One of the local “alternative newspapers” Willamette Week rated the burgers in town and I almost agree with them. Their #1 burger is like my #2. My #1 wasn’t on their list, and some of the things on their top 10 were suspicious (Foster Burger is definitely up and down). In any case, I’m going to list my top three “fancy” burgers and my top three “pub” burgers. For some reason I make a distinction.
In the fancy category, my top burger is from Laurelhurst Market. Every time I take the first bite of that burger I remember why I like it so much. The burger on the menu isn’t the one I like, however, since it usually comes with pimento cheese and I get it with cheddar. I mean, really, pimento? I’ve only ever had the stuff in Oscar Meyer cold cuts and pimento loaf was just baloney with that weird tasting cheese in it. The meat is good though sometimes overcooked (they don’t like rare there for some reason) and it’s complimented by the tomato relish and the bun. I may be blindsided by the cheesecake, there, though. One bite is OK, but when it starts to coat your taste buds it’s quite a wonderful taste that I think everyone should experience. WIllie Week didn’t have this burger in their top 10.
Second in fancy would have been the Carlyle, but they closed earlier this year. I really liked the burger there. Since they’re gone I probably have to say it’s the burger at Metrovino, which Willie Week said was their top choice. A double-patty of great beef and the relish and bun were good as well. The owner was especially nice and that wins points too. I need to go back. They’re in my neighborhood.
Third, well, I can’t think of a third. Wildwood was great when I went with a small group, but a large group was disappointed there. It was WIllie Week’s #8.
I was disappointed by Meriwethers on my second try (the first was good), Paley’s Place, and Yakuza in the fancier burgers. Violetta is almost great (needs more relish but the meat is good and the bun tended to fall apart) and
In pub burgers, I’d say Hopworks is #1, Slow Bar is #2, and The Maiden (gone now) would be #3. I could stick Foster Burger in there but they’re iffy.
Also, Five Guys Burger and Fries is consistently tasty for a fast food burger and Skyline holds a place in my heart. Helvetia is kind of crap now if you ask me. A burger that people think is that special shouldn’t need that much ketchup to taste good.