RESOLUTION CHEESEBURGER 2016: Slow Burger, Kelly’s Olympian & Q Burger


alex slow burger

This week I really delayed eating cheeseburgers, and put myself into a pretty sticky spot: go back on my resolution and show the world the true meaning of caprice, or eat TWO CHEESEBURGERS in only ONE DAY.

I went with the latter choice, because I’m a hero. And because apparently I’m perfectly comfortable with compromising my health for the sake of strange promises made on blogs. I laid in bed afterward, gently shaking to myself, and like I had just consumed far too much salt, which I have never believed possible, and honestly still think I’m probably wrong about.

Slow Burger

slow burger

“Slow Burger. You should definitely go to Slow Burger. But get the Slow Burger at the Slow Bar. Wait, no, go to the Burger place – that’s where it’s good. Or maybe it’s at the bar. Definitely get it at the burger place but not the bar, or maybe it’s the other way around. But definitely go there.”

This cloud of sounds and words was how my friend recommended this burger to me.

“Start thinking about where you want to get a burger tonight.” My boyfriend texted me.

Slow Burger! I thought. But is it at the bar? Or just the burger place? 

“So, where’d you go for burgers last night?” My friend asked.

“I went to Slow Burger,” I answered. “It wasn’t that great.”

“Did you go to the bar?”

“No, the burger place.”

“See! I told you!”

“Did you?” I grabbed his collar and shook him. “DID YOU??!!” I threw him down on the ground. “IS THAT WHAT YOU SAID? ARE YOU SURE THAT’S WHAT YOU SAID?!”

“Please,” he cried.”Please, I just couldn’t…remember…”

“Well, MAYBE, you should FACT CHECK before you go Yelpin’ burgers at me, HUH?”

I picked him up, dusted him off, and said “Sorry. I’ve been listening to a lot of Biggie Smalls lately.”

So apparently, if you go to retrieve the entity entitled “Slow Burger”, you should retrieve it from the Slow Bar, for sure.

I, however, went to the Slow Burger the Burger Place, and wasn’t particularly impressed. I loved that you get to choose your patty size (rather enlightened move. Bravo. Cheers. Here, here. Get on my back and let me carry you around the stadium.), but my 1/3 lb patty cooked Medium came at me with some of the meat on the left side a bit pink, and the rest of the meat going over to the right side a dingy-gray. Truly, I care not if my burger is cooked all the way through, as long as its still juicy. But when it’s cooked strangely and unevenly, and not to what the order is specified, then why are we bothering with pretending that burgers should be treated like steaks?

P.S. They really shouldn’t be treated like steaks.

P.P.S. I’m an angsty little picnic basket full of opinions.

I was also frustrated that they hadn’t managed to cut my burger bun properly in half (go back up and look at the pic again), but, in the world’s defense, I was really grumpy due to a 2-day hangover of which I was celebrating day 1.

I got the 6oz Big Mike ($8), and Officer Boyfriend got The Original – which I thought was definitely a better burger. I normally try to get the most straightforward burger on a menu, but I deviated this time because the hangover was requiring me to eat bacon and order a Sprite.

Officer Boyfriend’s burger was also better cooked than mine, which suggests that my crappy burger might have been a fluke. I would definitely check out the burger at Slow Bar, and probably visit Slow Burger again and not be surprised by a better product.


Kelly’s Olympian

Kelly's Burger

To be perfectly honest, I don’t like saying anything to poopy about Kelly’s because I’ve had such a positive experience there since I’ve moved to Portland. It can be a pretty wacky and wild place, with a really diverse clientele, and the staff there is so kind and handles it all really gracefully. They get artists, drunks, service industry, Super Bros, business men and tourists, and it all sorta works out. I started going there when I first moved here because they play MUSIC VIDEOS every MONDAY NIGHT and it’s the best thing in the whole world.

But regardless, I had a really horrible burger there the other night.

The week was nearly up, and with only one burger under my belt, I needed to make another burger happen and FAST. If I’m going to eat at Kelly’s, I’d get their chicken strips and fries for SURE with every sauce they have, because their ranch and honey mustard are extra good, for some demonic reason.

I ordered the $5 happy hour burger, which turned out to not even have cheese on it (I understand if you don’t think this burger should count. I apologize.). I’m sure it was my mistake, because the bartender reiterated to me a few times that I indeed wanted the “Burger.” It came to me as a sort of dry, meaty, brick. It was surrounded by a big fluffy bun, which was fine except I could really only taste bun-fluff and the occasional dry meat brick. There was mayo and toppings, but it was all sort of absorbed by the bun, and being punched in the face by the brick.  I left with that feeling of sadness reserved only for when your parents forget to pick you up from soccer practice, or for when nice people feed you something bad.


And this was when I made the impulsive, yet brave choice, to eat a 2nd cheeseburger.

Two cheeseburgers. One day.

Q Burger

Q burger

Gingham Deli Paper Week up in this Biotch

I hopped on the Max, with the voice of a co-worker rumbling through my head:

I don’t know why you’re sleeping on my Q Burger recommendation. It’s really good, and might be the diner burger you’re looking for. Pete goes there all the time.

Which Pete ? I asked.

The nice one. Pete, tell her about Q Burger.

  The memory of Pete’s voice appeared in my head.

I go there all the time. Pete responded nicely.

Thanks, Pete.

I wouldn’t say I had been “sleeping” on Q Burger, but I had been slightly hesitant to go there due to health concerns.

Every burger has at LEAST bacon on it. They offer pulled pork AND brisket. It’s…insane…

I’d been planning on going there some day after a jog, or at least after smoking some legal and recreational Oregon marijuana, but instead I ended up there on the day I decided to cram two burgers down my gullet.

And me oh my was it delicious. It was INDEED the diner burger I was dreaming of, which almost is more about the toppings than the burger.

believe that the deal with this place was it opened as Seven Rivers BBQ, but then morphed into a burger place, and still retained all of it’s BBQ gear. They have a mile-long burger menu, but you can still go there and order regular BBQ if you wish – OR you can order a burger and have them pile BBQ on top of it. So there is that.

This place was about a mile down Lombard from the Max station on Interstate, so by the time I got there, it was dark, and I can’t say I was quite hungry again, but I can say I was thinking about how someday I might be hungry again.

I chose the Throwback burger ($7.75), which was the most average looking burger, adorned with only american cheese, and of course bacon. You can choose your toppings, but I chose “The works,” because I love ordering things like that, and it came with a lot ot stuff I liked. Grilled onions, dill pickles, mayo, mustard…and maybe some other stuff I can’t remember. The patty was 1/4lb (I’m pretty sure? It might have been a 1/3 – I was a little drowsy.), and was perfectly adequate, juicy, tasted like yummy, well-seasoned ground beef. I hadn’t had a nice sesame seed bun in a minute, and it worked out just fine. The burger held together really well, and I was able to get a bit of everything in a bite.

This is a burger that wants to taste good, be inside of your mouth, and then go bowling with it’s friends on a Friday night – it’s a straightforward nice time. I’d LOVE to go back there and try one of their BBQ Franken-burgers, and I feel slightly remiss at not having ordered one this time, but I had my stomach screaming at me for answers.

Well, smell you later – have a great week.









RESOLUTION CHEESEBURGER 2016: Pause, The White Eagle & The Cafeteria At My Work

Every cheeseburger has a story, I guess. Or at least I tell a story about every cheeseburger.

Only two weeks in, and I’m already unsure how long I can keep this up. In case you forgot, my resolution for 2016 was to eat 3 cheeseburgers a week. It’s not just that this resolution is asking a lot of me calorie-wise, it’s asking a lot from me emotionally. It’s making me search the dark corners of my psyche to pull up every expectation I’ve ever had for any cheeseburger, and drag it out, center stage, stagelight blaring, and make me examine my cheeseburger cravings. Every cheeseburger has sent me hurtling down a tunnel to self-discovery, and the tunnel is tiled with dark profundity and partially-melted American Cheese.

Long story short, I’m figuring out I’m a real basic bitch when it comes to cheeseburgers, and this whole time I thought I was a hipster. It’s getting real “hey, could I get a pumpkin spice latte cheeseburger,” up in here and I’m standing around awkwardly, not sure what to say or where to put my hands.

If finding out I’m something I thought I hated is the worst part about eating so many cheeseburgers, then the best part is hearing other people explain their perfect cheeseburger to me. I ask a lot of people when they’re describing food, (“where’s the pickle?” “are the onions sweated?” “how far can you squish down the bun til you can feel some resistance?”) and people are SO ready most of the time.

Since I work in a kitchen, it hasn’t been hard for me to monopolize most of the conversations to be about cheeseburgers lately. I’ve gotten a slew of recommendations for local burgers, dreamy recollections about far-away and long-ago burgers, and even more narratives of “dream burgers.” Every person is a unique frickin’ snowflake, and their burgers are not quite as unique, but pretty close.

Bless everyone’s tender hearts – we’re all so very fascinating.



I started off this week by taking a recommendation from work. One of my co-workers recommended this spot to me, and the conversation went like this:

“Oh, and Pause has a good burger.”


“Yup, Pause. On Interstate.”

“Paws. Bad name.”

“Pause. Yeah, not a great name. But good burger. Grassfed…”

“Oh! Pause. That place! It looks like a weird after-school Christian hang-out space.”

“Yeah, it has a weird font.”

At this point another co-worker joined in:

“I hate the way that place looks. Looks like a cafe from the early 2000s.”

“Yeah I was walking by it the other day, and I thought ‘god, I hate how that place looks.'”

I was happy to hear that nearly everyone agreed that the place had an odd look to it,  but I decided  I should stop being font-racist, step out of my comfort zone and check out Pause. Short-walk from my house, and the second I approached it, I shuddered. I mean, don’t get me wrong – it’s a perfectly nice looking place. Just the place makes me feel how I feel whenever I’m in Florida: all my dreams are dead.

The place was slightly more reassuring on the inside: wood-paneled bar, friendly bartender, Big Star, straight-forward menu. Maybe you shouldn’t be so rude about Florida, I chided myself. Mom is going to get upset about that one. 

“One cheeseburger.” The waitor repeated back to me. “Now, how would you like that cooked?”

My response drew to a halt as my mind’s soundtrack hired crickets to sing. How do I want my burger cooked? Whoa…I haven’t been asked that in awhile.

I used to be such a little prat about wanting my burgers cooked rare or medium rare, and lately all I’ve wanted is a fully-cooked through burger. Yikes- I’m being faced with my past, and I no longer know what to say.

“Err, umm Medium? Yeah, medium.” I coughed and tried to look like nothing was weird for me right then. Damn…I’ve been really feasting on diner burgers lately.

It was a nice cheddar cheeseburger. It was $11. Perfectly medium, fresh tasting, albeit under-seasoned beef, and a great bun. The “toppings” were also very nice, but they’re served on the side, which I find to be a big eye-roll. How safe. How free of personality.

How “we don’t really have an opinion about burgers, we just want your parents from out-of-town to not complain about over-priced Portland burgers on Yelp after eating here.”

And I guess that’s how I felt about the entire experience. This tastes like how a pause button feels – but not in a cool way,  I wrote down at the time. I looked back at that sentence before writing this blog, and I’m not entirely sure what was going through my mind at the time, but decided I should share it with you all anyway.

Eating a burger at Pause reminded me how I’ve changed, and how I don’t want to look back. Just because something is technically good doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good to me.

So that was that.

The White Eagle

White Eagle 2

“It’s so dark in here.” “Why don’t you put the burger by the light?” “Oh yeah.”

This is my boyfriend’s favorite burger, and it didn’t occur to me until the moment the burger was going into my mouth that if I didn’t like this cheeseburger he might dump me. Also, if that was the reason he dumped me, I would respect him so much. Now THAT is integrity.

Fortunately, a cheeseburger at The White Eagle ($10.50) is really tasty. Six ounce patty (which I much prefer to an 8 oz patty) which was really well-seasoned (FINALLY), a yummy sauce (THAT APPARENTLY IS A SECRET) that I thought was well-portioned, and good toppings. I was a little disappointed that all the toppings were at the bottom of the burger. Boyfriend Man say he likes that because he feels like it all stays in place better. I feel like it’s just being easy on yourself when you’re assembling the burger, and meanwhile compromising the integrity of the lettuce (which in this case was green leaf.)

I really enjoyed it, even though it didn’t feature some of my favorite elements of a burger. However, it definitely was on the “recommend to a friend” sphere.

White Eagle 1

Before I put the burger by the light. Hashtag: truth in food photography.

The Cafeteria at My Work

Cafeteria 3.JPG

As I mentioned before, I’ve been monopolizing my work place to be a continual Cheeseburger Discussion Zone. I had spent a good chunk of my morning trying to explain myself to my coworker Travis. It mostly orbited around my recent desire to have fully-cooked burgers, and how dorky that made me feel, but through enough pseudo-science and David Change references I might be able to explain how I’m not a complete idiot for wanting that.

“I’m sorry, Travis.” I said, after a particularly long paragraph of ranting. “I just need to explain myself.”

“I know!” He said cheerfully, and evacuated the room for a number of hours.

He eventually came back, pointing at me. “You!” he said.

“What?!!” I said.

“You won’t believe it. Cheeseburgers. In the cafeteria. Today.”

“Shut. Up. No. Way.”

“Way. There’s burgers. And cheese. And toppings. I made mine a double.”

I gasped.

Eventually, the entire kitchen became abuzz with the presence of cheeseburgers in the cafeteria, what this implied, how we were going to build our own, and if this would all be a big mistake.

I mean, I knew walking into this that this would be a “cafeteria burger”. This wasn’t about to be anything too delicious -but boy did it feel exciting.

I anxiously raced down to the cafeteria and hoped that there would still be enough of everything. I found a nearly empty cafeteria, and a sort-of delicious and wellish-stocked looking burger bar.

Cafeteria 1

Ok – straight-up: the patties were gross. Let’s not fool ourselves. Except that cafeteria patties DEFINITELY know how to be seasoned (mass-production is at least a genius in how to use salt), any patty held in a steamwell is going to be  a little freaky texture-wise. And indeed it was.

I followed Travis’s lead by making a double cheeseburger, which certainly was an error…it was just too much food, and I slogged back into work because of it. But I just couldn’t look at all this potential in front of me and not capitalize on it. There were just PILES of American cheese, waiting to be slapped into between layers of 1/4 pounds of pre-heated beef and three squirts of mustard.

Cafeteria 2

The main problem with the cafeteria burger was it’s inability to squish together and stay as a unit. Because I assembled this burger myself, I can also be to blame for it’s structure and integrity, but I mostly blamed the hard-sponge like texture of the patty  for it’s propensity to slide around like a unit inside of the bun. I’d go into take a bite, and the entire patty would try to escape, slipping off the burger and veering back toward the plate.

Or perhaps GMO patties have developed consciousness and are now self-aware of themselves  as a food substance and are revolting against being devoured by the gnashing teeth of the human race. That also seems just as likely.

Regardless, I had a lovely time in the cafeteria that day, pulling apart sticky tater tots from themselves, and dipping them in the remains of ketchup I was able to ejaculate from a nearly empty bottle.


This was an invigorating and emotional week. Can’t wait to see what the next has in store for me in RESOLUTION CHEESEBURGER 2016.





My goal for 2016 is to eat 3 Cheeseburgers a week. My goal for 2016 is to fully intend to eat 3 Cheeseburgers a week, and stop if I ever start feeling sick, gross, or done with cheeseburgers – but still, y’know, it is a REAL resolution.

It all started New Years Eve. I was en route to The White Eagle to watch a band cover the entire Ziggy Stardust album (which I mention here, because any way to bring up wonderful memories of David Bowie’s music is a great way to spend one’s time), when I realized I should probably first stop by Bar Bar to eat a burger.

I’d been there once before, loved the burger, and loved the style they were going for. The past few years I’ve dramatically shifted in the kind of burgers I prefer.

The biggest preferences that have changed for me lately:

-1/4lb to 1/3lb patty. Screw that huge patty stuff.

-Iceberg lettuce, preferably shredded. Nothing super green and fancy. I want a crunchy lettuce.

-‘Merican cheese rawks

-I want the whole thing to squish. I don’t want a burger tower.

Anyhoosies, there I was at Bar Bar, and I sat at the counter, right next to where the gal was making burgers.

“Oh, man. This is going to be a good burger.” I heard her say. “Yup. Lucky person who gets this burger.”

Please let it be number 47, I prayed to Ziggy Stardust. Pleeeeease.

It was. It was an incredible burger. I told the lady so.

“Well thanks. I raised the cow myself.” She replied.

“Uh, really?”

“Nope. Not really. I just season it, flip it, and put it together.”

“Well, it was so damn good. It tasted like a…it tasted like…a resolution…”

Maybe I meant to say revolution? Maybe I just had the New Year on the brain. But it got me thinking:

What if I ate as many cheeseburgers as I possibly could this year?

Hold on, what if I DON’T test the gods, and what if I just eat three cheeseburgers a week?

And so, I have started to do so. And looking back upon this week from the business side of things, it wasn’t so weird to eat three cheeseburgers in one week. It almost made me wonder if that’s normal for me and I’ve just never kept track before.

Here are the Three Cheeseburgers I ate this week, for your viewing and Rolodex pleasures.

Foster Burger


Shitty picture of a pretty okay Foster Burger. Points for gingham deli paper.

This was my least favorite burger of the week. I ordered The Foster Burger ($6) plus American Cheese (.50). It didn’t send me into a shit-spiral of discontent (you would HATE to see that), but I did take issue with a few important points of it. I wanted more seasoning on the patty, and the meat was that wrong kinda mushy. Like, it got a little too warm when it was ground and schmeared a bit in the grinder. The lettuce was iceberg, which is super duper, but it was like three big slabs of it ungraciously thrown on top. That flustered my buttons, I’ll tell ya. I’m a real c-word about lettuce, and I’m not showing any signs of stopping.

I liked the sauce, and my boyfriend’s horseradish, gouda & bacon burger (I think it was their special?) was mighty tasty. Seems like it’s a pretty great place for toppings. I’d also say it’d be worth it for me to go there again and give the burger another shot, but this isn’t very official and my opinions aren’t very important, so why don’t I just ride the tiger and keep on trying new things, HUH??


Clackamas in the house, bitches.


Slightly less shitty picture of the rather remarkable Double Cheeseburger from McCools. Looks almost identical to the Foster Burger above (holla, gingham deli paper), except for the swirl of the Kaiser roll…but did they taste identical?? NAY! Nay! Nay, one more time!

I was excited to try a burger from this place for a few reasons: 1) I was just randomly meeting up with friends there and wasn’t going anywhere to specifically seek out a cheeseburger. It felt like the burger-romance was still alive. 2) These are exactly the kinds of places I want to try burgers at. I’m MORE than happy to go to the canonical places for burgers, but when every goddamn restaurant has a burger, why not make the effort to put those inside of me, too? 3) The place is called McCools. Cool.

Like the rest of Clackamas, McCools is the rest of Oregon which is Not Portland. Probably Enough Said There, ahem.

Anyway, I ordered the double cheeseburger ($6.50) off the happy hour menu. I asked our kindly waitress how big the patties were, because I was feeling frisky, obnoxious, and not ready to eat over a half pound of ground beef.

“Oh! They’re the little kiddie 1/4 lb patties. Hope that’s enough for ya – I actually think they’re more delicious that way!”

I decided I loved that woman. The burger gospel spewed from her lips.

And it was a DAMN good burger. No frills, just that cheap cheeseburger that also happens to be well constructed that I dreamscape about. It really all came together for me with the bun – squishy, but crisped at the point it reaches the business of the burger. What I’m saying is – I want a soft bun that’s well toasted/griddled. They nailed it.

It would have been my favorite burger of the week, except then I went to Burger Guild.


Burger Guild


This is a great picture. Classic Galesburger from Burger Guild. Delicious.

Fortunately for me, my boyfriend has been involved in the cheeseburger eating project – and Burger Guild was his highly recommended recommendation, and his Facebook Official 2nd Favorite Burger in Portland. (Whoof.) So, with fat worms at the end of my hook, I whetted my appetite for Burger Guild. (That analogy made sense, right?)

Yeah, it was dope. Flame-broiled stuffed burgers. I honestly don’t give a crap about whether or not burgers are flame-broiled (I guess it’s cool to say “I like the taste of Fire on my food”, but it’s not really true) – but the burger stuffing was NEAT. I didn’t think I would be so into it, but boy was I. I got the Classic Galesburger ($8.50) which was their most basic burger, stuffed with cheddar cheese. And man, I’ve been on an American Cheese kick, but this burger really put me in my place by saying “hey bitch, cheddar cheese tastes GREAT with ground beef. Stop romanticizing American cheese like some 1950s housewife.”

Really delicious sauce. The wrong kind of lettuce (green leaf, if I’m remembering correctly), but it didn’t even matter to me, which I pride myself in saying is a big deal at this point. It also featured a more wheat-y bun than I usually mythologize. It was very flavorful, and had a great texture that stood up to the weightyness of a stuffed burger. Lots to love.

My only wag-of-the-finger to Burger Guild was the size of their white onions. They were too big to be raw. I needed an onion punch in there with all the warm, rich, salty, gooey enveloping flavors of the proteins and sauce, but they looked like they were one-inch cuts of ringed white onions, and it was too large and distracting of a bite. If they were small diced, I think they would be ideal. Or they could stay the same size and be sweated, and also be just fine.


Anyhow, whatever. It was my favorite burger this week, and I would be tickled, honored and over-joyed to eat another one.


That’s all about Burgers this week.

Good bye, Bowie. We all love you so very much. I feel weird that I painted a pig skull to look like Ziggy Stardust earlier this week. Feels a bit like I’m responsible for your death.


Piggy Stardust.