Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the Rider'sRuralRestaurantReview: Burgerville

what it is:  Fresh.  Local. Sustainable.  As in, grass-fed hamburger, free-range turkey burger, wild Alaskan catch halibut and sole, cage-free eggs, organic lettuce, certified sustainable apples, fresh local berry shakes.  This is fast food for mossy-toed Oregonians.  (And for some lucky Washingtonians)  $1.49 for a cheeseburger -  $9.69 for a 4-piece fish and chips.  Plenty of virtuously environmental calories and pretty universally yum.

What this is not is a place to take foodie-snobs who don't realize that the hamburger has a worthy culinary tradition of is own.  Nor a place to bring  not-particularly-crunchy-granola  relatives who, rather than basking in all the sustainability and eco-consciousness, find it all somewhat irritating, especially if their (apparently overpriced) hamburger arrives undercooked.

For the rest of us, though, this is the fast-food emporium of choice around here.

tasty choices: fresh raspberry shakes, fresh blackberry shakes, fresh strawberry shakes, fresh berry lemonade, onion rings,  fish & chips, Tillamook cheeseburger, wild smoked salmon & hazlenut salad, spicy Anasazi bean burger (with chipotle mayonnaise and pepper jack cheese).  And when in season . . . SWEET POTATO FRIES. 

great for:  Quick-date alternative to wandering around the grocery store aisles together.

After-play-performance hot chocolate swirled high with whipped cream.

Post-Christmas-concert eggnog shakes (no, peppermint) (eggnog) (peppermint) (eggnog . . .

Ideal as a middle-of-the-day biking destination with anyone.  But especially 9-year-old sons. 

bikability: which bring us to.  At the first of September when these pictures were taken, Burgerville still had a no bike-thru policy and no bike rack.  So we enjoyed eating outside with our bikes for company.

But thanks to cafemama (aka family biking evangelist) and the fuss and bother she mildly made over a Portland Burgerville bikethrough, this Local.Sustainable. chain has since changed its policy and put up a sign welcoming bikers to come on through. 

Also now, a bike rack.  Not the best designed bike rack, but it is heavy-duty and allows for secure locking up. (Thank you, Burgerville.)

ambiance: The temperatures inside are kept pleasant, the tables clean.  I like the bright colors and the 1950s chrome.  So do the guys in overalls.

Outside is not bad.  Not bubblingly ideal, but not bad.  There are a couple of umbrella'd tables out in the sun (when there's sun) and some smaller tables up under the eaves (when there's rain).  Someone has planted a low hedge to soften the you-are-sitting-in-the-parking-lot feel.

other fun: a working jukebox. 

Plus, I always like to try their seasonal menu.  Last spring there was a memorable asparagus side and through the summer some tasty basil offerings.  Now is the season for Pumpkin Shakes, Apple & Peppered Bacon Turkey Club: "Sliced turkey, peppered bacon and local Jonagold apples topped with creamy Rogue River blue cheese spread on a toasted fresh baked roll," Haute Dog with Apple Slaw: "A quarter pound Country Natural Beef dog topped with sweet and tangy Jonagold apple slaw and stone ground mustard all on a fresh toasted bun,"  and savory Apple Bacon Scone: "Fuji apples, chunks of bacon and shredded Tillamook® cheddar cheese." 

(Hey, YoungSon, ready for a bike ride?)

change I'd like to see: Actually, they changed it, by allowing bikes through.  And I'm not going to quibble over bike rack design.   Just applaud what's been done and pedal on over after one of these next  Saturday hill rides - once I've burned off enough calories to indulge in some of that universal yum.


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Someday we're going to have to come see you and try burgerville. Someday.

Mrs. Organic said...

Grass-fed beef? I think even Mr. O would go for that burger. And eggnog shakes? Sign us up.

Congrats on the bike rack.

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