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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Burgerville - Portland - Oregon

Now, while I do love In-N-Out's hidden menu, Oregon and Washingon's Burgerville has it beat by using seasonal Pacific Northwest ingredients like Walla Walla onions and Marionberries. (Marionberries are a type of blackberry that were invented in Marion County, Oregon. Walla Walla onions, obviously, come from Walla Walla, Washington. They're super-sweet and can't be grown anywhere else.)

The non-seasonal ingredients are from local sustainable business partners. The coffee is fair trade, the bread is made in town, the eggs are cage-free, the cooking oil is recycled into biofuel, and kitchen scraps are composted.

Yes, you can eat "fast food" that's tasty and still responsible.

Day 2.2 Burgerville - Portland - Oregon 1

Burgerville began in 1961 and now has 39 locations throughout Oregon and Washington.

For our first lunch back in town, lil' sis and I decided to see if there were still any Walla Walla onion rings and Marionberry shakes still available. Since Burgerville uses seasonal ingredients, once they're gone, we have to wait until next year. Luckily, we were in town during the last week both ingredients were still in stock.

Burgerville restaurants have a kitschy 1950s decor. Free Wi-Fi too!

Day 2.2 Burgerville - Portland - Oregon 2

We ordered a regular hamburger, Walla Walla Sweet Onion Cheeseburger, and Walla Walla onion rings.

Day 2.2 Burgerville - Portland - Oregon 3

The cheddar was from Tillamook Creamery, the Walla Walla onions were caramelized, the beef was 100% natural, and served on a 9-grain bun.

Day 2.2 Burgerville - Portland - Oregon 4

We also ordered a Marionberry smoothie made with Portland-based Yo-Cream yogurt and a Marionberry lemonade.

Day 2.2 Burgerville - Portland - Oregon 5

Total cost was a little less than $20. Sure that's double the cost of two value meals, but no value meal has such quality ingredients. You get what you pay for.

Afterward, as we headed toward the exit, we opened the door for another customer who had both hands full. Inside the vestibule, he apologized for not being a gentleman and opening the door for us. But, both his hands were full! Nonetheless, at the second exit door, he backed into the door so he could stand and hold the door open.

Ah, man! Totally reminded me of why I love Oregon. People are nice! Genuinely nice!

Updated October 15, 2009:

I was back in Oregon again last month and on the way to the airport decided to get some Burgerville to-go.

I ordered the Pepper Bacon Cheeseburger. This was a few hours later after I got to the airport, checked in, went through security, and then finally got a chance to sit down. The pepper bacon was thick-cut and so delicious. Plentiful, not a few measly slices I had to dig around to find. Tillamook cheese, of course. The burger held up really well, tasting excellent even cold.

Day 2.2 Burgerville - Portland - Oregon 6

Sweet potato fries were in season! Mmm. So crispy and delicious, I didn't even use ketchup.

Day 2.2 Burgerville - Portland - Oregon 7

(Various locations)

All Oregon posts can be found in the tag, Series: Oregon. I suggest reading this particular trip in this order:
I-5 From LA to Portland
Mom and Dad's Garden
Burgerville - Portland - Oregon
Hakatamon - Beaverton - Oregon
I Think I'll Go For a Walk Outside Now...
Vista Point - Oregon City
End of Oregon Trail Interpretive Center - Oregon City
Stevens-Crawford Heritage House - Oregon City
Museum of the Oregon Territory - Oregon City
Mom's Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Sizzling Crepes)
Blackberry Cobbler
Bonneville Lock and Dam - Cascade Locks - Oregon
Bonneville Hatchery - Cascade Locks - Oregon
Multnomah Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Horsetail Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Wahkeena Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Bridal Veil Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Historic Columbia River Highway - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Latourell Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Crown Point Vista House - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Banh Cuon Tan Dinh - Portland - Oregon (Closed)
Downtown Portland - Oregon
Lan Su Chinese Garden (Portland Classical Chinese Garden) - Portland - Oregon
Powell's City of Books - Portland - Oregon
Mom's Geoduck, Dynamite-Style and Chao Oc (Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Clams)

How to Prepare Geoduck and Razor Clams
Geoduck, Japanese Dynamite-style
Chao Oc (Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Clams)
Le Bistro Montage - Portland - Oregon
Kenny and Zuke's Delicatessen - Portland - Oregon

1 year ago today, old canes.
2 years ago today, really great banana bread.


  1. There is certainly something about a cheesy burger wrapped in the white tissue paper and although I really enjoy sweet potato fries, I still prefer the garlic parmesean fries. However Burgerville I have yet to try. This ought to be a bucketlist item for me.

  2. I love this story! I have a friend in Portland and I am sending this link to them too. Mahalo Girlfriend!

  3. whoa, deja vu! i just read about burgerville this morning via consumerist http://consumerist.com/5381732/meet-burgervilles-awesome-new-nutritional-info-receipt have u heard about those receipts?

  4. My oh my - that's one fantastic looking burger stop. Rack up another "must visit" place; Portland, Oregon in general was already on my list due to (1)music and (2) bicycling!

  5. hi wc - we went to burgerville in portland last spring (your recommendation) and thought it was pretty good! the walla walla onions weren't in season yet though. loved the 50's decor there.

  6. That Walla Walla Sweet Onion Cheeseburger looks awesome.

  7. YAY!! Are you originally from Oregon?? I HATE fast food because it does number on my digestive system, but Burgerville is definitely my exception. I'll eat it and then take the pain. That good! Mmmm

  8. oh mannnnn....i am desperate for a good burger...and those look wonderful! 9 grain bun? wow!...and also....such a gentleman...very rare indeed these days.

  9. David,
    Sweet potato fries all the way for me.

    I've always liked Burgerville, but I didn't know how much until I looked more into their business practices.

    What a coincidence! The receipts didn't have the nutrition info the last time I was home. It's good to know though. Or is it? Eeek!

    Music? Really? The bicycling is easy. And the outdoors. You'll like the outdoors too.

    Canine Cologne,
    I had forgotten I told you that. Glad you liked it.

    Weezer Monkey,
    I just like saying Walla Walla again and again. Walla Walla. :)

    Shows you've not been reading for long. I've never hid it. :)

    I don't remember all 9 grains, but that's what it said on the poster. :P Oregonians are seriously the nicest people around. Including me. ;) Bwahaha.

  10. Just moved to Portland from Washington DC. I must say that I really wanted to enjoy the burgers at Burgerville since they have such an admirable business philosophy. However, I find the burgers dry and tasteless on each occasion that I've been to. 5 Guys burgers that started in the DC area, with locations in Oregon, taste better imo.
    Yes, people in Portland are the nicest I have encountered in the States. Second to only the folks from Springfield, MO.

  11. Duc,
    Aww, that's too bad. I've liked the burgers when I've been. 5 Guys has started entering SoCal and that's caused a lot of comparisons to In-N-Out. In-N-Out wins. :)


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