Though Willamette Burger Company recently relocated to a more spacious spot a mile away from its original digs, the burger makers still take the same gourmet approach to classic American fare that won the Statesman Journal's Best Burger award in 2011. Each patty contains more than 6 ounces of locally raised, hormone-free beef, delivered on stallion by a handsome cowboy and ground on-site. Made-from-scratch buns, house-made sauces, and Oregonian cheeses top each specialty burger, sandwich, or Hill’s Meats hot dog. The eatery strives to further improve on classic American flavors by hand-forming each one of their tater tots and cooking their french fries twice for a crisp crunch. Visitors can slurp root-beer floats and ice-cream shakes or savor wine and beer from local imbiberies such as Ninkasi and Gilgamesh. Each tabletop in Willamette Burger Company’s new location comes topped with a paper tablecloth and stocked with crayons for scribbled drawings or colorful personal manifestos. The resulting works could earn a spot on the eatery’s hallowed walls next to priceless pieces like Still Life with Cheeseburger and Les Hamburgers d'Avignon.
What started as a refreshment stand during a 1924 Pioneer Day celebration has since grown into Arctic Circle, an eatery that transcends typical fast-food standards by building its menu items from high-quality ingredients. Black Angus patties support burgers stacked with mushrooms or bacon, and 100% Alaskan halibut keeps the fish sandwiches filler-free. Over more than 60 years of business, Arctic Circle has handcrafted original eats, such as a fry sauce blended from tomato and lemon, and the Brown Topper, an ice-cream cone dunked in chocolate and placed atop the heads of nearby gentlepersons. The dessert menu also includes milkshakes, whose creamy contents harvest flavor from real fruit or hunks of candy.
Dedicating themselves to the unique pleasures of a cup of freshly roasted, skillfully brewed joe, Broadway Coffeehouse's baristas stay local, using beans from renowned Portland roaster Stumptown Coffee and stacking the display case with pastries from Salem's Great Harvest Bread Co.
The Oregonian aromas of the specialty brews and warm desserts fill the spacious café, whose expansive windows and crackling fireplace bathe the cushy couches and armchairs in natural light. A second-floor skyway overlooks the main seating area, and youngsters frolic in a family area while older people talk business in private conference rooms. In the warmer months, guests sit outdoors under the shade of patio umbrellas, safe from the sun's periodic spills of scalding-hot coffee.
In an effort to find a healthy alternative to fast food without sacrificing speediness, the creators of The Pita Pit began assembling their signature sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night snacks. At each location, thin, Lebanese-style pitas encircle lean, grilled meats and fresh veggies. Sandwich selections span the spectrum from gyro meat and falafel to turkey and prime rib. The staff empowers customers to make healthy choices by displaying nutrition information for each bread, meat, and post-meal toothpick and corralling a selection of healthy sandwiches, which dining companions can wash down with fruit smoothies.
Coffee in Motion?s baristas brew cups of Millars organic, wood-roasted, fair-trade coffee beans to create gourmet drive-thru coffees and espressos. At the Mission Street location, a cherry-hued bus with upstairs seating serves caffeine-seeking patrons around the clock, as the caf?'s extended schedule allows patrons to flout legally mandated naptimes. Along with coffee, the staff serves up a full menu of real fruit smoothies, fresh pastries, and toasted bagel sandwiches with a choice of toppings. For tea drinkers, locally brewed My Chai teas awaken sleepy patrons and incite their heart rates to soar like Amelia Earhart's pet falcon.
IKE Box inhabits the ground floor of a 120-year-old downtown building whose spacious ballroom now serves as the main seating area of the café. Baristas serve Sisters Coffee Company coffee and espresso alongside locally produced pastries, fresh hummus, and organic cookies. For added color, an onsite art gallery swaps in fresh works from community artists each month. IKE Box also has multiple large spaces for meetings and other get-togethers.
Committed to helping not just coffee drinkers and artists but the community as well, IKE Box is run by Isaac’s Room, a nonprofit youth organization that seeks to provide valuable life skills and training to divested youth.