Evie's

Evie’s Hamburgers

This entry is being posted a bit on the late side, trying to get the archives unloaded here!

The Northgate area of Walnut Creek isn’t usually a destination for people who live outside the area. The only reason I ended up at Evie’s was that my dad and I were early for a home inspection, and I’d noticed this place online before.

Evie’s screams rural roadside drive-in. Put this place in any small town in Texas or the midwest, and it’d be the go-to hangout. Not that Northgate is by any means the “old” Walnut Creek, but given the never-ending makeover of downtown, the east side of town has begun to feel…older. In a sense, Evie’s fits better here. (Note that Evie’s itself is a restaurant in a generic plaza, there’s no drive in or anything – it’s just the emotion that was evoked once I was inside).

So I’ll have to invite you to picture what the inside of Evie’s looks like, as I didn’t want to be too foodie crazy during a work lunch. But suffice to say it’s a fairly typical diner, with big old menus behind the order-at-the front cash register. The first thing you really notice is the price. On a budget? Hamburger and fries is $4.60. Feeling splurgy? A large order of fries and double cheeseburger will run you…$6.80. In this particular case, I opted for a double hamburger with a small side of fries, for $5.60.

When I visited Evie’s the burger meat was listed as “Kobe beef patties”. You can find my analysis of the “Kobe beef burger” scam here. I’m happy to see that since I ate here, the menu now lists the meat as “our special blend of select beef.” I don’t know what that means, but you’re not getting overcharged here, so I don’t really care (as long as the burger tastes good!)

Food came pretty quickly, about as I expected for a half-full burger place around 1 PM on a weekday.

My first impressions of my meal were what evoked the images of the roadside joint – simple food served in the red-striped boats. Thin broiled patties with sesame seed buns and thick golden fries. Brought back memories of a roadside place near my home in Connecticut in the 90s.

So with all this nostalgia, how good was the actual burger?

My double hamburger had its ups and downs. In hindsight I wish I’d ordered a double cheeseburger, due to the cooking of the patties.

Often, people will press the spatula down on the burger patty while it’s on the grill to cook it faster. The problem with this practice, especially with thin patties, is that all the good stuff is getting pushed out of the burger, and you’re left with a dry, overcooked flimsy thing. Unfortunately, that’s a NEGATIVE memory I associate with roadside drive-ins, so my nostalgia was augmented in this regard. The patties were definitely thin. They had that nice charbroiled taste on the outside, but the inside was pretty clearly overcooked, and quite dry. I can’t help but think a spatula was pushing them up against the grill for too long.

As a result, the burger was quite bland – the nice char on the outside just couldn’t compensate for the grey interior. Unfortunate, really. Some cheese would definitely have mitigated the dryness and blandness, but ultimately I’d just prefer a properly cooked burger. If the patties were cooked properly, with some cheddar cheese melted over them, I could see a huge improvement in my opinion, since I’m a sucker for a bargain, and the prices here are second to nothing but In-n-Out.

Sizewise, I have a big appetite, so the second patty is a must in my book, as a Big One isn’t really very big. A Double Big One, however, is a good size, and I recommend the double side of cheese added to it. You can see for yourself in the above picture that the portions aren’t very big; that said, they’re more than fair for the price.

Not too much to say about the fries. They’re pretty standard thick cut fries. If I had my guess, I’d say they’re frozen, but you can escape with that if they’re fried well. They were fried well, but were quite lacking in salt. Yeah, big deal, so I salted them on my own at the table, but shakin’ them up in a silver bowl with some salt really would’ve elevated all that soft potato inside the fried outside, since they pretty clearly understand how to fry potatoes to perfection!

There’s not much in the way of service, since you order at the counter, and the only real interaction after that is the serving of your food in those iconic red striped boats, but I get the feeling that Evie’s is a family affair, and the staff seemed to enjoy what they were doing.

It was a quick lunch, but I like what Evie’s represents, and I think there’s some potential here. It seems like they have a pretty loyal following, and for people who do live out in the back of Walnut Creek, this is one of a couple good restaurants nearby. I don’t think I’d come back again unless I’m in the area, but if you’re feeling nostalgic for simpler times, I’d definitely recommend Evie’s to you.

The Last Bite:

Burger Rating: C+

Overall Experience (sides, service, cleanliness, price, etc.): A (fantastic fries, memorable service+experience): B-

Keep on nomming!

Advertisements

Moraga Country Club Restaurant

There’s a bit of a story behind what I consider to be, hands down, the best burger in Contra Costa County.

So my first job was a busboy position at Moraga Country Club, a place I spent much of my childhood playing tennis, and hanging out by the pool. I worked there from September 2004-December 2005. Without a doubt, the best part of every shift was looking forward to a delicious cheeseburger at the end of every shift.

Last year, MCC tore down the clubhouse, and built a big, new, fancier one. MCC is by far the most casual, and least snooty of the Contra Costa Country Clubs, even with the recent revamping. But while everything else was updated, would the burger stay the same? Or would another part of my childhood be lost in oblivion? 

In short, it has changed, but it still retains much of what makes it so good.

The MCC burger and fries rings in at 11 bucks. But you’re getting what you pay for in the relaxed environment. Obviously I have a soft spot for my former place of employment, but who doesn’t want to relax with a beer and a burger with some brand new plasmas in a bright brand new lounge?

Anyway the burger itself is a 1/2 pound extremely juicy patty, with your choice of cheese (cheddar, swiss, bleu, or brie), alongside pickled red onions, butter lettuce, served on some sort of egg bun . My inner fatty has embraced this new choice of brie, and so that’s the choice I’ll be writing about.

I thought I’d be sad that the burger no longer comes with bacon, but the patty is so juicy and flavorful to begin with, that coupled with the richness of the brie, you realize that you’re not much missing the bacon. Sometime I’ll try adding bacon, to see if it is in fact overkill.

The pickled onions serve to cut down on the richness a bit, and add a unique flavor to each bite. I also really enjoy butter lettuce because I think it actually has a bit of a taste that stands up to meat.

The flavor combination of this burger gives it a refined quality. That said, if I was describing the experience in one word, I’d have to use: rich.

MCC brought back the shoestring fries, as opposed to the delicious ones I used to fondly sneak during busy dinner services. These ones are average, in my opinion, but they give you plenty of them, so you can always grab about seven at a time and not make a major dent in your fry stash.

There’s also a full bar with some classic choices on tap (Blue Moon on tap is a must in my book). As I mentioned before, it’s a relaxed environment, so even when you’re done, there’s no pressure to get up and go. And I vouch for the bartenders, who were employees even when I was working there, for doing a solid job. But there is a bit of dress code – that shirt better have a collar! 🙂

The MCC burger is probably my second most eaten burger (after Nations), and I’m relieved that it has survived the reopening.

As a side note, the MCC Restaurant is open to members only. Fortunately, members can bring guests, so if you’re in major need to try the best burger in the county, you know who to call on!

The Last Bite: 

Burger Rating: A

Overall Experience (sides, service, cleanliness, price, etc.): A

Keep on nomming!

Rico’s Diner

My friend Pete invited me to check this place out back in October, but we couldn’t make it work until now. His claim was that Rico’s is better than my favorite burger place (which he quite enjoys, too) – Val’s. Why haven’t I written about Val’s yet? I couldn’t tell you. But this entry is about Rico’s Diner.

Rico’s is located in Downtown Oakland, fairly close to Lake Merritt. It’s a little diner amongst a bunch of tall buildings. Kinda cool actually.

I let the expert tell me what to do. In this case, it ended up being a cheeseburger, fries, and a peanut butter milkshake. Burger and fries is $8, milkshake is $4.25. $8 is a price I can deal with. But spoiler alert, the peanut butter milkshake is one of the absolute best tasting concoctions I’ve ever had.

Being the cheapo that I am, I was concerned when a milkshake was served to me with no refill tin for over four bucks. Internally I was thinking, this better be good. But I knew Pete wouldn’t let me down. And, I had a sip. It was a creamy fresh rich peanut buttery feeling in my mouth that I never wanted to end. Perfect texture, too – no spoon required, yet it felt nice and thick. Yeah, yeah, that’s what she said, I get it.

So naturally, you finish the shake pretty quickly. But it’s rich enough where you realize that the portion size is right. The key, as Pete says, is not to drink it too fast, and save some for when your burger comes. Which I kinda succeeded at.

So, now for the actual meal.

While it’s clear the the shake stole the show, I still enjoyed a very good lunch. My first note, unfortunately, was that the burger was well past the medium I had requested. It still had a lot of good taste, but was lacking a the juiciness factor that makes the best burgers the best. If it was at medium, I don’t think it would have had this issue.

Now, the burger was served on a good bun, and Pete confirmed afterwards that it was in fact an Acme bun. Auto bonus points for nice buns, am I right?

I have to make this review based on the burger I was served, but I bet next time if it’s cooked correctly, I’ll be singing a more positive tune.

To finish off the meal, the fries were good, but probably the least memorable part f the meal (pardon me while I daydream about the milkshake some more). May get garlic fries next time.

I think Rico’s has an additional vegan menu or something, but in case you missed the memo, this blog does not cater to herbivores. Though I’m sure my good friend Jesse would be thrilled to learn that there is a vegan pulled pork sandwich made with seitan. And when I say thrilled, I mean he’d be frightened.

I definitely want to come here again, and suspect I’ll meet Pete for lunch again not too far in the future. Will ask for the burger to be rarer next time, and I bet I’ll walk away even more satisfied.

All in all it’s a cool joint, and I recommend it to anybody who is searching for that perfect unpretentious milkshake. Seriously. It was so good.

The Last Bite: 

Burger Rating: B (will be moved up if cooked right next time – stay tuned)

Overall Experience (sides, service, cleanliness, price, etc.): A-

Keep on nomming!

Burger Meister

Often times after Scrabble club, we go out for some eats (many of us Bay Area Scrabblers are quite the foodies). And the logical place to go for dinner if you’re at a coffee shop on Channing & Shattuck is Burger Meister! So a whopping seven of us ambled down Shattuck to have a Wednesday night juicy meat orgy…

Burger Meister has long been touted as one of, if not the best burger places in the Bay Area. In my earlier years, it definitely ranked near the top, but I didn’t really see it as THE best. So what feels like a lifetime later, it was time to give it another try.

So if you’ll indulge my tangent a bit more, I used to frequent the North Beach (SF) location back in high school on Friday nights, but stopped going after we were once turned away over half an hour before closing time. The prices were expensive enough for 17 year olds, but being turned away was just silly. Just turn the damn grill back on.

Anyway, the Berkeley location appears to be the first Burger Meister franchise location as per the company website, and maybe that’s a good thing because the vibe is so much better here. The cashiers are friendly, and the food is served promptly. And remember kids, this review is solely based on the Berkeley location.

So yes, at Burger Meister, you order at the counter. The options are pretty run of the mill, and the prices add up fast. I personally don’t want to spent $13.00 on a order-at-the-counter burger, so I tend to stick with a straight up cheeseburger, which runs you about $11 after tax. That was always my issue in SF, and my net worth hasn’t changed since I was 17, so yeah, easy decision. But for all of the hype BM gets, shouldn’t the classic cheeseburger do the job?

If cow location is your thing (you know who you are, Portlandia fans), Burger Meister uses Niman Ranch beef, which probably adds to the priciness of the place. But though I probably don’t know Niman Ranch beef from Harris Ranch beef (hey, read the about me page again, incase you forgot), I’m happy to report that the meat shines through. There is a lot of juicy flavor packed into each thick patty, and there is consistently a really nice sear. They also don’t hold back on the cheese – a nice slice of thick cheddar melted all over the burger compliments it so nicely. The old fat on fat pairing, music to my arteries.

My only complaint with the burger was that it was clearly overcooked. I ordered it medium, and it came out mid well. A friend said his burger was a bit on the rare side after ordering mid-rare. But even though my burger was overcooked,  I left thinking this was really tasty, so I guess they did everything else right. There’s just something really tasty about a Burger Meister cheeseburger. But this is something to be wary of – they don’t always get the temperature right.

Between the 7 of us, the freshness of the french fries varied. Some of us got the end of one batch, the others got the beginning of a new one. The fries from the new batch were delicious (I stole a bunch from Noah) – mine were a bit cold, but still tasty.

The portions are a bit small for what I would expect, but some of my burger-nomming compadres had some leftover fries, so I sated myself with those.

I’ve never had a shake here, and I don’t know anyone who has (already overpaying, I think). But I’m pretty sure the Berkeley location has some decent beers on tap, though. I know it varies by location.  

I may review the North Beach location in the future, to see if they are still as pretentious as they were before – total experience killer. Good thing the Berkeley location is down-to-earth though because I’m near here a lot, and it’s definitely a solid option.

So is Burger Meister worth going to? In general the most hyped places are worth a try, because your results may vary. I’ve always liked getting my own opinion. And in this case, my opinion is that Burger Meister is not the best burger in the Bay.  That said, if you don’t come in with skewed expectations, you will not be disappointed. Do give it a try.

The Last Bite: 

Burger Rating: A-

Overall Experience (sides, service, cleanliness, price, etc.): B+

Keep on nomming!


Bongo Burger

For fear of this blog looking dead, since I make the post date based on the (approximate) date I ate there, I’m gonna start from the present and work backwards as best I can.

After Berkeley Scrabble Club meeting on Wednesday, Noah, Kenji and I were all hungry. We walked around for awhile and finally settled on Bongo Burger, a place Noah had eaten once before. We ended up at the Dwight store, one of three Bongo Burger locations (all in Berkeley).

The restaurant has the typical Berkeley vibe, so I was expecting some good food. I was a bit confused by the prevelance of Mediterranean food, though. We were here for beef, though, and each ordered a burger and split a side of fries and onion rings. A burger, fries, and small drink combo runs about $8.

The first thing I noticed when I looked at the burger was that the patty was incredibly thin. As such, it was quite overdone. My first bite yielded a nice flavor, but I soon realized that said flavor was actually coming from the bun. Really, it was a nice sesame seed bun, a cut above your typical burger bun. But the bun was large, and the patty was so incredibly thin, so all I really got was bun and ketchup.

It seems like an obvious suggestion to make the patties thicker so that they are juicier and not overcooked. Then, use a smaller bun to compensate for the decreased circumference. I feel like this isn’t rocket science.

By the end of the meal, I had a eureka moment in which I realized the burger was a lot like a Burger King burger, except on a much nicer bun.

While Kenji was trying to determine whether or not the meat was prefrozen, he found a large piece of cartilage in his burger. I can’t remember the last time that’s happened, and its a sure sign that the patties weren’t fresh.

The fries tasted a bit like burnt oil, but they were still pretty good and definitely had potential.

The highlight of the meal was definitely the onion rings. They were straight up delicious, and this evaluation was unanimous.

All in all it was pretty disappointing, but with a few simple changes, this place could improve drastically.

Afterwards, we had the real food highlight of the evening, CREAM.

The Last Bite:

Burger Rating: C-

Overall Experience (sides, service, cleanliness, price, etc.): C+ (1/3 letter grade for bun and rings)

Keep on nomming!

Hungry Burger

I didn’t do too much research before my trip to Asia. I really just wanted to play as much of it by ear as I could. But ultimately, I couldn’t help but add one stop to my list when I learned that there was a burger food cart in downtown Vientiane. I mean seriously, how could I NOT try it?

The excitement level was high as trip went on, but I began to discover that the beef quality in Southeast Asia is very poor. As the stop in Vientiane was in the last week of my five week journey across the world, I knew what to expect quality-wise.

So after wat-hopping around the scorching hot city for a few hours, we found Hungry Burger on a random street corner. I think my friends Jesse and Gabe thought I was a little bit nuts (they’re right), but I ran right up and looked at the menu.

I’ll let you decide for yourself, but Hungry Burger is like straight out of Portland. The menu is all in English, so it clearly caters to a certain crowd. But for a brief moment, I was swept back across the world to Oregon. I bet these guys are doing a pretty good business because the whole experience is totally a taste of home.

And given that street food standards in Southeast Asia aren’t all that high, I was relieved to see that Hungry Burger was kept in immaculate condition.

Seriously, there wasn’t anything Laotian about this place except the workers, who ironically didn’t speak a lick of English.

But B^4, enough about your epiphanies, how was the freakin’ burger? Well, let’s check it out.

I ordered the Jumbo Burger, which is akin to a Big Mac (not that I’ve ever had one – seriously I haven’t). At 22,000 kip, you’re dropping about $2.75 USD for this burger – which is expensive likely because you’re having a lot of luxury foods in Southeast Asia when your order a double cheeseburger!

Through no fault of Hungry Burger, the beef quality wasn’t very high. The beef in general just isn’t very good. My suggestion would be to use water buffalo, as I’d enjoyed some of that the night before at dinner, and it was delicious. The cheese was cheesy, and the bacon was sadly nonexistent, as they were out of bacon! Sad face!

But fortunately, Laos has kept her French colonial tradition of making great bread, so the bun actually made the burger. It was soft enough to soak up all the juices, yet thick enough to not get soggy.

Ultimately, it seems like everything in Southeast Asia [that isn’t congee] has flavor. Even though you have this low-quality beef, it was still a flavorful burger, and knowing that the quality wouldn’t be that high, I had my expectations set just right. It actually kinda hit the spot. If I’m ever in Vientiane again, well, c’mon how could I not go back? A little taste of Portland…in Laos.

The Last Bite:

Burger Rating: C (Remember, this isn’t really their fault…they’ve done a good job given what they realistically have – hence the higher rating below)

Overall Experience (sides, service, cleanliness, price, etc.): B (I wish there were fries! And aargghh – out of bacon!)

Keep on nomming!

Burger Bar

(Eek! I realized I forgot to post the entries to Burger Bar and Super Duper Burger from last October! Better late than never!)

OK let’s start with a run on sentence:

Burger Bar is incredibly pretentious joint with a good view and all sorts of options, none of which are cheap; however, if you’re willing to deal with the pretentiousness and the cost, you’re going to get really really tasty fresh food, but not want to return for another six months because it’s more an experience in the end.

OK, now let’s begin!

Burger Bar, the brainchild of superstar chef Hubert Keller is located on the nth floor of Macy’s in Union Square. It’s a build-your-own-burger kinda place. Everything is fresh, and of good quality. Rather than blather on about it, I encourage you to peruse the menu yourself.

Burger Bar is pretentious. It  just is. I don’t need to say anything else. But pretentious is passable if your food measures up.

I’ve been here three or four times now, but my order is usually made up of SOME of the following (except with a different bun):

–> Black Angus Beef, Pesto, Cheddar/Pepper jack, Peppered bacon, grilled onion Chipotle Aioli + skinny fries.

On this occasion, I was with my friends Jesse, Gabe, and David. The latter two were in town for a Scrabble tournament, and Gabe had wanted to go here since it opened. So finally, we made it.

As with my prior experiences, the burger was pretty much awesome. You really get what you pay for. And having just taken second at the tournament the day before, I was $750 richer, and didn’t mind paying!

There is tons of flavor in every bite, and the go-to additions for me are so harmonious. You really savor every bite because you can taste just how fresh every ingredient is. The one downside to the burger is that it’s just not very big. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt quite full enough leaving here, which can be an issue, especially for the money one is shelling out.

I’ve only had the skinny fries. They’re pretty standard, but are great for dipping in the pesto I get for the burger (sauce served on the side makes for easy rationing between burger and fries!)

But this lunch called for a treat. Between the four of us, we decided to actually spend $15.25 on two milkshakes. I’d always wanted to, but c’mon, are you kidding me? So needless to say I was thrilled to be able to split one. David and I got the Caramel Latte milkshake.

Yeppppp. That’s all you get for $8.75. Actually, you probably wouldn’t want too much more with all that butterscotch.

Quite frankly, the milkshake is a more polar version of the burger. It’s proportionally MORE expensive, and even better than the burger. Seriously, the milkshake we got was fantastic. Granted, I am a sucker for caramel, so take what I say with a grain of salt[ed caramel]. But if you are feeling spendy, you do not want to miss the milkshakes.

As a side note, Jesse and Gabe split the strawberry milkshake, at a bargain price of $7.00.

First they traveled across western China, then they shared this milkshake, (update: then took on Laos and Manila [with yours truly]). Who knows what’s next for them?

So to put it in perspective, my meal cost approximately $25 after tax and tip. It’s a lot like going to Father’s Office in LA. Is the food delicious? Yes. Is it worth the money? More or less. Am I going back anytime soon? Probably not. I’m just not looking to spend $25 on a burger meal. But that said, I completely recommend getting the Burger Bar experience – it’s a delicious one.

The Last Bite: 

Burger Rating: A- 

Overall Experience (sides, service, cleanliness, price, etc.): B

Keep on nomming!

P.S. If anybody reading this ever does order the $60 Rossini burger (yes, you read that right, go back to the menu again!), I’d love to know what you think of possibly one of the most absurd dishes I have ever seen.

Super Duper Burger

(Eek! I realized I forgot to post the entry from Super Duper Burger from last October! Better late than never!)

There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of grease!

Super Duper Burger has a few locations throughout SF proper. We ended up at the Market Street location, near the border of the financial district/SOMA. I figure SD would be a good place for dinner, as it had come recommended by a friend a few weeks prior. We actually sat outside, right on Market, which was pretty fun, and quite nice in the late October evening breeze. It’s far enough from the sketchy neighborhoods where sitting outside is actually a nice change.

I ordered a burger with grilled onions. Also garlic fries, because, well, garlic fries. For an almost-hipster San Francisco joint, being served a loosely-formed slightly greasy diner burger was a great surprise. Wait, slow down here…a diner burger? What on earth do you mean?

Well, I’d say the Super Duper burger is a great example of what I mean:

-thin, loosely formed patty

– a bit on the salty/greasy side

– gooey cheese

– a mound of grilled onions

Obviously, Super Duper is not doing my arteries a favor, but that diner burger always satisfies my taste buds. It’s not a huge burger, but it’s rich, so I found myself fuller than I thought I’d be upon first looking at the burger. Restaurants could take a page from the SD book – the diner burger is an art form. Does Super Duper have a clue what I’m talking about when I describe the style of burger they make so specifically? Who knows. But in my repertoire, there’s a place for a juicy, slightly salty burger such as this one. If you like that diner kind of burger, you’ll like Super Duper.

Garlic fries were a nice accompaniment to the main meal.

Noah ordered a milkshake, but it was a big disappointment. Extremely overpriced for a single glass of milkshake with no refill tin. Glad I skipped on that overpriced item.

I do want to return here!

The Last Bite: 

Burger Rating: B+

Overall Experience (sides, service, cleanliness, price, etc.): B

Keep on nomming!

Jasper’s Cafe

Yikes! It appears I have not been blogging about burgers like I said I would. Not really sure anyone is reading this blog, but hey, it’s still fun to do.

My next burger stop was en route to Oakland from Portland. Noah and I stopped for lunch at Jasper’s Cafe in Medford. My research said this was the best burger in the area, so it seemed like a natural spot. As per usual on this road trip, Noah and I opted to split two burgers, which we ordered at the front counter.

My choice was the Tuscany burger – prosciutto, Toma cheese, and granny smith slices. Noah went for the Texas Ranger – chorizo, guacamole ranch, salsa, and pepper jack. Each burger comes with fries and a drink for $9. Not a bad deal, as the portions are plentiful.

First up, the prosciutto burger. Definitely my favorite of the two. I thought the green apple might be an overwhelming taste to the beef, but it felt like the prosciutto served to minimize this issue. Quite frankly, the combination was delicious. There wasn’t too much apple, and there wasn’t too little prosciutto. I realize now I failed to get any apple in the picture, but it was very thinly sliced, and actually worked quite nicely.

The chorizo burger, in my opinion, was not as much a success. Granted, the chorizo was quite tasty, but it completely overpowered everything else (except maybe the pepper jack cheese). As a customer, I want my money’s worth of topping, but it was just too powerful a sausage to work in this case. It felt like I had ordered just chorizo, which isn’t something I’d do. I think that with a smaller portion of the sausage, the burger would’ve been a success. At least it was good chorizo!

The fries were piping hot, and certainly up to my standards.

Noah also got a milkshake. I forget what flavor it was, but he enjoyed it.

I think it’s safe to say this will be a good pit stop if I find myself on the endless I5 drive from Oakland to Portland anytime soon. Definitely a great lunch stop.

The Last Bite:

Burger Rating: B (A for the Tuscany Burger, C for chorizo)

Overall Experience (sides, service, cleanliness, price, etc.): B+

Keep on nomming!

Violetta

So maybe it’s not the most flattering picture ever, but these things happen when you have a nice burger in front of you that is just asking to be chomped on!

Noah and I decided for an additional burger stop, we would head to Director’s Park to go to Violetta (same owners as the food cart Etta). Violetta is another order at the counter restaurant. You then have your choice of sitting inside, or moving outside to the cement park (with a glass cover overhead incase of rain). Being July, we opted for eating outside. Fortunately, they bring the food right to you, despite being mixed in with people from other surrounding restaurants which share the use of the outside tables.

The outside setting in the summer is very pleasant. There is something nice about eating downtown in an area that isn’t too overcrowded, but certainly “happening” enough! I didn’t mind the wind that kept blowing our napkins because it was really a beautiful day out. Did I mention that I just love Portland?

Again splitting two burgers, we went for the Oregon Blue Burger (pictured above), as well as the classic Violetta Burger (pictured below). We also got an order of fries, with herbed aioli.

The Oregon Blue Burger is up first. It had a great burger sauce that really complemented the blue cheese, and is what stood out the most to me. I wish I had gotten a side of that sauce for the fries! Because there was a sauce present, there was less cheese, which made for a burger that was much lighter than the previous night at Killer Burger. I will get this burger again when I return.

The second burger was the basic burger. It was pretty good! I personally enjoy butter lettuce on burgers, so I had no arguments there. Although you can’t really see them in the picture, the highlight was the “10-hour tomatoes”. There was a good 20 hours of deliciousness in them, though. Regrettably, there were only about three of them on the burger (cherry tomato sized). Otherwise, though, the burger wasn’t that memorable, though it sure tasted fresh!

But the stars of today’s show, fair readers, were the fries. I know they’re expensive, but they are everything a french fry should be. Don’t skip out on them. You get a choice of one sauce. We went for the herbed aioli, which was good. Next time I will go for the harissa ketchup.

In the end, a 1/3 lb. burger with fries comes out to about $10. But if you go for the half pound option, or get some dessert, or a local specialty drink, you’re looking at around the $15 mark (which is a bit expensive). If you’re looking for a bargain burger, I’d go elsewhere, but this is a nice lunch spot, especially on a warm summer day. 

The Last Bite:

Burger Rating: A-

Overall Experience (sides, service, cleanliness, price, etc.): B+

Keep on nomming!