Once upon a time, August was just a really hot month. A month completely devoid of sports that aren’t baseball. A month without any notable holidays, drinking or religious. A month tailor made for Rush Hour sequels. Finally in 2013, out of this bleak, basketball-less wasteland, an oasis emerged: the inaugural Portland Burger Week.
In its first glorious iteration, the Portland Mercury presented us with $5 burgers at 12 restaurants and bars across town. Not wanting to miss out on anything, the Burger Odyssey was born: a quest to eat every burger at burger week. Being at the mercy of a full time job and TriMet schedules, I went a dismal 3 for 12 that first year, acquiring only Slow Bar’s Italian Burger, Ate-Oh-Ate’s juicy, salty Spam musubi burger and whatever bland thing Dick’s Kitchen served up. “Next year” I kept saying. “I’ll get em all next year”. I followed up with a slightly more respectable 6 for 20 showing in 2014, still well short of my intended goal. “Next year…”
Now, just 2 years after it’s inception, Burger Week has ballooned to 32 options. That’s almost 5 burgers a day for 7 days. Fuck me, right? I’ve been plotting for weeks now, checking breakfast hours, finding zones of high burger concentration and generally planning my schedule around maximum eating efficiency. As the first lunchtime approaches on this Holy Week, I’ve got the logistics down. Now I just have to brave long work days, taco-related distractions, and the physical and psychological limits of the burger diet. Will I make it? Probably not, but some brave soul is bold enough to venture into this beefy, cheesy darkness and come out alive. Whether you’re on an odyssey, burger challenge, beef quest, scaveng-urger hunt, or Burg-itarod, we wish you godspeed.