What is a Tardis Even? Apparently it has something to do with Dr Who, the long running BBC sci-fi series with an enthusiastically dedicated fan base. The Tardis - and I'm sure I'm going to get corrected in the comment section on this one- is a time machine shaped like a phone booth and The Tardis Room is a Dr. Who fanboy's bedroom shaped like a labyrinthine bar in North Portland. It's a strange mashup between niche-theme bar and old timey fish and chips pub but despite the amount of black lights, it's not as clumsy at it might seem. An abject curiosity, yes, but deftly conceived. I never fell into science fiction, and at this point I'm not holding out hope that someday I will, but that didn't stop me from appreciating the amount of weird effort it took to put this bar together. Bottom line - some people are going to love it and never set foot in another bar as long as they live, but I will be fine visiting maybe once or twice a year. Spoiler alert; it won't be for the burger.
BURGER; Since we're already turning the WTF knob to 11, I actually ate a deep fried burger. The whole thing wasn't deep fried, just the patty. The batter was the very same that they use for their brilliant fish and chips, a light flaky masterpiece that, in burger form, was nearly inedible after 5 bites. Though the burger had an interesting depth of flavor, a well seasoned patty and the aforementioned batter, it became an obvious mistake after bite 5 when my dining companions implored me to stop eating it. They could no longer bear the smell. Topped with grilled mushrooms, iceberg, swiss cheese and a smattering of pickle coins, you have to be a brave mofo to ingest this in it's entirety. Otherwise it's just an abject curiosity.
FRIES: Aww yeah. Not just fries, but english style "chips". Thick, fresh cut, and perfectly greasy. A good reminder of what is good about the eats at The Tardis Room, the fish and chips are great, but they should back off of the experimental american comfort food.
SERVICE: Well, I could go a few ways with this one. I had a fiercely uncomfortable interaction with the server over the course of this visit. I honestly don't think he knew how racist the things he was saying were, because no one ever explained to him WHY certain slurs are racist. I won't go so far as to insinuate that he, or any of the other bartenders or servers are racist, that's crazy. This particular dude just didn't understand the words "That's offensive." I won't go into how weird this got for for me (I'm half black) because this is my burger blog, not my deep social commentary blog.
Just, if you don't like hipster racism, maybe don't sit near the bar.
WHERE: 1218 N. Killingsworth St. 503-232-3344 The Tardis Room on FB