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 www.originalwowburger.com