The Quest for the Best Burger in Portland – Part 1

The Quest for the Best Burger in Portland – Part 1

For a week now Michael has been trying to convince me to go to a restaurant he calls “Hans Gruber” — Gruner in downtown Portland. I wasn’t craving burgers until Tuesday after a great workout. I suggested we give it a try and continue our quest for the best burger in Portland.

We went downtown and met up with one of Michael’s friends, Traver, for dinner. Michael got a glass of the Upright Engelberg Pilsener (OR) beer.

And I got a glass of the GrΓΌner Veltliner (Stadt Krems, Kamptal, AT 2009) –white wine. It was a crisp, tangy wine that wasn’t too sweet and went perfectly with the hot summer weather. We were sitting outside in the sun and it was a gorgeous Portland day–80+ degrees!

The three of us split an appetizer: fried smashed yellow finn potatoes, special sauce (um, Ranch dressing, not really “Special Sauce” but still good in my book!).

They were salty and good, and there weren’t enough for three people! I ate two. The burgers arrived. We all ordered the same thing: hambΓΌrger with smoky bacon on a potato bun with fontina cheese, b&b pickles, pickled red onions, aΓ―oli, arugula & house-made ketchup:

The burger was good. NOT the best burger in Portland but tasty. The bun was the best part of the burger, hands down. The burger didn’t need the bacon, it got kind of lost in the other flavors. The cheese was mild, the homemade ketchup had the consistency of tomato paste and I tasted curry.

The burger itself was good–meaty tasting–but not incredibly flavorful otherwise (spice wise). It was good but very greasy and messy to eat.

It was so nice being able to sit outside and enjoy dinner in the sun! They brought our bill in a book completely in German, which I thought was a cool touch.

After dinner we decided to go for a walk through the Pearl District and find some dessert. It was a really nice stroll after a heavy dinner. It was the perfect night for a walk.

We ended up at Cupcake Jones. I was tempted by all the amazing looking cupcakes! I was good though.

We each got one mini cupcake. Michael got the chocolate, Traver got a white chocolate with cranberry and I got the Pumpkin Spice.

It was so good! The mini cupcake was the perfect amount. I particularly liked the tiny sugar cookie on top of my cupcake too. πŸ˜‰

We continued walking deeper into the Pearl District and ended up at Jamison Park. I’d never seen the fountains there in the park, so it was a nice treat!

There were tons of kids playing in the fountain. It would be a nice place to relax and read in the summertime!

Bottom line on The Quest: Still have not discovered the BEST burger in Portland. So far I think the ranking is as follows: 1) Slow Bar, 2) Foster Burger, 3) Gruner, 4) Five Guys.

QUESTION: Do you ever walk around your city like a tourist?

Baby Olympics

Saturday after the gym I made a “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” salad for myself. I was really hungry!

Salad, broccoli, orange peppers, leftover black beans, leftover quinoa.

The leftover salmon, cottage cheese and Goddess Dressing. It was surprisingly filling and about 3/4 through the salad I was stuffed. I think it was the black beans. Michael and I spent the afternoon doing some shopping (Nike Outlet) and then watched a movie at home before we had to go to our friend’s baby shower.

It wasn’t your typical baby shower either. The theme was “Baby Olympics” complete with Olympic games. πŸ˜‰

The invitation said to wear an Olympic costume. I thought about wearing my swimsuit but decided that would be awkward and embarrassing…especially if none of the other guests went all out, right? Michael went dressed as a golfer and wore his Reach the Beach medal. I wore my Hood to Coast hat and medal.

Michael and I got some good gifts for them. A few books for both mom and dad:

And a little something for baby:

They had lots of good BBQ food. I ate a hot dog, one scoop of pasta salad, a few potato chips and lots of cauliflower with dip. It was tasty.

And lots and lots of cupcakes! Regular sized and miniature.

I wish I could say I practiced restraint with the cupcakes but I didn’t. πŸ™ I told myself the miniature ones were better for me but then I proceeded to eat too many of them! They probably equaled a whole or maybe even two full sized cupcakes! Yikes. Oh well, they were good and I didn’t go crazy with the other food.

After the food the Olympic Games started. They were so much fun and much better than the typical Baby Shower Games. First, Baby Tossing.

Since the Portland rain has returned, the games were moved into the garage. The Baby Tossing competition was fun! 5 points for getting the baby into the flower pot, 3 points if the baby touches the outside of the flower pot.

I got a hole-in-one!

Their dog Sadie decided she wanted to play too!

Which was pretty funny too.

Next was Baby Curling and then Pin the Diaper on the Baby. All fun and goofy. It was a good night and we had a lot of fun.

QUESTION: What’s your favorite cupcake recipe?