Burger Nation

All-Way Burger cuts the mustard.

We’re part-time vegetarians in our house — mainly because the prospect of a “last” cheeseburger sounds too bleak. After eating sustainably and healthfully on the weekdays, we head out on Fridays for “burger night.”

All-Wayburger2We have several favorite local burger joints, but I was pleased to hear about the “In-N-Out” style burgers at All-Way Burger. Hitting that red-and-white drive-though after a day at the beach was a family tradition when I was growing up, and In-N-Out is still one of the few things I miss about living in Southern California.

Peter Bro and Martin Hulth’s new hamburger joint is in the old Red Coach diner space downtown (and All-Way’s on the menu at Savoy Tavern on 25th and SE Clinton). The Two Way burger did not disappoint. Two thin patties, a special sauce, house pickles, melty American cheese, butter lettuce on a buttery bun — it was as close to the Double-Double as I’ve found in Portland. Bigger appetites can order up to four patties on the Four-Way. We ordered a single patty All-way for my toddler, who ate the entire thing — minus the pickles, which kept slipping out. The crisp shoestring fries satisfied us all, but the breaded onion rings were a disappointment.

FamilySupper2Also try the butter lettuce salad. The croutons definitely do not come from a box, and are reason enough to order the salad. I also appreciated the housemade spiced apple soda, since booze and caffeine were off limits while I was pregnant.

But I admit I was a little shocked by the lack of accommodations for kids. When we ordered at the counter and asked for a high chair, we were told they didn’t have any. True, the downtown, happy-hour crowd is mostly child-free, but the rest of us do occasionally venture out of our favorite neighborhoods to try new things. (Proof: There was another kiddo in the upstairs section when we arrived.) My husband asked one of the waiters if they had an extra bus bin that we could use as a booster seat, and the waiter helpfully cleaned it off for us. Did I mention my kid devoured her burger?

Hopefully All-Way will realize that families with littles like a good burger, too, and figure out that investing in a few IKEA high chairs makes good business sense. But even if we have to lug our Chicco travel seat, we’ll be going back. Those burgers are worth it.

615 SW Broadway Ave., 503-299-6666, allwaypdx.com.

Where’s the Beef?

Killer Burger: With metal blasting from the speakers, no one will hear your baby making a fuss. So take your time savoring the spicy Jose Mendoza or drippy Fun Guy burgers. 1525 SE 164th Ave., Vancouver and other locations. killerburger.biz

Foster Burger: In the early evening you’ll find Foster Burger packed with FoPo families diving into bowls of the Woodstock poutine. Burgers come in beef, lamb, turkey or veggie. 5339 SE Foster Rd. fosterburger.com

Skyline Restaurant: Don’t forget to bring cash — this is probably one of the last places in Portland that doesn’t take cards. But the charming, old-fashioned diner feel, giant “steak burgers,” and milkshakes make up for it. 1313 NW Skyline Blvd. 503-292-6727

Denise Castañon
Denise Castañon

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