COOS BAY — I just never get tired of going to Shark Bites.
I don't get there often enough, but I have a harder time narrowing down my selections here more than probably any other restaurant in town. Whether I'm feeling like burgers, seafood, tacos or something in a basket with fries, I always have several choices.
The sign outside Shark Bites on U.S. Highway 101 in downtown Coos Bay on a sunny Monday afternoon in December.
Monday was no exception. Sports editor John Gunther and I are on a burger quest and Shark Bites has several options.
They have eight burgers on their menu, two of which are chicken burgers (one is grilled and the other battered and fried) and a vegetarian burger.
I told John that someday I was going to have to try the Waui Chicken Burger (house battered and fried chicken, 2 slices of bacon, blue cheese crumbles and all the veggies).
To which he reminded me, "We're not on a quest for chicken burgers right now."
Maybe next time.
It was John's turn to pick first, so he decided smartly on the Spicy Chipotle Burger, which is a 1/3-pound Painted Hills beef patty, two thick cut slices of bacon, pepperjack cheese, sauteed onions, chipotle mayo and all the veggies.
Whenever I go in feeling like a burger, this is my selection.
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After assembling the veggies, The Duke -- with pepperjack cheese -- strikes a nifty profile.
I still had three very good selections to choose from. There is the Drifter, which is the 1/3-pound patty, melted blue cheese, sauteed onions and mushrooms; The Pro Bacon Cheese Burger, the 1/3-pound patty, two thick slices of bacon, choice of cheese and all the veggies or The Duke, which is their basic cheeseburger with your choice of cheese.
I went with The Duke and selected the pepperjack cheese. I thought about the Drifter, but I just had a good mushroom, Swiss burger last week.
The Duke is Shark Bites basic cheeseburger (I went with the pepperjack) and there are plenty of veggies for you to assemble the burger to your…
All Shark Bites burgers are made with Painted Hills Natural Beef from Fossil, Oregon (a little northeast of Bend) are hand pressed and served on a fresh baked Kaiser roll. They are also served with house cut fries, but come with options to get their really good beer battered onion rings as a substitute for $3.
John got started on his burger and said, "This has just enough spice."
This specials board is one of the first things I look at when I enter Shark Bites.
When you use good beef, the burgers just taste better. When you try as many burgers as we have over the years, it's just obvious in the taste of the burger when a different type of beef is used. Painted Hills doesn't use any hormones or antibiotics in their cattle, and I think you can taste the difference in the burgers at Shark Bites.
My cheeseburger was very ordinary by the standards of my recent selections. Burger, cheese, veggies and a Kaiser roll. But, I'm sure this will still be among my favorites when we get done with this quest.