Posts Tagged ‘Portland Cheeseburgers’
Cooling my heels waiting for Mrs. BDB to finish a courtroom date in downtown Portland, wandered around a little before perching myself at an outdoor table at the Lotus Card Room & Cafe. According to their website, they have been around since prohibition, when they opened as a “soda bar.” (Why don’t we have soda bars today?).
Lotus is part of Portland’s Concept Entertainment Group, which operates 8 unique, local restaurant/bar concepts.
The menu offers the standard variety of bar fare, appys, burgers, sandwiches, and a few larger entrees. Lotus’ menu claims there are committed to using local and Northwest ingredients; for instance, it’s the second time in a week I have seen a restaurant promote local sausage manufacturer, Zenner’s.
Service was good for a bar; sitting where I was, I had one server and one server-in-training wait on me, so the duty was performed cheerfully by rote.
I ordered the trio of beef sliders, which come dressed with chipotle aioli, shredded lettuce, (and you know how I feel about shredded lettuce on a burger!) and a pickle slice. The server said that fries (or tots) were extra, even tho the sliders are in the same price as the regular burgers, which come w/ fries. She asked if I would like anything else with the fries, like ketchup or hot sauce, and I replied “just salt and pepper.”
After a short wait, the burgers and tots arrived, and the waitress said, “I couldn’t remember what condiment you said you wanted, so I brought ranch dressing for the tater tots.” Ambitious, but off the mark, and I repeated my request for salt and pepper, which she fetched promptly.
The burgers were pretty tasty, the chipotle aioli not so much, and one thing I liked about the burgers is they were hand-formed patties, with buns sized to fit the burgers. Often restaurants idea of a slider is to take one of their standard-sized burgers, cook it, and tear or cut it into two or three pieces. Unacceptable!
The soft buns were bakery fresh, and the tots, evenly deep-fried to the crispness factor I prefer.
I finished my plate, and the waitress brought the check, stating she was going off duty, and could I take care of it, which I did. With a Diet coke, the burgers and tots came to about $12, avec gratuity. The waitress said she would tell her shift replacement I was outside, so if I wanted anything else, the next server would take care of me, but I was there another hour, and didn’t see hide nor hair of another server.
I’m not sure if Lotus has a happy hour menu, these sliders would be great at about $4, but were a little spendy at $7.95.
I have had a couple of good burgers at another Concept Entertainment bar, but haven’t scratched the list of all their offerings around town, and the menus seem fairly similar.
But the Lotus is a nice oasis for that part of the city, with the notable exception being the parking ramp across the street is $5 per hour, so look to park on the street near by if you are driving.
lotus card room portland
I remember when Carl’s first came out with this, the pitch was basically a “burger that tastes like it costs six dollars, but at a lower price,” or some such. Apparently that six dollar burger will cost you close to six dollars now, and in a small combo? Seven bux plus.
I rolled into our brand new neighborhood Carl’s Jr., today, to fortify myself for a road trip I am leaving on shortly (yes, many burgers will be consumed!). This gleaming structure opened a couple months ago, replacing a KFC (which we miss, actually).
The counter girl mumbled something about “Would you like to try our XXXXX six dollar burger?” And I replied, “why yes, I think I would.”
I glanced at the menu board and ordered the Original Six Dollar Burger combo (about $7.50), which is described on the Carl’s website at charbroiled 100% Angus beef patty, two slices of melted American cheese, two slices of tomatoes, mayo, mustard, pickles, ketchup and red onions on a toasted sesame seed bun.
I was the only dining room customer. The counter lady gave me my number and I waited – about 8 minutes. No sweat. Now, the difference between what I ordered and what I received? I received the big beef patty, between toasted sourdough bread, a couple kinds of cheese, and bacon. I know they used to offer something like that in the six dollar line, but I don’t see it on the current menu. Whatever.
It’s pretty tasty. Unlike the “big 3″, this patty actually tastes like beef. It’s a shitload of calories and carbs, for sure.
Carl’s also features “natural cut fries” now (I have never figured out what “unnatural cut” would mean), and they were pretty OK. Better than Wendy’s product of the same ilk. They still taste similar to an extruded product to me.
Would I have it again? I think so. But maintaining my girlish figure would require me to skip the bread and fries. With a fork, the six dollar burger would be quite nice. I’d like to pay less, of course.
And by the way? 100% Angus beef? Yawn. 80% of the beef cattle in the US are Angus. If it was 100% “Certified” Angus, that would be something to brag about.
Well, I’ve officially flipped over – to dirty old man status, where leering at the waitress and hanging on her every word becomes one of the more important elements of my dining out. At least I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m the kind of guy making the disgusting suggestive comments.
Point? My waitress was the highlight of my visit to an Applebee’s yesterday. Everything else is a blur. Almost.
Colleague and I stopped by for lunch, he suggested I’d like the “Cowboy Burger,” which features a patty topped with onion strings, cheddar, bacon, and bbq sauce.
The waitress (what did you say?) overruled him and suggested I go for the Bourbon Black and Blue – with blackened seasoning, blue cheese crumbles, bourbon caramelized onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, jack cheese, Applewood bacon, with smoky mayo.
I had her leave the vegetables in the kitchen, and the burger, in and by itself, was pretty good. Obviously hand-formed, served to my preference when she asked “do you like it pink or not?”
The fresh toasted buns are a nice touch at Applebee’s too. I don’t think I have been in one of their restaurants (there are about 1300 worldwide) for a couple decades, and it’s as good a choice as any in the fast casual arena.
The fries were doused with a seasoned salt, a little too much for my taste, the taters cut on the chubby side, bordering on crispy.
Service was prompt and friendly, with the burger weighing in at just over a sawbuck.
I’d go again.
In a press release this week, Wendy’s announced their newest offering, the Chicken Guacamole Club. It’s described as:
The rockin’ hot sandwich features the heat of Wendy’s original Spicy Chicken whole filet and all-natural pepper jack cheese balanced by cool zesty ranch sauce and creamy, natural guacamole. The Spicy Chicken Guacamole club is topped off with Wendy’s thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, a full slice of tomato and crisp, hand-leafed lettuce between a freshly buttered, toasted bun.
I’ll be sampling it in the next week or so, sounds terrific. Wendy’s continues their top to bottom updating/reconfiguring and results are a resounding success, quality and taste are up several notches, in my opinion.
I continue a love affair with their natural cut, sea salt fries. The guys at work frequently hit Wendys for take-out, and brought me a bacon double deluxe meal this week, and it’s a fine burger, on a nice buttered bun.
Guild’s Lake Inn is a diner/cafe located in the heart of NW industrial Portland. Near to the establishment I am currently spending my days at, it’s a favorite of colleagues for both a quick lunch or take out.
Today was quick bite day with Portland organic garden consultant extraordinaire Sara Pool. In case you were wondering, yes, she manages the set-up of Burgerdogboy’s annual effort at a condiment garden at home. Almost time to plant the seeds!
I went with the bacon/blue burger @ 7.95, which comes with a side, the choices include Homemade Pesto Pasta, Dill Macaroni, Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Green Salad, Chips, or a Piece of Fruit. Pool opted for the chicken Caesar. The burger patty was great, the bun was over the top, and I went with the dill macaroni (cold), which I surprisingly enjoyed.
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).
Went back to C Burger today, on Couch, between 3rd and 4th. If you haven’t been, it’s a door front take out burger in the back of the Couture Club. Strictly al fresco, without seating.
I have had a great burger there before, today, I had a good burger. I ordered the Couture, at $8, with Cascade Natural Beef, applewood smoked bacon, a couple of cheeses, tomato “jam”, crispy shallots, aioli, lettuce, tomato, onion, house pickles. Also got a small order of fries for $10.
He said it would take 8-9 minutes, and that would be on the speedy side, I realized, as I was the first (and at that point only) customer.
I walked down the street to the mini mart to get a couple other things for the new office (also on Couch!), and meandered back to wait for my burger, which was ready in the time he promised.
Went back to the office, dug out a paper plate, and some napkins, took the burger out, lifted the bun (I asked for a bun, the menu says this is an English muffin type burger), and poked around.
Hmmm, everything seems to be in order. Except? What? A case of porcinus missingus. No bacon. Hmm, no crispy shallots either. Oh well.
Bit into this baby, and it is surely an explosion of flavors. Great beef, and quality condiments. I’m usually not a ketchup guy at all, and I could have asked for no “tomato jam” and personally would have been happier. It’s just too sweet for my personal taste, but lots of people I know rave about it.
Lots of aioli, which I love, could be stronger for me, and I love the house pickles, and should have asked for a pile more of them. They are paper thin.
Will I be back? Hell yes, this is a damned fine burger within spitting distance of the office. I like to try things as the chef intended, but next time, I’ll order it to my own liking.
Hit up C Burger. Worth the trek.
There’s another new burger in town, and you say, so? The latest entry in the new segment of “not fast food – good food fast” are the burgers, chicken, and salads at Fresh Grill, in the out lot by Best Buy and Burlington Coat Factory, across 217 from Washington Square Mall.
When you start with fresh ground beef from Fulton Meats, and daily deliveries of great rolls from Portland French , it’s hard to go wrong. When you add “cooked to order” and “secret seasonings”, you’ve got it made.
Veteran Portland restaurateur Jerry Pardo gets it right, and I’m predicting you’ll start to see this concept spring up faster than you can say “Five Guys”, cause he has them beat, hands down.
Today, my 3rd visit, I had the Greek burger, great seasoned beef patty with feta, olives, and roasted garlic. Along with shoestrings, a fantastic meal. Mrs. BurgerDogBoy had the club with sweet potato fries, and was all grins. I like that at the counter when you order, they have the patter down to a science, like “pink or not pink.” Add hand-dipped shakes, smoothies, and espresso drinks – what’s not to like?
I’ve got the menu posted on this site, drool over your selections prior to your arrival. Since the food is cooked to order, call ahead if you are in a hurry.
Bottled beer, glasses of wine, and milkshakes available as well, but not mixed, as far as I know.
Will I be back? Weekly, dude.
Mr. Hot Shot Portland business lawyer Will Du Val and I ventured down 5th Street looking for mild repast, and passed by Hamburger Mary’s and Theo’s in favor of Davis Street – a joint neither of us had experienced, but both of us had heard good things. From whence, we do not recall.
Neither of us seemed to be in the mood for a “food experience” but rather the mundane task or eating to live (not living to eat).
So we did, perusing the menu and each of selecting 3 or 4 things we couldn’t live without, before figuratively throwing darts at a disinterested waiter.
The lunch menu is:
The attorney at the table went with the Mac n Cheese, after dithering over possibly selecting the fish tacos. I sample his pasta, and it was downright tasty. It was labeled “three cheese bechamel”, and at least one of the fromages was on the tangier side which gave the noodles a nice bite.
And BurgerDogBoy? I really, really DID think of ordering something else, but I got the burger, adorned with Tillamook sharp and braised pig belly ( a tasty ham-like cut). The burger was prepared as specified with an ultra-soft yet study sesame bun, that I have sampled before on other Portland burgers, so probably a selection from one of our great artisan bakers. Garnish included paper thin pickle chips, perhaps house-cured, slightly sweet., shredded lettuce, and “tomato jam.”
Fries were thin and crispy. Curiousity note: Once again, another eatery w/o salt & pepper on the table.
Service was ‘business lunch perfunctory”, and today, that’s all we were looking for.
I’ll try them again.