Friday, December 14, 2012

Portland Burger Blog Goes To Burgerville; Millions Rejoice

I DESPISE FAST FOOD BUT THIS IS OBLIGATORY: We Oregonians love our Burgervilles. They succeed where other fast food franchises nationwide fail. They cook real food. All the meats and produce are locally sourced and it shows. Alongside the popular 5 Guys Burgers and Fries franchise, Burgerville is the best fast food burger Oregon can feed you.

BURGER: Don't get it twisted, it's still fast food. Don't expect any heritage beef patties or sweet brioche buns up in here. However, the supplier list reads like the grocery list of a well-to-do west hills co-op shopper. And despite the fact that this is essentially a fast food franchise, this burger is of damn high quality. Just look at how fresh that green leaf lettuce is, and that tomato is red, not the pathetic pinkish mush round that fast food burgers rarely even include on their burgers.

FRIES: Thicker and more substantial than typical fast food fries, but fast food fries nonetheless. They serve their purpose well.

SERVICE: Adorably teenage in most cases. It's fast food for craps sake. I'm only writing this review to show other burger snobs that Burgerville is legit.

WHERE: Multiple locations throughout Oregon and Washington.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Cat Who Made Me Hate Burgers For One Night

I NEVER WANTED TO PUNCH A CAT SO HARD IN MY LIFE:  After a lovely night of wandering around hungry, my companion and I thought we might be able to recreate  the brunch magic we'd experienced earlier at The Country Cat. Let me tell you why I will never ever ever ever eat there for dinner again. NEVER EVER EVER. And also I hate cats from the country now.

BURGER: A huge, thick, ridiculously seasoned ball of over cooked, chewy meat. A salt bomb of massive proportions. All beef flavor was lost in a hideous cloud of garlic salt and msg. I asked for a medium rare burger and received a hard beef softball. I regret even talking about burgers in this tone...let's move on.

FRIES: I opted for the onion rings which were a greasy farce, a breaded deception. My fingers were pruning with the residual grease. Unhappiness, your name is Country Cat Burger and Onion Rings.

SERVICE: Better than you. Regardless of who you are. They're better, Deal with it. On a side note. I was here on a busy Friday night, and having experienced a mostly radical brunch here, I was let down. But that's just my experience. By all means, go enjoy their phenomenal bloody marys and breakfast potatoes. JUST NEVER GET THE BURGER.

WHERE:7937 Southeast Stark Street, Portland, OR
(503) 408-1414 ·

The Day I Found The Other Killer Burger

I KNEW YOU EXISTED SOMEWHERE: Apparently you were hiding in the wilds of Sellwood, amidst the fir trees and antique shops and montessori schools. You vixen you. What a chase.What a payoff. (Click here to read my original review of Killer Burger's flagship cafe on NE Sandy wherein I do more than wax poetic)

BURGER: You know the story, these burgers are great. It's a gift to Sellwood and a perfect way to wrap up your day of vintage coverlet coveting or latex gloved rummaging at the Bins.

FRIES: My favorite fries in the city of Portland are produced at Killer Burger. Yeah, they're frozen, but there is some secret sorcery in the young nimble hands of the Killer Burger team members that impart some salty magic into these ketchup delivery wands.

SERVICE: It is joy to be served in Killer Burger. It seems that everyone loves their work and loves their customers. I love getting sunshine blown up my asshole while I shove a burger in my face hole.

WHERE: 8728 Southeast 17th Avenue
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 841-5906‎

The Weirdest Burger This Blog Ever Ate

ONE OF MY FAVORITE PORTLAND BARS: is Muu Muu's. And it sits in the coveted spot beside Cinema 21 on 21st Street, or as the locals call it "Trendy First Street". Needless to say, I find myself up in that area often since I am painfully trendy (in my mind)-deal with it. So after one particularly harrowing night of hipsterdom, when my gut was more microbrew than anything else and the liar bar across the street, Wimpy's, had no burger to speak of (How dare they! Their very name implies I'll be paying next Tuesday for a burger I'm getting today) I figured I may as well roll the dice on this atmospheric hub of well dressed 20 and 30 somethings that is Muu Muu's. The results were really fucking weird.

BURGER: A 1/3lb patty cooked to death and then cut to fit onto a hoagie roll. Laden with molten american cheese, ketchup and mustard and then stuffed, inexplicably, with french fries. I'm no stranger to piling french fries on a burger...when I'm stoned and 17 years old. All around me were lovely plates of bar nosh, so I was understandably embarrassed trying to stuff this monster into my sophisticated lady mouth. Results were mixed, I liked the idea that I may be able to enjoy something that a high-as-balls teenage me would appreciate, but that's also why I hated it. I'm in my 30's over here. Seriously.

FRIES: Bought in, frozen fries. They became starchy mush the minute they passed through my lips with what should not have been but was arbitrary meat chunks passing through the thick fog of bargain fried potato. Again, just a weird experience. I know it sounds worse than it was. That stoned teenager inside of me nom nom nomm'd the crap out of that hoager/burgie while the stoned adult was just hanging around being snarky.

SERVICE: I have nothing but love for the staff at Muu Muu's. Whenever I visit, the vibe of the bar makes me feel like I'm living my Portland dreams. There's always an interesting mix of people and the location is so, well, hip. They get the high marks of the night,

LOCATION; 612 Northwest 21st Avenue  Portland, OR 97209
(503) 223-8169

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Despite Their Facade, TILT Does Indeed Serve Burgers and Not Vacuums

SWAN ISLAND FOR BURGERS? REALLY? Heck yes. At the confluence of the Columbia and the Willamette rivers, Swan Islands's terminal is a bustling center of commerce. Everything is coming and going, being exported and imported. Needless to say, it's flush with container ships, big rigs and millworks, but devoid of any culinary fulfillment.  Enter TILT, a rouge eatery, ingeniously located in Portland's highly employed shipping epicenter, where no other eatery has dared to inhabit.

BURGER; Tender, flavorful and well armed with cheddar, iceberg, tomato, pickle and signature TILT onions (mildly pickled, sliced onions). For an extra kick in the pants I wear in my mouth, I added their housemade jalapeno slaw to my burger. Satisfaction achieved. It's worth mentioning that aside from some seriously decadent menu burgers, they also offer a small version of their 1/3 lb burgers, which are admittedly pretty hard to get your mouth around. Companions were thrilled with their smaller burgers, while I fought what felt like an epic battle with mine. Don't worry, I won and it was the best fight I've had in a while.

FRIES; Classic batter fries were crispy and salty goodness. And apportioned generously. Perhaps a bit too much so, but when your main consumer is a dock worker, warehouse worker or ravenous office worker, I suppose it makes sense to pile 'em on.

SERVICE; I had a real hard time with the structure of the menu, but the counter person was so patient. She essentially had to hold my hand and walk me through the ordering process, which says something more about the strangely structured menu than it does about my reading comprehension. Otherwise, the team seemed chipper, and attentive, without hovering.

WHERE; 3449 N.Anchor St., Suite 200 Portland.

Summer Slow Burger; Probably No Longer Available, But Make a Note for Next Year

RAD SUMMER OF THE MIRACLE BURGER; I vote yes on Slow Bar's Slowburger. It continues to be in my top 10 places to send folks for a solid Portland burger. The meat is always supple and perfectly seasoned, the seasonal additions are always thoughtful and balanced, and the atmosphere is pure Portland; gorgeous servers, sexy, private booths, and a badass bar. I was late to the party, not receiving my summer slowburger till the last week of August, but damn, it was worth the wait.

BURGER; The classic, sky high, hand formed patty, swollen with it's own perfectly seasoned juices, accompanied by sharp white cheddar, an heirloom tomato, slim, sandwich sliced dill pickles and crisp leaves of iceberg lettuce is the complete embodiment of a foodie's summer bbq. Next summer can't come soon enough. Though, I'll be singing a different song when the Fall Slowburger takes it rightful place on the Slow Bar menu.

FRIES: Slow Bar has solid fries, but I will always opt for the salad with it's gorgeous vinaigrette and house spiced nuts. Besides, look at the size of that beast, who needs fries with that?

SERVICE; Pretty, witty and on top of their game. Slow Bar has a great cocktail menu, a solid bar menu and an atmosphere that is at once intimate and social. High marks all around, Slow Bar. Good Job.

WHERE; 533 SE Grand AV,  Portland.

WOW Burger Does Indeed WOW Me

I SERIOUSLY SAID WOW WHEN I WALKED IN; The new WOW Burger outpost at Cascade Station, near PDX airport is jammed inconspicuously between a Leatherman store and a Starbucks in a shopping center that boasts an IKEA and a Best Buy. It's a weird scene, this outdoor mall on the outskirts of town, and one cant help but think that every eatery there exists only to service the employees of the myriad shops, boutiques, and department stores at Cascade Station, and possibly, the odd airport employee on their way to or from work (I'm looking at you, shitty IHOP). I even saw a coyote walk across the parking lot one morning, no joke. Anyway, let's talk about why this  burger is worth a trip to what really amounts to the IKEA parking lot.

BURGER; This is a very basic 1/3 lb patty, cooked medium well and served with an upscale fast food aesthetic (tantamount to a faux dive bar). The wow factor manifests itself as a freaky amount of optional toppings, buns, cheeses and sides. For a person with a modicum of self control, this should pose no problem, but if you're American, like me, you go for the whole kit and kaboodle and end up with a burger taller than your face. Therein lies the one and only problem with WOW burger; excess. True, deep fried, cheese covered, butter grilled excess. Overall, the experience was delicious, a salty/sweet spread, fresh iceberg leaves, and a great assortment of fresh toppings. Aside from an overly buttered bun and a  "nothing is too much" philosophy when building your WOW burger, you can count on a great burger from this unassumingly modern little shop. Healthy options like veggie, turkey and chicken were available, and toppings covered the spectrum of the acceptable, only going a bit over the top (notice the three types of onion on the burger pictured above: raw, grilled and deep fried.  Delicious as it was, that just shouldn't be allowed to happen. I stank like o-rings for a week)

FRIES; I tried the basil parmesan fries and was dissatisfied with the dried basil flakes and canned. grated parmesan that barely crusted the otherwise boring, frozen fries. The onion strings, however, were a toothsome, well seasoned joy. Served in a shareable portion that could easily satiate 2-3 burger lovers, with housemade fry sauce that is finger-licking good.

SERVICE; WOW Burger is new on the scene, and without a steady stream of customers, the WOW team is left twiddling their thumbs, so to speak. The friendly staff was a little too attentive considering the  "fast food aesthetic" they're conveying. When more than one server approaches me when I am struggling through a mouthful of food, irritation will ensue. I'm sure once the place picks up and the many hands are busy juggling orders, they can back up off the hovering, unnecessary table service

WHERE; WOW Burger Cascade Station; 10107 NE Cascades Parkway
Portland, OR. 503-841-5948

Monday, August 20, 2012

Boogies Burgers; Great Burgers, Horrible Name

Burger and Booger are already practically homonyms: So why, one might ask, would a burger shack want to call attention to that tonal similarity? Well, hopefully no one cares, because the burgers are pretty darn alright, and honestly taste nothing like boogers. I swear.

; With Doug Fir serving up gourmet burger realness a handful of steps away, Boogies takes a bold stand and does a low-brow, fast food style burger with one, two, or three patties. Dill pickle coins, icebergs shreds and white onion are all slapped together and sealed up tight with a sloppy wash of fry sauce and, pride of the continental 48, American cheese. A stiff, potato bun serves as your handle, a perfect foil for the slathering of sauce, fat and dripping cheese. Boogies signature burgers are a great alternative to the bistro burger across the street.

; As with the burger, we've got some no frills fries to accompany our no frills burger. Nothing especially memorable about them, which also means they can't be terrible, because I would've remembered that.

; Very friendly and super cute. The lady at the counter was so gregarious and chatty that it threw me off my game. They had a few special sauces and mustards on the counter, horseradish and bbq for example. The expereince on the whole was fast, clean and easy. The theme of this place could be "No Frills". Solid beer selection, outdoor seating, kid friendly.

; 910 E Burnside st, Portland 503-972-8780 Boogies FB Page

Friday, August 3, 2012

Gotham Tavern (Insert Batman Joke Here)

I HAVE NO BAT JOKES; You're welcome. The clean, stark architecture of the Gotham Tavern is impressive, and with it's unique play on open space and woven walls, it's becomes somewhat reminiscent of the slate, marble and brick shadowed streets of NYC. It's grandiose floor to celing windows look out over the industrial district of North Portland, and with tri met dropping off passengers a few steps from the entrance, there's certainly a unique cityscape to ruminative over while you sip a pre burger lager. It's tucked away neighborhood is a tricky one to navigate, but once discovered, holds all the quirk natives and visitors hold dear.

BURGER: One of Portland's best low-key bar burgers. Hands down. Cooked to order and exploding around the circumference with juicy freshness. Toppers served off to the side included crisp romaine leaves, thick, ripe tomato slices, a long, wide sandwich style pickle, and a ring of thinly sliced red onion. The cheddar topped kaiser roll was overkill for sure, but totally admissible. The beef was succulent, moist and fragrant, with two slices of gently melted cheddar (or your cheese of choice) for good measure.

FRIES: Great, crispy, evenly seasoned fries in your choice of idaho spud or sweet potato.  Not a lot to fuss over, perhaps not as memorable as Killer Burger or Glisan Burger Barn, but with only one burger option on the menu, I can forgive them for focusing the attention squarely on the burger, and letting the fries just be fries.

SERVICE: An easygoing staff stays out of your way until you need a beverage refill and then, BAM, they appear with helping hands. Thumbs up to Team Gotham.

WHERE: 2240 N Interstate Avenue 503-517-9911

NEPO 42; Late Night Burgers and Innapropriate Servers

LET'S GET WEIRD; Looking for a quiet bar with a nice patio, and ending up at NEPO 42 provided me with one my summer's best cautionary drunk barback/server stories. My friend and I spent most of our night ping ponging between provoking and mercilessly shitting on a hammered  and/or extremely socially challenged barback/server/possible cook. He tried sneakily to mouth kiss my companion, give me a shoulder rub, and compliment our ample bosoms before we realized he was an actual employee. That story gets a lot weirder before we get to ingest any beef, but this blog is not about my crazy adventures in snark. That's my other blog; This blog is about burgers! Next paragraph!

BURGER; Overcooked 1/3 lb beef patty, limp and slightly discolored greenleaf and a sesame brioche burnt black around the edges. Frankly though, it was not a horrible burger when compared to any other burgers I could have been eating at 12:30am. It was serviceable when paired with a double vodka soda, however, I can not in good conscience  recommend this burger for anything other than late night soaking up of a few hours worth of boozing. That's rough because I generally prefer not to review burgers that are less than stellar, I mean, really, what's the point? But, look, once I take the picture the review is pretty much written.

FRIES: These fries were the redeeming factor of this plate of mostly burnt-to-heck business. House cut, twice fried, well salted and not overly greasy or disappointingly limp. I give the fries a solid recommendation.

SERVICE: Weird. Aside from seeing the sloshy barback tounge-blast a patron, then lean into my ear and wetly whisper, "I don't even know her name", I suppose the main bartender on duty was genial enough. Considering the shenanigans the barback was getting into, I'm surprised we didn't see her head pop off in a fit of weird rage. Mine would.

WHERE: 5403 NE 42nd Avenue @ Killingsworth. 503-288-8080

Glisan Burger Barn. Warning; Not An Actual Barn

OVERVIEW; I had to take a hiatus from constant burger "reviewing" (see: excuses for pigging out) so I wouldn't embarrass myself too much in my summer daisy dukes, but I had heard a lot of buzz around this little burger joint so tube dresses be damned, I set my jaw to "chew" and headed down Glisan until I found the newly renovated ex-Chinese restaurant that is now providing the neighborhood with fabulous charred beef.

BURGER; 1/3 lbs of glorious, hand formed painted hills natural beef,  heaped with shredded iceberg, slathered with mayo, and topped with tomato and onion (and on some varieties, an amazing local pickle). Cooked perfectly medium, and dripping with grease and juice and joy. A solid burger at a fair price and well worth the less-than-scenic-drive down Glisan.

FRIES; GBB takes what seem like frozen shoestrings and gracefully transforms them into succulent seasoned starch bombs. This fry seasoning is house made and speckled with fresh ground black pepper, which was a really easy way to ensure you stuff your face with them far after you hit your shutoff valve.

SERVICE; Awkwardly order at a counter after half sitting at a half dozen tables. My visit was an early afternoon lunch date, making us the Barn's first customers of the day. Our entrance lacked fanfare, no one greeted us and it almost felt like we took the counter worker by surprise. He was friendly, and attentive once we figured out how to place our orders. The atmosphere has a ways to go, it still smacks of old chinese restaurant, and the limited chachkies on the counter and walls just call attention to the lack of chachkies anywhere else. A few more random street signs and inflatable elk heads will really tie this place together.
Kid friendly, sidewalk seating, creepy back room for gambling.

WHERE; 7901 NE Glisan St. (503) 254-4285 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Joes Burgers Comes To Downtown PDX

FINALLY, A BURGER OFF THE MAX LINE; I was in attendance at The Society Club for a fashion event featuring Cotton Candy Punk Couture's newest line of spring cocktail dresses, and looking at the rail thin model bodies gave me a hankering for a burger like you would not believe! Thank bloody beef that Joe's had recently opened the doors to it's new downtown outpost. The perfume of grilling cow flesh, while graphic, was not unlike a magic carpet carrying me towards sweet burger goodness.

BURGER; 1/3 lb of Cascade Natural grass fed organic beef. Sweet/savory special sauce, iceberg, tomato, paper thin white onion and a lightly grilled bun all wrapped up in a precious brown paper wrapper.  A great burger on the go, not too fancy, not too plain, made with care and served with love. Downtown PDX lunchers and fashion show escapees alike thank you Joe.

FRIES; Went for the sweet potato ( their lower glycemic index makes them far healthier than starchy idaho spuds) and was pretty stoked about them. Great, lightly salted, crispy, not too oily, and borderline healthy!

SERVICE; Aside from some seriously overused aprons covered in kitchen goo, the girls club that was running this place was really sweet and fun. They were all gregarious and funny and super cute! I suppose when you're serving awesome burgers all day, you can be pretty happy about it.

WHERE; 625 SW 4th Ave. Portland, OR.

Mike's Drive In, Sellwood, No Rollerskates Needed

Drive Right On Into The Parking Lot; Despite a surreal experience at the counter where I was unsure if the counter person was talking to me or yelling at someone outside, this experience was par for the course. A small, fast food operation whos great burgers have stood the test of time. Just what the burger doctor ordered before an afternoon of antiquing in Sellwood.

BURGER; Quarter pound patties grilled well, which works in the fast food arena. Shredded iceberg, hothouse tomato, dill pickle coins and a healthy handful of grilled mushrooms made this budget burger perfect for the cost and the concept. All of these on a pillowy sesame seed bun knock the Mike's burger up a notch above the fast food competitors that we try so determinedly to keep out of the Portland city limits. This is Fast Food done right.

FRIES; Utterly forgettable. Where Mike's succeeds in burgers, it fails with fires. Bland, frozen, quintessential fast food fries. Avoid them and instead share a basket of O-rings or fried mushrooms.

SERVICE; Young and weird. As aforementioned, the girl behind the counter had to ask me for my order at least 5 times as she was so distracted by some fella in the parking lot. Halfway through my order, she ditched the counter, ran outside and had a loud conversation with said parking lot fella. I don't know what drama exists on the streets of Sellwood. I don't want to know...well..maybe a little.

WHERE; 1707 Southeast Tenino Street  Portland, OR 97202

(503) 236-4537

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dig A Pony

I DON'T GET THE NAME; I have tried and failed to enter this bar on numerous occasions. It is the quintessential young, hip place to be for the gorgeous 20 somethings of Portland. Being over 30 and fairly dorky, I cant seem to make an appearance there fly. I need to sit, I need a patio probably, and I need to not be surrounded by hot girls in gold lame hotpants. Don't get me wrong, I respect this place, and the fabulous fashions that are on display on the chests, legs and manicured feet of it's patrons. But seriously...I'm just strait up too old. So I went there on a sunny afternoon with an equally old friend to revel both in our adulthood and burgers, respectively.

BURGER; Okay, I was shocked when the burger of the house was served on an Thomas' English Muffin. Assured that it was spectacular by both the server and my companion, I ordered up. And thank goodness. This unique burger is easily going to make the best of 2012 list. The aforementioned english muffin was slathered in a housemade chipotle aioli reminiscent of a 1000 island. The burger patty was beautifully seasoned, layered with a spicy spring mix, purple onion and ripe red tomato, and enveloped in a white cheddar that was neither cloying nor scene-stealing. The components, including the muffin, worked a certain magic will assure my continued patronage, regardless of my old age.

FRIES; The house cut fries that we've come to expect. Well made, well seasoned and an easy compliment to the burger.

SERVICE; Order at the bar, no frills. And naturally the barstaff is impossibly good looking, so if you are my age and/or at my dork level, go early and avoid feeling like a elderly weirdo.

LOCATION; Dig A Pony 736 SE Grand Avenue

EastBurn and The Server Of My Dreams

OVERVIEW; While trying to catch an episode of Portlandia on the patio of this fine establishment, an attractive, attentive and altogether amazing sever made sure we were plugged in, volume up and front row seated. Meanwhile, I saw plate after plate of better-than-bar-food travel past our table. The combination of that angel of a server and the smell memories I had collected while embracing my city's nationally loved quirkiness on the patio's big screen tv had me posted up the very next afternoon for the most beloved of all brunches; the burger beer brunch.

BURGER; Prepare your buds, people. Theses burgers are seasoned with a fervor that treads dangerously into meatloaf territory. But Eastburn's patty walks the line between essential ground beef goodness and heavily seasoned madness so gracefully you will likely question everything you thought you knew about balls of charbroiled beef. Perched on a Grand Central cibatta roll, with infinite nooks and crannies to absorb that heavily flavored beef juice as well as the fresh juice of a hothouse tomato, paper thin white onion and garden fresh butter lettuce, we may have located a little slice of burger nirvana on SE Burnside, y'all.

FRIES; The great house cut taters that we've become so accustomed to in Portland bars. Great flavor, cooked perfectly. Not a mealy, lackluster fry in the bunch.

SERVICE; Remember that fellow I mentioned in the overview?I had the privilege of having him as my afternoon burger server. I can't speak to the other waitstaff, but this guy is the absolute model of a perfect server. Intuitive, witty and personable. I would empty my wallet every day for service so perfect. I wish him the very best in life, and if you've ever had service as perfect as the service I am describing then you know exactly what I'm talking about.

WHERE; Eastburn
1800 E Burnside
Portland, OR 97214

Friday, January 13, 2012

Burgers and Sushi at Yakuza

奇妙なコンボ; The burning question that I needed answered; Who goes to Sushi restaurants for burgers? The answer I could have guessed; Good looking, well dressed twenty and thirty somethings with excellent tastes. I hope one day I can control my snark enough to stop asking stupid questions about amazingly conceived restaurants. Well, we'll see...

BURGER; The skyscraper of a burger claimed to be made from the beef of legend; Kobe. Having experienced legit Kobe but once in my life, and having it melt on my tongue like a ephemeral sheet of beef chiffon, I had my doubts. Regardless of what does or does not constitute American Kobe beef, this burger was tender, full of rich, earthy flavor and complimented almost romantically by fried shoestring potatoes, light, sweet and delicate chevre, and a house ketchup that brought the whole scene together better than Lebowski's rug. It's worth it to mention that as I looked around from table to table, almost everyone in the place was eating this burger. And damned if most of them didn't start with a plate of sushi. Oh Portland, you're so hip.

FRIES; You know this place is too classy for a pile of greasy fries, besides, there are actual fried potato strings heaped on the burger. And they are awesome. Burger is served ala carte, hence the proliferation of sushi starters.

SERVICE; I have mentioned in previous reviews that there is a select class of Portland servers. They are impeccably dressed, remarkably well coiffed, and you get the distinct feeling that they are better than you. I have been to no other city where this phenomenon occurs. Yakuza's chic and attractive staff was paired perfectly with the chic, attractive dining space. Though I felt like our server was painfully cooler that I, her service was friendly, if a bit spacey. Great place for a date. Full bar, kid friendly, patio in the warmer months.

5411 NE 30th Avenue Portland, Oregon

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pause on Interstate With Miss Heather Mae

Hello… I’m a “guest” blogger!; I really just wanted to eat a burger and get drunk with Brianna (ed. note; she's talking about me!). Friend of the Burger Blog, Fiona, affectionately pointed us in Pause’s direction. I had been to Pause a time or two before and felt a bit ambivalent about it. The food was fine, the drinks were fine, there are holes in many of the booth seats which is fine, but it’s just not one of the places that pops into mind when going out. However, I am always open to having my mind changed, and a big juicy burger was just the thing to do it!
BURGER: It’s no stretch to say that I LOVED this burger’s well-crafted, thick, tasty meatiness, made perfectly medium-rare (which is what I asked for). There’s no real “frills” or b.s. with this burger, it’s pretty straight up tasty. The Thousand Island dressing and the homemade pickles were a nice, thoughtful touch and made me feel kind of special without overdoing it. They serve it on a potato bun (again, no frills here, but it works) for easy handling and I liked that they stack the tomato, lettuce and onion on the side so you can choose your own “topping” adventure. My burger came with Tillamook Cheddar cheese and I felt like the cheese match didn’t quite do it, I couldn’t taste it. I did go back a week later and got the burger with blue cheese and the flavors seemed to stand out better.
FRIES: My salad was your standard mesclun mix with balsamic vinaigrette. My companion’s fries (ed. note; she's talking about me!) were REALLY FRIGGIN GOOD: thickly cut, house-made, fried morsels of starchy, salty goodness. I wanted to shove them all in my face, but that negated the reason for getting a salad in the first place.
SERVICE: I’m a little split on the service. We almost lost our table to a larger group that arrived seconds after us and the scene got weird. Aside from feeling a bit unwelcomed upon first arrival, our waiter was pretty right on. Drinks were promptly refilled and burgers were delivered piping hot. I’m pretty sure that kiddos are welcomed; I’ve seen them there for lunch before. However, the evenings have more of a drinking spot feel.
WHERE: Pause is south of George’s and north of the Alibi on Interstate. You might drive by it the first time, but I highly suggest you turn around and go back. 5101 N. Interstate Portland, OR
ABOUT OUR GUEST; Miss Heather Mae is a blogger, zinester, linocut artist and all around amazing person. Her brand, DonutDisco, is based in Portland but her 'tude is pure South Boston. Check out her awesome linocut prints on Etsy/DonutDisco, read her funny tumblr blog, and follow her on twitter. She's just been accepted to Linfield School of Nursing. Congratulate Her.

Jam on Hawthorne, Now Serving Dinner!

AND THEIR HAPPY HOUR IS AWESOME; Jam, one of Portland's most beloved breakfast spots recently took over "Imbibe", it's former neighbor. Portland 'hoods all have their own breakfast spots, and I think on the whole, we stay pretty dedicated to the breakfasteries in our quadrants. Being a hardcore noreaster, I have yet to remedy a hangover at Jam on SE Hawthorne, but, when on a random drive-by I saw this newfangled dinner cafe attached to the reputable name "Jam" I finally had the time and the reason to patronize the establishment I heard so much about.

BURGER; The happy hour presented 3 or 4 burger choices including a veg/vegan option. My choice was Hawaiian themed with grilled pineapple, teriyaki and swiss cheese. The half pound of beef, thick chunks of pineapple, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and huge handfull of grated cheese measured nearly 5" high! Go look at a ruler, that's seriously tall! Estimated mastication difficulty aside, this burger was totally ridiculous. The entire burger was dominated by huge morsel of grilled, melted butter/parmesan attached to the bun. It was a strong, salty piece of pure flavor and it attacked my mouth with such intensity that I had to quit the burger about 2/3 of the way through. I would order this burger again but I will have the crunchy melted flavor bomb left off. It was just too much. I will say that I respect it's intentions, because otherwise this burger was pretty good. Great flavor in the nicely cooked beef, interesting assemblage of toppings, and though I suspect it was dressed with bottled teriyaki sauce, I thought it was fine. It didn't taste hella-cheap.

FRIES; Went for the sweet potato fries as opposed to the standard french. Light and crispy without a lot of grease and salt. And a perfect compliment to the Hawaiian burger.

SERVICE; There were more people that appeared to be working here than eating here and it still took over 20 minutes for our food to arrive. Similar waits were experienced for water and the bill. The extraneous staff hanging around was a put off. One (very nice and easygoing) server was bartending, serving, and busing, while one staff member removed decorations from the Christmas tree. Another staff member revealed himself drinking in the bar area and still another chatted up the kitchen from the hallway. Lots of staff standing around, but only one seemed concerned with patrons.

WHERE; 2229 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland Jam on Facebook