PREVIEW: BURGER WEEK 2018 IS HERE!

 Stoopid Burger's "Crazy Carl" - photo by Meg Nanna for The Portland Mercury

Stoopid Burger's "Crazy Carl" - photo by Meg Nanna for The Portland Mercury

The Portland Mercury's Burger Week isn’t so much an event as it’s really more of a city-wide burger festival. Like Pickathon or the sadly defunct (on hiatus?) Bridgetown Comedy Fest, you’ve got so many options and not enough time to see them all. Or in this case, eat them all (unless you’re unemployed which I highly recommend for Burger Week). Luckily for you I’ve taken my accumulated Burger Week knowledge and previewed all 50 participating restaurants so you don't to make those hard choices.

Follow along on Instagram at @NNanpei as I eat my way through 20+ burgers!

THE MUST HAVES

 

The Lay Low Tavern - The Grappler

I almost don’t want to mention that Lay Low’s “Club 26” was the best burger I’ve had in years because I’m not trying to fight nobody for a spot in line. This is top 3 on my list and I don’t need to even know what’s on it (good shit, look).

 

Stoopid Burger - Crazy Carl

Confession: I’ve never been to Stoopid Burger. I will however 100% be there right when they open at 11am because I can see this one having a line and selling out. Aside from Stoopid’s excellent reputation, the Crazy Carl looks like a $15 burger and I have to have it.

 

Kim Jong Smokehouse - Cheeseburger Steam Buns

I love steam buns and I love cheeseburgers. ‘Nuff said.

 

Tilt - Piggy Walls Burger

The return of Tilt! It’s got Tilt sauce, chicharrones, egg, pork belly, and a mother fucking monterey "cheese bomb"! Idk exactly what that is but I do know I’ll be having it for breakfast (7am opening)!

 

Lucky Devil Lounge - The Hellfire Burger

If you think I’m interested in a eating a burger in a strip club, you’re right.

 

East Glisan Pizza Lounge - Chow Bello

[UPDATE: East Glisan has unfortunately dropped out!] East Glisan is great for pizza and I really liked their entry into Burger Week a few years ago even though it was more of a meatball sandwich than a burger. No meat at all this year but I’m all in on their portobello and gruyere combo.

 

Portland Burger - Simon Bar Sinister

The burger joint with the dumb names but good burgers. I appreciate how much they ran with the concept so I’ll hit em up for the description alone: “Roasted poblano elixir of broken minds, charred sweet pepper slaw of delusion, pepperjack cheese of lunacy, crispy fried onions of agony, raw onions of eternal rage, and a Southern garlic butter baste of hysteria.”

 

Smokehouse Tavern - Pulled Pork Torta

It’s got pulled pork on it, I’m getting it.

 

Danwei Canting - Spicy Tails & Trotters

I believe this Tails & Trotters pork patty is the first burger with Chinese mustard and I’m excited to try the blend of flavors. If you want a full meal and and a party in your mouth, grab the Street Fries which come topped with Sichuan Peppercorn and chiles.

 

THEY'RE ON THE LIST

 

 

Nick’s Coney Island - Sweet and Spicy Carnival Burger

This looks like a god damn mess and feel suspiciously like one of their BBQ burgers of years past but it’s topped with a mini corndog and I fucks with Nick’s every year so I will be there.

 

White Owl Social Club - The Impossible Mack

Didn’t they try a Big Mac rip off last year? Whatever, it’s an Impossible Burger for $5 and 25% of sales go to the Oregon Food Bank. Also, they got a dope afternoon patio and slushy drinks.

 

Next Level Burger - Peachy Portland Burger

Big fan of what they did two years ago as it’s good for the body to take a break from grilled meats for an hour or 2. This one has a Beyond Meat patty — the patty that bleeds — so I guess that counts. Major key: a Saturday 9am opening.

 

Church - New Black and Blue

I’ve always been a fan of Church’s Burger Week offerings and this is on my list for the black fondue alone.

 

Home, A Bar - The Fat Brando

I’ve been a fan of Home’s last 2 offerings and it’s never a long wait. I generally consider pepperoni to be a trash burger topping but I’m into the pairing of it with an Italian sausage patty. There’s no way it ends up looking that put-together but the caesar salad and marina look like messy, delicious and fun components.

 

Las Primas - ¡Papa a la Huancaína Burger!

I really like Las Primas and live a few blocks away so I’ll be there unless they’re randomly closed. Get their shoestring fries, they’ve got some great dipping sauces.

 

Bar Bar - Over the Rainbow Burger

I’ll never talk about Bar Bar without mentioning how I miss and love the defunct Rhino Burger. I’m not over the rainbow about this concept but it’ll make great drunk patio food.

 

Bit House Saloon - Nacho Burger!

Bit House has good food and better drinks. Definitely going at happy hour. Bonus points if they actually pin it with a Mexican flag. Home: A Bar is walking distance too.

 

 Senate's "The Hot Mess"  - photo by Meg Nanna for Portland Mercury

Senate's "The Hot Mess"  - photo by Meg Nanna for Portland Mercury

Senate - The Hot Mess

Did they bring the 32oz. Tecate bottles when they moved from their old Two Wrongs location? Pairing that with The Hot Mess would be Two Rights (sorry).

 

Noraneko - DanDan Burger

I always go to Noraneko for Burger Week but nothing will compare to the old Biwa Burger.

 

Eastburn - Big Mike

That looks, like, too fucking big for my marathon but I’ve had quality burgers here and I guess it’s their twist (fried pickles!) on a Big Mac. If they still have Skee-Ball in the basement it’s worth it for that alone.

 

Migration Brewing - Taco’ Bout It

You should go because Migration is good and they have huge patio but also: "Due to the current administration's ass-backwards approach to immigration and migration, we wanted to highlight the camaraderie and amazing flavors that come from an American and Mexican burger."

 

Lightning Will Bar and Grill - The Bobby Boucher

Every burger I’ve ever had at Lightning Will has been good and I suspect this one will be no different. Pro tip: double up with Kells Brewery Kim Jong Smokehouse.

 

New Seasons Market - The Block Party

I don’t even care what it is, it’s the only burger available in Beaverton and at 10am. Also they’re the presenting sponsor so that’s cool of them.

 

Chapel Hill - A Night in Oaxaca

I’m tired of writing but I like pineapple salsa and want to check out a new place so sure it’s on my list.

 

Kells Brewery - Irish Breakfast

I appreciate Kells for always staying on theme and I always stop in for Burger Week. Easy to double dip with Lightning Will and Kim Jong nearby too.

 

I DON'T KNOW IF I HAVE ENOUGH TIME!

 

Oaks Bottom Public House - LSD BBQ Burger

Maybe a little further south than I’m planning to go but those fried onions look 🔥.  Notable that they also offer veggie patty and cheese options.

 

Ya Hala - Beef Falafel Burger

I’ve missed out on Ya Hala every year and this one may be no different. I love tzatziki (and even know how to spell it without looking) so maybe I’ll squeeze it in.

 

BRIX Tavern - The Norm

Did they really just run back their 2017 burger but with fondue this time? I really liked it last year but will probably skip it for lack of imagination.

 

Swine - Remember the Patty Melt

I’ll probably forget it… ok actually I may check it out if I’m hitting Fox Tower for some hot Movie Pass action. Go see Sorry To Bother You, Blindspotting or Eight Grade next week. Hell, see all 3!

 

Burnside Brewing - Cornholio Burger

In years past Burnside has always been a bit clumsy with concept and execution but they get an A+ for naming. This burger actually sounds really good: Roasted corn relish, smoked jalapeño cream cheese, garlic aioli, chicharrones and it’s served on a stupid board!

 

 Bar Maven's "Oregon Black and Blue - photo by Meg Nanna for the Portland Mercury

Bar Maven's "Oregon Black and Blue - photo by Meg Nanna for the Portland Mercury

Bar Maven - Oregon Black and Blue

It’s a ½ pound burger… that’s… too big for my marathon. But it looks bomb and I want to try that marionberry aioli so maybe I'll double up with Foster Burger.

 

Rocky’s Sports and Spirits - The Yo Adrian

I’ve never been here but I like divey sports bars. If I find myself in Felony Flats I’d hit it up simply for the meatball skewer on top.

 

Alameda Brewing - Haole Burger

Every year someone basically does this burger and the results are all over the place. A simple standard for this concept is: does it beat Red Robin’s Banzai Burger? 

 

HopCity Tavern - Sofia Burgara

It’s got a preztel bub*.

*It should  say "pretzel bun" but I was tired when I started this draft and I'm just gonna leave it.

 

Zoiglhaus - How Do You Say Hamburger in German

It’s kinda deep but I'm interested in the “frizzled saurkraut”. Plus I meant to hit em last year and missed out.

 

Double Barrel Tavern - The Buckaroo Burger

Double Barrel takes things seriously with their back patio burger station but I have learned they do get mad if you try to take a Boomerang of them sweating over the grill. The smoked white cheese sauce and cherry BBQ sauce should be a fun pairing.

 

The Lamp - Harissa Cracklin’ Burger

I’m here for the crispy chicken skin topping and it being stumbling distance to Lucky Devil.

 

Alberta Street Pub - Can’t Bahn Mi Love

The obligatory bahn mi burger rears its head but if someone’s gotta do it at least it’s Alberta St. and their friendly staff. Or at least that guy who bartends during the Control Yourself comedy show is cool. Go to that sometime too.

 

Aji Tram - Shaanxi Classic

I am certainly not going to Lake Oswego… but Waygu ground beef patty with chopped pork belly sounds really good. Maybe @kelsey_wilkins can review it.

 

The Hostel Cafe

I like Cuban sandwiches so I might stop in when I make my NW Portland burger rounds.

 

Foster Burger - The Jimmy Pesto

I always get worried about Foster Burger being too busy because of that one Thursday in 2014 when they were and I ate a bahn mi at Double Dragon instead. I’m into the Bob’s Burgers inspiration.

 

Lompoc Tavern - Umami Burger

I need more of a description than “umami spices” so I’m not super interested in this but it’s tentatively on my itinerary since I’ve got friends who live nearby.

 

Tryst - Bulgogi Glory

Where TF is this, the old Berbatti’s? I’m interested in the pineapple kimchi but 2nd Ave. in the evening does not sound fun. If you’re interested in an 2 for 1 stop, double it up with Portland Burger a few blocks south.

 

Sunny’s Diner - Demento Burger

Sunny’s is too deep for me but if you live out near there this looks worth checking out. Pimento cheese always ftw.

 

Rialto - Pimento Bacon Cheeseburger

I’ve drank many beers and watched many basketball games here but sadly it's baseball season. Supposedly they’re opening at 9am so there's a chance I hit it up if true.

 

Loyal Legion - It’s Nacho Problem

Loyal Legion is good for beer, not great for Burger Week. The 2017 Big Kahuna Burger was a problem and I can already see getting like 1 jalapeno on this. I'll pass this year but they do have good burgers on the regular menu.

 

THAT'S GONNA BE A NO FROM ME DOG

 

Fifth Quadrant - Beirut Burger

The place to go for a long wait and some disappointment.

 

Triple Nickel - Spicy Peanut Butter Bacon Bomb

In 2015 they featured one of the very worst burgers of my life so I’m out on this. The have giant Jenga if you do go though.

 

Spirit of 77’ - Ted whateverthefuck

When they put their regular burger on special for burger week that was a strike plus I’m still pissed about that time they played a World Series game over a Blazers pre-season game. Also, this isn’t fried chicken week. Pass. 

 

Widmer Brothers Pub

Nah, I don’t care and I’m not even gonna link it. I’ve been burned in years past on multiple Burger Weeks and even Wing Week. I do however encourage you to enjoy a classic Widmer Hefe at other Burger Week locations.