EC Eats

Valley Burger: Water Street has a new sheriff in town


Sitting down at all these local businesses knowing that I’ll soon be writing half-baked, semi-serious reviews on the food they took time and effort to make for me is a strange feeling. 

On the one hand, the idea of someone going around looking for food places to give their opinion on comes off a bit obnoxious. 

Even the worst spot in town is doing something admirable in the sense that they are providing sustenance to people, and critiquing that could be a tad unfair.

On the other hand, this is a food column in a paper belonging to a small to medium size college in Wisconsin. 

I can’t Imagine these words reaching an overwhelming abundance of readers and the ones that do read it probably recognize it for what it is: a college kid with a big appetite and too much time on his hands. 

And this week that appetite brought me to Water Street, or I guess Menominee, but close enough.

I feel like Water Street does an excellent job of embodying the college experience in Eau Claire. There are various watering holes and a few tried-and-trued food spots to stumble into at 2:00 am, but there’s also a sprinkling of cafes to recover and attempt to do homework the next day. 

This week’s voyage brought me a little further down the notorious strip of booze and lattes to Valley Burger, a spot that opened its doors just last summer. 

I got a few buddies that live across the street from it and after watching them play Call of Duty for an hour I had really developed an appetite. 

So we walked over. One thing about this place off the jump — the vibes are solid. It’s the kind of place you could bring the family out to, but the high ceilings, low light and cozy wooden tables make it the kinda place I’d bring a date to— if I ever got one of those. 

Plus one for versatility.

The menu, which fit onto a single piece of paper, consisted of six burgers and a few sides. I sprung for one called The O.B. which had white cheddar and their signature Valley Sauce. 

I was a little disappointed to see that fries were not included with the $12 burger and those ran me an extra five bucks.

There weren’t your typical burger joint fries, they were seasoned up pretty well and were crispy to the max, so I kind of understand the extra charge.

The burger itself was righteous.

I’m not even generally a burger kinda guy. Give me a turkey club and some chips and I’m usually smooth, but those fellas up the street know how to get it done. 

They did not skimp on the cheese, it was oozing from the wrapper before I even took a bite. It also had a potato bun, which I have always found superior to a sesame seed bun.

 But the real ex-factor was the onions. It says on their website that they smash fry them before they put them on the burger. Whatever they do they should keep doin’ it ’cause I’m hooked.  

The crunch really helped with the overall greasiness that’s expected when one bites into a nice hefty burger.  

All this combined with the place’s relative proximity to my house, and you can bet your wallet that I’ll be back there again sometime soon. 

If you find yourself near Valley Burger, go on in and give them a try. 

Obadiya can be reached at [email protected].