Portland, OR – ‘Etta – Violetta

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There’s a hot new restaurant called Violetta opening in the spring – high anticipation for that day. Through a series of mishaps, opening has been delayed, but not the enthusiasm of the chef/owners, who want their food in our mouths as soon as possible! So they rolled out a van, to get their gourmet burgers, dogs, and fries out to us today!

Opening a new business at anytime is tough sledding, during a recession, even tougher….and opening a restaurant during a recession? That takes guts, spunk, creativity, and flexibility. Your Violetta proprietoress Lindsay, seems to have it all. She launched into her “local, sustainable” rap while I was waiting for my sandwich, and that’s all fine, to be applauded, but I am sure my eyes closed and a Homer Simpson drool trickled down my chin, as my brain said “mmmmm, burger coming soon…………”.

Their slogan is “slow food fast,” and that’s a cool thing to try and live up to. To be sure, this isn’t typical Portland cart food, this is upscale Portland restaurant food, temporarily being served from a food cart (truck).

Some would say I’m a fickle bitch when it comes to naming my favorite Portland cart burgers, it must seem like I have a new one each week. Shirking the responsibility for that personality quirk, I say it’s not me, but the fact that each week, somewhere in Portland, a new, bigger, grander, tastier burger emerges. But I think it will be a while before Violetta gets toppled from the throne – there a few, if any, finer burgers in town, than these.

Rolling ‘Etta offers 1/3 and 1/2 pound versions of the burger. plain, cheese, bacon/cheese, or blue w/ carmelized onions. They offer the patty in beef, turkey, or lentil. All come with lettuce, tomato, and the secret Violetta burger sauce, perched on a sesame brioche; the blue cheese/bacon comes with a hazelnut bun.

In addition to burgers and franks, they offer a variety of hot sandwiches, soups and salads, mac n cheese, rotisserie chicken, breakfast, sweets, espresso drinks. A long list of fancy pants stuff for a truck! (note, breakfast starts Feb 1)

I went with the 1/3 beef cheeseburger and Gorgonzola fries.

I have the full menu below to save you the pain of leaving this site.  Open early til late.

There are two pix of the burger, one with the toppings intact, one with the toppings moved to one side of the bun so you can see the burger and its white cheddar gooey goodness. The toppings are fresh and crisp. The double x secret Violetta sauce has got a nice little zing to it. I love the pickles where ever they are from, nice and crunchy, full dill flavor. While the crew was generous with them, I still wanted a few more.

The Gorgonzola fries are just short of heaven. The menu says the sauce is from Rogue Creamery, I checked their website, I don’t see a listing for it, so the Violetta folks must buy their cheese and sauce it themselves. If Rogue did sell it, I’d be tempted to order a 55 gallon drum, and it’s not of your damned business what I’d do with it. I can think of a few dozen twisted ideas.

The shoestring fries were hot and crisp. I was the first customer of the day, so cooking took a little longer than usual, I suspect, but Lindsay gave me a free cookie as compensation for the wait. (BTW, rest assured the kitty-wampus placement of the fries in the container was do to my dropping them, not the chef’s doing).

Both the burger and fries were amply sized. I couldn’t finish the fries. OK, so I set them aside and will attack them again later.

It may be “slow food fast.” But they should add to the beginning of that slogan “DAMNED FINE slow food fast!”


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Violetta on Urbanspoon