The gluten-free, fried in soybean oil, Kennebech potato fry from Deschutes Brewery.

KOBE

Yakuza

Legend has it that the famously tender Kobe beef comes from Wagyu cows who are fed a steady diet of beer and massaged daily with warm sake by beautiful maidens—all while grazing in the mountains of Hyogo, Japan. Far-fetched, yes, but after a bite of the Yakuza burger ($12), it seems plausible. Nearly half a pound of medium-rare Durham Ranch Kobe beef is set between two Pearl Bakery brioche buns and accented by creamy, piquant goat cheese. Paper-thin ribbons of crispy shoelace fried potatoes are piled on top, then doused in truffle oil and spiced with togarashi (a mixture of orange zest and chili powder). It’s an exquisite beef epode that may well inspire its own tall tale. —Martha Calhoon
5411 NE 30th Ave; 503-450-0893; yakuzalounge.com

Runners-Up

Bamboo Sushi Kobe Beef Burger, $14 Aged Tillamook white cheddar, caramelized onions, house-made brioche bun. 310 SE 28th Ave; 503-232-5255; bamboosushipdx.com

Urban Farmer Farm Burger, $16 extra-sharp Tillamook cheddar, aioli, pommes frites, English muffin, house-made tomato jam. 525 SW Morrison St; 503-222-4900; urbanfarmerrestaurant.com



 

burger-kobe
Image: Bruce Wolf

Make it an even happier hour with Clyde Common’s hamburger sandwich.

HAPPY HOUR

Clyde Common

Since Clyde Common opened in 2007, its mixologists have earned a reputation for meticulously crafting potent liquid antidotes to a day spent hunched over a keyboard. And their kitchen counterparts are equally masterful when it comes to building happy-hour burgers. Clyde Common’s hamburger sandwich ($6) is anchored by a tender hunk of Pacific Northwest beef blended with a touch of Carlton Farms pork fat to amp up the flavor. Grilled to perfection, the glistening patty of goodness is set upon a buttery, sweet, and lightly charred brioche bun from Pearl Bakery, then crowned with a cuff of seasonal lettuce, a tangle of pink pickled onions, and, arguably the most seductive ingredient of all, a saucer brimming with a house-made tomato jam of sun-dried tomatoes, dried apricots, and vinegars. This surprising stroke of acidity elevates the hamburger to close-your-eyes-and-take-a-moment heights. —Rachel Ritchie
1014 SW Stark St; 503-228-3333; clydecommon.com

Runners-Up

Saucebox Miyako Burger, $4 Cascade Natural beef on a toasted brioche bun with sliced avocado, fire-roasted red jalapeños, house-made teriyaki sauce, and wasabi mayonnaise. 214 SW Broadway; 503-241-3393; saucebox.com

Serratto Burger, $6 Strawberry Mountain beef served on a lightly grilled brioche bun with Zenner’s bacon, extra-sharp Tillamook white cheddar, crispy fried white onions, garlic aioli, and house-made barbecue sauce. 2112 NW Kearney St; 503-221-1195; serratto.com