Fine Dining Burger Reviews: Back Bay Grill, David’s, District, Five Fifty-Five, Frog & Turtle, The Grill Room, Walter’s

For March the O-Rama review group returned to that emblem of American fast food, the hamburger–this time with a twist. Seven food bloggers visited a mix of Portland’s fine dining establishments to find out how well white table clothes and burgers mix.

Appetite PortlandWalter’s

Called the 2P2 Burger (no, I didn’t ask why and I’m apparently not clever enough to figure it out), this joyously constructed and luxuriously generous sandwich filled me up fast and left me happily humming. I jotted a few notes before I collapsed into a blissed-out fugue state. read the full review

Chris2ferFrog and Turtle

The burger was awesome. First off, the bun was grilled lightly brown. It was buttery and crispy and soft. The bacon was deliriously crispy. And there were 3 whole pieces! The Gruyère was melted and drippy and savory. The onions were brown and sweet. And the burger? It was cooked perfectly medium rare. Pink in the middle. Mmmm. read the full review

Edible ObsessionsDistrict

House cured bacon, cheddar cheese, tomato confit and the ever popular brioche bun combined with a huge 1 1/2 inch thick patty cooked to a beautiful–just slightly over rare–medium temperature and a whopping side of fries. I assume, because so much of what District offers on it’s menu is house made and local, that the beef was ground on site and traveled less than 100 miles to get to their door. Beautifully marbled meat made for an interesting time of trying to out pace the juices that ran down my chin. Though, I must admit, it was a bit odd to be wiping it away with a crisp linen napkin instead of a throw away paper one. But, it was worth the effort as the burger was beautifully seasoned and satisfying.read the full review

From AwayFive Fifty-Five

The first thing you notice about the burger, is the thick slice of Gruyere that positively enrobes the burger in earthy deliciousness. The brioche bun is a very soft, buttery, braided roll, almost like a slightly more dense croissant. While delicious, the bottom half tends to fall under the weight and juiciness of the burger itself, after the first few bites. It all but disappears into a gratifying wash of butter flavor and hot, running beef blood. The top half stays strong, continuing to provide structure as you keep eating.read the full review

Soooo . . You Really Like Cats, Don’t YouBack Bay Grill

The house made patty was a semi-coarse grind, just slightly crumbly as I bit in. The patty was seasoned simply, but nicely, and the most enjoyable part about the patty was the subtle sweetness of the beef that can really only be tasted if correctly cooked. The brioche bun was a wonderful, evenly proportioned pairing – the bread was deliciously buttery and crisp from the cast iron skillet. The shredded romaine offered a tangy crunch with every bite.read the full review

Vrai-lean-uhThe Grill Room

The burger is really good. It is a thick, juice-running-down-your-hand type of burger. It comes on a relatively unobtrusive, soft, squarish bun, so you’re not battling a mouthful of bread to get to the meat. The cheese was fully melted and relatively subtle. The tomato tapanade and roasted red onions enhance the burger taste without being intrusive, and the toppings and cheese are distributed evenly across the burger. My only complaint was that it was difficult to impossible to fit into my mouth in a single bite, but I also don’t think I can subtract points for a thick burger.…read the full review

Where is Jenner’s MindDavid’s

large thick angus beef patty was perfectly cooked at medium rare. the double bacon is really a double wide sliced of bacon. it was unsurprisingly delicious as bacon tends to be. it was served with cheddar cheese, ice burg lettuce, thin slices of red onions, and sad looking tomatoes. the truffle fries with truffle ketchup were each very good but together, the truffle flavor was overwhelming.
overall the burger was good.…
read the full review

I can’t claim to have tried all of the gourmet burgers in town, but among those I have Caiola’s is certainly my favorite.

Is there a fine dining restaurant in Portland who’s burger you think is especially stellar? If so, post a comment and tell us where to find it and what you like about it.