Burger Odyssey Day 1: Expendable Toppings

The following is an actual account of the Burger Odyssey Day 1.

6:37 AM - Alarm goes off. Why? Oh yeah, I was gonna go to the gym before burgers. SNOOZE.

8:03 AM - Actually get out of bed. I’ve slept in too long to eat a burger for breakfast. There’s always tomorrow. Off to work.

9:15 AM - They’re serving yogurt for breakfast. Yogurt helps with digestion. This bodes well for Burger Week.

10:30 AM - Where does the Burger Odyssey kick off at? There are only 3 participants in NW Portland. Burger buddy @marclane14 and I decide on Davis Street Tavern.


11:27 AM - We arrive at Davis Street Tavern 3 mins early but we aren’t the first ones; there are three dudes in polo shirts milling around, clearly here for Burger Week.

11:31 AM - It’s 11:31AM WHY THE FUCK AREN’T THEY OPEN. Burger madness is setting in.

11:32 AM - They’re open, sorry for yelling.

11:36 AM - “Would you like to see a menu”? “No, we’re here for the burger IDIOT”. I don’t actually call the server an idiot though. She brings us a card describing the Yucatan Burger: onion, garlic, chicharon, heirloom tomato, roasted jalapeno aioli, jicama and cilantro salad.

11:40 AM - Order is in. I added fries for $3.

11:55 AM - The burger arrives. The presentation is very nice. I’m excited to eat this. Must photograph/Snapchat first.

Yucatan Burger - Davis Street Tavern  (photo via @kelsey_wilkins)

Yucatan Burger - Davis Street Tavern (photo via @kelsey_wilkins)

11:59 AM - Time to eat.

12:06 PM - I’m done. Overall that was a very good burger, the patty was perfectly cooked. All of the fancy shit got lost though. I only tasted the cilantro on a few (delicious) bites. The jicama was just there to look pretty, which is probably the first time that’s ever been said about jicama. The chicharon finally makes an appearance in the last bite. Needed a little bit more of everything and it would have put this burger over the top.

12:25 PM - Back at work and feel pretty good about my Day 1 prospects. The Yucatan Burger and fries were just the right amount of food and I walked out feeling like a functioning human being.

5:29 PM - I’ve got an hour to kill before meeting cheeseburger addict @kelsey_wilkins at Slow Burger -- just enough for a quick run. My 2 mile loop serves as a scouting trip, taking me past Knuckle Sandwich, Slow Burger and Club 21. No lines! I’ll be back for all of you.


6:59 PM - Arrive and find plenty of empty seats, which appears promising (or not?). Slow Bar makes one of the finest burgers in town, which is a double edged sword during burger week since they must inevitably be compared to their standard offering. Kelsey is not here yet, I order a pint of Rainier.

7:12 PM - Kelsey finally arrives because she used FUCKING APPLE MAPS. Surprised it didn’t direct her to Taco Bell. Actually I’m surprised she didn’t direct herself to Taco Bell.

7:19 PM - Order is in. They’re serving up the “Kimchi Master”, an all beef patty topped with house made kimchi plus their own Jujitsu mayonnaise. I make note that Kimchi is Korean and Jujitsu is of Japanese origin, but who cares about culture and geography, I’m here to eat.

7:27 PM - Food arrives. But first: LEMME TAKE A SNAPCHAT!

Kimchi Master - Slow Bar

Kimchi Master - Slow Bar

7:29 PM - Damnit Slow Bar, that’s not what t I was hoping for. The burger itself is fine and well cooked but appears to be a flatter deviation from their standard plump patty. The kimchi slaw is just kind of there, not really enhancing the burger. The Jujitsu mayonnaise finally makes an appearance in the last bites. None of this really matters, I’ll be back soon enough to enjoy their normal kick ass offerings.

7:36 PM - We decide we can still eat more, and Dig A Pony is across the street. I know what you’re thinking: “They serve food?!” Yes they do. Let’s see how it its.


7:44 PM - The burger is cuban-themed delight called “LIFT THE EMBURGO”, featuring shaved ham, Swiss cheese, house-made potato chips and mango-avocado salsa with a hint of pickle juice. Bonus points for not calling it the “Cuban burger”.  Add another pint of Rainier and we’re good to go.

7:45 PM - @Kelsey_Wilkins explains that she has met most of her love interests at Dig A Pony. We agree that @Kelsey_Wilkins needs to find better dates.

7:47 PM - We grab a booth in the back. It’s a strange sensation seeing this bar A) in the daylight and B) not packed full of people I don’t want to talk to.

8:02 PM - A couple of gentlemen near the window have ordered what appears to be salads. DON’T YOU KNOW THIS IS BURGER WEEK?? SMH.

8:07 PM - It arrives. More photos.

Lift The Emburgo - Dig A Pony  (photo via @Kelsey_Wilkins) 

Lift The Emburgo - Dig A Pony (photo via @Kelsey_Wilkins) 

8:20 PM - That was… kinda dry. The burger was cooked closer towards medium well, which is a deal breaker. The ham and swiss were fine and the potato chip did give it a nice crunch. The mango-avocado salsa finally makes an appearance in the last bite, which has been a theme for Burger Week toppings. The concept was actually pretty solid, the execution just didn’t follow through. Again, none of this really matters since no one comes here for the food.

8:49 PM - I’m sitting on the couch in a burger-induced coma, watching The Expendables 3. What is happening in this movie? Where is Jet Li?

10:41 PM - This movie is all over the place, with action stars just appearing and disappearing at random. None of this really matters, no one is watching this for the plot. Jet Li finally makes an appearance in the last scene.

12:03 AM - As I drift off to sleep, I wonder what tomorrow will bring: “Church? North Light perhaps? I wonder what Jet Li would think of Club 21’s Shanghai Burger. Do you think he likes mayo...”