It's been two full years since Eater last launched Burger Week, and a lot has come and gone from Portland's food scene since then. Back in April 2013, Jose Chesa hadn't yet opened Ataula. Annette Yang and Brian Leitner, hadn't even arrived in Portland to open Le Vieux. Veg-centric Harvest at the Bindery was still a twinkle in the eye Jon Steuer's eye, and his chef, Sean Sigmon, was happily cooking in Florida. And chef/restaurateur Earl Ninsom hadn't yet opened Langbaan, his secret hideaway behind Paadee, that's since taken the city by storm.
So in celebration of Burger Week's return, we asked these four people, who don't normally serve burgers on their menus, to make a special Burger Week creation. And of course they've come up with epic options that range from a lamb burger studded with sheep's milk feta, to a crispy chicken "burger" dripping with Thai flavors.
Keep in mind these limited-time-only Eater Burgers will only be available on their dinner menus this week. Every day we'll highlight a different burger, but they're all available starting tonight. Here's a glimpse of what's in store:
Le Vieux: Brian Leitner is laser focused on Mediterranean food at Le Vieux, so it's no surprise his Burger Week creation has a deeply Mediterranean vibe. His lamb burger is studded with creamy sheep's milk feta, served up on a tzatziki-slathered potato bun, and served with chickpea "fries."
Ataula: Jose Chesa's first restaurant burger in his 20-year career is a Spanish-infused showstopper. The beef patty is seasoned with pimenton, enriched with cubes of Iberico Bellota lard, and topped with a slice of Mahon cheese, and Basque pickles. Even the brioche-style bun gets a hit of Spanish pimenton, and it's slathered in a sofrito and black garlic aioli. On the side: his irresistible deep-fried patatas bravas.
Paadee: Earl Ninsom took inspiration from his insanely popular Lardo "chefwich" from last Feburary when making this fried chicken beauty. The Thai-marinated chicken gets fried until crisp, then served on a Grand Central roll spread with coconut cream and red curry sauce, then topped with butter lettuce, pickled vegetables, and cilantro. If you want a taste, you better hurry. There are only 20 available each night.
Harvest at the Bindery: Chef Sean Sigmon has built a vegan masterpiece from the bottom up. It starts with a housemade molasses-spiked bun topped with mustard green aioli, pickled butternut squash "ketchup," a chickpea patty seasoned with zaatar, and a pile of kale slaw dressed in miso aioli.