Friday, August 9, 2013

Portland Burger Week Edition! Club 21's Perkin Burger

An Old Guy Walks Into A Bar: And orders a hybrid patty melt/french dip. The bartender gapes, the cooks cheer, the patrons rejoice, for this man had created a wanton beast of a burger that will live in infamy for the rest of Club 21's existence. I have been to Club 21 on a few occasions, and I find it to be an authentic PDX dive. Honorable and legacied and done up with all the best vintage beer lamps and mounted stag trophies, and rightfully co-opted by the next generation of hard drinking, hard living, chain smoking badasses. This is not your ultra modern Portland pub of today, it is LEGIT.

BURGER; With so much high concept burger creation happening during Burger Week, it was nice to sit down to an established low brow burger. Already popular with the bar regulars, The Perkin Burger is the best of a french dip and a patty melt, married on a soft hoagie roll and served with au jus. The swiss cheese, 1000 island and red wine caramelized onions were relatively pedestrian additions, but they imparted a tang, a necessary contrast to the soft bread and well cooked beef. It's participation in burger week, to me, seems like a reprieve from the deliciously pretentious burgers being served around town. Sure, it's a great concept burger too, but It's simple and it works. No pretense, no flamboyance, you could probably make it at home pretty easily. Like I said- LEGIT.

FRIES; Feeling not quite fat enough to really be LIVING burger week, I gots me some tots. They were greasy and salty and dive-bar-delicious. My only regret is that I wasn't drunk enough to enjoy them as they were truly meant to be enjoyed.

WHERE; Club 212035 NE Glisan Portland (503) 235-5690

Portland Burger Week Edition! Alberta St. Pub

Somebody Got A Makeover! Just a short while ago, The Alberta St Pub was the embodiment of the dark, back alley London pub. It was the perfect place for a mysteriously dapper gentleman to duck into on a stormy night to conduct some "business". Although in reality it was more trucker-hat-and-pabst than velvet-cloak-and-pipe, it could really sustain the illusion. But, alas, gone are the dark, insular wooden booths of yore. Today the Alberta St Pub is full of wide open spaces, windows for days and garage doors that roll away to reveal glorious patios. Though the scenery has changed, the vibe hasn't. I still would've like to have seen a few Sherlock Holmes pipes though. For old times sake.

BURGER: With it's singular contribution to Burger Week, Alberta presented us with an exquisitely  prepared elk burger with pickled cherries, rouge blue cheese sauce, chanterelle aioli, caramelized onion and arugula. This patty was savory and gamey, with a wild grassy finish. And though elk is remarkably easy to overcook and dry out, this burger was cooked to med. rare, juicy perfection  The spectacular sounding dressage was lost beneath the dominating flavor of the elk, which was unfortunate because I was really looking forward to pickled cherries and chanterelle aioli. The brioche bun was denser than some of the other offerings this week, but it worked in favor of the burger as a whole. It was a small, sophisticated burger with a lush, natural feel. Frankly, it was a nice reprieve from a week of massive amounts of beef. Good foresight Alberta St. Pub!

FRIES: Fresh hand cut fries, a little droopy but well seasoned with coarse sea salt. Very au-naturel.

SERVICE; Between Alberta St's relaunch and Burger Week, these poor kids seem stretched pretty thin, but pleasant otherwise.