Hillsboro, OR – Rachel’s Classic Burgers

As we used to say in the news business, it’s time to rewrite the lead.  Or maybe I buried the lead in this story.  In any case, after a long talk this afternoon with Mrs. Burgerdogboy, she pointed out some things to me I should have written about.  And of course, she’s right.  She’s always right.

My first posting of this story dwelled on the obvious, the food, quality, service, décor.  But I completely missed telling you “WHY”, and I want to and need to.

In your life, you’ve probably heard as many times as I have that there can be no greater sorrow a parent can’t endure than losing a child.   From time to time, when I’ve had occasion to worry about my own daughter, and that thought has crossed my mind, well, I couldn’t imagine what I would do, or how I would survive.

In a tragic event, on a family vacation, the Powlinsons lost their precious daughter Rachel.  One thing that is sure uncertain in life is how we handle grief in any situation, and the loss of an innocent life, one’s child, is unfathomable under any circumstances.   People handle grief in all sorts of ways, some positive, some negative.  I remember when my mother passed; my father came home from the funeral and threw out all her clothes.   A talk with a minister and counselor let me know that this was OK, that people need to work through grieving in their own manner.

Some of us in this situation would shut ourselves off from the world, the rest of our family, our friends, and our community.

People with far more strength than me, like the Powlinsons, took the “opportunity” of grieving to band together as a family, to build a tribute to their Rachel, to turn sorrow into something good for their own family, and a community. You might say, “It’s just burgers and fries,” but it’s more than that.  The Powlinsons have created a family oasis, and what better way do we as Americans, have of spending quality time with our children, than sharing a simple hamburger with them?

It took my wife to point this out to me today, for me to come downstairs and rewrite this post, and urge you to celebrate our love for our children, whether they are in your own family, or a Little League team, a school debate class, Scouts, whatever, by paying tribute to the love of parents, all of us for the innocence and love that children bring into our lives.

For this reason alone, I want you to flock to Rachel’s.

I knew I admired what Dale and Rhoda had built.  But it took my wife to explain to me why I felt that way.

Now here’s the original review:

I’ve been hearing about this new place  since they opened a few months ago, and readers have encouraged me to check it out. Yesterday, I had my opportunity, as owners Dale and Rhoda invited Mrs. Burgerdogboy and I out for a lunch.

The Powlisons have been selling their burgers at the Beaverton Farmer’s market for some time, to rave reviews. They thought it was time to move into the business full time, and they took the plunge, in a neat and tidy new location in a small strip mall at 2991 SE 73rd Avenue, off TV Highway.

Some of the readers that have pushed me to get to Rachel’s have crowed about how much it is like a certain California-based chain that has an almost ‘cult-like’ following. That chain is known for their simple menu, made-to-order food, and a unique ‘off-the-menu’ ‘insiders’ way of ordering, as well.

I’ve been to that chain a number of times, and few people would argue it is the favorite of millions. Their expansion has been calculated and slow, and they don’t stray far from California.

It was Dale and Rhoda’s late daughter’s favorite fast food, and they named their restaurant as a tribute to her.

The first thing you will notice entering Rachel’s is that it is spotlessly clean. Approach the counter, and peruse the menu board, which is very straightforward and simple: single burgers, double burgers, fries, soft drinks, and shakes.

The emphasis is on hot, quality, fresh, cooked-to-order, and the prices are very reasonable.    What does quality mean to me?  Fresh ground chuck patties from Fulton Provisions;  shakes with Alpenrose ice cream;  the availability of Tillamookcheddar;  Kennebec potatoes for cut-on-the-spot fries, the very same potato the California chain uses.

Burgers come with lettuce, tomato, onions, and signature sauce, with grilled onions and pickles available upon request.  I’m rarely a fan of “special sauces”, but I liked Rachel’s a lot – it’s subtle, yet complex, was good on the sandwich and we got a bit of dip for dipping fries!

The “off the menu” ordering includes the “Chief” burger, and the “Fire Chief”; I ordered the former, which is a cheeseburger, lightly seasoned, grilled with a mustard schmear, and I absolutely loved it.

Mrs. Burgerdogboy went with the standard single, and we had fries, which are crispy outside, and soft inside, and the milkshake Mrs. BDB had was divine.  She barely left me have a taste!

In our work and lives, Mrs. BDB and I are all about supporting mom and pop enterprises, and Dale & Rhoda deserve your business, not only because they serve great product, but from the ingredient list above, you can tell they are all about supporting local businesses as well.

We loved our lunch at Rachel’s, and wish them all the success and prosperity their hard work and dedication deserves!

They are open Mon-Sat from 11A-9P.

(Ed. Disclosure:  the owners of the restaurant comped our meal).

(Update:  10/15/12 – according to their Facebook page, this restaurant has closed).


Rachel's Classic Burger on Urbanspoon

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