Little Big Burger

The Quest for the Best Burger in Portland – Part 4


Have I forgotten about my Quest for the Best Burger in Portland? No, I haven’t. Like any good quest, there are highs and lows. I took a break from trying some new places simply because we weren’t eating out as much and we were getting used to going to the same places when we craved it.

The Quest began with the Slow Bar–an amazing burger with a crispy onion ring on it. Laurelhurst was a trendy, awesome summer place to get a burger. Toast was quaint, different kind of burger with really great flavor. Foster Burger is a messy, fulfilling burger that is often our “go-to” joint. Gruner? I think it’s getting knocked off the list.

Burger Quest Ranking:

1. Slow Bar

2. Laurelhurst

3. Toast

4. Gruner

5. Foster Burger

We’ve had some burgers lately that were pretty good. East Burn had a deliciously messy burger. Nob Hill Bar and Grill was decent but didn’t make the cut. So which place knocked Gruner off the list? Little Big Burger.

It was a rainy, cold, dreary Sunday afternoon and I’d gotten home from the pool with a craving for anything that wasn’t in our fridge. Nothing sounded appealing so when Michael suggested we got o Little Big Burger, I agreed. I’d never been to LBB before, but I’d seen it in the Pearl District downtown and it seemed really popular. They opened a new restaurant on SE Division so we went to check it out.

It was a cute little place and it had a Five Guys feel to it–the kitchen was out in the open and you could watch your meal being prepared. I also like how simple the menu was. 6 items. Simple. Satisfying.

The other cool thing–they are tiny burgers! They are about the size of a slider on a brioche bun. I loved how small they were. They were definitely my size–big enough to be satisfying but not as big as a regular burger that could potentially be over 1,000 calories.

Michael and I split one order fries. The fries and the slider were the perfect amount of food. I enjoyed everything about the burger and the fries were crispy and cooked in Truffle oil. Yum! So, sorry Gruner. Little Big Burger is taking over.

New Burger Quest Ranking:

1. Slow Bar

2. Laurelhurst

3. Toast

4. Foster Burger

5. Little Big Burger

If you ever visit Portland, I recommend trying one of the above restaurants–even if you’re not craving a cheeseburger and fries. Since lunch was fulfilling, we were good and had a lighter dinner that night–from the fridge too.

QUESTION: What’s your go-to food when you’re not really feeling cooking at home?

A Healthy Balance and Some Confessions

There’s been a lot of stuff going on lately in my life. I feel like I’ve been holding a lot of stuff back from this blog of late and I want to explain the best I can. First, let me say that I hate those oh-so-cryptic Facebook updates or Tweets that are vague and alluding to something going on in someone’s life that they aren’t sharing. I don’t want to do that with my blog but the truth is, there are some things that I just won’t talk about here. At least not right now. So I apologize for some vagueness in this post. Maybe soon I can be more specific.

I’ve been feeling like I’m not on the right path for awhile now. Despite this realization that I might want to do something else, I’m pretty much stuck where I am for now. With Michael unemployed, I’m definitely not going to be leaving any jobs to go back to school–especially since I haven’t decided yet what I want to finish my degree in. Feeling stagnant is not a good thing, though. So I’ve been focusing on other things in my life. Changing my workout routine to add more strength training is a new project that I can focus on and I’m a project type of person.

I’ve started taking a medication that supposedly does not cause weight gain as a side effect and yet I’ve been anxious for a month now because I’m paranoid that I will gain weight. I’m trying to be super diligent with my calories, continue my fitness and hopefully the scale won’t reflect a negative change. Then I stepped on the scale a few days ago. It wasn’t my normal time of the month that I usually weigh-in and it also wasn’t first thing in the morning. The scale showed a 2 pound gain. Seriously? It was so deflating.

Now when I look in the mirror I think “WHERE?” Where is that 2 pounds?? I’m going to wait and check again next week at my normal time and cross my fingers that it was just a fluke.

I’ve also been feeling unbalanced for awhile. I feel like my life is a lot of “I should be doing ____”. Like I go to work, I go to the gym, I do house chores and whenever I DO have downtime to myself, I get lost in Netflix (currently mowing through “The Tudors”). This is not a healthy balance. There needs to be more fun, more spontaneity and more downtime in my life. I’ve been struggling to find this balance for awhile and I’ve been trying to make more plans with friends.

A few days ago I got together with a good friend I haven’t seen in a long time. We text a lot back and forth but neither of us are very good at actually making the time to hang out. Tim knew me “before” I lost the weight and was always supportive and encouraging. He reads my blog but never comments–instead texting me his comments. 🙂

I was in the green, ha! I met Tim at a restaurant downtown for happy hour and Michael joined us. We went to the Red Star Tavern. It was a really cute and HUGE place and worth a try if you’re ever in Portland. The best part: their happy hour runs from 4-8. I like those hours.

The happy hour prices were decent. The menu had a lot of different kinds of things. I ordered a glass of the house red and only had one (trying to limit my liquid calories).

We discussed a million things but the bulk of the night was dissecting The Walking Dead. Both Tim and Michael have read the comics so they were cryptically discussing it, teasing me with no spoilers, and making me crazy! I am definitely going to read the comics.

I ate an order of the ham and brie sliders. They were pretty good but lacking something–I think a different kind of cheese that was melted or creamy would be better because it was a tad dry.

Michael and I split an order of the shredded BBQ beef sliders and maybe even an order of jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon. What I wish I’d gotten was the mini cheeseburger that Tim got. Look at this thing:

I was so happy that I made the time for happy hour, even if I’d been feeling down and tired with my couch beckoning me. We ended up hanging out for over three hours that night talking and I felt like my soul got a boost. Downtime. Spontaneity. Socialization. Taking the time to take care of myself = much better mood.

QUESTION: How to you create a healthy balance in your life?