Cafe Reviewed: Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Jobo’s burgers are bigger than your head and way better tasting.
Jobo’s Hamburger Grill
Half-pound burger $3.75
Chicken-fried steak sandwich $3.95
Grilled Cajun-chicken salad $5.85
Here’s the Beef

If you can’t find it at Jobo’s Hamburger Grill, you may have stumbled into a fast-food joint by mistake.


Jobo’s Hamburger Grill

6548 Lake Worth Blvd, Ste 200, Lake Worth. 817-238-7888. 10:45am-9pm daily. All major cards except Discover accepted.

hy anyone would launch a hamburger grill in Lake Worth Town Crossing Mall, an area flooded with fast-food joints, is one of life’s great mysteries. Yet local police officer Joby Berkley recently opened Jobo’s, and, while his number of happy customers served won’t ever compare with WhataSonicMcWendy’s, his burger easily tops them all.

Located just off Jacksboro Highway in a space so new it still sparkles, Berkley’s inaugural foray into restaurateuring is a single large room painted Longhorn orange, with 12 booths and four four-tops, a couple of tv’s, and, above, several surprisingly elegant ceiling fans.

Though billed as half-pounders, the burgers seemed much bigger. An over-sized sesame-seed bun wasn’t even man enough to contain the good-quality ground chuck, fresh — not frozen — and grilled to spec. (Medium rare was actually delivered medium rare, which would never happen at a chain grill.) With pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, mustard, and sautéed onions, and nicely seasoned with salt and pepper, the patty was moist in the middle and slightly seared on the outside. The only quibble was that the sandwich was (bless me, Father, for I have sinned) a tad, um, too large.

Even bigger and more decadent was the bacon cheeseburger. Topped with the same fixin’s plus a thick slice of American cheese and four crispy and succulent pork strips, the sandwich demanded to be eaten with a pile of napkins nearby. While I’m not sure, at one point I thought I heard Homer Simpson: Mmmmm — juicy burgers.

In the same ballpark of size but much lighter was the chicken-fried steak sandwich — a formidable portion of beef, gingerly breaded and full of peppery bite.

Jobo’s sandwiches do not come with fries, probably because most diners don’t have the belly room to handle both, but at a paltry $1.25, they’re well worth getting. Home-cut and served with the skin on, they were fried just right (not too mushy and somewhat crunchy) and derived their particular, hearty kick primarily from a zesty blend of salt and pepper with a hint of cheddar cheese powder.

The only near-miss was the grilled Cajun chicken salad — chiefly because, like pretty much every other restaurant under the sun, Jobo’s hasn’t found a way to make the salad part of the dish interesting. Iceberg and romaine lettuce sprinkled with tomato chunks and flakes of shredded cheddar just doesn’t sing, whether you’re counting calories or not. The bird was great, though. A sliced half-breast covered in Cajun spices, it came out richly blackened, not burned.

Let’s put it this way: You may be able to get comparable burgers and sandwiches somewhere closer to downtown, sure, but after spending all day on the lake, you’re not gonna be thinking “salad.” You’ll be craving a burger as big as your head, and why anyone near Lake Worth would consider stopping by WhataSonicMcWendy’s instead of Jobo’s is another one of life’s great mysteries.

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