NORTH BEND — For those of you wondering about how the newest restaurants in town are, sports editor John Gunther and I plan on visiting a few of them over the next few weeks.

Store front of the new Downtown Eatery located on Virginia Avenue in downtown North Bend.

We hit Zen a few weeks ago, and this week, on the recommendation of co-worker Beth Burback (she edits our outstanding weekly events section, SC Beat), we went over to try out Downtown Eatery in North Bend.

For those of you who haven't seen it, it's on Virginia Avenue between the north and southbound sections of U.S. Highway 101 next to the old Copa Cabana nightclub location.

The menu is very compact, but has a good selection and the prices are really reasonable. The menu covers the four major food groups: burgers, tacos, sandwiches and nachos.

There are five burger options ranging from $5 (hamburger) to $8 (bacon cheese burger) and each comes with a generous helping of fries. There are six sandwiches, with prices ranging from $5 (3 cheese melt) to $9 (crab and shrimp melt).

There are also six types of tacos and three versions of nachos. The steak nachos is the most expensive item on the menu at $10.

A co-worker who recommended Downtown Eatery called it "a bit like picnic indoors atmosphere." During Monday's rains, we were glad to be indoors.

Beth's text explained that she and her son had gone to dinner there Thursday night, and that she had taken advantage of a $1 taco special and had a beef and fish taco.

"Both were very good," she said. Her son had the bacon cheese burger. "We both ate for $12."

She also said it was a bit like a picnic indoors atmosphere. We understood completely as soon as we walked in the door and saw the red and white checked coverings on the tables.

It didn't take long to make our decisions, it probably took longer for us to decide on which section of the menu we were going to order from. I'm always up for a good melt, so I decided on the turkey bacon melt. And John is always up for the challenge of the latest burger, so the bacon cheese burger it was.

The turkey bacon melt at Downtown eatery comes with a good portion of turkey and bacon, and the bread was grilled just right.

"And bacon always makes it better," he said. 

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When our orders came, John looked at his and said, "This is going to be a handful."

We both dug in and were extremely happy with our decisions.

"This is a good burger," he said. "I'd definitely come back and order this again."

He noted how the burger was the sloppy type, dripping sauce and making the second napkin a necessity.

The turkey bacon melt came with a good portion of both turkey and bacon. And if you can see that nicely browned grilled bread ... perfect.

And the fries were top notch. The fries filled the rest of the plate and they had that nice crunch I'm always looking for. 

Downtown Eatery has been open for four weeks, and I get the feeling they may be there for quite a while when everyone figures out how good the food is and how reasonable the prices are.

Downtown Eatery is opened 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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