What’s to Love: Foster Burger hand-grinds local (Lexington, Oregon) beef into some of the best burgers we’ve had in Portland. They are just ridiculously good. If you don’t believe me, perhaps you’ll believe Bon Appetit Magazine who named Foster Burger as one of the Top 10 Best New Burger spots for 2010! “Burgers here taste of local artisanal ingredients: house-ground beef from Lindsey Ranch, Beecher’s cheddar, and Rogue Creamery blue cheese.“ The buns are made in-house as well as pickled vegetables, hand-cut fries, and some very good coleslaw.
Being a huge fan of punk and indie rock, I absolutely loved the feel of this joint. It had an inspired collection of old show fliers from bands like Husker Du, Nirvana, The Feelies, Portland’s Dead Moon, The Replacements, Camper Van Beethoven, Social Distortion, The Pixies, and so many more. I walked around the place just staring at all of them. Our kids enjoyed looking at them as well, and we made a game out of trying to find their favorites and why.
The staff is right on it when you come into the place! They were fast with excellent service – attentive to everyone. Trust me, there will be plenty of food for all. Neither my wife nor I could finish our burgers, so we boxed them up and brought them home. I liked the fact they had a burger just for kids (Munchkin Burger), but even our kids couldn’t finish the smaller burgers. I can’t wait for our next family trip to Foster Burger!
Caveats: Kid friendly? Don’t expect a separate play area for kids or an extensive kids’ menu. While it certainly doesn’t have the feel of the old “Me Too” restaurant designed with kids in mind, I would certainly put Foster Burger in the “Family-Friendly” category. The servers were nice to the kids, they had nice colored pencils and pictures to color, and most likely, you’d never get a dirty look for a crying baby or screaming kid. It’s definitely a place for families.
The place isn’t that big, so if you’re planning on giving it a try, you’ll want to get there right around 5PM to beat the crowd. Also, we parked right outside on Foster Road, which I do not recommend. It’s right on a bend in the road and cars come flying around that corner and very close to your car. If you’re trying to get a kid out of a car seat, it doesn’t feel safe, especially at night. Park around the corner and walk.
Distance from Portland: In town at 5339 SE Foster Road Portland, OR 97206 Here is a Google Map.
Recommended Ages: All ages and family-friendly.
Parental Stress Factor: Low key, low stress!
Insider Info: The menu has some sleeper items that might interest kids, especially the house-made pickled vegetables, soup, or salad. We didn’t try the black-n-white fries made with parmesan, truffle oil, and squid ink aioli, but they sure sound good!
If you want to beat the crowds AND save some money, show up for Happy Hour! Here is a link to that menu with hours. FYI, I couldn’t get this link to open with my Firefox browser for some reason. When I used Explorer, it was fine.
Family Tips: Since the place doesn’t have an area for kids to roam, you’ll be in your booth or at your table pretty much the whole time. If coloring placates your kids, you’ll be fine; otherwise, you’ll probably want to bring some toys, games, or books to keep them occupied. The service was super fast.
Our kids enjoyed the Shirlee Temples made especially for kids. Save room for a root beer float, milkshake, or cookie sandwich!
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