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Thursday, April 8, 2010

This Week's Mercury Food Section: Burgers

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Thu, Apr 8, 2010 at 12:15 PM

In this week's Last Supper, we get a bit excessive with Foster Burger. I wasn't really sure what to expect when I headed into Foster Burger for the first time a couple weeks ago. The fact the place was headed by critically acclaimed chefs Andy Ricker (Pok Pok) and Daniel Mondok (late of the fire damaged Sel Gris), made me wonder if I was about to sit down to one of those high-minded $20 burgers loaded with ultra-expensive out-there ingredients.

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Nope. There isn't a single mention of Kobe or Waygu. There is no foie gras. In fact, the joint has a distinct low-brow neighborhood feel. The walls sport posters from old punk shows (some dating back to the days of La Luna), the booths are roomy, and the atmosphere loud. The place is so exceedingly family friendly it seemed to be literally crawling with children every time I went to eat, which may or may not be a selling point depending on how you feel about burger-munching toddlers.

All that aside, I really enjoyed what Foster Burger was doing with their star attraction: The patties were very tender, spot-on medium, with a decent grill char. The beef for the patties is ground in-house and combined with backfat, the result being standard burger texture but a tenderness that's sought after by those connoisseurs of massaged, beer fed Japanese beef.

Of course that's only part of the story. The rest of the magic happens with the toppings. If you've read this week's column, you know where I stand. But I'm curious, Blogtownies, what do you look for in a perfect burger, and where are you getting yours.

Not enough burger action for you today? Why not check out PortlandFood.org where the astonishingly never-sated Nick Zukin continues to eat his way through the area's burger joints.

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