DAY TWO: BACK ON TRACK
After a rocky start on Day One, it was difficult to muster up enough energy to get out of bed. It may have been the culmination of eating too many burgers in a short time span, but I’m going to go ahead and blame it on the disappointment.
I arrived at work to find out there’s a possibility I may have toWORK during lunch on Thursday and Friday. The audacity! I mean, how dare they?! I know this is a quote-unquote JOB that I quote-unquote GET PAID FOR, but it’s like no one understands the sanctity of Burger Week. Blasphemy!
As a result, I make the most of today’s lunch break and head to a sit-down lunch at Brix Tavern.
Brix tends to attract a crowd of swoopy haircut boat shoe boys, which always makes me wary. But since it’s past mimosa hours, I figure I am in the clear. Plus, they have crayons and paper on the table – a gimmick I appreciate wholeheartedly.
The waitress appears and I pull one of my favorite Burger Week power moves:
“We don’t need menus. We know EXACTLY what we’re getting,” I say with confidence.
“Ah yes. Coming right up!” She winks.
We share that special Burger Week understanding that goes beyond verbal communication. I don’t even need to say the word “burger” she just knows. Or, maybe it was the fact that I drew a cheeseburger with hearts around it, and she read between the lines. But I’m going to go with a psychic connection.
Brix’s Burger Week Burger is called “Norm’s Burger”. Who is Norm? I don’t know. But this burger is far from NORMAL. Actually, it is a pretty classic burger, but I couldn’t pass up a pun opportunity. It has a beef patty, shredded iceberg lettuce, caramelized onions, tomatoes, chipotle aioli and a fondue cheese sauce.
Classic burgers are typically not my forte but this one is amazing. The patty paired with the iceberg lettuce gives an incredible crunch. They toast the bun, which is what separates a good burger from a great burger. Toasted buns are a rarity during Burger Week, but they make all the difference. But what really makes this burger stand out is the fondue cheese sauce. I could drink it. Not only was the burger perfectly prepared, but the service was on point. The burger came out after only a few minutes, and the waitress even shared her own burger intel with me, and recommended a few places to try after burger week. For that, the Norm Burger receives a very high 9 ranking. This is just the refresh I needed after a day of disappointment.
TROUBLE IN PARADISE
The day progresses, and as a result of my newfound burger bliss, I take a leisurely stroll in the sunshine. I see a sign for an orange blossom latte. I’m intrigued by outlandish flavor combinations, so I buy myself an afternoon latte. This turns out to be a critical mistake. My body rejects the caffeination mixed with a stomach full of burgers, and I immediately feel nauseous.
Amy and I have plans to go to Double Barrel for dinner burger #1. I plead with her to let me lay down because I feel like I can’t go on. As I succumb to the fetal position, my dog starts throwing up because he ate his food too fast. I know how you feel, buddy. Yet, after he finishes barfing up his dinner, he goes right back in for more food. Truly inspiring. Like my dog, I must continue my food journey, no matter how much it pains me.
I muster up enough strength to meet Amy at Double Barrel. The bouncer asks for my ID, and to my horror I realize I left my wallet at home. In a panic, I text Amy and beg her to order me a burger while I loiter outside like a burger junkie desperate for my next hit. Fortunately for me, Amy is an enabler, and she orders me a burger.
This is one of my most anticipated burgers, mainly because I love a good pun. The Double Barrel “Curd is the Word” burger is made up of a beef patty, butter lettuce, and cheese curds slathered with gravy, and finished off with a waffle fry.
This burger is an experience that transcends words. There is so much flavor and it is cooked perfectly. It holds up well, and wasn’t too messy, even though it was stewing in a boatload of gravy. It has just the right amount of crunch, and surprisingly the butter lettuce provides the perfect compliment. It’s essentially poutine on a burger, and makes me want to get on the next train to Canada.
“I am dating this burger now. I feel different... I am a woman now,” Amy declares.
While I didn’t experience it firsthand because I was creepin’ around outdoors, Amy tells me they have the most organized ordering set-up, and use a streamlined numbers system that ensures no long lines and quick burger turnaround.
I give this burger an extremely high 9.5 – potentially even a perfect 10, but we’ll have to see how Burger Week progresses. This burger single-handedly restored my faith in Burger Week. I was tempted to shake their hand before I left, but figured they were busy flipping burgers for the next customers. I don’t know if I want another burger for fear that it may taint my tastebuds and I want the flavor of that burger to linger forever. But who am I kidding, it’s BURGER WEEK. Of course I’m going to get another burger!
OAKS BOTTOM PUBLIC HOUSE
We carry on to Oaks Bottom Public house for our next stop. This is the first line I have encountered during Burger Week, but it doesn’t look too daunting. We finally get a seat outside, and I pull my favorite powermove again, and order a burger without even glancing at the menu.
The Oaks Bottom Public House burger is called “Oregon Bounty”. This was another top contender on my list because it features filberts, arugula, bleu cheese, caramelized pears and a beef patty – all things I enjoy on a burger.
I take a first bite. The burger is a bit too dry, and I wish it had more bleu cheese. A few more bites, and I’ve made my decision. When you get all of the ingredients in one mouthful, it’s amazing. Unfortunately, this ratio only lasts for a few nibbles, otherwise it’s inconsistent. It’s a good burger, but it isn’t a standout. I liked it overall, but it just took too long to get to the good stuff. I will say, I appreciate the homage to Oregon. But in comparison to the competition, I have to rate it a 7.
I think about trying another one, but decide to play it safe knowing I have the Delicious Donuts burger tomorrow. Instead, I revel in the joy of experiencing another #blessed day of burgers.