You Can Haz Cheeseburger, by Brunchbox   Leave a comment

The last time I had visited the food carts of Southwest 5th and Stark, this cart had not existed. However, one day while having lunch with some friends downtown, after lunch we walked by this street and lo and behold, this cart that I had heard as having the heart attack cheeseburger is right here! I vowed to come back, and after doing some cardio with a Jillian Michaels DVD in the morning and briskly walking all the way here (and then to all my errands, and back home) to make up for the calories I was about to ingest, I made my way to Brunchbox.

Their cheeseburgers have been well-reviewed, including making it to Portland Monthly's top cheeseburger list. There are lots of good burgers in PDX, thanks to the happy hour culture here which has made a $5 housemade made with local burger pretty ubiquitous. Although I generally don't eat beef, besides my In and Out exception I also will eat beef if it's local, and especially if it's organic and/or free-range. Brunchbox's policy is to use local ingredients whenever possible, so I decided their burger would make my list. Well, especially because some of the other carts I wanted to try, like Asian Station Cafe's soup dumplings (permanently closed! No! Just like Sidecart, another missed food cart opportunity because I got there too late!), and Euro Dish and Stella were closed by the time I got there after the lunch rush.

I was too scared for my heart and arteries to order the "redonkadonk" (Egg, ham, spam, bacon, American cheese between two Texas-toast grilled cheese sandwich “buns”), so I settled for the "youcanhascheeseburger!":
burger between two texas-toast grilled cheese sandwich "buns". Despite the scary looking photo in Portland Monthly, as you can see from my photo below it actually puts together into a burger you can actually fit into your mouth rather then dislocating your jaw a la Dagwood. In other photos you may find online, you may have seen the Texas toast a lot bigger- in fact, I've seen them make these with the bread not so thin as mine- I wonder if they did it because I look like a small young thing that needed help so they smushed down the grilled cheese more, because the bread is really Texas toast- the best bread for grilled cheese because it crunches up and doesn't get soggy from the oily middle of cheese (or burger). Yes, its' a great grease sponge!

The grilled cheese bun, unlike the sweet small Voodoo Doughnut bun that the Original Dinerant a couple blocks down uses for their burger, adds to the cheeseburger experience by providing a nice toasty crunch from the Texas Toast and more cheeziness (but not overwhelming), and this way the extra toppings like lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, pickles, ketchup, mayo, mustard can do their work directly with the meat without interference from any of the richness of the melted cheese. The burger meat is hand formed and juicy and was perfectly medium- I am ashamed at how fast I scarfed this warm melty burger down on that cold bench. I felt pretty good after I ate the first half, but after momentarily considering saving the other half for later, I didn't want to lose the toastyness of the bun and was able to finish it without a struggle, amazingly, and no side effects of feeling like I just ate half a stick of butter from a greasy joint. don't kid yourself, Brunchbox is a greasy joint, but it tastes so good you don't notice all the grease (heh, only some of it). Isn't that a compliment? The only room for improvement I could think of was a bit more lettuce to go with all the grease and give it a bit of a fresh crunch and not just grilled toast crunch.

From Adventures of Pech 2009

And it's just $5! I'm not sure how any of the fast food burger joints even get by in Portland.


Posted December 28, 2009 by pechluck in Uncategorized

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