order of fries.
Add on's include: your choice of cheese (cheddar, American, Pepper Jack, Jack, Swiss or Blue) for $.50.
Jalapenos or mushrooms, also $.50. A second patty or bacon for $1.95. Avocado or Ortega chili, $1. Then side dish choice of fries, green salad, soup or cole slaw for $1.95.
I love this build your own concept. My add-ons were Pepper Jack cheese, bacon, avocado and the fries.
"I love the crunch they get on their fries," John said as our orders were delivered.
The fries come with a side of housemade bacon, jalapeno fry sauce. It's got a little spiciness, but it goes great on fries.
The burgers were both a handful ... or two.
"That's a great amount of veggies and a generous amount of ham," John said, showing off the cross-section of his burger.
"Certainly another bring-your appetite burger."
Friends is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is located at 673 D St., in the Eastside area of Coos Bay.