Summer road trip stories: Taking a trip to Burgerville

January 11, 2011, 3:11 PM · We're getting through the winter by reliving summer, with a daily look back at an epic family vacation road trip. Share your story, in the comments.

Where do you stop to eat when you're on the road?

Whenever we take a road trip, we try to find local restaurants for lunches and dinners. Whether it's an independent restaurant or a local chain, we choose to avoid the McDonalds of the world (I haven't eaten in one since, well, the 20th century) in favor of something unique to the area we're visiting.

Before our trips, I hit up sites such as Eat Well Guide and Roadfood to find popular, locally-owned and operated restaurants along our route. Eat Well Guide looks for places serving organic and locally-produced food while Roadfood devotes more attention to down-home greasy spoons. Find a restaurant well-recommended on both websites and, chances are, you've discovered a winner.

So when lunchtime rolled around on the second day of our road trip, we pulled over to try Oregon's Burgerville.

Burgerville sign

We're devoted In-N-Out fans in our household. We love the simplicity of its fresh ingredients, well-prepared. But Burgerville's menu of burgers, salads, seafood and the occasional deep-fried local organic vegetable has me craving another trip to the Pacific Northwest.

Natalie decides to try a combination chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice-cream milkshake.

The kids scarfed their burgers while I chose a salad with fresh greens, smoked salmon and Oregon hazelnuts in a vinaigrette dressing. Yum. If you don't like fish, it's only because you haven't tastes salmon like this. It was so meaty, I thought for a moment that someone had messed up and thrown diced Virginia ham into my salad. But then I remember that I was in the Pacific Northwest and that seafood here hasn't spent hours on a plane and days in a warehouse before hitting my plate.

There's a reason why the word "fishy" has come to mean "suspect." If fish tastes, well, fishy, that's because it's not fresh. Well-handled and prepared seafood avoids any hint of "fishiness" and allows you to taste instead the fish's true flavor. After that first bite of salad, there was no mistaking this for ham. It was salmon, in its rich, meaty glory.

And I wanted more. So from Portland up the coast to Canada, I binged on some of the tastiest seafood dishes I've ever enjoyed.

Tomorrow, we'll continue our Oregon road trip with a visit to Powell's Books.

Replies (3)

January 11, 2011 at 3:36 PM · If I ever move away from the Portland/Vancouver, WA area, Burgerville will be in the Top 5 Things I'll Miss. Maybe Top 3! Love it there.
January 12, 2011 at 10:49 PM · We love Burgerville. They have a number of the seasonal menu items including milkshakes. Blackberry milkshake is my favorite.
January 12, 2011 at 11:01 PM · I love Burgerville, especially the seasonal menu items. My favorite is the Blackberry Milkshake.

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