We stopped by Jaspers Café in Medford in our way back to California. I had researched Medford restaurants before we left and Jaspers got very good reviews – plus I’m always in the mood for a burger.
Jaspers offers the most extensive selection of burgers I have ever seen in my life, a couple of dozen at least. They also have tons of different hot dog combinations and sandwiches. In addition to offering different topics and combos on the burgers, from your regular patty & cheese to those covered with mole sauce and pot stickers, Jaspers offers several burgers made with more exotic meats. These include relatively common choices as Buffalo and Kobe Beef, but also elk, antelope and venison. Of course Mike and I had to try those burgers, which definitely was a mistake.
I had the “Widowmaker” burger ($8.20), which came with a 1/3 lb Himalayan antelope patty, covered with bacon, cheddar cheese and a peanut butter chipotle BBQ sauce. It definitely sounded interesting to me, but it was a total miss. I’ve eaten all sorts of wild meats in my day (and this reminds me I want to post a list of them) and have generally liked them, but Himalayan antelope had an off, gamy taste which I didn’t like. The closest thing I can compare it too is Indian goat meat (which I also dislike). As if that wasn’t enough of an issue, the meat was incredibly dry. I really don’t think I’ve had a drier burger. Perhaps fortunately I couldn’t really taste the meat or the other ingredients unless I made a special effort (and I did, because I wanted to see what antelope tasted like) because the flavor of the sauce was overwhelming. Really, that’s the only thing I could taste. It wasn’t bad, the BBQ sauce is pretty tasty, but it made the whole burger one-note. Needless to say I would never order this again.
Mike had almost as bad luck with the burger he ordered. His was elk and also suffered from dryness and an overwhelming sauce, though at least the elk meat itself was tasty.
Both kids had plain cheeseburgers. Camila liked it well enough, but Mika considered it the worst burger she had ever had in her life and didn’t eat much of it. It definitely tasted differently than other burgers, the taste of the meat might have been gamier. I thought it was OK, though it needed seasoning but Mike thought it was quite good – then again, he likes his food undersalted. We ordered fries and onion rings, both very tasty.
Another problem with Jaspers is that it’s a tiny place. I don’t think more than a dozen people can be seated inside (they also have outside tables). We stopped there around 3 PM the Sunday after Thanksgiving and the place was packed. It was pretty cold waiting outside, but fortunately we managed to grab a table before our burgers came.
In all, I’m glad I tried the burgers but I would definitely not eat them again. I’m curious enough to go back and try one of their whacky combinations with a beef patty, but given that Mika didn’t like them I probably won’t.
2739 N Pacific Hwy
M-Th 10:30am til 7pm
F-Sa 10:30am til 8pm
Sun 11am til 6pm