burger-stanwichs
Image: Bruce Wolf

Timeless creations at Stanich’s

OLD SCHOOL

Stanich’s

Festooned with decades’ worth of sports pennants and anchored by cushy brown leather booths, Stanich’s restaurant doesn’t exactly look like your typical ’50s diner, but to Portlanders, it’s every bit as emblematic of the era as oh, say, the Fonz. In fact, the restaurant’s décor hasn’t changed since 1949. And neither has the way it makes its burgers. Handmade signs warn diners that a Stanich’s cheeseburger ($5.75) “is not fast food”—meaning you’ll wait nearly 20 minutes for this classic ode to beef: a quarter pound of flat-pattied, fresh-ground chuck topped with shredded lettuce, American cheese, and tomato, all covered in “special sauce” (mayonnaise, mustard, pickle relish) and nestled between a sesame-seed bun. And if you’re really hungry, tack on bacon, egg, and ham, too (aka “The Special,” $6.50). Happy days, indeed. —MC
4915 NE Fremont St; 503-281-2322

Runners-Up

The Red Coach Restaurant Cheeseburger, $4.85 Montana Ranch beef, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and American cheese on a Franz Family Bakeries kaiser bun. 615 SW Broadway; 503-227-4840

Nob Hill Bar and Grill Good Sam Cheeseburger, $6.25 Quarter-pound Fulton Farm beef patty, house-made Thousand Island sauce, onions, pickles, lettuce, and tomato on a Franz Family Bakeries toasted bun. 937 NW 23rd Ave; 503-274-9616; nobhillbg.ypguides.net

 

 

burger-veggie
Image: Bruce Wolf

Laurelthirst’s spicy veggie burger bites back.

VEGGIE

Laurelthirst Public House

The proliferation of dreadlocks and tie-dye, not to mention the giantmarijuana leaf on the wall, might be pre-hipster (as in hippie) Portland clichés. But there’s nothing tired about the Laurelthirst’s spicy veggie burger ($7). One of four homemade meat-free burgers on the menu, this gustatory wake-up call had even our carnivorous companions drooling. Unlike most veggie patties, the sunflower seed–and–walnut patty didn’t fall to pieces after the first two bites, and it’s spiked with so much chipotle that ordering one of the 16 microbrews on tap is practically required. Drink two, and you might just find yourself inspired to join the circle of patchoulied revelers swaying along
to the nightly bands. —KC
2958 NE Glisan St; 503-232-1504; laurelthirst.com

Runners-Up

Alameda Brewhouse Harvest Burger, $8.25 A patty made from the “spent grains” used to brew beer as well as peppers, onions, jalapeños, and spices, served on a Portland French Bakery bun. 4765 NE Fremont St; 503-460-9025; alamedabrewhouse.com

Veritable Quandary Heather’s Veggi “Burger,” $14 A patty made from crushed lentils, hazelnuts, and mushrooms topped with buttermilk blue cheese and grilled onions, and lightly dressed with truffle aioli. 1220 SW First Ave; 503-227-7342; veritablequandary.com