The Hop & Vine sits on a quiet stretch of North Killingsworth storefronts, its shop windows barely hinting at the spacious and upscale restaurant and bottleshop inside. Because they already say it succinctly, I'll crib from their website: "Our full bar features eight craft beer taps, an extensive wine list, creative cocktails and a local seasonal food menu." On the sunny afternoon I stopped by to try their Burger Week burger, the beautiful gravel yard out back—with its greenery and dozens of well-spaced tables—was abuzz with local brewers speaking academically of arcane hops, coddled alpha acids, and more rarefied practices of their trade. Clearly this was an in place for Portland's beer cognoscenti.
Emory, their charming chef, sat with me for a while and explained their $5 creation. She was a top banana at Wildwood before they closed earlier this year (she'd been there since 1999), and recently landed at the Hop & Vine to help revamp their menu, so there's no small amount of kitchen brain-trust going on here. From the fresh focaccia they make daily for its bun, to the expertly-cured pork belly they slice thick and caramelize delicately for topping (she unwrapped a carefully-tied one from their walk-in and showed it off like a new nephew), to the house pickles and bright tomato jam, their grilled Nicky USA venison patty is getting more like a $15 treatment. This is definitely a burger that deserves one of their food-friendly beers alongside.
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Read all the Burger Week details here!
Important reminder: THESE BURGERS WILL SELL OUT. Last year’s restaurants had one main issue with the event last year, and that was people getting angry and rude when they found out that they are part of a reality where restaurants that are getting slammed run out of food. We have better forecasting numbers this year, but please: go early, be kind, get a drink, and, most importantly, a $5 burger is a privilege, not a right. You know what someone who acts like a horse’s ass is? Hint: It has two enormous buttocks and large poops fall out of the middle.