Normally I’d say any contestant that enlists the help of a former food critic from the organization that throws the event is in some sort of murky kickbacking affair, but I don’t know really what that means for burgers, and If there’s some sort of kickback situation going on in the burger world, I want to know how to be a part of it.
What Knuckle Sandwich has going certainly seems too good to not be involved in some sort of one-hand-washes-the-other dealings, but I’m willing to set that aside. Bringing on former Mercy food critic Chris Onstad was certainly a good move for Knuckle Sandwich’s Piñata Burger. Sitting on top of the Portland Burger Week standard Nicky USA patty is a who’s who of ingredients: housemade guac, pepper jack, bacon, roasted poblanos, fried onions and chipotle cream cheese -- the gang’s all here!
Yesterday, I had All-Way’s PBW special, which was a solid take on a classic burger, but the Piñata Burger is really what Portland Burger Week is all about. It’s an utterly creative -- and utterly less expensive than normal -- burger with nothing but top notch ingredients. The bacon was thick and juicy (nsfw?) and all of the ingredients worked perfectly to together to create a burger with a slight amount of kick that you’d expect them from them. The real star is the guac though, it’s fresher than you’d expect and balances well with the slight heat that the other ingredients create. If there is some burger conspiracy going on, I’ve got to believe ground zero is happening in their guacamole mixing bowl.
I’m only two burgers into this year’s PBW, but I wouldn’t hesitate to call this a can’t miss. It’s definitely in the top quarter of Portland Burger Week burgers I’ve had. If there is any detractor to this burger, I’d say it’s that they used too much chipotle cream cheese. Wait, using too much cream cheese is a thing? Well, no. Not really. Idk. I just don’t want it to seem like I’m getting a kickback or anything.