By Jim Stanford on August 23, 2011
After all the chatter about whether the most anticipated opening of a burger joint in Jackson would MacPhail, I had to experience the place for myself.
So on a recent evening, following a whitewater run down the Snake, two friends and I convened at MacPhail’s in the old Taco Bell location on Broadway. We arrived just after 9 p.m., so it was a relief to be seated. (One of my pet peeves about Jackson is a lack of eateries serving late, besides the Brew Pub.)
The restaurant has been redone nicely, but the interior is small and a bit loud. Perhaps some funky music would help. We had no problems with service; it had been a busy night, yet we were greeted promptly and all our needs met. Beer was poured in a frosty glass. There were munchies on the table to pass the wait.
My burger was large and satisfying. Fries were homemade, a tad greasy (as fries tend to be). Cheese on the burger was sharp cheddar. My two friends are teachers; one graded his burger A- and the other gave his cheese steak B- because he didn’t like the bun. Perhaps he should have ordered a burger, anyway. We left stuffed, for about $16-18 apiece.
Afterward, I met the owner, Bruce, who is trying hard to get every detail right. His outdoor service is limited by town rules, but he has retained some of the Taco Bell tables and set a few others by Flat Creek. A good strategy might be to call ahead (307-733-8744) and order takeout, then sit at these tables.
The hubbub about this place has been amusing. After all, we’re talking about burgers. If you have a problem with one of these joints, cook your own! As much as I enjoy going out every now and then for one, the best burgers I’ve had are at the Stanford Ranch.
And … despite rumors to the contrary, The Bird is still open and serving burgers south of Jackson at the old Steak Pub/Huey’s location.