Monday, February 24, 2014

Frack Burgers, the 90s and Poison Sand Water

I do not associate frack(ing) and burgers, but regardless of the definition, I think we can all admit that Frack is a fun word to say. I remember subbing out f-bombs for the word "frack" as a non swearing child. But now I am an adult (or a very large, swearing child) and even though I don't want to think about poison sand water murdering entire towns while I stuff fatty meats in my face, one odorous waft of grilled beef can change my mind. Why should the term "Frack" in relation to meat and cheese even bother anyone? What are words anyway? Hydraulic fracturing and burger nomenclature are not mutually exclusive, you know. Anyway, it was with the whimsy that accompanies being a large swearing child that I ventured to the very edge of Portland and ate the frack out of a Frack Burger.

Burger; Frack Burgers are basic. There are no high concept "recipe" burgers on their menu, which is structured similarly to 5 Guys, Boardwalk or seminal burger joint In and Out. You have the choice of one, two, three or four patties. Each patty is 1/4 lb. The patties are hand formed and dripping with American cheese. There are a handful of additional topping you can choose from (just like 5 Guys & Boardwalk & Wow Burger) all of them are pretty standard. The patties are dense and juicy, the buns are fresh and airy, the standard toppings (iceberg, tomato and white onion) are fresh and crisp, but the Frack Sauce is what sets Frack Burger apart. It's what I imagine Ed's Sauce from Goodburger tastes like. If you have no idea what I'm talking about go watch Goodburger on Netfllix right now.

Fries: When I saw the fries come out I was disappointed. They had the limp, oily sheen of overcooked handmade fries. You often see these fries at bars, freshly cut and ill prepared. But hold up, after I actually ate one, I changed my tune. They were far better than they looked. The onion rings also looked like they were cooked to death, but on closer inspection (by my mouth) they were pretty great. The sides are nothing to write home about, but they are serviceable.

Service: Counter server looked like he just walked out of a 1995 Gin Blossoms video. But that's not a taunt-the 90s are very much alive in Portland, maybe nowhere more so than it's outer edges.

Where: 8981 SW Barbur Blvd. Frack Burger on FB

Tasty 'N Sons on a Cold Winter Day

Remember when the world LITERALLY FROZE last week? Everyone was simultaneously terrified and thrilled. I wanted to play in the snow but I also wanted to sit somewhere with huge windows and eat a burger. Just so happens that former "Restaurant of the Year" Tasty 'N Sons is about 5 minutes from my house AND it has big-ass windows.  Boom. 

Burger: Tasty 'N Sons has never let me down. Every time I've eaten there, I've eaten something so delicious it makes me angry. This visit, the burger was the dish the I was most furious about. First of all, how dare they top that nectarous burger with bacon they are making in house? Who the hell do they think they are to enswathe all that meat with Beechers Cheddar? I could have honestly smacked someone then immediately hugged them; I eat with a full range of emotion
Tasty 'N Sons pushes some of Portland's best plates out of their kitchen, so it shouldn't have surprised me that their burger would make me so outraged.  Bread and butter pickles, slivers of red onion, a handful of iceberg and a schmear of magical aioli. Simple, classic perfection. Boom

Fries: Nope, but we had enough people in our party to order nearly everything off of the happy hour menu, and I strongly suggest the Radicchio with Parmesan Reggiano Vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is so rich I wanted to slather it all over the world, but the brightness of the radicchio cuts through the heft of the meal.

Service: Portland servers really are in a class to themselves. Come to Tasty 'N Sons and expect a lovely experience.

Where:  3808 N Williams, Suite C.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Kenny and Zuke's is More Than Pastrami, But Not Much More

Why Would You Go To K&Zs and NOT Get Pastrami? I was screaming this internally as I crossed the threshold of Kenny and Zuke's Deli Bar on North Williams. The space was formerly occupied by francophille feverdream, Pix Patisserie (le sigh), but now smells of briny pork, tart sauerkraut and bitter rye bead.  Despite having my nostrils seduced with the olfactory bacchanal that is their Ruben, I ordered a burger but - real talk - I was thinking about the macarons at Pix almost the whole time.

Burger; The Happy Hour burger is a bargain. Beautifully toasted house baked bun, house made bread n butter pickles, and in addition to ruby red tomato and verdant green leaf, the option of pepper flecked grilled button mushrooms, caramelized onion, avocado or thick pepper bacon. This is the burger you hope to get when your friends drag you to a caraway scented deli but you maybe hate rye bread or something.

Fries; Nope! Kettle Chips, potato salad or a classic slaw that is very pastel and refreshing.

Service; Okay, forreals, our server had this early 90's hip-hop look that was KILLING ME. He was so sweet with his fat, gold chain and silky, purple shirt and dry, jheri-curl fade and I loved it so much.  I want to drink 40s and listen to EPMD on a stoop with him un-ironically.

Where; 3901 N Williams Ave  503.287.0782