Hop Jack’s

Hop Jack's Deluxe Cheeseburger

Hop Jack’s is a regional chain restaurant based out of Bonney Lake, WA. Opened in 2009, the goal of the restaurant was to, “create a fresh, delicious and fun experience for guests while excelling in hospitality and supporting the needs of the community.” The needs of the community are supported through donations to a number of different charities, primarily Hop Jack’s own “Good Neighbor Fund,” which supports staff and guests in need.

It’s clear Hop Jack’s is committed to helping the community, but are they equally committed to the quality of their dining experience? We have two Hop Jack’s locations in Spokane, and I stopped by the one in the Spokane Valley Mall to find out.

The Burger

There are several burgers on the Hop Jack’s menu, all of which purport to be hand formed 100% Angus beef. The Hop Jack’s Deluxe Burger comes with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, Hop Jack’s spread, and pickles, which I asked be left off.

The burger looked decent overall, with its toasted Kaiser roll and fresh ingredients, and the patty was cooked to medium-well. The pickles had not been included, but it did come smothered in Hop Jack’s spread, which clearly contained pickle relish.

This is far from the first time I’ve asked for my burger to come without pickles, only to have it come with a “special sauce” that has visible pickle chunks in it. Seeing as the menu never tells me about the pickles in the sauce, shouldn’t the person taking my order have enough knowledge about the food to think to mention it? Shouldn’t the cook making my burger have seen I didn’t want pickles and asked my server to check with me? There are always multiple opportunities for restaurants to notice this and say something, but so far, no restaurant has. It’s starting to get on my nerves and, at least in my opinion, demonstrates carelessness.

In the case of the Hop Jack’s Deluxe Burger, apart from having a pickle flavor I didn’t like or want, the Hop Jack’s spread was too sweet, and there was way too much of it on my burger. It was pretty much all I could taste for most of the meal, which was frustrating.

Toward the end of the burger, I managed to get a bite of patty and cheese without any Hop Jack’s spread on it, and it was wonderful—and not just due to the lack of sauce. The sauceless bite was objectively delicious, and that was what I wanted the rest of the burger to taste like. If, instead of way too much Hop Jack’s spread, the burger had come with a modest dollop of mayonnaise, it would have been divine and would most assuredly received a much higher score, perhaps even contending for one of the top slots.

The Fries

By default, the burgers at Hop Jack’s come with Hop Jack’s Potato Chips, and the menu implores you to “try ’em, you’ll like ’em!” This weak plea fell on deaf ears (or eyes, I guess). Why would I choose potato chips when I could have tater tots or, better yet, fries?

I did, indeed, choose the fries, and am I ever glad I did. Despite being a bit on the greasy side, the fries were a good temperature, pleasantly crispy, and tasted great. In fact, I think they may have been the best-tasting fries I’ve had since I started this project. The seasoning was fantastic, and there was just the right amount of it.

The Price

The Hop Jack’s Deluxe Burger starts out at $11, and you can add bacon for $2 or even “make it a double” for an additional $3.50. I found the single, baconless version to be filling enough.

As far as value goes, the fries are excellent and well worth ordering, but without making a number of changes to the burger, the value isn’t high enough to justify the price. However, order this burger without the Hop Jack’s spread (if you’re a fan of pickles, just ask them to go light on it), and possibly with a little mayo in its place, then it’s possible the value will be quite high.

The Restaurant

I visited Hop Jack’s in the Spokane Valley Mall around lunchtime, and the place was packed. I didn’t have to wait to be seated, but from where I was sitting, I couldn’t see any empty tables.

There are at least three different entrances to Hop Jack’s: Two from the mall, and one from the outside. The hostess stand is near the door to the outside, but I entered from the mall, and although there was a sign that said to go to hostess stand to be seated, it wasn’t clear how to find it.

Once at my table, I had a chance to really look around. The décor was simple and tasteful, and one wall had a cool mural painted on it. The tall bar shelves had a neat industrial look to them. There were several TVs, with most of them being in the bar area.

My table and chairs were very clean, and the floor was mostly clean. It was hard to tell about other tables and chairs, since they were all in use. Over the course of the meal, as I did spy empty tables, they were also clean.

I made my visit during the Christmas season, so there was Christmas music playing quietly, but it was mostly drowned out by the din of the crowded restaurant.

The water I was brought tasted weird, and after trying for awhile to figure out why, I finally realized it had a faint aftertaste of some flavor of soda. It probably came from a shared nozzle on a soda fountain instead of a dedicated water spout.

The staff was friendly, but clearly busy. My waitress usually didn’t stop by for too long, but the staff’s workload was most apparent in the bathroom. It looked nice, and was clean overall, but needed some attention. The counter by the sinks was very wet, and the garbage was completely full.

I like that Hop Jack’s is a Washington-based restaurant chain, and I like that they give back to the community. I loved the fries, and I think I could have loved the burger too, if only it hadn’t tasted like pickles.

I’m sure I’ll come back, and when I do, I’ll ask for my burger with a little mayo in place of the Hop Jack’s spread. When I have, I’ll be sure to let you know what I think.

Hop Jack’s
14700 E Indiana Ave #1182, Spokane Valley, WA 99216
(509) 241-3687

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Disagree with my review? That's cool, people have different tastes. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me why you think I got this one wrong. But keep your comments civil or they'll get deleted.

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