Riki Tiki Reveals: 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

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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??

McCools

Clackamas in the house, bitches.

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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

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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.

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Piggy Stardust.

 

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