Portland Burger Week 2017 Comes to a Close

Portland Burger Week 2017 comes to a close today, and I do intend to go out with a final delicious burger, however, this is one of the first years I’m kind of ok with things ending–I think it has everything to do with the impressive change in the weather yesterday evening into today.

The rain returned.

You might think it odd that I’m dedicating the open of an entire post to the rain returning, but it had been nearly 60 days since we’d seen a drop. 2 MONTHS. And in that time temperatures in Portland spiked near record highs, fires (both locally and in other parts of the world) impacted our air quality and visibility, and the will to cook was temporarily lost. I became resigned to only turning on the stove early in the morning or after 10pm, and we grilled everything we could to keep the heat out of the house. Then last night around 9pm, it rained drizzled, really. We were sitting outside enjoying a fire with friends and it was so surprising and welcomed that we all stopped talking for a few moments and tipped our heads upwards to feel the droplets hit our skin. And now I can nearly taste fall. I’m thinking about canning some heirlooms for September soups and sauces–freezing peaches so that in November I can pull them out and eat them for a week with nothing more than a spoon…I just need to keep telling myself, it’s August. It’s August. It’s. AUGUST.

Burger Week!!! Here’s a complete list of the burgers we consumed this week–

DOUBLE BARREL 

*Descriptions from The Portland Mercury’s Burger Week Site*

Curd Is the Word!
Here’s a burger the Trashmen would approve of: Double Barrel Tavern’s Curd Is the Word! boasts the undeniable pairing of ground beef and squeaky, chewy cheese curds. More specifically, it’s Painted Hills beef, so you know exactly where it came from, and the cheese curds are accompanied by gravy and crisped potatoes in what I can only imagine is a wise homage to Canadian superfood poutine. (There’s also butter lettuce, because they had to get a veggie in there somewhere, right?) It’s enough to make you manically repeat the phrase “The curd is the word!” Or you would, if your mouth weren’t full of delicious dairy and protein.

First stop @doublebarreltavernpdx Curd Is the Word! Painted Hills beef, butter lettuce, cheese curds, gravy and crisped potatoes #portlandburgerweek # #inpdx #pdxnow #pdxeats #burgerweek

 

HOME, A BAR

*Descriptions from The Portland Mercury’s Burger Week Site*

The Dirty Picnic
The best part of a picnic is that last bite, when all the flavors come together, like a family reunion without fighting and disappointment (if those exist). Home, A Bar captures the fleeting feeling of that last bite with the Dirty Picnic, featuring beans, chips, coleslaw, meat, bacon, cheese, hot dogs, and a bun. This is a feat of burger engineering: using the space between a bun as a vehicle for an entirely separate culinary experience! But that’s the Dirty Picnic’s deal—it just loves bringing people together. Come Home and get yours.

The search is over. My #portlandburgerweek just may have hit its crest–meet the Dirty Picnic from @homebarpdx — beans, chips, cole slaw, meat, cheese, and hotdogs on a bun. Bravo @dieselboi and co. ❤️

 

BOISE FRY CO.

*Descriptions from The Portland Mercury’s Burger Week Site*

The Real American Hero Burger

The United States is in peril, so we need Boise Fry Company’s Real American Hero Burger more than ever before. It’s an all-natural, seasoned chuck patty topped with delicious charred onion aioli, thick-cut bacon, house-made dill pickles, and American cheese on a sesame seed bun. USA! USA! While you’re there, you should probably order a side of fries, too: There are six BFC locations, and the other five are in Idaho, so they really know how to serve a potato.

A solid choice for a classic take on a burger–enjoyed an all-natural, seasoned chuck patty topped with delicious charred onion aioli, thick-cut bacon, house-made dill pickles, and American cheese on a sesame seed bun. USA! USA! Also so many sauce options! #portlandburgerweek #inpdx #pdxnow #latergram #burger #summer

 

ICONIC

*Descriptions from The Portland Mercury’s Burger Week Site*

Southern Chowdown

We have no beef with Iconic’s Southern cookout-inspired burger, made with ground pork and bacon. This piggy patty is coated in dry rub and grilled with barbecue sauce for extra goodness, just like they do in the southland—calories be damned.That hyper-juicy meat is set atop a chewy cornbread bun that’s been bedecked with a delicious housemade Southern chow-chow chutney, and then covered in a cabbage slaw. Wash it down with an iconic bourbon-based drink and you’re set for a real hootenanny.

@iconicpdx Southern Chowdown | pork and bacon. This piggy patty is coated in dry rub and grilled with barbecue sauce for extra goodness, just like they do in the southland—calories be damned.That hyper-juicy meat is set atop a chewy cornbread bun that’s been bedecked with a delicious housemade Southern chow-chow chutney, and then covered in a cabbage slaw #portlandburgerweek #portlandnw #inpdx #pdxnow #latergram

 

ELEPHANTS DELICATESSEN

*Descriptions from The Portland Mercury’s Burger Week Site*
The Pig Kahuna
Keeping in tradition with their previous Burger Week offerings the Pig Lebowski and the Pig Mac, Elephant’s Pig Kahuna burger is constructed around a pork-based patty that sets it apart from more traditional beef offerings. Utilizing a staff favorite “hamloaf” recipe for the base, Elephant’s then coats the meat with a pineapple-bourbon sauce that brings things to just the right level of sweetness, before balancing it out with a little spice in the form of roasted jalapeños and pepperjack. Add a layer of shredded lettuce to provide a bit of crunch that doubles as a cooling note, then stack it all up on a homemade sesame seed bun, and you’ve got a scrumptious Burger Week offering.

***

So all in, about 5 burgers each–not bad! The only thing that’s sad is that Burger week goes Monday through Saturday–So if you were thinking about heading out today to have your favorite ONE LAST TIME, you are too late.

Did you partake in Portland Burger Week this year? How’d you think it went? Who had your favorite? Hit me up on social and let’s talk burgers! 

 

As always, if you’d like to follow my travels in real time, remember to follow me on Instagram at @TheSpicyBee — have a wonderful week!

Ham & Brie Melt with Peppercress Micro Greens from Gilded Greens

Ham and Brie Melt Featuring Gilded Greens' Pepper Cress Micro Greens | The Spicy Bee

After our heatwave broke here in Portland (multiple days over 100°F in June!?), I found myself craving hot, delicious, melty sandwiches. I had also just come into some fun peppercress micro greens from Gilded Greens, located here in PDX, so I put my thinking cap on and came up with a sandwich, which rivals all other sandwiches in my arsenal: The Ham and Brie Melt with pickled shallots, honey dijon (Toby’s Honey Dijon Dressing), mayo, and peppercress. I enjoyed this delightful melt with some wavy BBQ chips (because, summer), and our newest beer on the keg, Occidental’s Alt.

Before I get into this too much, I should explain how I approach building a proper melt because perhaps this is your first time attempting one at home. Start with a beautiful loaf of bread; I, myself, fell hard for Pearl Bakery’s Paesano loaf from the Wednesday Park Blocks Farmer’s Market–it’s like fluffy white bread center meets the thinnest, golden crust. It’s perfection for melt-making in my opinion. Slice off up to 1 inch thick slabs, spread one side (this will eventually become the inside of your melt) with mayonnaise, and toss onto a hot (HOT) cast iron skillet until nicely browned. This is a trick to aid in the melting of the brie as well as creating a crunch to the inside of the sandwich. The mayonnaise can be subbed out for butter instead if you prefer. This method should be done with both pieces of bread, though that said, you can also make a melt open faced–so how much bread you use is really up to you.

What I loved about these pepper cress is their spice! They add the perfect amount of crunch and their assertive flavoring means that a little goes a long way! They are packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium as well. You can get your hands on Gilded Greens‘ many micro greens options by contacting them via the Gilded Greens Facebook Page.

Ham & Brie Melt with Pickled Shallots, Honey Dijon, Mayo & Peppercress Micro Greens from Gilded Greens

Ham and Brie Melt Featuring Gilded Greens' Pepper Cress Micro Greens | The Spicy Bee

Ingredients

  • 4 Slices of hearty, Italian bread
  • 2-3 T mayonnaise
  • 2 T Toby’s Honey Dijon Dressing (or other honey mustard)
  • 6 oz Applewood smoked ham
  • 8 oz Double cream Brie
  • 1/4 c Red wine vinegar
  • 1 Large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 oz Gilded Greens peppercress

Method

Ham and Brie Melt Featuring Gilded Greens' Pepper Cress Micro Greens | The Spicy Bee

In a small bowl, combine the shallot and red wine vinegar to give them a light pickle; set to side. Apply mayo to one side of each slice of bread and place in a hot cast iron until browned–this will become the inside of your melt. *Assemble one sandwich at a time–showing toasted sides up, place nice fat slices of brie straight to the hot, toasty side and top with greens. For the other slice, slather on the honey mustard and top with ham. Remove shallots from vinegar bath and apply them to the sandwich. Vinegar can be disposed of or reused to dress a salad.

Put sandwich together, apply more mayo, and place back in pan to toast. Apply mayo to the final side and flip! Brown to your preferred level of darkness. Repeat instructions from *asterisk* above for second sandwich.

Slice and serve immediately! This recipe makes 2 sandwiches.

Kriekfest

Cushy grass underfoot, a glass filled with ruby colored elixir and Mt. Hood filling your periphery—this, my friends, is Kriekfest. 
 
Going on its second year this summer, Kriekfest is a small festival celebrating beer known as kriek, a flemish-style beer aged over fresh cherries. The festival takes place in the back of Solera Brewing in Mt. Hood Parkdale, OR, and the vibe is both family friendly, and what I would term as hipster-lite. Guests are encouraged to camp as accommodations are slim in the area. For those that prefer an all-inclusive package, Brewvana offers a ticket that includes transport both directions from Portland, admission, and three extra drink tickets that those attending at the general admission level will not receive. For those interested in a little more adventure, I suggest either following the camping suggestions on the Kriekfest site or investing in this little gem of a book, Camp Free in the Mt. Hood National Forest by Don Reichart and finding somewhere free to crash with your tent.
 
General admission is $25 per person and includes eight drink tickets and a souvenir glass. Beers range from 1-4 tickets based on rarity, and 2016 breweries included: Alesong (Eugene, OR), Block 15 (Corvallis, OR), Hanssens (Belgium), Jester King (Austin, TX), Logsdon Farmhouse Ales (Hood River, OR), Upright Brewing (Portland, OR),  Solera Brewing (Parkdale, OR), Modern Times (San Diego, CA), Wolves & People (Newberg, OR), Finnriver (Chimacum, WA), and more.
 Kriekfest in Mt. Hood Parkdale 2017
I highly suggest adding this fest to your “must attend” list as its still got all the great qualities of a small-time festival (grassy, short lines, easy and free parking, quirky entertainment, affordable) but with beers that ended up fetching 95+ pts via Ratebeer.com (e.g. Lost Abbey’s Cuvee de Tomme, 3 Fonteinen Intense Red Oude Kriek, and Bruery Terreux Sans Pagaie just to name a few! And I haven’t even mentioned the food!! Apple Valley BBQ set up a special spot within the fest in 2016. If you’ve been like me and missed out on their delectable BBQ every other time you’ve visited Mt. Hood Parkdale (because they run out!), this is the perfect chance to acquaint yourself with their brilliance.
 
Do yourself a favor and get your tickets now for this magical festival of cherry-centric beers. Be sure to roll into Hood River beforehand and pick up some cherries at the farmer’s market to take home as well since this event is going to have you falling in love with the fruit harvested a stone’s throw from the festival grounds.