Though I’m almost always in the mood for a beer, what I really needed the other night was a burger. As we all know, Portland has a huge variety of brew pubs to choose from. Many of the breweries provide thirsty Portlanders with a few bottled selections available at local stores and markets. One can get a good idea of the types of beers a brewery may offer by sampling their bottled examples. Unfortunately, there is no hamburger sampler; its either word of mouth or trial and error.
I recently had a hankering for a burger and a beer, I checked out Porlandbeer.org to get a visual on where I wanted to go. Portlandbeer.org is a beer blog that has a map and list of most (if not all) the breweries in the Portland area. It makes for quick brainstorming and helps get an idea of what is closest and/or where I have not been.
I found it odd that I had never been to Burnside Brewing Co. It’s not far from home and right on Burnside so I pass it fairly often. I have tried a few of their beers (i.e. Oatmeal Pale Ale, Burnside IPA and their seasonal It Makes Reindeer Fly), but I had never been to the brew pub. I looked at their menu online at http://www.burnsidebrewco.com/ and read the description of a tasty burger. I’ll sometimes see if there are reviews available on sites like Yelp.com, but I was hungry, wanted to try something new and didn’t want to deliberate too much. Off to Burnside Brewing I went.
The atmosphere at Burnside Brewing Co. is cozy and casual. It was low lit that night but not dark like a night club. The bar is right in front when you enter and I made my way to it and took a seat. The bar tender and other staff were friendly and ready to answer questions about the menu. When I asked about their Brewery burger the bar tender shook her head in the affirmative saying it’s one of her favorites. I ordered it and added cheese and bacon. As usual I got a few beer samples to try. I ordered the Stock Ale, Too Sticky to Roll IRA, and Stout. Each beer was very tasty. The stout was reminiscent of bitter sweet chocolate and espresso. The IRA (which is a seasonal) was very nice as well. Caramel and toffee malt flavors meld with a nice punch of floral and citrus notes from the hops. My favorite was their Stock Ale which I am happy about since it’s in their regular lineup. It’s a very nice ESB, striking a balance between hoppy bitterness and a graham cracker and bread malt profile; a truly pleasant and drinkable beer.
As I was savoring the samples, the bar tender brought me an amazing burger with fries. Everything was cooked perfectly. The fries were a good gauge. Not shoestring but not wedges either. The burger was a thing of beauty! Big, juicy and flavorful. They cook the meat in duck fat and serve with grilled onions. The cheese and bacon made it amazing; the bacon adding a nice, smokey complexity. Is there anything that bacon can’t go with?
I am a fan of Burnside Brewing Co. The food is tasty and the atmosphere is, fun and comfortable. I can only judge by the burger, but their food seems on par with their beers. That is saying quite a bit as their beers are fantastic! If you you haven’t been to Burnside Brewing Co. you need to make your way there!