New City, New Burgers: One Woman's Journey into the Unknown

New City, New Burgers: One Woman’s Journey into the Unknown

The day? July 29th. The time? 11:05 am. 

Are these details important? Not for many. 

But for those with an unadulterated passion for seasoned patties and melted cheese, it’s our day of reckoning – the moment the Portland Mercury released the juicy details about Portland Burger Week 2019. 

I’m sitting on the 15th floor of a San Francisco advertising agency, jealously reading through the list of burgers coming out to play for Portland’s most beloved holiday: Burger Week. This is the first year in the history of Burger Weeks I can’t attend, and it breaks my heart beyond measure. Due to unforeseen circumstances (i.e. my best friends falling deeply in love with their significant others and getting married) it is financially impossible for me to take three trips to Portland in the same month. In a shocking twist of events, I picked my friends over burgers – a choice I still wrestle with as I silently stroke a photo of me in a wedding dress, holding the arm of a cheeseburger in a tuxedo. 

The poached pear burger. The Elote burger. Fig & Labneh burger. The Chimi Hendrix.

The sheer creativity and innovation… The puns!

Each scroll through the burger list brings more pain. I look down from my 15th floor tower like a withering old woman watching her fondest memories of youth disappear before her eyes. 

I send my creative partner, Adam, a slack. I try to play it cool; nonchalant.

“They released the Burger Week burgers. Check it out.”

Internally, I’m screaming. To deny myself of burger week is a cruel punishment. 

But within the silence of my own thoughts, I get an idea. What if I didn’t deny myself of Burger Week? What if I create my own burger week?

“Yeah. That’d be cool,” Adam says.

I have so much to teach him. Perhaps this is my life’s true calling: passing down the sacred knowledge of Burger!

I furiously Google “BEST BURGERS IN SAN FRANCISCO”. My hair frazzled, my eyes twitching, my tongue thirsting for meats. I create one of my signature color-coordinated burger spreadsheets like a mad woman. And thus begins my new journey… 

[directional note: this would be a good time to start playing the Lord of the Rings soundtrack]

San Francisco Burger Week 2019. 

Unlike previous Burger Weeks, I have to set some guidelines for myself. 

Rule 1: New burgers only. As someone who deeply appreciates the art of burgers as a form of creative self-expression, I’m constantly disappointed by the burgers in San Francisco. It’s almost as if this city hasn’t discovered food fusions – too many establishments blindly following the cliches of meat, cheese, tomato, lettuce, bun… Frankly, it’s exhausting to be surrounded by such basic burgers. There’s only 3 burger places I don’t roll my eyes at, but they’re all well-known and celebrated. Part of Burger Week is about exploring new restaurants, so I’m only going after burgers I haven’t tried before. 

Rule 2: Only 2 burgers a day. Since part of the fun of burger week is challenging myself to eat as many burgers as humanly possible in a single week, this is the toughest rule of them all. In all honesty, it feels wrong. However, as an inhabitant of the most expensive city in America where the burgers are NOT $5, I have to maintain some sort of budget. *Triple checks lease agreement to see if landlord will accept “didn’t pay rent because she ate too many burgers” as a valid excuse*

Rule 3: Feels like there should be three, but I can only think of two rules. Who cares…