Monday, September 19, 2011

Willamette Burger Company

(NOTE: Willamette Burger Company is closed. The business moved to Fairgrounds Road in Salem for a few months before closing again.)

(Part 2 -- posted September 2011)
(Part 3 -- posted April 2012)

Willamette Burger Company, located on Broadway St. NE in Salem, Oregon, is an multiple-award-winning burger establishment -- among them, being voted the best burger in Salem.

(Forgot to take a photo of the place, just snagged this one from the internet)

They sell T-shirts, if you want one!
Willamette Burger Company is a place I've wanted to go to for a long time, especially after reading so many great reviews. I arrived a bit past 5:30 on a Wednesday evening. Two women were running the front of the house, with one guy slinging burgers in the back. I took a seat next to the cash register.

One of the first things I noticed was the artwork (clearly made by little children) on the walls of the interior. I really liked tells me that Willamette Burger Company really has a grasp on attracting families and even groups of children on school field trips.

After getting my menu, I wasted little time in ordering. I ordered their Delta Gamma burger ($9): a 6-oz. lamb burger (cooked medium) seasoned with secret spices, with spinach, tomato, onions, feta cheese, and cucumber tzatziki on WBC's house-made, toasted bun.

Menu (as of September 2011)

Delta Gamma burger (Willamette Burger Company)
I now know why WBC has won all those awards. The lamb patty was cooked perfectly, juicy and slightly pink in the center. The crumbly, creamy feta cheese just brought everything together for me. Basically a gyro in burger form here, folks. The bun was toasted nicely and retained that heavenly fluffiness. WBC gets bonus points for making their own buns!

I thought the lamb patty needed just a bit more seasoning, and I thought the cucumber tzatziki was largely absent this time around. The burger was fairly average in size, so at $9, it's a bit pricey. In the end, the top-notch burger quality and friendly service justify the price.

The place, on the inside and outside, feels dated, perhaps a few decades old. Assuming it's my first time, if I wasn't eating there -- or craving a burger -- I'm not sure if I'd be tempted to go inside.

In the end, I'm glad I went to Willamette Burger Company. It's an excellent place to satisfy that burger craving. In my opinion, they've got my vote for Salem's best burger! We'll see if Portland has some great places of their own.

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