Willamette Burger Company
Lately it seems that all my best restaurant meals come along when I intend to eat elsewhere but get sidetracked for one reason or another. This time I was headed for Christos with quattro formaggi on my mind, forgetting that Christos doesn't have lunch service on Saturdays. We aimlessly drove north, considering hitting Paddingtons again, but decided instead to give Willamette Burger Company a try. It took a bit of rearranging to fit two adults and three children around a table, but I squeezed my four year old into a highchair and we made do. And boy was it worth it.
The service was quick and friendly, and our waiter was happy to answer questions about the beer selection. I ordered the Blue Cheese Bacon Burger, my friend chose the BBQ Burger, my son went with the WBC classic, and my two girls each got the grilled cheese kids' basket. The portions were very generous, even the items ordered from the kids' menu, which says that meals are served with “a handful of fries.” All of the food was hot, incredibly fresh and delicious, and without hesitation I will say that WBC has the best burger I've ever eaten, a statement I don't make lightly. The buns, which are baked in-house, were especially impressive. They were soft and chewy, and tasty enough to stand alone. A smaller version would make the perfect dinner roll. The beef was also outstanding, and my waiter proudly explained that their beef is ground fresh daily at Mt. Angel Meat Company. The twice-cooked french fries were also delicious and well seasoned, though I must have gotten the last of the batch, because everyone else in our party had heaps of long, crispy tender fries, but my basket had a lot of “ends.” We ordered a side of ranch dressing for dipping and it was some of the best I've had.
Because the portions are so large, I wish that I could have ordered the child sized burger and fries for my son, who stood no chance of finishing the enormous amount of food he was given, but the menu states that the kid friendly choices are for ages 10 and under. It doesn't make sense to me when restaurants put an age limit on children's menus. It seems arbitrary, and if your older child doesn't yet have an adult appetite, it's inconvenient to waste money and food with large portions.
The paper covered tables and cups of crayons kept the kids happy and busy before the meal, and watching several people (including my dining partner) walk into a broom closet, hoping for the restroom, provided some entertainment for the grownups too. We'll be heading back soon, and this time I'm going to try my best to save room for the ice-cream sandwich dessert.
2360 Fairgrounds Road NE, Salem OR 97301 503-399-9992
Seven Days a Week, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Labels: Willamette Burger Company