I love burgers. I’ll eat them at fast food places, greasy spoons, backyard barbecues, even gourmet joints. So I was excited to hear about Campbell’s newest restaurant, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, which specializes in upscale grass-fed burgers, as well as some interesting free-range chicken sandwiches. The burger options go pretty far out of the ordinary, including arugula, pork belly, Brie, anchovies—really a lot of interesting choices. Yet despite how exotic it all sounds, BCBC turned out to be quite a casual comfort-food eatery—only with better flavors than a traditional diner.
It’s tucked away down an alley, kind of out of sight, a few buildings away from Blue Line Pizza in downtown Campbell. The building is tiny and feels like a converted studio cottage, so seating is limited. When I ate there during the soft opening, they hadn’t opened the patio up yet. That changes on July 13, their official grand opening. They’ll also be expanding their menu some. But even on my visit, they already had a half-dozen burger options, and about the same for chicken sandwiches. They also offered two grilled cheese sandwiches, one standard and one with broccoli and bacon.
Despite all the complex ingredients, they went basic on the bun, which is a good thing. It was soft and squishy and soaked up the burger juices, enhancing the burger flavor. BCBC also offers several microbrews on tap, as well as several wines to choose from.
I ordered the Crispy Prosciutto burger ($10), which also came with caramelized onions and triple crème Brie. It was like a reimagined bacon cheeseburger, with the salty prosciutto instead of bacon, and tangy Brie instead of cheddar cheese. The prosciutto was an excellent bacon substitute and blended well with the beef and the caramelized onions. They went a little heavy on the Brie, but otherwise I loved this burger.
The Psychedelic Goat Cheese burger, for $9, was another great selection. The burger is served with a dollop of this flavorful concoction of soft goat cheese, mushrooms, truffle oil and chives. Instead of a bed of lettuce, the burger rested on a heap of arugula leaves.
I wasn’t nearly as impressed with the California Chicken Club, which was $9. Everything on the sandwich—free-range chicken, avocado, bacon—was fine, it just wasn’t original the way the burgers were. However the Chicken Mushroom Swiss, for $9, was: Grilled chicken, crispy shiitake mushrooms, arugula and Swiss fondue on a French roll.
For sides, I suggest skipping the truffle fries, which are quite steep at $5.35, and not that great, and instead ordering the BCBC chips for $2.95, which are fresh-made potato chips. They are seasoned with what tastes like a healthy amount of salt and pepper and are quite good.
Brown Chicken Brown Cow
397 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell