This month brings Portlanders rain, cold, the shuttering of many neighborhood farmers markets, the likely end of the Timbers season (just being a realist here), and the disappointment of Halloween happening on a weeknight—not to mention all the preemptive mourning of the Blazers’ 2011–12 season. But at local chain Burgerville there’s another orange ball injecting a little brightness and hope: this week marks the arrival of the pumpkin milkshake.
Burgerville’s summer berry shakes may be sunshine in a corn-based compostable cup, but they hit town at a time of bounty, lost amid the baskets and barrels of fresh fruit taking over every local garden, alley, and dessert menu. Similarly, the holiday treacle of winter’s usual offering, the chocolate-hazelnut shake, is just one more treat in a candy-cane jungle.
The pumpkin, though, made with Oregon orbs from Stahlbush Island Farms, is a reminder when we need it most that nature still has plenty of gifts for us. With a hint of sweetness overshadowed by that deceptively good-for-you gourdiness, the thick, smooth shake bears such a resemblance to a Thanksgiving side dish that it’s easy to convince yourself it’s a vital part of the meal and not just dessert, more creamy whipped squash than syrupy pumpkin pie. The Hogwarts cafeteria would surely serve the Yo-Cream smoothie version for breakfast—if they were lucky enough to have Burgerville in England.
$3.39–5.29. Limited time only. 1135 NE MLK Jr. Blvd and all other Burgerville locations