Grandpa Gotta Eat—Burgerville

in fff •  last month 

Next, On Grandpa Gotta Eat...

Some of the best burgers I've eaten (not made by me, of course), have come from a smaller fast food chain called Burgerville. Currently, there are just 42 locations, mostly clustered in the greater Portland, Oregon metropolitan area, but branching as far east as the The Dalles, Oregon, north to Centralia, Washington, and Corvallis, Oregon in it's southernmost end.

On this week's Grandpa Gotta Eat, I will take you and the @foodfightfriday crew on a tour of the outside of the building as I get take home from the drive thru.

[Cue theme music. You know, make up something.]


Presenting... Burgerville

Burgerville's first restaurant was opened in 1961 in Vancouver, Washington by a fellow named George Propstra. Over the last 58 years or so, the chain has focused on providing the best hamburgers, along with other fare, including sandwiches made with chicken, turkey, fish and veggies. The ingredients are all sourced locally throughout the Northwest, and the menu takes on different items as they come into season.

One of my favorite foods Burgerville produces are the onion rings made with sweet Walla Walla onions. Because of the seasonal nature, the onion rings are only available when the onions are. The same holds true for other items, particularly shakes and desserts, that can be made with raspberries, hazelnuts and other such things.

Right now, there's a couple of promotional items in particular—an almond butter milkshake, made with an almond-cashew butter mix, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and for some reason, strawberry jam. I got one of those in recent weeks, and man, was it good. It's not anything I've ever tasted, though, and maybe on another trip I'll try it again.

The other seasonal item available—truffle shoestring fries. I'm afraid I've never thought of combining truffles with fries, but Burgerville did. Not only did they take white truffle oil to cook the fries in, they added fresh parsley and a smidgeon of white truffle salt.

Burgerville's regular fries are the best, bar none, I've ever tasted. Red Robin's steak fries are a close second. I like Burgerville's because they don't usually come out soaked in oil or doused in salt. I like both of those ingredients in healthy moderation, so for me the regular fries are awesome.

Which meant, it was kind of a sacrifice for me to try the shoestring fries, which I did, and will describe the experience a little later.


Location, Location... Okay, You Get It

I can't say I've been to every Burgerville, but typically, they can be found on one of if not the busiest streets in town. The one I frequent is on a corner, which makes them highly visible, but sometimes tough to get into. There is plenty of parking, though, and while there isn't a whole lot of seating inside, for those who still want to eat there, during the nicer months, people can be found taking advantage of the outdoor seating, too.


Nice Menu Board, Dude

I can have a hard time, thanks to being farsighted, of seeing the menu board when I'm in the drive thru because the fast food places like to cram as many items as they can into small spaces. Burgerville's board is nice and big, with fewer items, and it sits straight on as you drive up to it, rather than being angled away on a separate board from the microphone. Sometimes I need to lean back a bit to see things, rather than leaning and squinting forward. (Okay, I do use my glasses on those occasions if I don't specifically know what I want.)

Enter, The Tillamook Cheeseburger

I've tried every hamburger on the menu at least once, but the one I buy the most (and did this time around, too) is called the Tillamook Cheeseburger. Instead of American cheese, it comes with cheddar, which is made in Tillamook at the Tillamook Cheese Factory (or Tillamook Creamery). It comes with a nice leaf of lettuce, a slice of tomato, and mayonnaise. There's a pickle that is supposed to go with it, but not being fond of most pickles that go on burgers, I ask them to remove it. So far, it's not upset them in the least.

I'm not sure what it is about the hamburgers, whether it's the local sourcing, the extra freshness, what they cook it in, or something else, but the meat just has a great flavor to it. It doesn't seem heavy, or like it's clogging your arteries immediately as you're consuming it, and it has something I can only describe as a clean taste to it. I know that sounds weird, but it's actually a really good thing.

Since I enjoy the Tillamook Cheeseburger regularly, there's not much else to report. It tasted as good as ever.


Need. More. Truffle. Shoestring. Fries.

The truffle shoestring fries, though. That was new. And boy, I'm going to need to go back and get me some more, because, well, here's the thing. I couldn't stop eating them. I literally had to force myself not to finish the regular sized bag off in the car before I could get home so I could take a picture.

I'm assuming it's the parsley, because the truffle taste, whatever it is, wasn't nearly as noticeable as the parsley. Or maybe it was the fusion of subtle and not so subtle flavors. Regardless, to say I vacuumed them down would be an understatement.

Drive Thru Experience

Typically, the person at the drive thru window is professional and friendly. It's not quite the Chick-fil-A experience, but it almost always exceeds what happens elsewhere. And they almost always get my order right, which is funny because on this particular outing, they did not, so I had to go back through to claim the rest. After I told them over the microphone what happened, one of their employees actually came out and handed me a bag with the food, so I wouldn't have to go up to the window again. So, even that ended with a more than satisfactory experience.

Eat There!

If you're ever in the Portland metro area, have a hankering for hamburgers, and want to try the local fare, I can't recommend Burgerville highly enough. The prices are more than you might find at bigger chains, but all of those have hiked their prices in recent times, so the gap isn't so wide. I believe, though, the price is worth it, and since I live locally, I like to support local business as much as is feasible.

Environmentally Friendly

For those who are interested in the environment, Burgerville has the added bonus of only using wind generated electricity throughout all its restaurants and headquarters. It returns canola oil used for cooking so it can be repurposed into biodiesel. The ingredients used are antibiotic free, free range, and fresh, never frozen. They recycle as much as they can, and they work with ranch and farm partners who have land conservation at the forefront of their activities.

All images courtesy of Glen Anthony Albrethsen

Grandpa Gotta Eat is published in conjunction with Food Fight Friday, a weekly contest featuring posts about food. To enter, simply write about food, post it on Friday, use the #fff tag, and then be sure to check out the posts of other entrants. Winners are voted on by participants, so you'll want to know what the competition did. You can't vote for yourself, however. That's the only real rule, and violation of it will result in a brusque fish slap.

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Your Food Fight Friday Contender has been entered into Round 38.
May your contender make it out alive and not be placed in a permanent food coma!
Good Luck


Why, thank you, @foodfightfriday. This is new, right? I don't think I've ever received a notification from you before that I've been entered. The triple F is stepping up in the world. Next thing you know, we might have to hide the crystal and the fine china before we start flinging our food. :)

  ·  last month (edited)

That burger looks awesome! I'm a fan of cheddar, here in Argentina we don't have a big tradition of burgers and I remember when I was younger being angry because I couldn't find places to buy this cheese.

The place sounds really cool using renewable energy and recycling oil, that's a plus considering the amounts they must use every day.

Thanks for sharing! It's always nice to add places to visit to the bucket list haha.


Hey, @siucatti.

Cheddar is good, especially the medium. Sharp's a little much—too tangy. Oregon, that I know of, has two places where they make cheese—the one over in Tillamook, and the other in Bandon. They're both more or less coastal towns, just on opposite ends of the state, north and south. Tillamook also produces some pretty awesome ice cream, too.

It's so interesting reading your comment, because because burgers and cheddar, while tasty, isn't a delicacy or anything special. It's what we eat. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, a burger is a burger, and a rather humble meal at that. But if you don't get to eat them much, just like anything else, they become a treat.

I mean, for me, the food you would eat on a regular basis in Argentina would be way more interesting, and so, it's the same for you. It just makes me smile that we could both find something of value in what we might both think as every day meals. :)


Absolutely! That's the magic of steemit and one of the biggest reasons to keep coming back, having the chance to learn about foreign places and lifestyles is amazing, very enriching.

Burgers, one of my favorite foods. When it's time to get a good burger, and your not in the mood for cooking, it's a great thing not to have to go to McDonalds or Burger King. This joint looks like the real deal.
A lot of other choices on the menu, nothing wrong with that, but it would still be burgers for me.
I love the fact that they seem to be very conscious about how their business impacts out environment, from recycling to wind-power, to free-range cattle. It's no wonder you support this local establishment @glenalbrethsen.


Hey, @thebigsweed.

It definitely has a lot going for it, in their menu, in the taste, and in their business practices. I think we should be making an effort to keep our little area of the planet clean and habitable, and do our best to help and encourage others to do the same.

I probably wouldn't go eat there as often as I do if the burgers and fries weren't to my liking, though. First and foremost, it is a restaurant, so the food has to be good. I think everything they're doing helps to make it so, which to me is the point. It's going to cost a little more, but I think ultimately, as far as burgers go, it's healthier fare by far. :)


Thanks for the reply @glenalbrethsen
When I find a place that has good food, I will not venture too far to experiment with another.

Man, I’ve never heard of burgerville but there company culture sounds great. When I was tending bar I would work for fine dining restaurants usually and truffle fries were commonly on the menu. They are truly addicting and ruined (not really) by dipping them in ketchup. Okay, so that’s not true but they are so good who needs the ketchup.

I see there is a black bean burger on the menu- another point for burgerville ✅.

That almond butter shake sounds delicious too. I just read someone’s post and their picture was “wala wala” such a nice town they named it twice- or something like that 🤷🏼‍♀️

Glad to see you @glenalbrethsen. Happy food fight my friend!


Hey, @puravidaville.

Yeah, I'll need to go again before the almond butter shake is gone, to try it one more time. I liked it, I just didn't know what to expect.

There is a black bean burger. I may have tried it once. They fry it like they do the hamburger, and I didn't like it that much. To each their own, though. :)

There was no need for anything on those truffle fries. I'm sad to hear someone else has them, though. BV was approaching mythical status with them. :)

I made sure to include the Walla Walla onion part just so that @jlsplatt would have something to comment on. :)


Haha… truffle fries are bomb! I used to serve “duck fat truffle fries with a side of spicy aioli” and everyone would go nuts for them. I don’t know why but duck fat would get the fries so crispy and delicious. I was actually semi surprised to see a fast food chain offering truffle fries- truffle oil is really expensive. Anyway, go back and get that shake for me. I’m obsessed with almond butter anything.

Black bean burgers are hard to get right. I’ve always assumed that when you fry anything it’ll taste good but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Making a “good” veggies burger is clearly an art that many people aren’t good at. Kind of like falafel 🤷🏼‍♀️

I love the Environmentally Friendly attitude this place is committed to, the burgers look good also


Hey, @farm-mom.

I think the environmental part is probably a draw for some people, definitely. For me, there wouldn't be much point if the food wasn't very good, but it is, and they always seem to be coming up with different things to try. This is the first time I've seen the almond butter shakes on the menu in the several years I've been buying there, so for a small chain, they're still looking to freshen up their offerings here and there.

I am even dreaming of having my own restaurant later in the future. Who knows


Takes a lot of work to have a restaurant. And a lot of good fortune, too. I guess the restaurant industry is one of the ones with the most failures, particular within the first couple of years. My wife's been interested in opening up one, but I'm not that keen. Too many things can go wrong. I would rather come up with recipes that will refrigerate or freeze well and then sell that, so the only overhead is in manufacturing and distributing.


I wasn’t sure you’d ever outperform last weeks fast food show down and here we are, “surprise-surprise.” @glenalbrethsen comes through once again. I’m a big fan of truffle fries, too. 👍🏿 Happy Friday, sir. Have a great weekend.


Hey, @dandays.

Am I the only one who has not heard of truffle fries? Silly me, thinking it was something Burgerville cooked up. :)

I guess not all of us can be as well-traveled and Cosmopolitan as others... :)

re: outperform

Well, I wouldn't say that I did that, but I didn't cook last weekend, so I had to resort to this again. And, I was hoping that tasteem would come through with their upvote, but apparently it wasn't deemed worthy of it, so there's that. :)

I believe I will be cooking tonight, just not sure what, so we may be back to Grandpa's Gotta Cook again, even if I much prefer Grandpa Gotta Eat. :)

Sounds great. I would love to try that milk shake and very odd they use strawberry jam ,but that could be to add the sweetness as all jam is really sugar and fruit. This is a wonderful review and have me thinking of food now.


hey, @cryptoandcoffee.

Yeah, the jam was definitely tasty. I just wasn't expecting it, and since the almond-cashew mix was already different to begin with, having the jam was just plain unexpected. So I had all these surprise flavors vying for my attention on my taste buds. That's why I need to go back to make sure what it all was that was going on in there. :) I might have to drink it slower, too. That might help.

I think the main purpose of all these food posts is to make people think about food, or make them hungry. We seem to exceed at doing both. :)


Well I could taste the strawberry jam when I read it lol. Unfortunately w don't have anything like this here and I wish other take aways would be more adventurous. I like the idea of using only drug free organic meat and hate to know what we are consuming here.


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Wow! this is one of best restaurant review I've ever read :-). Here's a cake from helpie by @macchiata.


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Hey, @weirdheadaches.

Yeah, so, it's nothing like that at all. :)

I don't think I would go 40 minutes to an hour for a burger, but there might be some food I could do that for. :)

There's a pizza place about that far away to the south of us that my wife likes a lot. You basically get to put on whatever toppings you want and however many you want for the same price. It is pretty good. I'm just surprised my wife likes it. :)


Lol, for some reason that clip came to mind.

Burgerville looks delicious. There are hardly any "original" places around here. That Pizza sounds Awesome :).


They're starting to crop up in a few places. We know of a different one of these kind of pizza places my brother-in-law took us to in Southern California. My wife liked it so much, we went back to have some a day or so before we left to come back home. She's been talking about going back to the one nearer our home since the last time she went. :)

Burgerville is pretty good, I think. It obviously depends on your preferences. It's not greasy. It just tastes good. :)

Excellent review @glenalbrethsen and if I am in your area, then I will be interested to visit the Burgerville!