Portland, OR – Violetta, We Hardly Knew Ye

I hate it when a hot new place cools, changes things up, methods, suppliers….content to rest on their early street cred and sail into mediocrity?

I’m sorry folks, but I’ve given you several thumbs up in the past few months, here, and here, and oh yeah, over here, too, which you really deserved.

But today I had my first burger since you moved from the truck into your permanent digs in Director Park, and I have to tell you, I wasn’t impressed on any level.

You weren’t all that busy, but one would think so from all the worker bees you had scurrying about….maybe it’s the “too many cooks” thing?

I ordered the 1/3 pound burger with white cheddar, PLAIN, to which the counter lady said “you mean no vegetables, no toppings, no relishes?” I replied “exactly, burger, cheese, bun.” She replied “OK”. Somewhere between her, your POS, the cook, there was a disconnect, and my burger came with all your toppings: house burger sauce, tomato relish, onions, lettuce, pickle chips (two!). OK, I can remove the vegetables, scrap off the sauce. You could say, “why not come back inside and tell us?” I’d say “why should I have to?”

Your menu used to tell the origin of the burgers, the 1/3 and 1/2 pounders coming from different ranches. Now the menu says simply “Pasture-Raised Black Angus Beef.” Hmmm. Red flag for me folks. Change suppliers? I believe so, and here’s why. My first few burgers from you, it was all about the meat. That’s why I order my burgers mostly “plain.” I want to taste the core ingredient(s).

The past burgers were flavorful, juicy, cooked to medium rare, a rather coarse grind on the beef. Today’s very fine grind, in a machine-shaped patty, cooked just past medium, tasted like nothing. I’m so sorry, really I am. It’s like being a Milli Vanilli fan for years, and then finding out about he man behind the curtain. Or something.

My past burger orders, when i didn’t order your to die for fries (I hope they haven’t changed, too!), came w/ a handful of house-made potato chips. Today, nada. In fact, looking at your online menu today, I don’t see them, are they gone? What’s next, my choice of a bag of Tims?

Your wrapping paper – what happened to the cute printed graphics? And take a look at those spots on the paper in front of the burger in the pic, grease? That much fat in a pasture raised cow?

Ai yi yi.

But I enjoyed the sunny day, sitting at a table outside, well, mostly, until some ladies who were sitting next to me were rousted by one of your employees “These tables are for Violetta customers only,” says he.

Oh yikes.

So, Violetta, chill. Get back to your basics. Take a breath. Send some of those employees who are tripping all over each other, home. Let people order food from the take out window in the back.

Get it together! Please! Before the next time I stop by. Many thanks.



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