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Posts Tagged ‘Portland Hamburger’

Portland, OR – Bamboo Sushi Review


BAMBOO_WINDOWWhat? BurgerDogBoy at a sushi restaurant? It’s true. It was Mrs. BDB’s birthday, and sushi was the her cuisine of choice for the nightly repast. In charge of the festivities, BDB planned the evening carefully, and dinner was to be at Bamboo Sushi in Portland, coincidentally (cough, cough) I am sure, of Portland Monthly’s #2 pick for the best kobe burger in town. Land sakes, what a coincidence!

Bamboo is the first certified sustainable sushi restaurant in the world. This video explains what that means.


Kristofor Lofgren, Bamboo Sushi from Central on Vimeo.

We headed over about 6p, Bamboo doesn’t take reservations, and we didn’t have to wait for a table, tho we would have had we chosen the pizza place next door, which was hoppin’. The crowd at Bamboo was much more sedate, and even at 6pm, we could have opted for seats at the sushi bar, but instead, Mrs. BDB chose a table in the front window, which was very nice.

I’m not going to describe the sushi in this post, though you can rest assured, it was top-notch. As were the saki flights, I am told.

The burger is described on the menu as: “kobe beef burger with aged Tillamook white cheddar and caramelized onions with a house made brioche bun.” Save for the exception you know I will take with calling it Kobe, it was as good a burger as I have had in Portland. It comes with four tempura onion rings, which were more than nice, and an indistinguishable dipping sauce. I have no idea what the flavor of the sauce was, it was very nondescript. The beef patty was cooked to the medium stage (the waitress did not ask my preference), but the burger was a melt-in-your-mouth experience. The brioche was dandy, it had absorbed juices for the meat, and was the sickly sweet that some brioches are. There were strands of melted Tillamook cheddar, which did not enhance or detract from the burger.

I’d return.

Pictures are from Bamboo’s website. For the 2nd time in a week, I was in a restaurant too dark for adequate photos.

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Bamboo Sushi on Urbanspoon


Bamboo Sushi Review


Portland, OR – East Bank Saloon & Restaurant Review


East Side SaloonLocated in a hysterical (sic) building, constructed in 1896, the location has been home to numerous businesses over the years, prior to the current owners establishing the eatery in 1978.  Mrs. Burgerdogboy had scored a Groupon for 2 burgers and 2 beers for $15, so after an afternoon of her biz errands, we landed in the bar about 3P, which is, coincidentally, the start of their lengthy and generous happy hour.

Mrs. B scored a couple of IPAs to accompany her “Hawaiian style” burger, a beef patty with bbq sauce and grilled pineapple.  I went with the Blue Cheese, which was topped with caramelized, marinaded onions, and opted for a side of deep-fried tots.  Since Mrs. B rarely has a burger, and I rarely drink, it was turnabout day, and I chased my meat with a PBR.   Yeah, I know Portlandians might think a PBR doesn’t qualify as a beer, but I went to high school with a Pabst kid, so there ya go.

The joint wasn’t very busy, so service was great, the the server/bartender was friendly, helpful, and H-O-T.

We finished the afternoon with another brew, moving out to the rear outdoor deck (they also have tables on the sidewalk, in front, as well).

Overall, it was a good experience.  Always made better when I don’t have to pay!

Lots of TVs and sports memorabilia for those of you interested in that sort of thing.   Olympics were on….women’s wrestling. ….. rrrrrrrrrrr.


East Bank Saloon

East Bank Saloon on Urbanspoon


Oregon – Linnton Lighthouse Inn Review


Lighthouse Inn, Linnton, ORMy second visit, a quiet place to discuss business or have a tryst discreetly (or have business about your tryst), and also home to one of the most massive burgers in the Portland area. The Lighthouse Burger features a ginormous patty (a full pound?) on an oversized roll, and is topped with bacon, ham, cheese, fried egg,  lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

This sucker weights in at about a gillion calories no doubt. Comes with a size of fries, tots, salad, or fruit. I can’t even make a dent in this beauty without discarding the bun, first, a shame, but true.

Lighthouse Inn, Linnton< OR

Lighthouse Inn Linnton on Urbanspoon


Linnton Lighthouse Inn Review


Portland, OR – Three Square Grill (Review)


Three Square Grill Shrimp and GritsIn our hood, Three Square Grill has been dishing up their take on American favorites, sourcing locally whenever possible, for over ten years. While we’ve always intended to go there, we had never made it, until last nite, and we’ve been missing out.  Mrs. Burgerdogboy had called from her daily errands and suggested a date night, and it was a superb idea.

A bright and cheery space, Three Square bakes their own bread, cures their own meats, and most notably, cures a lot of charming and tasty pickled products that one can find, purchase at Three Square as well as around town.  The menu varies daily.

Service is affable, prompt, and diners are started with a half baguette and butter plate. We ordered the “pickle sampler”, which was a variety of pickled cukes (both sweet and garlic), beets, beans, delicious radishes, and more.

Mrs. BurgerDogBoy went with the “Low Country Shrimp and Sausage with Grits and Greens”, a delightful riff on a Creole standard, with grilled shrimp and sausage in a flavorful sauce on a bed of grits and greens. Nice.

And I opted for the Highland Oak Farms 1/2 pound burger with cheese and bacon, side of fries. The massive hand-formed patty was prepared to my request of medium rare, and the bun was (to me) reminiscent of a fresh potato roll. It comes with pickle, tomato and lettuce on the side, naturally you can request other condiments, but I chose to tackle it “au natural” to enjoy the flavor of the beef.

It’s a damned fine burger, a great value, and was too large for me to pack away at a sitting.

Sunday breakfast is offered, we’ll get back to try that.

If you’re craving their pickled products, you can order online.

Three Square Grill Portland Oregon Burger

Three Square Grill Portland Oregon

Three Square Grill on Urbanspoon


Portland, OR – Billy Heartbeats


Billy Heartbeats, an outlet of the Restaurants Unlimited empire, is tucked away adjacent to the food court in the Lloyd Shopping mall in Portland, OR.  It’s a schnock-0ff of Johnny Rockets, serving a limited, table service menu of hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, and shakes, with the addition of a few standard diner entrees.

I’ve passed by it quite a few times, never in the mall long enough to check it out.  Last nite we had time before a movie, so Mrs. BDB and I sampled the wares of the kitchen and enjoyed the (decade appropriate) tunes being spit out by a lovingly restored 1952 Seeburg B-100 jukebox.

They offer a daily special burger and shake.   I went with the former, bacon and blue cheese, and our over the top server answered my questions with prescient knowledge.  “And the blue cheese are the big crumbles, not that sickly salad dressing stuff.”


Service was prompt and the burger at definite curb appeal.  Food is served in a basket, and most orders are accompanied by fries.  I liked the burger, it’s hand formed and pre-seasoned and suits my palate.

The fries weren’t spectacular but there was nothing wrong with them, either.  Mrs. BDB went with a veggie sandwich and a traditional soda, strawberry, which I had a sample of, and enjoyed that very much.

While I have rarely contemplated a shopping mall as a dinner destination, perhaps I should more often.   Billy Heartbeats makes a burger worth stopping by for.

Billy Heartbeats


Billy Heartbeats (Lloyd Center) on Urbanspoon


Portland, OR – Joe’s Burgers (Downtown)


Joe's Burgers PortlandHmmm, where to begin this one? Where to end. Shall I write a couple hundred words about Joe’s? Or simply (spoiler alert) “Meh.”

I was running around downtown today when I spotted the latest location of Joe’s, which started as a “kiosk” type operation at the fancy pants Bridgeport Mall, and although people urged me to try it, I never got to it.  Every time I go to Bridgeport, and pass the burger stand, I’m either on my way into or out of the cinema.   He has another location at his former Italian dining estab on BHH, but I don’t get over that way much either.  Bored yet?  I’m am.

I sauntered (sashayed?) in to the downtown location and was promptly greeted by the counter person;  the place was “moderately’ busy for a weekday lunch period, but I was the only one ordering.   Joe’s menu is spartan – burgers, dogs, rings, fries, shakes.   If there are topping options, neither I, nor anyway else who has read the menu, is aware of them, and the counter people aren’t coughing up any suggestions either.

I went with the regular burger, “Oregon all natural beef”, iceberg lettuce, tomato and sauce.   I could see by the pile of packages in the corner they use locally baked Franz buns, as well.

I was not asked if I wanted any other condiments, if any where available, or how I wanted it prepared.  I was told that it would be ready in ‘six or seven minutes.’  A burger with a side of fries clocked in at $6.75, I could have added a soda for another 50 cents I was informed.

I wiled away my time sitting at the counter facing the street, and the sandwich was done in less than the estimated time.

Like In N Out (I am not comparing, I am saying ‘in the style of’) Joe’s hopes that a bunch of produce a glob of sauce (both top and bottom bun) will disguise the paper thin patty, cooked into the realm of oblivion.

The fries were hot, crispy shoestring style, lightly salted.

The burger sauce was a variation of the standard secret sauce (thousand island-ish).  (Why doesn’t anybody have a truly SECRET sauce?)

I’m not a fan of In N Out.  Fatburger also employs a similar style patty, well done, crispy on the edges, and for some reason, I like theirs.

I wish Joe all the success in the world, I know how hard the hospitality business is, and I’m sure he will prosper for awhile.

But like one of Portland’s other “faves” at the moment, “Little Big Burger,” all I can say is (yawn).   As always, this is MY opinion.  You may find Joe’s to be the perfect burger for you, and I urge you to try it!

Sorry Joe, for me,  no go for the dough.

Joe's Burgers Portland Oregon

If that thick pink slab was meat instead of ‘mato….I’d be happy!


Joe's Burgers Portland Oregon

Why yes, that IS a bag of Moonstruck Chocolates for Mrs. BDB!

Joe's Burgers (SW 4th/Morrison) on Urbanspoon


Portland, OR – Dockside Saloon & Restaurant


Dockside Saloon and Restaurant Portland OregonTucked away in one of the industrial sections of Portland, directly underneath where the 405 crosses the river, the Dockside serves the working stiffs that ply their trade in the various businesses in the port.

Open from 5AM – 8PM M-F, and with earlier closing times on the weekend, the Dockside features a lengthy breakfast and lunch menu daily food and soup specials.

I was doing some work in the area, and my client suggested we pop in for a bite. I went with a bacon/cheeseburger, which is served with your choice of a wide variety of sides, and dressed with sauce, tomato and shredded lettuce.

Ample thick-sliced bacon and gooey cheese topped the burger. While the food doesn’t particularly make the Dockside a specific destination for diners, it is ample, fast, inexpensive, and served by a really friendly staff. Full menu is online.

Dockside Saloon and Restaurant Portland Oregon


Dockside Saloon and Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Portland, OR – Tubby’s Deli


Tubby's Deli, Portland, ORHad a quick bite to eat here while meeting a friend from out of town who was doing some biz in this neighborhood. I’m pretty leery of places in Portland that have the word “Deli” in their name; here it can often mean “lottery games and hot dogs,” but such was not the case today.

Tubby’s is a casual service breakfast and lunch joint with daily specials; the serve the working stiffs in the area, it seems.

My pal went for one of the specials, prime rib French dip, and I opted for the bacon cheeseburger.


I didn’t ask about any of the origin of the ingredients, though I saw empty boxes in a back hallway from IBP, and that’s premium product.   The counter person asked me what I wanted on that, and few places do that anymore.  There was a wide variety of sides choices, fries, tots, slaw, salad, etc.  I went with fries.

It’s a good “classic” hamburger, if you’re sorting into categories these days, like the Oregonian.

And yes, I’d stop back, if I happened to find myself in that neck of the woods again.

Tubby's Deli, Portland, OR

Tubby's Deli on Urbanspoon


Portland, OR – Theo’s (Chinatown)


Theo's Portland, Interior

Theo's Portland, Interior

One all-day, late night option in Portland’s Old Town/Chinatown is Theo’s, on NW Fifth Avenue.

Offering a variety of burgers, sandwiches, sides, and so on, Theo’s is a great quick stop for a bite, or call ahead for take-out.
I was wasting time in the neighborhood, and stopped in to get a burger to go.  I had previously tried their Chicago-style hot dog.

In my previous post, I had referred to their service as “pokey”, and that hasn’t changed.  If you’re the only customer, or one of many, it’s gonna take a bit to get your food.
This day, I went with the “Bac-N-Blue” Burger, their 1/3 lb, all-natural beef, flame broiled, topped with thick-sliced bacon, chunky blue cheese dressing, and dressed with garlic mayo, lettuce, and tomato.  I upgraded for a side of natural cut fries, and Theo’s offers a number of dipping sauces for their taters, and I went with the Cilantro Mayo.

Examination?  Soft bakery roll, slightly toasted;  machine formed patty; crisp lettuce; meager bacon; tomato AWOL (so often these days, but they SHOULD tell you); more than ample blue cheese dressing with substantial chunks of cheese in it.
Natural cut (I still haven’t figured out what this means) fries, and a ramikin of the dipping sauce.  The fries are nice, lightly salted, crispy outside, soft inside.  The sauce, although flavorful, has me a bit worried.  It was squeezed out of a standard plastic condiment bottle into the ramikin.  Not refrigerated, in fact kind of warm.  I pass on using it.

The burger flavor is good, and it’s a fairly coarse grind, so there is some heft to it, which is nice.  I like the blue cheese dressing a lot, and give a thumbs up too, to the garlic mayo, tho for my taste, they could slow down on that condiment.  With the dressing and the mayo, you have a little bit of a mess on your hands.
Will I return?  Yeah, maybe.  I work in the neighborhood, which has a limited number of lunch options beyond the half-dozen Chinese restaurants.

Would I find Theo’s appealing late at night, if I was in the neighborhood?  I think at the same price point, and with similiarly pokey service, I’d probably opt for People’s Sandwich, a couple blocks away.
So have fun, check out these places, especially if you are in the neighborhood clubs, late.  But please, beware the local indigenous population of the ‘hood when you are walking around here late at night.  Menu on our menu page!

Theo's Bac-N-Blue Burger

Theo's Bac-N-Blue Burger

Theo's Bac-N-Blue Burger

Theo's Bac-N-Blue Burger


Portland, OR – Hamburger Mary’s


Hamburger Mary's - Portland - Exterior

Hamburger Mary's - Portland - Exterior

HM’s is a smallish ‘national’ chain, been around for quite awhile, not sure really where they started, and couldn’t get any information from their headquarters home page, as my computer says “this site may be the home of malware.”   Well, we don’t want that, do we?

A bar/restaurant targeted towards a gay audience, HM’s is open in about ten cities across the US, and is currently seeking new franchisees.  They have just reopened in Portland, and I say “reopened” because apparently they were here years ago, and closed.   The new joint has new owners, and is in the heart of Old Town, on 5th, just off Burnside.

They have a limited menu of burgers, salads, and a few sandwiches, tho the menus at HM’s vary by location.  Some locations offer complete meals, some offer pizza, some Sunday brunch, but burgers seem to be at the core of each location.

I visited on Monday, at noon “straight up” (har har), and in addition to me, there was a table of two diners, and a group of about 20 people at another table, like an office outing or some such.    When I saw the large group, and that there was a waiter hovering at that table, I quickly grabbed another waiter, scanned the menu quickly (tho I knew in advance what I would probably want) and ordered, instructing the server to “please get my order in before that large table!”  We both laughed, although her’s may have been a little forced.   People, and especially Mrs. BurgerDogBoy, say I can be a little intimidating at times.  WTF?  Moi?

I ordered the “Black and Blue” burger, which, like at most establishments that offer a product by the same name, is a burger dusted with Cajun blackened seasoning, and dotted with blue cheese or blue cheese dressing on top.   HM’s also had a couple of strips of bacon, shredded lettuce, and a couple of pickle chips.

I upgraded the included side to onion rings, a very respectable-sized order and a good value at a buck more.  The burger is a half-pound, not hand formed, but good flavor in its own right.  There appeared to be very little shrinkage, meaning you are biting into a lean cut.   I would describe the grind as “medium”, not too coarse, not too fine, which is the way I personally prefer.

I really liked the blue cheese topping/dressing.  Too often restaurants skip on this by just slathering some running salad dressing on the patty, but HM’s had a smooth dressing with ample chunks of real blue in it.

I personally would have liked more pickles, but that’s just me.   The roll is soft and fresh, maybe not quite firm enough to hold a burger and toppings of this weight.   Lettuce is shredded.

The onion rings were very good, thick cut, a nice breading.  My order was a tad overcooked, so the crunch factor was fairly severe.   But they are good.   Ketchup and mustard are on the table.

Will I return?  Sure.   Will it be a destination for me?   We shall see.   There are a lot of burger choices in the Old Town area, and I’ve tried most of them.   Hamburger Mary’s is an strong competitor, and tops almost all the other choices, with the possible only exception being “C Burger’, however they seem to be having trouble figuring out their hours and days.

So ends Monday lunch.   Oh, after thought.  Mary’s is one of those places where you find a giant sharp instrument stuck plunged deep into the burger.  These usually puzzles me.   Today I thought it was kind of Freudian.  LOL

Hamburger Mary's Black & Blue Burger w/ Rings

Hamburger Mary's Black & Blue Burger w/ Rings

Hamburger Mary's Burger Cross Section View

Hamburger Mary's Burger Cross Section View

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