Portland, OR – Stepping Stone Cafe


Stepping Stone Cafe, Portland

Stepping Stone Cafe, Portland

“……eyeeeeeeeeeee’m not your stepping stone….”  (remember this Monkees hit?  no?  punk kid).  Anyway, I’m not your stepping stone, but neither is the Stepping Stone my choice for a burger.

The place gained a bit of notoriety last year, when that slob of a television host, Adam Richman, showed up to down some “mancakes.”    If there is ever anybody that can get me to switch off the Travel Channel, it’s Richman’s Hour of Gluttony Program.  It’d be more interesting if they show all the times he’s hurled, I think.

So I guess you get famous for one thing, you could give a rat’s about others, and it seems that if you are going to Stepping Stone, breakfast is the thing, with huge portions, if that’s your bailiwick.

BTW, Stepping Stone’s slogan is “You eat here because we let you.”   Guess that’s right, because I won’t be back for the food or service.

The burgers?  The menu states that they are serving 1/3 pound chuck burgers, cooked to medium, and dressed with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and onion.   Comes with fries or tater salad, opt for o-rings for two bucks extra, and I did, after quizzing the waitress on whether or not they were made in house.

I ordered the bacon cheeseburger, boy A took my order, presumably gave it to the kitchen, and disappeared for a half hour.  This is only significant because boy B was apparently only in charge of busing dishes and filling creamers, and not allowed to touch prepped food.  This left the one waitress taking care of a full house, and while she was adept at handing out bills and taking money, she also didn’t seem to be interested in delivering food.

How do I know this?  Somebody gave the cook a bell for Christmas, and it dinged with ferocity every couple minutes.  At one point, boy B said “ring it again, see what happens!”

Apparently nothing.  I watched as several orders piled up on the counter (including my own),and although waitress 1 and boy B walked by the food many times (boy A was still awol), neither of them lifted a finger to deliver the goods.   I am relatively sure this made the cook VERY happy.  She probably tries her best in an under-equipped kitchen, using the materials she is dealt, to deliver the best plates that she can. One would imagine in her mind that these creations would best be delivered hot, but maybe not.

Boy B reappeared, Boy A disappeared, but somehow my plate got put in front of me.   Nice bun, big rings (not sure 4 rings are worth $2 extra), and a pedantic looking hamburger, with a dollop of mayo, the promised tomatoes and onions, Tillamook Cheddar all melty and gooey-goody, and crispy bacon (no word on the menu as to whose bacon this is).

And really? There ends the story.  This burger was pressed in an assembly line somewhere, the vegetables were lifeless, and they used a hypodermic needle to squeeze out a gram of mayo (not that I cared about that).

The  burger wasn’t particularly seasoned, so there was really nothing to stand out, save the soft bakery roll.

While the rings were large, and the breading was “OK,”  there was also no unique seasoning here, and any crispness the rings may have had coming out of the fryer undoubtedly dissipated while the food was sitting on the counter being ignored by the servers.

Seriously, is this place on anyone’s “top burgers in Portland” list?  If so, where do you usually get your burgers, Wendy’s?

Was there anything of note about my experience today? Yep, made great progress on my Sunday NYT puzzle, and I ate before my hypnotherapy session, which I was able to direct into helping me forget the entire meal.

Where did I go again? 

Stepping Stone Cafe, Portland

Stepping Stone Cafe, Portland

Stepping Stone Cafe on Urbanspoon

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