Burger Basket

"Home of the Best Burger in the World," that's how they advertise this place on Mission Street and 25th. What world are they talking about? Fortunately, I don't think anyone is falling for that claim. Burger Basket may be the only non franchise hamburger joint in town, that's why the place is packed during the lunch hour. And it hangs in there despite encroachment of two mega burger chains across the street. Inside it
has a refreshing mom and pop style feel with antique gas pumps, soda pop machines and classic car memorabilia. It's a shame there aren't more places like this in Salem where the owners can get feedback from their customers directly and tailor their food to the local crowd. Nowadays we get food that's been focus grouped in Southern California and franchised nationwide. Then if we're lucky, they're going to condemn our land and plow an open field to put one in a new strip mall that has great freeway access. And those antique gas pumps, remind me of when gasoline was less than a buck a gallon but you didn't need to buy any because you could safely
ride your bike to the grocery store. What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, Burger Basket. Even if they aren't the "best burger in the world," it's a worthwhile endeavor for lunch. There's a variety of hamburgers in three sizes, small, large, and giant. I ordered the "large," 1/3 pound chili cheeseburger with fresh onions and fries for $6.30. It came open faced with a buttered top bun split in two for dipping. With plastic utensils it was difficult to eat so I wound up cutting the patty in half and eating it like a hand sandwich. I wasn't too happy with the chili. It wasn't very spicy or flavorful for that matter and it left me with a grumbling stomach later. The patty was cooked very well done. This thing was charred and looked like a hockey puck. I thought that it may just be that way for the chili burger, for some reason, but as I looked at my kids burgers theirs were also burnt. In fact, on one of them, the patty was so dry, part of it broke off. The thick cut french fries and onion rings were good and filling. I really want to say that this place is great and that it should be a model for the little guy against the corporate giants. At best I can say it's local and I would go here instead of those two awful chains across the street. They do give me hope that we can make our own food here in Salem and have our own original restaurants. And if it's the only local place in Salem I can order a hamburger, than at least to me it's the "Best Burger in the World."

2455 Mission Street Southeast
Salem, OR 97302
(503) 364-0702


Anonymous said...

The Burger Basket has a great hamburger, but they should use higher quality buns and cheese.

I love their sauteed onions. The fries are good too.

Anonymous said...

Rockin' Roger's on S Commercial is locally owned and not part of a big chain.

Burger Basket couldn't stay open in Jefferson, where they're crying for a good burger joint. The 'basket' there closed after just a few months.

EazyMoney said...

I've been here to the basket at least 3 times over the years. Every time I got a crap hamburger. I gave up on this place a lot time ago, and have wondered how they managed to stay in business this long.

Anonymous said...

Good local burgers:
Court St. Dairy Lunch
Rock N' Rogers
Ringo's in Keizer (a total hole-in the wall bar, but has amazing burgers)
Stonefront Tavern (never ate there but heard its good)

Anonymous said...

Last time I ate there was at least five years ago it was greasy, and decent. The burger was ok I got the giant. The curly fries were great. The ketchup was tomato sauce and horrible. So what happened to the bigfoot bar and grill opening out south.

jennifer said...

ask them where they get their meat!
MYSTERIOUSLY NOBODY working there knows where they get it from, and they claim its fresh local beef

Anonymous said...

Best burgers in Salem for my money.

John said...

I ate there last week. The curly fries were the most god-awful things I have ever seen - they were home cut and only cooked about 50% not to mention dripping with oil - wimpy, wimpy wimpy - not a single crisp fry.

The burger looked good as it was a non-preformed patty, but alas it was not meant to be - crappy bun and lackluster condiments = fair style food.

The only redeeming quality of this $20-something meal (wife and daughter included). Was the chocolate milkshake. The milshake was the real deal - probably the best I have ever had in Salem.

If you are even thinking about going to DQ across the street for blizzards, etc. - consider swinging by the burger basket and enjoying one of their shakes instead - you won't be disappointed.

Alex said...

Until someone dares to use fresh beef as opposed to the pre-fab frozen patties, their potential is capped at mediocrity.

On a side note, Maverick's Bar & Grill used fresh, hand-formed patties in their burgers, supplemented by an all-original, homestyle southern menu. They closed down this week.

Salem won't get good restaurants until Salem wants good restaurants.

Anonymous said...

Their hamburger quality has gone down over the years and now I have issues with the owner and his lack of caring and customer service.

I told my husband we are not going back - ever - and I mean it!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Rockin' Roger's on S Commercial is locally owned and not part of a big chain.

Burger Basket couldn't stay open in Jefferson, where they're crying for a good burger joint. The 'basket' there closed after just a few months.
March 12, 2008 2:27 AM

~~~That is a flat out lie!
The owner lives in Texas and Rock N' Rogers is a chain, especially with a location in Texas!

KandN said...

Hey Anonymous, I've been curious about this Rock n Roger's in Texas thing, so I gave their South Commercial restaurant a call this morning. Kelsey, told me they now have two Salem locations and one in Plano, Texas--since the owner presently lives in Plano, Texas.

Chuck Bradley said...

Burger Basket.... If this joint is the "Home of the best burger in the world", that burger has moved to parts unknown long since. Knowing I wasn't a fan of their hamburgers, I tried their Halibut Dinner. Rubbery batter, soggy fries, no lemon wedge (I can't begin to guess how many Fish & Chips meals I've eaten. This is the first time, in memory, when this simple touch was neglected.), and ketchup the consistency and flavor of tomato juice. The place was relatively clean. The service was adequate if not spectacular. I probably will not be returning anytime soon

Anonymous said...

Burger Basket is the best burger in Salem. Obviously fresh hand formed patties. Good bun/sauce/condiments.

We go on long mountain bike trips every other weekend and everyone always wants to go the burger basket on the way home. Best burger in town in my opinion.


Anonymous said...

They don't hold a candle to Willamette Burger Company. If you haven't tried them yet, you are seriously missing out. Best burger, hands down.

Chuck Bradley said...

The degree to which opinions vary takes me by surprise again and again. I don't presume to tout mine as any better or worse than any other. All honest opinions deserve respect as such.

Anon, I'm 100% with you on WBC.

Mike, I would love to hear your thoughts should you get a chance to try Willamette Burger Company.

Anonymous said...

I know that really the only people that write reviews are the ones with complaints, so I thought I'd chime in. Although, I do have a small one. I'm not sure what's up with these reviews but I ate here the other day and fu!$ing loved there burgers. My whole crew at work (6 of us) agreed! Awesome change from the fast food in the area. Burgers tasted like they came off the barbecue at home. My only complaint is: that I just got online to look at the menu to put an order in with my workmates who is running up there for everyone, and I could not find an online menu..I heard their shakes are good and want to see what they offer. . I did come across this thread and was surprised to see all the negative comments. So I thought I'd say my piece. I don't work for the company, and can give a shit. But I do enjoy there food. I'd say try it for yourself. I will ask where their meet comes from. It doesn't seem to be like the frozen patties that get sent through a cooking chamber like at Dairy Queen or anything like that. We'll see!