This is PDX Burger Week, as so created by local free newspaper the Portland Mercury. Smallwares, a self-described “inauthentic izakaya” in northeast Portland had a burger that sounded good so we headed out there Monday evening. We arrived a little before opening at 5pm and there was a line by the time the doors opened.
Unlike most participating restaurants (I believe), Smallwares created a special menu for the burgers ($5 at all participating restaurants) with sides and drinks. Not only does this encourage more spending from the customer (most restaurants are not making money on this promotion), but it helps create a very nice, cohesive meal.
And you know what? It works. Every single restaurant who participates in a promotion like this should be doing the exact same thing.
We ordered one of the recommended drinks - “I carried a watermelon,” made with fresh watermelon juice and sparkling wine, and then three sides: smoked potatoes (with togorashi, scallions and miso ketchup), fried kale (with candied bacon and fish sauce vinaigrette), and corn on the cob (with spicy mayo, furikake and cilantro). Every single one of these dishes was executed perfectly, easy to share and a solid complement to drinks and the burger. We followed this with a kaffir lime panna cotta with apricot jam and crumbled crust. This entire meal cost the two of us $28 before tip - a damn steal.
Smallwares is about as far from our house as any other place we visit, which is a damn shame because the food being put out by Johanna Ware is stellar. We need to back to try the ramen. And steamed buns. And pretty much everything else on the menu.
Cheers to Smallwares for doing PDX Burger Week right.
Slices of Chicago style deep dish pizza from the Thick food cart in downtown Portland - one each of pepperoni and sausage. Very, very good. No idea if it’s authentic, but if it is we need to get to Chicago yesterday.
No better way to start a Saturday morning at the Portland Farmer’s Market than with the Reggie Deluxe from Pine State Biscuits. Sausage gravy, fried egg, cheese, bacon and fried chicken breast on a fresh buttermilk biscuit.
Fun story. This is a water storage tank up the hill from the house we rented outside of Novato, California. When I say up the hill, I mean UP - roughly a 20 degree grade quite a ways up. We walked around the tank, just to see, and saw some deer on the other side. Then as we walked back to the trail apparently my wife got too close. A computerized voice scared the hell out of us, warning us our pictures had been taken and to step back. So we did. Freaky though. Wonder where those pictures went? Did they find a match?
The mixed plate from Love Belizean, a food cart that was on SW 6th in Portland but currently is without a home. Beef, chicken, beans and rice, and salad, topped with prickly pear pepper sauce. The meat melted in your mouth and the sauce provided a nice kick to the stewed flavors. Would love to go back, whenever they find a new home.