A Burger Crawl During Portland Burger Week 2017

After a brief summer hiatus, I’m back!  

Summers are always a busy time of year and I like to spend as much time outdoors as possible with less time spent in front of my computer screen. And while the summer isn’t over, I’m settling back into blogging mode to continue my travel and food adventures.

This week, two friends and I set out to complete a food crawl for Portland Burger Week. We chose Tuesday afternoon from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM local time, our typical time to cover lunch and dinnertime meals.

Portland Burger Week is Monday, August 7 through Saturday, August 12 this year. During Burger Week, more than 40 local restaurants prepare unique burgers with creative names (so creative you’d think they ripped them directly from Bob’s Burgers) served exclusively throughout the week for $5 (USD).

Our small group chose burgers with the most appetizing descriptions located near our homes. Then, we set out to eat progressively over a four-hour timeframe.

We had been anxiously awaiting Burger Week after completing a crawl this spring for Portland Pizza Week. This time we changed a few of the unofficial “rules” of the crawl.

Rather than start the crawl with a full burger (as we did with full slices of pizza, then eventually splitting), we agreed to split the burgers into thirds—equivalent to a slider or a two-to-three bite sandwich. We still ended up eating equivalent to 2 and 2/3 burgers each but were in much less pain than when we completed the pizza crawl.

We’re working on putting together an All Balls Crawl to kickoff football season next month and a taco crawl in October. So, stay tuned.

The Burgers and Notes

Each burger and location is listed below in order of our group ranking from most to least favorite; not order of visit. The reasons for our rankings are specific to personal tastes.

It probably goes without saying but we don’t consider ourselves food critics. We just do this for fun. You can’t beat a $5 burger. And, as quickly as the kitchens crank these burgers out during Burger Week, we also don’t expect perfection. But the goal is to always rank our favorites. This time it was a little more difficult. It was an easy bottom two and favorite top one, but everything in the middle was equally delicious with various reasons why we ranked them two through six. (See all images in the gallery below.)

1 - Loyal Legion | Burger: The Kahuna Burger

Address: 710 SE 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Teriyaki-seasoned beef, onion, arugula, grilled pineapple and a sriracha-aioli sauce.

Reason for our ranking:

Loyal Legion serves up a good burger on a normal week so it was no surprise to find it during Burger Week. This burger is Hawaii on a bun and it took us straight to the tropics. The teriyaki-seasoned patty was spot on and the flavors were well balanced between sweet and heat.

2 – Home, A Bar | Burger: The Dirty Picnic

Address: 719 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97217

Everything that you would find at a summer picnic: baked beans, chips, coleslaw, beef patty, bacon, cheese and hot dogs on a bun.

Reason for our ranking:

We thought this one was clever and received bonus points for pulling off a classic summer backyard American BBQ on a bun. Who would disagree with that on a hot summer day? The addition of mustard and pickle nicely balanced the heaviness of the meat, bacon, cheese, chips and beans. (Yeah, there was a lot going on.) The flavors were spot on. This was more like a knife and fork sandwich over a handheld burger but otherwise delicious.

3 – Biwa | Burger: Instagram Burger

Address:  215 SE 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

A slight twist on a classic burger with goat cheese, heirloom tomatoes, and pickle slaw.

Reason for our ranking:

Tied with number 2. A nice mix of flavors, good bun and delicious moist patty. All around delicious.

4 – Nick’s Famous Coney Island | Burger: Pho-Getaboutit

Address:  3746 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

Ground beef mixed with pho mustard-rubbed and marinated roast pork loin, mung bean sprouts, pickled red onions, arugul, basil creme sauce, and a savory pho sauce.

Reason for our ranking:

A slightly dry patty but otherwise delicious blend of flavors. We were expecting it to taste more like Bahn Mi but were pleasantly surprised by the pho-king real flavor.

5 - White Owl Social Club | Burger: My Bleu Heaven

Address: 1305 SE 8th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

A beef patty topped with bleu cheese spread, fried red onion and mixed greens dressed in balsamic/red wine aioli.

Reason for our ranking: 

Because we didn’t know where else to put it.

6 – Noraneko | Burger: Nacho Burger

Address: 1430 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214

A cheeseburger topped with habanero, guacamole and cumin crema.

Reason for our ranking:

A burger trying to be nachos with just a little too much cheese.

7 - Double Barrel Tavern | Burger: Curd is the Word!

Address: 2002 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202

Cheese curds, fries, gravy and lettuce—like Canadian poutine.

Reason for our ranking:

A tad greasy with the combination of cheese, gravy, fried potato and beef. In addition, the spice in the gravy mixed with the hamburger tasted more like breakfast sausage gravy than a good tasty poutine gravy. The addition of the lettuce was good to soak up some of the grease, but we would have appreciated some acid with the addition of a pickle to help cut it instead. That’s why this is ranked number 7.

8 - Delicious Donuts | Burger: Three Pigs Breakfast Burger

Address: 12 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Less of a burger and more of a breakfast sandwich, this “burger” featured hashbrowns, eggs, sausage, ham, bacon and cheese sandwiched between two glazed donuts. A heart attack waiting to happen. We highly recommend you split this one.

Reason for our ranking:

Um, it’s a breakfast sandwich, not a burger.

The Burger Gallery 


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