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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Burger Week: Pause's $5 Smoked Cheddar Burger

Posted by Chris Onstad on Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 10:59 AM

One-half pound of fresh, house-ground chuck. $5.
  • One-half pound of fresh, house-ground chuck. $5.

This announcement is part of our 2013 Burger Week (Aug 5-11), where we team with local restaurants and vendors to bring you $5 gourmet hamburgers!

Pause Kitchen and Bar has been a personal favorite for years. I chose it for my first date with my girlfriend, after a lengthy and soul-searching conversation about the best cheeseburger in town. A friend announced his engagement over dinner there. My first child was born there.* The point is, Pause hand-crafts some seriously solid food, and now that their legendary cheeseburger is only $5, it's time you discovered this neighborhood gem.

The crew at Pause doesn't tout how much of their menu is made from scratch on site, though by all rights they should. Whole sub-primals of beef are ground in-house for their monolithic patties. They cure their own pastrami, grow their own vegetables, and pickle their pickles. Tender, finely-textured sausages are seasoned and stuffed in-house, and they smoke a variety of meats in owner Mike Raleigh's custom-built smoker, which is made from a converted antique refrigerator.

Pause’s Burger Week creation is: A thick, charred, medium-rare 1/2-lb house-ground Painted Hills chuck patty, house-smoked Tillamook cheddar, homegrown roasted jalapeño aïoli, house pickles, lettuce, and a Portland French Bakery bun. They cold-smoke the cheddar in house, and it infuses the meat with an irresistibly primal BBQ quality. The jalapeño aïoli is mild, and showcases the flavors of the pepper over its spice. That's all they were willing to do to gussy up their meticulously-prepared beef, and I admire them for it. Order it with their house-cut fries and a draft pint or cocktail, sit outside on their spacious and sunny patio, and get to know one of Portland's most finely-tuned comfort items.

* This is not true, though children are welcome once they have been wiped off and named.

Pause Kitchen and Bar
5101 N Interstate Ave
Mon-Sat 11:30 am - 1 am, Sun 12 pm - 12 am

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