Plate Cleaning at Cafe 440

I eat like a bird, but my first flight into Café 440 I said bye-bye birdie, hello appetite.

A locally owned eatery that has the swank of a big-urban city restaurant but with comfortable space and locally grown products, Café 440 is a fresh, fun and fabulous foodie spot in Eugene. Located on  Coburg Road near Vanilla Jills (an organic frozen yogurt place that is a must-try if you have been for dessert), Café 440 offers a lunch, dinner and gluten-free menu with northwest specialties, fresh produce and locally harvest meats – additionally all the natural “knee Deep” burger are available with a homemade black-bean patty. Beyond the usual, this classy restaurant also pads up their menu with coosh-redos of mommy-made comfort foods such as gourmet Mac N Cheese with a creamy cheese sauce over petite penne and House Meatloaf that is all natural and served with mashed potatoes topped with garlic-basil butter. Plus for you Eugene beer fans out there, Café 440’s Executive Chef Kathryn Reeves also serves up a Ninkasi braised beef short ribs.

For my dinner selection I went with the black bean burger on a grilled ciabatta roll with French fries. As one of my favorite go-to choices when I’m eating out, I have tried many-a-vegetarian burger – but this thick, not-overly seasoned version definitely stood out – so much so that I finished the entire thing! With a soft texture and taste that actually resembled black beans (imagine that) with a light mixing of corn, the burger didn’t cut corners on size and quality – I think it was actually bigger than my sister’s traditional beef burger. The ciabatta roll gave the burger a nice structure and helped to keep this finger food in hand while also offering a nice contrast of texture to the mashed bean. The fries on the side also stood their own (I would go there for just the fries, sad I know, but sometimes you just want some good deep-fried potatoes). With an even crunchiness and a soft seasoning that reminded me of gourmet version of Arby’s or Shari’s seasoned fries, this side dish didn’t need any condiments for dipping because they were tasty enough to savor alone. The only downside of my meal was that I had to pay a dollar more for cheese (most of the add-on cost more unfortunately) but with a fair starting price and my simple burger style, it didn’t break the bank.

Café 440 also has a great drink menu with local wines, beer and a fruity selection of cocktails. Every Wednesday, the bar also offers an evening wine flight to try three small tasters of something new.

Hours:

Monday – Thursday, 11am-9pm; Friday, 11am-10pm; Saturday, 11am-9pm; Sunday brunch, 9am-2pm

44o Coburg Road, Eugene, OR, (541) 505-8493

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