Here’s a mouthwatering blog I started last summer and never published. Hope you’ve eaten.
Every summer our favorite Portland weekly news publication, The Mercury, sponsors Burger Week. Thirty or forty local pubs, burger joints, or markets create their original burgers to serve all week to hungry people. Every burger is $5.
Our challenge was to eat as many as burgers possible in the course of six days and report on each in this ultimate burger showdown. Well, we couldn’t possibly try all forty burgers in a week but as long as the summer weather in Portland was holding up, we took our best shot. We tried four of them and we will rank them from worst to best:
The Fifth Quadrant, for regulars the 5Q, served up their General Tso’s Double Stack masterpiece. This was an egg foo young patty wedged between two beef patties topped with their special pepper slaw. This was paired with their flagship IPA, the C-Note.
Our thought was that this was too ambitious for one of our favorite pubs in Portland. It seemed the kitchen had a pile of precooked patties at the ready with a slap of slaw for a bit of a crunch. The beef patties were dry and the slaw was over-the-top on the Chinese five spice. One star for the burger, five for the C~Note. Overall a disappointing 2-stars. Thank goodness for one of the best pub patios in Portland.
The Witicha Pub is in Southeast Portland and was a first visit for us. The pub has the dark, divey appeal to the video poker dregs who regularly go outside for a smoke but comfortable enough for the two of us.
Today’s special was the Jack Daniel’s Burger. A buttery bun supported this hefty 1/2 pound beef patty, bacon, grilled onions, with the sweetness of their special Jack Daniel’s sauce. Dang this was good! Just messy enough to hold the burger in one hand a couple napkins in the other. Three solid stars.
Right in the section of town where there are a growing number of outdoor “food pods”, is Slowburger. We huddled under the orange awning as we waited for our burger basket.
Slowburger joined forces with the pork shop, Tails and Trotters, just around the corner to come up with their burger of the week, The Slow Trotter. Keeping it local, these guys put together their Northwest hazelnut finished pulled pork patty atop garlic lime slaw and finished with Carlolina BBQ sauce. A pork patty laced with bacon, OH MY! The fries with the house made ketchup notched this combo up a star. Four stars.
New Seasons Market
There are several of these markets around town and we happened to be in the neighborhood near NE 33rd on a busy Saturday. New Seasons Market is not quite a restaurant but they’re sponsoring this event and are a great community market so we stopped in here for our first burger of the week, The 84.
With the exception of the bacon which comes from Iowa, all the additions are pure Pacific Northwest. A hand patted beef patty, Tillamook cheese, house made ketchup, sweet Walla Walla onions all between a bun made with local craft beer. As this burger was made-to-order, we slipped down the beer aisle to select a six-pack of beer crafted in Eugene. Like beer, the best burger you’ve had is the one you just ate. We would have paid $10 for this burger. And if we could give this burger ten stars, we would. Five stars.
What a burgerlicious week and fantastic way to explore some of Portland’s best pubs, dives, and burger joints. We saw several groups of burger fanatics sharing a table, cutting their burgers in quarters, then reviewing their taste buds over a beer. Afterwards, they would decide which burger they were going to try next. On a mission to sample all forty burgers.
And although Killer Burger did not participate in burger week, they make my favorite burger in town~The Classic and The Peanut Butter and Bacon.
A super summertime week long field trip! For five bucks a pop, how could anyone go wrong? Summer in Portland can’t come soon enough.